Monday, March 28, 2011

Shank Goes Provincial

Not exactly a stretch for Shank, but he latches onto UConn's Jim Calhoun as the Huskies make another Final Four appearance. I can picture Shank doing Kevin Garnett-like chest thumps when he's laying this out on the keyboard:

But Jim Calhoun belongs to Boston. And we take some pride when one of our guys keeps showing up in the Final Four.

Calhoun was born and raised in Braintree, Mass., just a few miles south of Boston. He was a three sport star at Braintree High, home of the Wamps. He earned a degree in sociology at American International College in Springfield. That's fitting because basketball was invented in Springfield and Springfield is home of the Basketball Hall of Fame, where Calhoun was enshrined in 2005.

Calhoun's first coaching job was at AIC. In 1971-72 he was back in the Bay State League, coaching against the Braintree Wamps for Dedham High. Then it was on to Northeastern University on Huntington Avenue in Boston.
Perhaps a bit over the top, but Shank does indeed like Calhoun, which ran counter to my initial reaction to this column, that Shank was just shamelessly jumping on yet another bandwagon...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Injury List

That's the excuse I'm using for not mentioning Shank's Saturday column, in which he leaves himself exposed again for being a massive hypocrite:

I learned everything I need to know about baseball injuries from the great Earl Weaver.

It happened when Baltimore center fielder Al Bumbry broke his leg running the bases in Texas in the middle of the 1978 season. The O’s were perennial contenders in those days and it was a pretty big deal when their leadoff batter was subtracted in July.

Earl had no time for reporters after we learned the extent of Bumbry’s injury.

“I’m not talking about Bumbry anymore,’’ said the Hall of Fame skipper. “He’s not part of our team now. I deal with the living.’’

That’s pretty much how I feel about baseball injuries.


I hate writing about baseball injuries.

I deal with the living.

Please. Is that why Shank wrote a boatload of columns questioning or otherwise rehashing Ellsbury's injuries last year? Does anyone seriously think Shank will refrain from Ellsbury trashing columns if he gets injured again this year?

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's All About You, Bill

I can hardly keep up!

Shank's been on a tear the past couple of days, mounting the high horse again to opine on the Barry Bonds trial. Shank, to no one's surprise, gives Clemens a mention, going rather easy on him, and also takes a shot at... Bill Belichick?

This reminds me a little of the criminal who asked for an extra three years on his sentence so that he could honor Larry Bird with 33 years in the slammer. Not even pathetic “In Bill We Trust’’ zealots would go to jail for the Hoodie.
Can't even wait until the NFL draft to mention Bill Belichick? I think he's... obsessed.

What's less shocking than a shot at Belichick? - Shank's on the Bruin's Bandwagon!

Mon Dieu! Somebody call 911.

This was a statement game. With a playoff atmosphere. And the Bruins won, 7-0. Folks must be in quite a lather back home in Montreal.

The puck planets are aligned. The Bruins are probably going to play the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs, and they have to be feeling great about themselves after what we witnessed last night.
We'll see how long Shiny Happy Danny stays on...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things Are Picking Up

Shank wrote a picked up pieces column yesterday. After deriding the NCAA basketball tournament as fraudulent, we get this:

Picked-up pieces while vacuuming the carpet after a weekend of eating popcorn and watching more than 50 college basketball games in the basement mancave . . .
It doesn't get any better from there...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reversal Of Fortune

Shankologists may remember the special venom directed at Nomar Garciaparra and Curt Schilling (too many to mention) by the Shankster over the years. Since both of them became ESPN analysts last year, there hasn't been much written by Shank on either, excluding that Globe column on Garciaparra.

Maybe Shank has turned the corner on the professional athlete thing?
Dwight Freeney interviewed me last month. He asked me about Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, Bob Sanders, and who I liked in Major League Baseball this year.

I am not making this up.

More and more, athletes are getting into the media business. Most guys do it when their playing days are over. In 2011 some of them go to the dark side while they are still playing. No doubt they are getting ready for a work stoppage or the next career after retirement from the playing field.


I never thought stuff like this was going to happen when I got into the sportswriting game. There was a clear separation. We were newspaper guys and they were players. There was little crossover. We didn't have a lot of opportunities to appear on television or radio. And players didn't entertain the idea of joining the media.
"This ain't what I signed up for, damn it!"

There's also a mention of a local angle:
Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell is a commentator on the C's flagship radio station. Maxwell did not speak to the media for one entire season when I covered the Celtics, but now he occasionally asks me a question.
Lest we wonder why, one reason Cedric Maxwlll might have told Shank to piss off:

“You could not print all the things we said,’’ said Cedric Maxwell, Ainge’s teammate from the 1980s and a Hall of Fame trash talker. “You could not write it all down. The families. The moms. Didn’t make any difference. We didn’t have to be politically correct. We could be asinine.

“I remember one guy, before the start of a playoff series, saying, ‘No way that bitch is getting 40 points off of me.’ Somebody wrote that down and it actually got in the paper.’’

I know. Because Max said it about Bernard King, and I (Shank - ed.) wrote it down, and it appeared in the Sunday Globe on the day of the first game of the 1984 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Celtics and Knicks. King refused to shake Max’s hand before the game. King didn’t get his 40 until Game 3, but the Celtics won the series.

You Know It's A Good Morning...

...when you turn on the radio and listen to Dennis & Callahan goof on Shank's Sunday column!

Any guesses on Shank's CNN / SI column subject today? Does he have the brass to give them yesterday's piece of work?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Recycling - Good; NCAA Tournament - Bad

Shank mounts the Shetland pony and tell you what he thinks of the Big Dance:

Sorry to disrupt the dance, but I’m here to tell you that the NCAA Tournament is one of the more fraudulent, overblown media creations of our time.
Shank started his radio show yesterday with a similar statement, where he used the word 'fraud' instead. I might add that the entire 11:00 - 12:00 hour on 98.5 FM yesterday morning is summed up in this article.

I wonder - is it 'fraudulent' to say things on the radio for an hour, summarize them and submit it to the editors the next day for a Boston Globe column, and not disclose it anywhere?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grumpy Old Men

Shank seems to have found a kindred spirit in Carl Yastrzemski:

FORT MYERS, Fla. — He is the lion in winter, wheeling into the shabby minor league complex at the dead end of Edison Road every morning before 8. Fifty years after his rookie season, the greatest living Red Sox player doesn’t want to be around the millionaire big leaguers and he doesn’t want to be around baby boomer fans he thrilled all those years ago. He just wants to work with anonymous young hitters, walk around the warning track by himself for an hour, then retreat to an afternoon of fishing or golf.

Carl Yastrzemski is our New England sports Salinger. Ava Gardner. Sandy Koufax. He just wants to be left alone. He knows you love him and you appreciate those glory days, but truthfully, it probably means more to you than it means to him.

“I’m not much of a conversationalist,’’ says the 71-year-old legend. “I don’t like to reminisce about when I played. I had my day in the sun and it’s over with.’’
Interesting column by Shank; a lot longer then the usual dreck, on one of the local legends. Very interesting...

Sore Eyes

Shank has a decent column on Monday's watered-down Sox / Yankees game.

Shank's Yaz column from today will get checked out tonight.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

68 Teams, No Harvard?

Shank's weekly CNN / SI column concerns Shank's outrage at Harvard being left out of the Big Dance.

It might amuse you to know that there were folks in Cambridge and greater Boston who actually watched CBS' Selection Show thinking that Harvard had a chance to receive an at-large big to the NCAA tournament.
They had a chance, it just wasn't a huge chance, but Shank writes a solid, spirited column with good points in their defense (Harvard's RPI, their defeats of BC & Colorado). For the most part, I agree with Shank, but the fact that two Ivy League teams have never made the tournament in the same year indicates it's tough to fight history.

Bonus shot in on John Calipari:

There's always going to be room for John Calipari, who has already had two Final Four appearances vacated, but there's no room for Harvard.
Good column, start to finish.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Settle Down, Beavis

Shank's third column in as many days focuses on Adrian Gonzalez and his first game in a Red Sox uniform. His over-the-top effusiveness and gushing praise for the man bring to mind one question - did Shank give this guy a blowjob after the game?

I am dead serious. Check these sentences out:

Some moments stand out in a lifetime, like red M&Ms sprinkled into a big bowl of vanilla.

There was the night the Beatles first played on “The Ed Sullivan Show.’’

There was the first moon landing on July 20, 1969.

And then there was Adrian Gonzalez’s first game in a Red Sox uniform yesterday at City of Palms Park in southwest Florida.

Who’ll ever forget it?


It was a fluid, loose swing. Pure butter.


Yo Adrian has the soft hands of Yo Yo Ma, hands of a confident hitter. The first swing, the first hit, was textbook stuff.
I'm sure Adrian Gonzalez is a good player, but really, give us a freakin' break, Shank...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Better Late Than Never

Just as I was wondering "Does Shank feel guilty cashing Boston Globe paychecks without writing a column in nearly three weeks?", he bangs out a pair of columns. The first one focuses on Ryan Westmoreland, the Red Sox prospect who had brain surgery last year. The second column specualtes on Tim Wakefield's role with the Red Sox this year. Both columns are decent efforts by Shank, although you might expect more after such a protracted absence. Must have been working on his tan...

Monday, March 07, 2011

Shank, Ainge On The Perkins Trade

Slaving over his keyboard, busting out his third column in two weeks, Shank talks trade with Danny Ainge, the Celtics general manager. It's a good column, as most of his CNN / SI columns are.

Near the end of the column appear an utterly laughable pair of sentences:
And that was that. The end of our debate. I walked away thinking about how I'd never have a conversation like that with Bill Belichick. It's easy to love the results Belichick produces, but it's too bad he's not more willing to discuss his moves.
Never will you see a more self-serving, disingenuous paragraph from Dan Shaughnessy in your life. Why, it's enough to make you wonder how on earth a nice guy like Dan Shaughnessy can't get a cozy, fireside chat with the coach of the New England Patriots. It's a damn shame, I tell you!

Item two is from mike's comment in the previous thread:
He has been spending all his time on the radio. I'm sure the mindset is, no one listens, therefore no one can criticize him or remind him he was wrong.
There's a reason for that. I tuned into his Saturday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM gig on 98.5 FM with Adam Jones around 11:30 or so. There are two surefire ways to turn off radio listeners - be boring or yell & scream over everybody like Glenn Ordway does for four hours. I listened to Shank for about 3 minutes before having to turn it off. Shank's delivery was uninspired and monotone with a complete disinterest in discussing the NFL labor dispute, and gave off the overwhelming impression that he didn't want to be there. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who felt that way. Just turn the show over to Adam Jones permanently and be done with it.

I like writing for you guys, but I didn't agree to suffer painful boredom in doing it.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Blessing In Disguise

There have been no Globe columns from Shank in twelve days, one of the longest streaks on record. By way of comparison, Bob Ryan has at least five columns in the same span.

Given the time of year, maybe Shank's secretly working for a CPA firm, banging out tax returns?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Shank On The Perkins Trade

Blessing us with his weekly CNN / SI column, and his first column in a week, Shank doesn't like the Kendrick Perkins trade.

I hate the Kendrick Perkins trade.

And make no mistake; in Boston, this deal will always be the Kendrick Perkins trade. Jeff Green might be a young Antonio McDyess. He might someday replace Celtics captain Paul Pierce. But Celtics fans will always think of this as the Kendrick Perkins trade. I don't expect Green or 7-foot center Nenad Krstic to have their numbers retired, but even if they play well in Boston, this is going to be remembered as the Kendrick Perkins trade.

It's a shocker and a high-stakes gamble by ever-bold team president Danny Ainge. The Celtics were a conference-best 40-14 at the All-Star break. They were front-runners to make it to the Finals for the third time in four seasons. And then Ainge (one of the great talent evaluators of his generation) up and traded his starting center less than two months before the start of the playoffs.
Can't argue with that.