Monday, September 29, 2014

One Final Time

Shank churns out one last Derek Jeter column. Why bother sampling from the story when you've already read it twice?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Waving Goodbye - II

Shank gets another column out of the Derek Jeter Retirement Tour.
It’s the same ballpark where Babe Ruth played his rookie season in 1914. It’s the same hardball theater where Ted Williams homered on his final big league swing, Sept. 28, 1960. It’s where Mickey Mantle made his last out on the same date in 1968.

And on Sunday, it’s where Derek Sanderson Jeter will finish a 20-year major league career that defined a game and an era.
Will Shank go 3 for 3 with yet another Derek Jeter retirement column tomorrow? Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Waving Goodbye

As the season winds down for the 2014 Boston Red Sox, as well as Derek Jeter's career, Shank devotes today's column to the retiring Yankees shortstop. Sort of!

Tongue firmly in cheek and dripping with sarcasm, Shank uses the first few paragraphs to take his patented dump on the Olde Town Team:
Welcome to Jeter-palooza. Hub Fans Bid Jetes Adieu. Three final sellouts and more eyeballs diverted from the train wreck of the 2014 Red Sox.

The Red Sox are truly blessed. They’ve managed to finish in last place in two of the last three seasons, but everybody’s still having a swell time singing “Sweet Caroline’’ before the home half of the eighth.

Nobody’s mad at the Local Nine. After all, they’ve won the World Series three times in 10 years and they won it last year and they’re going to bring Jon Lester back (OK, I made that one up) and everybody is happy just to enjoy another day in America’s most beloved ballpark.

Fenway fans don’t mind paying the highest prices in baseball to watch the Pawtucket Red Sox stagger across the finish line in the basement of the once-proud American League East. Now, thanks to Derek Jeter, the ready-for-golf Red Sox and Yankees are the feature game on Fox today, and seats behind the Yankee dugout Sunday are fetching something north of $20,000.
The rest of the column is in fact devoted to Jeter, and the obligatory comparison to Ted Williams is made.

And in case you needed to be reminded about the Red Sox' performance in recent years, Mr. Sunshine drives the point home to wrap things up:
The Red Sox, meanwhile, continue to enjoy the widespread notion that they are a perennial contender. They are not. Since losing the 2008 ALCS to Tampa in 2008, the Sox have won a playoff game in only one of six Octobers. They have not made the playoffs in four of the last five years. Since Sept. 1, 2011, they are an aggregate 24 games under .500.

But never mind all that. Pay no attention to those AL East standings on the Green Monster. The sun is shining and Derek Jeter is here to say goodbye. It’s going to be a great baseball weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tank Job

As the NFL hires outside counsel to investigate the Ray Rice matter, Shank is not impressed with the man chosen for the job.
The NFL continues to reel in the wake of its domestic violence scandal, and the league wants to assure you that the truth will come out when former FBI director Robert Mueller completes his review of the conduct of the league and its leader in the days, weeks, and months after Ray Rice punched his fiancée in an elevator in Atlantic City Feb. 15.

It’s certainly possible that we’ll get true disclosure in the Mueller Report. Commissioner-under-siege Roger Goodell pledged that Mueller will have “the full cooperation of NFL personnel and access to all NFL records.’’

Swell. But this investigation is already compromised and will remain compromised because, despite Mueller’s long and impressive career, his position as a partner at the WilmerHale law firm demonstrates an enormous conflict of interest regarding any investigation involving the NFL.
Interesting column - how often do we say that around here?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Venting His Spleen

Shank ought to consider changing his picked up pieces columns to the above suggested title. Reverting back to his trademark sniping, nitpicking, self-righteousness and petty vindictiveness, with the occasional positive / nice thing to say about something designed as countermeasures or to drive you crazy, behold his utter disdain for the New England Patriots, whom he promised not to judge a mere fortnight ago:
Picked-up pieces while reading the small print of the NFL’s exempt/commissioner’s permission list, a.k.a. “Double Secret Probation.’’

■ Anybody seen Roger Goodell? Anybody?

■ Those are not booster seats or phone books, folks. Along with the shoulder pads, helmets, and cleats, Bob and Jonathan Kraft’s high chairs are officially part of the Patriots’ traveling entourage.
■ Kudos to Eli Manning for standing up and saying something about the scandal-ridden NFL: “We can’t accept that as players, we can’t accept that from our teammates and around the league. Hopefully . . . the NFL can learn from this, and we can go on and start getting back to football . . . We don’t like when the NFL gets a black eye on anything.’’ That’s a lot better than the Jordanesque/Tigeresque “there’s nothing I can do to make a difference” we got from Tom Brady when he was asked about it on WEEI.
As though starting quarterbacks should be the primary spokesman for the team's players and not share Shank's concern on these issues... that started approximately one week ago.

My outrage meter goes to 11!
■ It was cowardly of the NCAA to announce that Penn State’s bowl ban has been lifted in the middle of Ray Rice Week. It was classic “let’s do this while no one is looking,’’ but rest assured, we will have time to slam the shameless NCAA at a later date.
How long should current Penn State players pay for the sins of their forbearers? Any suggestions?
■ Speaking of shameless, Kentucky coach John Calipari has basically come out and admitted that his “college” team is nothing more than a soft landing spot for AAU warriors and their bag men en route to the National Basketball Association. According to Yahoo, Cal will host an invitation-only two-day scouting combine at Kentucky Oct. 11-12. It doubles as a one-time look for NBA scouts and a nifty recruiting tool for Cal.
This wasn't obvious a year or two after he took the job? He's shocked, I tells ya!

Passive / aggressive Shank, anyone?
■ Bill Belichick’s genius is reinforced when we watch Matt Cassel against the Patriots. The Patriots went 11-5 with Cassel as their quarterback in 2008.
■ How did Avery Bradley get that contract?
Because Danny Ainge is a better assessor of NBA talent than certain Globe sports columnists?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Indignation And Outrage!

With the recent domestic abuse problems of four NFL players (Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Grag Hardy and Ray McDonald), Shank joins the vast chorus of self-righteous media harpies, politicians and sundry others in hysterically overreacting to the issue and mounts his Shetland pony high horse to express his feelings about the current state of affairs in the NFL. Throw in a few tangential issues, and we have the classic Shank moral outrage column.
We have outrage. We have heightened awareness. We have thousands of hours of programming, debating who should be allowed to play football this Sunday, and whether Roger Goodell is fit to be commissioner of the National Football League.

Magazine covers and newspaper headlines expose and condemn the criminality of ballplayers while the league itself acknowledges that playing football causes brain damage in nearly a third of the pro players. And social media, of course, never sleeps, providing an endless forum on the awfulness of it all.
Did you know the NFL involves a lot of money? Those greedy bastards! Shank's here to helpfully remind you of that:
On Tuesday, we had mighty Anheuser-Busch (halfway through a six-year, $1.2 billion deal with the NFL) firing a veiled threat at The Shield.
Meanwhile, the overstuffed NFL owners keep getting richer,
Until the beer barons and their friends withdraw sponsorship...
The NFL is a $9 billion industry and Goodell has pledged to his owners that he will make it a $25 billion industry. Think Bob Kraft or Daniel Snyder or Jerry Jones wants to mess with this game plan? Think again.
Nothing like appealing to the base emotions of greed, jealously and resentment to whip up the outrageous outrage, is there?

And what's a Shank NFL column without a shot at Patriots owner Bob Kraft?
Think Kraft is going to take a stand and talk about the sins of the NFL? Think again. According to Forbes, the Patriots are worth $2.6 billion and appreciated by 44 percent since last year — which is the same year in which Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder, shortly after the Patriots signed him to a $40 million extension.
At least he gets one thing right:
It goes on everywhere. It is a societal problem, not just an NFL problem.
Which is precisely why the self-righteous media harpies and the rest of the lynch mob (like this asshole) might want to take a step back in piling on the NFL like this problem is the sole purview of the NFL and will be resolved by kicking the players out of the league and shitcanning Roger Goodell. I'm not holding my breath on that one...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Still Gasping

Not one to pile on the hyperbole, we get this beauty from Shank in today's column:
MINNEAPOLIS — Kickoff could not come fast enough.

The worst week in the history of the National Football League finally came to a close Sunday when more of the suspended and the suspected were ruled out of games and finally America had football again. And everything went on the way it always does.
If you conveniently ignore the weeks of the JFK assassination, Ray Lewis accused of murder, 9/11, Rae Carruth being convicted of murder, Aaron Hernandez accused of murder and Jovan Belcher killing his girlfriend, then himself, I suppose he's right...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Last Gasps of a Dying Columnist

In true Shank style, The CHB today sets up the pins of false equivalency, then smashes them down.

Does Tom Brady suck? After all, he had a bad game last week. Ergo, Patriots fans must be throwing in the towel on his career, right?

Sure, if you are Fair Weather Shaughnessy, who assumes that everyone else either a) does or b) should treat the last game/play/breath as the most significant and telling of a person's career/life/the universe.

So naturally Shankster compares Brady's last game to the last gasps of Willie Mays, Johnny Unitas and Larry Bird (Larry Bird Watch!).

Mays, of course, was 42 in his final season, Unitas 40 (Brady just turned 37). When he was 37, Mays had an OPS of .860 and finished 13th in the MVP vote. The Unitas-backed Colts were 10-2-1 when Johnny U was 37. Larry Legend, the outlier, retired at 35, four years after major surgery to correct chronic back problems. (And he averaged 20.2 points per game in that final year, including a 49-point outburst near season end.) In his case, it was injuries, not a loss of talent, that felled him.

Also keep in mind that after the first two games last season, Brady had completed 52% of his passes (he's at 51.8% right now) and had a passer rating under 75. (At season's end, Brady had passed for 4,300 yards and had a completion percentage of 61%.) Well, you should keep it in mind, anyway, because The CHB does not.

Favorite word watch alert: Arrogant, as in, the trade of Logan Mankins was "arrogant." Right.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Shank On Roger Gooddell

Looks like Shank's back to his old self:
Roger Goodell and NFL owe us some straight answers

The NFL is now in full-blown Watergate cover-up mode, and commissioner Roger Goodell is a modern-day Richard Nixon.

Does Goodell resign, raise his arms in a Nixonian victory salute, and flee in a helicopter from the rooftop of NFL headquarters in Manhattan? Or are we perhaps overreacting?

The Ray Rice Domestic Violence Scandal changes every hour, and it’s increasingly possible that it might be unsurvivable for the mighty commissioner of our most popular league.

Goodell is either lying or he is incompetent and has lost control of his office. Neither is acceptable for the NFL boss who was paid $44 million last year.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Shank On Ray Rice

Instead of crapping on the Patriots yesterday, today we get a column about Ray Rice, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens.
Things moved quickly on NFL Monday.

At 4 a.m., TMZ released video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice delivering a left cross to the face of his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City casino elevator back on Feb. 15. Palmer was knocked out cold.

Reaction was predictable. Social media exploded and there were calls for Rice to be banished from the NFL. There were also suggestions that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell be fired if he had seen this video before handing out his hideous two-game suspension.

At 10:08 a.m., the NFL issued a statement in which it contended that the video was not available to the league when Goodell delivered his wrist-slap to Rice.

At 2:18 p.m., the Ravens announced that Rice had been released.
I was expecting a bit more self-righteousness from this column. I'm sure it will show up again eventually...

Friday, September 05, 2014

Misleading Headline

Do you think Shank is using the royal 'we', or is he trying to leave the impression that he's talking about everyone else?
We just can’t judge Patriots until January
Even his nicknames are old and dated (besides being stupid and unfunny):
Geno Smith. Ryan Tannehill. EJ Manuel.

And Tom Brady.

These are the starting quarterbacks in the AFC East, which henceforth shall be known as the Andy Warhol (Tomato Can) Division.
Because Andy Warhol used to make paintings of tomato cans and called it art! I get it!

He then proceeds to bore the hell out of the reader by stating the obvious for nearly every New England Patriots fan. He saves the truly majestic bullshit for the grand finale:
This is why I am waiting for January with this team. We know it’s going to be a fun and easy four months as the Patriots crush hapless division foes and the Mr. Softee NFC North.
Does anyone in their right mind think that Shank will refrain from any level of criticism with a Patriots loss? Or do you think he'll then use a weak cop-out like 'that's not what I wrote' when he gets called on it? No reason it can't be both!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Cooking Up A Blame Pie

Is Shank going soft on the 2014 Red Sox? Where's the vitriol, or does that only apply to ownership and Larry Lucchino upper management?
NEW YORK — Before Wednesday night’s nationally televised Red Sox-Yankees game, John Farrell, manager of the last-place Red Sox, was reminded that the game would determine if he had a winning or a losing record. Despite winning a World Series in Boston in 2013, Farrell’s four-year record as a big league manager was 312 wins and 312 losses.

Smiling at the mention of his symmetrical won-lost record, Farrell asked, “Is that good, bad, or indifferent? It means maybe I don’t have any impact at all.’’

He was kidding, folks. Farrell knows he has a large impact on the fortunes of his ballclub. And like all of you, he knows that 2013 was fantastic and that 2014 is a disaster. Though it’s widely held that the affable manager of the local nine has gotten a free pass in this worst-to-first-to-worst season, Farrell is eating his share of the blame pie.
More like Shank's gently shoving it down his throat.

I get the impression that Shank's using kid gloves in this (and other Farrell) interviews as an angle to co-write another book with a former Red Sox manager when Farrell eventually steps down.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Interview with Yankee Captain Leaves CHB Feeling 'Jeted'

Besides being a future Hall of Famer and best-in-class skirt-chaser, Derek Jeter is apparently smart.

Well, smart enough, anyway, to get the best of The CHB, who tries to goad him into saying he might blow off his career-ending series in Boston. (Although most would agree that it doesn't require much gray matter to outsmart Dan Shaughnessy.)

In a piece that's as much about Ted Williams as the Yankee Captain, Jeter deftly parries Shank's weak attempts to get him to say he might not make the trip: "I don’t know what Ted’s situation was and I didn’t know him well enough to comment on it. Don’t dissect this. It’s not complicated. Don’t complicate things for yourself." As if.

Even better, Jeter gets in a shot of his own, pointing out that The CHB had the chance to ask The Kid whether he planned along to skip his final series (aptly enough, in New York), forcing Shaughnessy to admit that he wussed out. Classic.