Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Speaking Of 'Put A Lid On It'

Shank passed on bashing the Patriots yesterday for their 17-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Instead, he writes a column today to tackle the really important issues.
Isn’t it time to put a lid on these college bowls?

It’s college football bowl season. Hope you’re up to speed.

If you’re really paying attention, you watched West Virginia against Texas A&M on ESPN in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Monday afternoon. That was followed by Clemson vs. Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl, and the time-honored AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl featuring a pair of 6-6 teams (Texas and Arkansas) at NRG Stadium in Houston Monday night.

What in the name of the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl is going on here? Anybody out there old enough to remember when the college football bowl games were actually played on New Year’s Day? When playing in a bowl game meant you were a superior football team? When we could all set our New Year’s Day watches by the Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Rose Bowl, and Orange Bowl?

Those were the golden olden days of rotary phones and long-distance calling.
Nothing like dating yourself for the four thousandth time to make a point! Didn't have any Elvis or Everly Brothers lyrics on hand to drive that point home?

How can you tell that Shank's been sitting around his house this past week, doing absolutely nothing? This column, that's how.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Well Past The Expiration Date

Here's Shank, reusing the same meme for the hundredth time this year:

Nice 'game over' call, asshole. Jesus H. Christ, give it a rest and get on with your doom and gloom Patriots column already...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The One That Got Away

This column just showed up in Shank's Globe timeline. It was written just before the Patriots / Jets game on Sunday, and for the most part a decent Shank columm.
NEW YORK — I am feeling a little sorry for the Big Apple on this pre-Christmas weekend.

Christmas in Gotham is always a treat. We’ve got folks skating in Rockefeller Center, drinking hot chocolate, talking about miracles on 34th Street. You can go to Macy’s Santaland, or watch the American Ballet Theatre’s performance of “The Nutcracker” at the Gilman Opera House.

Too bad you can’t find any good professional sports teams.

Wow. After all these years of arguing with our New York friends, most of that thrill is gone. Think kids at Boston University or NYU still argue about Celtics vs. Knicks, Red Sox vs. Mets, or (gulp) Patriots vs. Jets?

Let’s go down the list:
That's all well and good, but let's look at a couple of semi-interesting descriptors:
The 11-3, Super Bowl-bound Patriots storm the Meadowlands on Sunday in a game that serves nicely as Rex Ryan’s opening farewell to Jets fans.
The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl and the Jets are one more sad franchise in New York’s losing state of mind.
It's worth pointing out the before and after ever-so-slight change of attitude after the close Patriots win over the Jets on Sunday. There's rarely any middle ground with Shank.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Shanka Claus - XXIX

Dear Reader:

Hoped you liked the year in review with respect to Shank's Twitter feed! We will strive to keep you updated on the best worst of Shank's tweets, promise!

For you non-Christmas music fans, Eric Clapton. Which may or may not include Shank, who knows...

For you Christmas music fans, Crosby / Bowie. The ultimate odd couple...

Merry Christmas, everybody! Thanks for reading DSW. We appreciate it.


Shanka Claus - XXVIII

Dear Shanka Claus:

If I get a pint of your blood, probably of type AB Negative, and decide to take up a career in journalism, will I become as hopelessly negative and miserable as you've been since you began writing at the Boston Globe?

Thanks in advance,

Sarah L., Medford, MA

Shanka Claus - XXVII

Dear Shanka Claus:

Please try to keep the ball rubbing to some sort of minimum. I mean, it's embarrassing - for you, not for me, capiche?

Your Bud Light Buddy,

Larry Legend, French Lick, IN

Shanka Claus - XXVI

Dear Shanka Claus:

False start, bro?

See you next month!

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, WI

Dear Shanka Claus - XXV

Dear Shanka Claus:

Because you're a cynical, relentlessly negative asshole?

Just a guess!

Your blogboy,

Roger Bournival, Quincy, MA

Dear Shanka Claus - XXIV

Dear Shanka Claus:

You like us! You really, really like us!

Hugs and kisses,

The Boston College Women's Soccer Team

Dear Shanka Claus - XXIII

Dear Shanka Claus:

Thank you for treating me with dignity and respect throughout my brief career with the Boston Red Sox!

Your buddy,

Carl Crawford

Dear Shanka Claus - XXII

Dear Shanka Claus:

Leave the redneck / racing jokes to me, ok?

Yours truly,

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Charlotte, NC

Dear Shanka Claus - XXI

Dear Shanka Claus:

Just delete the fucking Boston Globe web browser cookie from your computer and save $5 a month!

Your welcome,

Roger B., Quincy, MA

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dear Shanka Claus - XX

Dear Shanka Claus:

Leave the lame Animal House jokes to me.


Dean Vernon Wermer

Dear Shanka Claus - XIX

Dear Shanka Claus (in reverse, from me to you):

Sorry for my previous attempts at running you guys out town and the dozens of negative columns I wrote when you reached the end of your careers as Red Sox players. We're good, right?

Thanks in advance,

Shanka Claus

Dear Shanka Claus - XVIII

Dear Shanka Claus:

You had nothing to do with it. Really, you didn't. We're good!

Your pal,

John Lackey

Dear Shanka Claus XVII

Dear Shanka Claus:

I was happy to see you because it was the first time in two fucking years you didn't mention 'chicken and beer' when interviewing or mentioning me. Sometimes it pays not to be an unrepentant asshole. You might want to keep that in mind.


Jon Lester

Dear Shanka Claus - XVI

Dear Shanka Claus:

Now that's just fucking good. Bravo!

Sonny Corleone

Dear Shanka Claus - XV

Dear Shanka Claus:

You mad, bro?


Kansas City Royals, 2014 AL Champions

Dear Shanka Claus - XIV

Dear Shanka Claus:

The Sixties called - they want their pitcher back.

Thanks in advance.

Bob Gibson

PS - there have been bands after the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan - you might want to check them out...

Dear Shanka Claus -XIII

Dear Shanka Claus:

How about making me #4 on this list for my Christmas present? I don't care if I never swung a bat - you haven't rubbed my balls in a while, so you owe me one!

Just don't bring up that Chelsea bar fight again, ok?


Larry Bird, #33

Dear Shanka Claus - XII

Dear Shanka Claus:

Glad you enjoyed the match at Fenway, mate! Bloody good, wasn't it? About the same level of excitement that you Yanks get from one of those baseball pitching duels, eh right?


Steven Gerrard, Liverpool F.C. captain

Dear Shanka Claus - XI

Dear Shanka Claus:

That was a good one about deferring the opening kick. The last time I heard that joke, I fell off my dinosaur.

Your pal,

Bill Belichick

Dear Shanka Claus - X

Dear Shanka Claus:

Remember when you loved soccer, then you hated it, then you loved it again?

Don't leave us hanging next year, ok?

Hugs and kisses,

The US Women's National Soccer Team

Dear Shanka Claus - IX

Dear Shanka Claus:

I was managing the Orioles when you were a young reporter for the Baltimore Sun back in the Seventies. I pass away two years ago, and you can't even bang out a column about it? And you give this guy a tweet?

Thanks for nothing.

Earl Weaver

Dear Shanka Claus - VIII

Dear Shanka Claus:

Could you get this guy to do a correction? I'm pretty sure that's me, and not you.

Much obliged,

Napoleon Dynamite

Dear Shanka Claus - VII

Dear Shanka Claus:

Remember when you thought I was the cat's ass, and then you didn't?

Good times, man!

Yours truly,

Bobby V.

Dear Shanka Claus - VI

Dear Shanka Claus:

If only you could put together a whole bunch of those grueling one mile runs...


Abby D., Boston, MA

Dear Shanka Claus - V

Dear Shanka Claus:

Thank you for your kind words and wishes that I should play for your beloved New England Patriots and their owner, for which you've shown so much love and respect over the years.

From one Shaughnessy that doesn't try and beat the piss out of the cops,

Matt Shaughnessy, Glendale, AZ

Dear Shanka Claus - IV

Dear Shanka Claus:

Thanks for welcoming me into Boston. Us hated people have to learn to stick together.

Now fuck off.

Yours Truly,


Dear Shanka Claus - III

Dear Shanka Claus:

We really could use some help with those circulation numbers!


Your Employer

Dear Shanka Claus - II

Hey, dickhead:

I had nothing to do with the lane closures, ok? How about a retraction?


Chris C, Trenton, NJ

Dear Shanka Claus - I

Dear Shanka Claus:

All's I want for Christmas is this - I left Boston six fucking years ago. Don't you have some other Red Sox player to run out of town? Give it a rest, asshole.


Manny R., destination unknown

Close Shave

The Patriots beat the New York Jets yesterday, 17 - 16. Since this was a close game, it allows Shank to do one of his favorite things, and that's second guess the team.

But not before he tries to belittle owner Bob Kraft again (new winter fashion - out goes 'high chair'; in goes 'lifeguard chair'. Gee, I wonder why he changed that?):
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The 11-3 Patriots fully expected to beat the 3-11 Jets Sunday. I don’t want to say there was any lack of urgency, but Bob Kraft didn’t even bother bringing his lifeguard chair for this one.

With Kraft and Jon Bon Jovi watching from standard elevation in a luxury box, the Patriots made the necessary plays in a 17-16 victory that guarantees they don’t have to play a game during the first weekend of the playoffs.

If the Bengals can beat the Broncos in Cincinnati Monday night, the Patriots would clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Further down the column, Shank half-cleverly disguises his second guessing:
That said, here’s what I’m wondering: In the wake of a narrow road victory against a bad team, do you feel better or worse about the Patriots’ chances to break their decade-long Super Bowl drought? Let’s examine the cases for better and/or worse:
Not having declared better or worse himself, Shank carves out maximum wiggle room to a) stay on the bandwagon if the Patriots keep winning or b) write the mother of all negative Patriots columns if they lose.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Deep Thoughts, By Dan Shaughnessy

Brace yourself for some serious inanities, ladies and gentleman - it looks like Shanks Twitter feed has stopped robotweeting, and has become self-aware. Just like Skynet, but in reverse!

I just took a stroll through his Twitter feed, and I feel dirty and dumber for it it looks like the robotweeting stopped some months ago. Contrary to Shank's propaganda, some of us 'blogboys' who don't live in mom's basement have jobs & mortgages and shit, so we don't have time to savor the finer things in life, like the barrel of fish that his feed provides.

For example:

Aside from the actual final score, he was right on! This tweet is posted in one form or another every damn week. He also mentions 'tomato can' in nearly the same frequency. I think they used to teach you in journalism school not to be repetitive. He must have been out on one of his grueling one mile runs that day.

To further illustrate Shank's occasional foray into rank unprofessionalism with respect to the Kraft family, here's Shank retweeting (i.e., endorsing) some literally childish notions about them, including one by a fellow Boston Globe employee:

Stay classy, Shank! And you too, KPD!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Consider The Source

Here's Shank on the Rajon Rondo trade:

Because when I think about redoubtable IQ, the first name that comes to mind is Albert Einstein Stephen Hawking Dan Fucking Shaughnessy. It's also amusing to get lectured on civility by the legendary Boston Globe curmudgeon and shit stirrer.

Self-awareness has never been this guy's calling card...

UPDATE, 12/21, 4:00 PM - Post edited to embed the tweet itself.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Shank's 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

As much as I don't really give a rat's ass about the sport, Shank's Hall of Fame ballot looks pretty good:
More than a quarter of a century after getting my first ballot, the Hall of Fame selection progress just keeps getting more challenging.

Wednesday my ballot will be mailed with boxes checked next to the names of Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Curt Schilling, Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell.
Interesting that he's voting for two Red Sox players he absolutely hated when their careers were winding down. I did not figure Shank for the forgive and forget type.
Six votes. I think it’s a personal high.

This means I am not voting for (among others on the ballot), Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Larry Walker, Lee Smith, Carlos Delgado, and Nomar Garciaparra. Oh, and I also am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell.
Remember when Roger Clemens was cool in Shank's book? I guess big stuffed teddy bears don't get you as much goodwill with Boston sports writers as they used to.

Every now and then, Shank feels the need to troll his readers. Here he is, ringing the dinner bell:
So let it rip. Bring on the hate. Bring on the humiliation. Bring on the blogboy outrage. Bring on the analytic arrogance. Bring on the PED Hall Pass. It’s a tradition like no other.
From there, at least Shank makes good pros and cons about who belongs in the Hall of Fame, and who doesn't. Then there's this part:
The Roids Boys are the greatest burden on voters. Some voters don’t care. Some cherry-pick the cheaters. Some turn away from anything that even looks dirty. Withholding votes for guys who cheated and guys who look like they cheated is unfortunate, sometimes unfair, and almost impossible to impose consistently.

Objection to the Roids Boys is gradually eroding. As years pass and new voters replace older voters, it is likely there will be increased leniency. Each year there are more voters who don’t care about PEDs. The thinking becomes, “This was the era. They were all doing it.’’ Or, “Bonds and Clemens were already Hall of Famers before they started cheating.’’

Sorry, I am not there. No votes for guys caught using. And worse — no votes for guys who just don’t look right. Bagwell and Piazza are the two players most penalized for this arbitrary crime. By any statistical measurement, Bagwell and Piazza are first-ballot Hall of Famers, yet their vote totals (62 percent for Piazza last year, 54 percent for Bagwell) remain considerably lower than their résumés merit.
What about the sports writers who ignored all this crap and happily sat back in the press boxes and enjoyed the home run chases and the pitching duels for a decade or more?

Monday, December 15, 2014

This Bandwagon Needs Reinforced Axles

Dan Shaughnessy, the raving hypocrite who buried the Patriots earlier this year, who vowed not to judge this team until January, and who took a massive steaming shit on them a mere ten weeks ago, just grabbed the reins of the bandwagon and is riding high!
F OXBOROUGH — The Patriots  beat the Dolphins, 41-13, to win the AFC East Sunday. Praise the lord and pass out the hats and T-shirts. The Warhol/Tomato Can Division belongs to New England once again.

In other news Sunday, New York City was named one of America’s five biggest cities, Amazon is among the top booksellers in the nation, Willie Mays is one of the best 100 outfielders of all time, and “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II’’ are worthy of at least two stars out of four.

This is not meant to diminish what the 11-3 Patriots have accomplished this season. We all know that this Patriots team feels better than recent local playoff entries. The Patriots are playing like a Super Bowl team. But we also know that winning the AFC East is a mere formality. It’s like Navin R. Johnson (played by Steve Martin) from “The Jerk” bragging that his name has been published in the phone book.
Throw in your modern, up to date band reference to go with your modern, up to date movie references...
The quarterbacks in the AFC East this season are Brady and guys name Geno Smith, Kyle Orton, and Ryan Tannehill. It’s Paul McCartney . . . and Wings.
...and your pro forma cheap shot at the owners you hate...
I don’t even think the Kraft high chairs were at maximum elevation.
...and it's a wrap.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Life After Lester

The Red Sox not getting Jon Lester was a "debacle" of epic proportions, says The CHB.


Why is it so critical to bring back a guy who pitched on two teams that finished in last place in the past three years? As the saying goes, "I can lose just as easily without you..."

Why is it so critical to have him?

Answer: It's not. Lester is a terrific pitcher. He also has never won 20 games, he's had exactly one season with an ERA under 3.13, he's never led the league in anything except for K/9 ratio, which he did in 2010 -- four seasons ago. He's basically parlayed the best 143 inning stretch of his career into a world-beating contract. Bully for him, but that's not reason for the Red Sox to go batty. Has The CHB forgotten the lessons of 2011-12?

There is, in fact, a better pitcher available in Max Scherzer. If money is no object, which it isn't according to Shank, then the player the Sox should break the bank for is Mad Max.

Would I have liked it for the Sox to have brought Lester back? Sure. Is it the end of the world? Hell no.

Back to the hyperventilating of Shank. He complains that John Henry et al weren't available to comment on the "departure of Lester." Excuse me, but Lester departed in July, in a trade for Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes, in turn, brought Rick Porcello, a player who is five years younger than Lester, and thus entering his prime, and whose overall value (WAR, or wins above replacement) was nearly the same as Lester's last year, and over the past three years has been less than one game less.

Let's remember one more thing. When the Sox failed to re-sign Roger Clemens at the end of the 1996 season, The CHB was highly critical. One year later, the Red Sox landed the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner. And Pedro Martinez was even better than Clemens.

These things have a way of working themselves out. Just don't expect The CHB to admit that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Right And Wrong

Turns out Shank was right in the end, as Jon Lester signed with the Chicago Cubs about an hour ago. Earlier rumors had this signing going down between Boston and the Cubs, so while the CHB was right in the end, he wasn't exactly on point approaching the finish line.

While I can't speak for my co-blogger here, I'm okay with Shank's prediction, as that's what a columnist should do. I would encourage it, and not for the obviously self-serving reason of being able to bash Shank after the fact. Give an opinion and back it up, that's not too much to ask.

What we can agree on is a lack of consistency in his application of reason, logic, or whatever the hell it is that Shank uses to change opinions from one column to the next. Generally speaking, that's been demonstrated with many of Shank's posts since this site's been up for the near decade of its existence, and with this Lester signing in particular. It should be entertaining to see his reaction, if any, to this signing.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Lack of Knowledge Doesn't Equate Lack of Opinion

Nobody knows where Jon Lester is going to sign.

Yet The CHB seemed so sure just a few months ago that the Red Sox were NOT going to sign him.

And while acknowledges Lester isn't saying anything, that doesn't stop The CHB from expressing -- without a wit of evidence, mind you -- that the Red Sox have "bungled" this and that Lester has been "insulted" by the Sox.

And The CHB is pessimistic, as always, that Lester will choose Boston. Big surprise there.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Predictibility - II

In his second consecutive column in as many days, Shank gets around to writing about the actual football game between the Patriots and the Chargers.
SAN DIEGO — Welcome to Gillette West. Where everybody knows your name — especially if your name is Belichick, Brady, Gronkowski, Edelman, or Kraft.

Boston accents and attitude invaded San Diego over the weekend. From Herbert Hoover High (home of Ted Williams) to Helix High (home of Bill Walton); from Petco Park to Qualcomm Stadium; from the San Diego Zoo to San Diego State, it was wall-to-wall New England. And since the Patriots were made to feel at home, they played like they were at home . . . they won a game they needed to win.

In front of 68,815, which included tens of thousands of Boston transplants and road-trippers, the Patriots beat the San Diego Chargers, 23-14, Sunday night.
Cheesy sitcom lines, Red Sox references, etc. - all the telltale signs of another paint by numbers column by the Boston Globe's sole 'full-time' sports columnist are only a click away...

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Predictability that quality you get whenever Shank goes to another city to write about an upcoming game with a team from Boston going up against their team. Today it's the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers. Anybody familiar with Shank's typical coverage won't be surprised to see the template employed with today's column:
SAN DIEGO — This is the town that gave Boston Ted Williams, Bill Walton, and (gulp) Adrian Gonzalez. This is where Dr. Charles Steinberg put young Theo Epstein to work handing out press notes. It’s where Tom Werner ran the Padres into the ground and where Petco Park stands as The House That Larry Lucchino Built. It’s where Brandon Browner and Shane Vereen went to high school and it’s where the late Junior Seau made his bones as an NFL superstar.

It’s where the Patriots play the Chargers Sunday in a prime-time game that could dramatically impact seedings for the 2014-15 AFC playoffs.

Original members of the upstart American Football League, the Bolts were the Los Angeles Chargers and the Patriots were the Boston Patriots when they first met in the Los Angeles Coliseum while Dwight Eisenhower was still working in the Oval Office on Oct. 8, 1960.

Since that date, the Patriots and Chargers have played one another at Nickerson Field, Balboa Stadium, Fenway Park, Boston College’s Alumni Stadium, Harvard Stadium, Schaefer Stadium (also known as Foxboro Stadium and Sullivan Stadium), Gillette Stadium, and Qualcomm Stadium, which has also been known as Jack Murphy Stadium and San Diego Stadium.

There's half the column right there. His 'formula' consists of going to a city, mention famous people from that city, drop a few Red Sox references, mention the places they've played the games and mention the big games between the two clubs. That's it. It's the same formula he's been using in these types of columns ever since he's been at the Boston Globe. He's not even clever enough to work in a Dan Fouts reference, but there's always tomorrow's column!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Oh Henry! Does The CHB Need a Reading Comprehension Course?

The CHB says John Henry's assertion that his comments on giving contracts to players over 30 were "overblown" is, in The CHB's typically elegant style, "baloney." Is his representation honest?

Here's what Henry told Bloomberg last summer: “We had a certain discipline for the first five or six years that really paid big dividends, and we got away from that,” he says. “We learned a lesson in ever-growing, long-term contracts with free agents.”

Here's what Ben Cherington added: [It] was a recommitment to a long-term strategy built on data, performance analysis, and finding hidden value. “In my conversations with John, he has always stressed that it’s really hard to predict the future. He sees the game objectively. He was able to really look down deep into the engine and be impervious to all the pressure coming from outside.”

Says Henry: “We went back to what had made us great for a very long time.” That, reads the article, meant the Red Sox "got on base more often than any other team in baseball, saw a ton of pitches, rarely swung, and crushed the balls they did swing at, especially fastballs.

Referencing a study “Can’t Buy Much Love: Why Money Is Not Baseball’s Most Valuable Currency,” in which author Martin Kleinbard found a weak correlation between payroll disparity and winning, Henry said, "To me, the most important thing this study shows is that virtually all of the underpaid players are under 30 and virtually all the overpaid players are over 30. Yet teams continue to extravagantly overpay for players above the age of 30.”

So is The CHB correct? Of course not. Henry at no time said the Red Sox will or will not sign expensive free agents. All he said was that he agreed with the study.

Moreover, Henry correctly pointed out that the Red Sox are best when they grind out at bats. In 2013, Boston led the AL in OBP at .349. In 2014, they were eighth, at .316. In 2013, they were fifth in the league in homers at 178. In 2014, they were 12th, with 123. The two weakest spots for the Sox were outfield and 3B, and in signing Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez they have managed to get the two best available free agents to play those positions in 2015. That sounds consistent with Henry's statements. They now have exactly five players under contract after the 2015 season: the two aforementioned plus Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz (who has a cheap team buyout clause) and Allen Craig (who almost certainly will be traded before then).

So yes, The CHB is being completely disingenuous in his criticism. What else is new?

Oh and then there's this: "Maybe this is what happens when radio studios are populated by fan-boy 'comedians' and 'professional' announcers suck up to local team ownerships in a quest for employment." Fan boy watch! It's always a pleasure knowing how much this site gets under his pale skin.