Friday, March 30, 2018

The Shaughnessy Postulation

To wit - Shank's at his 'finest' when the Red Sox lose their first game of the season:
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Wow. What is there to say other than . . .

■ Bring back John Farrell.

■ Wait till next year.

■ Bring back Grady Little.

■ The Red Sox have already played their worst game of the season.

■ How do you blow a 4-0 lead to a team that looks like it is designed to lose?

■ Bring back Bobby Valentine.

OK, let’s all calm down. I am overreacting here. The season is not over. Alex Cora is going to be just fine (we think). This is not going to be one of those Raging Bullpen teams that gives fans heart attacks in the seventh and eighth innings.
He is not overreacting here - the column goes on in this vein for quite a bit, second guessing & piling on in true Shaughnessy fashion. It is beyond debate that he loves to write about the Red Sox after any type of loss, especially the high profile ones.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

He's Just Asking The Question!

Shank gives us his thoughts on the 2018 Boston Red Sox, who will start the regular season tomorrow:
Are fans ready to embrace these Red Sox right off the bat?

TAMPA — It would be impossible to script a more bland Opening Day. It is as if the Baseball Gods conspired to give the Red Sox an opportunity to fly under the radar for a while.

Boston’s 2018 Olde Towne Team — almost the exact same cast of characters that inspired apathy and some legitimate disdain while winning a second straight division title last year — will open its season Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m., 1,400 miles from home in the worst ballpark in the majors against perhaps the worst team in the majors while folks back in Boston are looking at snowbanks, gearing up for Celtics and Bruins playoffs, and still asking why Malcolm Butler did not play in the Super Bowl.
Can Shank paint a worse assessment of this team than that? Read on and find out (hint - yes, he can!).

Friday, March 23, 2018

Get Off My Lawn?

Shank's latest column started out strong with that old man vibe:
Kids today. They’re just not like they used to be.

This is what old people say. And parents. And teachers. And coaches. This is the lament of folks sitting in rocking chairs, reading newspapers, calling grandchildren on the land-line rotary telephone and actually expecting the young folks to pick up the call.

It’s the same when it comes to Major League Baseball players.
Turns out it's a pretty decent column, and I think that's the second time I've recommended a Shank column this month. That's a sure sign of the approaching apocalypse!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Obligatory Craig Kimbrel Spring Training Column

We expect the proforma Red Sox spring training columns from Shank, but this one's just a bit different:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — You are a famous professional athlete, as good at your craft as just about anybody on the planet. You make bags of cash and fans scream your name when you come in from the bullpen. You are 29 years old and you play for a first-place team in a city that loves the sport you play. Life is good. Life is great. Life is perfect.

And then you find out your newborn baby girl has a serious congenital heart condition, and everything changes as she fights for her life daily at Children’s Hospital in Boston.

You stop thinking about baseball. You stop thinking about everything other than your newborn baby girl and your wife. You abandon thoughts of the four-seam fastball and the Yankee lineup and you learn the language of anatomy and cardiology.
This hits home with Shank - some of you may remember the Clementine column, which was the point where Shank stopped being an asshole to Roger Clemens.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Yawkey Way Jihad?

Shank throws us a curveball in the battle over whether to rename Yawkey Way:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Reggie Smith and Jim Lonborg, two stars of the 1967 “Impossible Dream” Red Sox, are in favor of keeping the name “Yawkey Way” on the street that runs in front of Fenway Park.

“I wish they would leave it Yawkey Way,’’ said the 72-year-old Smith, an African-American who came up through the Red Sox system and was known for his speed, power, and outspoken disposition during a Sox career that ran from 1967 until he was traded after the 1973 season.

“Tom Yawkey treated me very fairly,” said Smith. “I had conversations with him about the reputation that he had and the Red Sox had during the time I was there. He wanted to make sure that he had a good team and he wanted the best players he could possibly get, and if there was anything that I needed or any problems that I had to bring it to him and let him know. I was treated fairly and I know that when I left Boston I was the highest-paid African-American player that he had, and I respect him for it.’’
Is this a passive-aggressive column, zigging when he was sagging a few columns ago? It sure looks that way from here.

DHL Dan LXVII - Patriots Bashing, Continued

Shank cranks out his third column in as many days, where he continues to complain about the free agents leaving the New England Patriots. Here's Shank trying to put words into somebody's mouth:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Picked-up pieces while trying to decode Gronk’s texts, “Tom vs Time,” and the trail of “no comments” and crumbs that tell us something is rotten in Foxborough . . .

■ I get it now: Nate Solder, Malcolm Butler, Danny Amendola, and Dion Lewis were all terrible, and these foolish teams that hired them are making a big mistake in overpaying them. The Patriots are going to be just fine. Nothing to see here. We all need to be patient and let Tom be Tom, and let Bill be the genius. Swell.

But it’ll always be impossible to explain Butler not playing in the Super Bowl (then getting a guaranteed $30 million from the Titans) and Jimmy Garoppolo getting traded for a bag of doughnuts in midseason.
He also complains about the Red Sox infield, the name of a fucking street (any guesses out there?) and a few other things as well, which shouldn't surprise any of you. Now get off my lawn!

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Obligatory David Price Spring Training Column

It seems that Shank likes what he sees in David Price's first spring training game:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Thursday was a good day for Boston sports. Not a single Patriot star took more money to join another NFL team, none of the Celtics got hurt before flying to Orlando for Friday’s game, and no one uttered the word “yuck” during David Price’s four innings of shutout ball at JetBlue Park against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes, and gave up one hit and one walk while fanning five (four called) in a Grapefruit League victory over the Jays. He looked almost ready for Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Didi Gregorius.
And just in case anyone forgot, Shank helpfully reminds you of the bad stuff that happened last year:
This was Price’s first start against a big league team since last July 22, when he lost to the Angels. Price went five innings on that Saturday night in Anaheim, and 24 hours later, details spilled of his unfortunate airplane ambush of Dennis Eckersley earlier in the season.
Mentioning the other Boston sports teams in an insulting manner, dredging up the past - par for the course in a Shank spring training column.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Obligatory Chris Sale Spring Training Column

Just like the previous post here at DSW, Shank takes great pleasure at digging up unpleasant past events.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — We tiptoe around the obvious. Folks in Red Sox Nation love Chris Sale. He was everything you hoped he’d be with the 2017 Red Sox.

. . . right up until the end.

After a 300-strikeout season that led the Sox to a division title, Sale was terrible in the postseason. In his first crack at playoff baseball, Sale was 0-2 with a 8.38 ERA. He gave up 13 hits and 4 homers in 9⅔ innings as the Sox were dismissed by the Astros in four games.

The Tommy Harper Usurpation

You may have seen Shank's fairly recent concern with changing the name of Yawkey Way, for which you correctly deduce he's all in favor of, and uses the scumbag but effective technique of having a former Red Sox player do his dirty work for him.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tommy Harper is 77 years old and first worked in professional baseball in 1960. Blessed with speed, power, and smarts, he was a big-league All-Star who hit 31 homers for the Brewers in 1970 and held the Red Sox’ season record for stolen bases (54) for almost four decades.

He played three seasons for Boston and has also served the team as a coach, consultant, and equal opportunity employment officer. He was traded by the Red Sox in 1974, and has been fired by the team three times since 1979.

In 1986, Harper accepted an out-of-court settlement from the Red Sox after filing a federal discrimination lawsuit against the ball club when he was fired for blowing the whistle on the club’s practice of allowing the Winter Haven (Fla.) Elks Club to allow admission to white Red Sox players at the exclusion of black and Hispanic players. In 2010, Harper was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Classic Shank, isn't it?

There's No Offseason For Patriots Bashing

Certainly not for Shank, as he tries to antagonize somebody / certain groups of people into responding to recent members of the New England Patriots signing with other teams as NFL free agency starts today:

By the way, those of us with memories will recall Ty Law, Richard Seymour, Logan Mankins and a slew of other similar free agency decisions that wound up benefitting the Patriots.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Random High School Football Story

Every couple of months Shank does a column on high school sports in order to give the false impression that he's not a totally negative asshole. Yesterday he gave us one of those columns.
There were seven of them in the high school football office when the first shots rang out at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School three weeks ago. Douglas head football coach Willis May was gathered with four of his student-athletes, including quarterback Tyler Goodman, plus two representatives from Nichols College: running backs coach St. Clair Ryan and assistant dean for enrollment Paul Brower.

It was supposed to be a standard meet-and-greet where representatives of the college get to know the athletes and tell them why they’d be happy playing sports and studying at the Division 3 school in Dudley, Mass.

But then everything changed.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

While I'll quibble a bit about it being something confined to basketball, Shank cranks out a very good column about the basketball coaching community.
Basketball coaches are a collegial bunch. High school. College. Professional. It doesn’t matter. Brad Stevens, John Wooden, Red Auerbach, Norman Dale, and the guy who coached you in high school 50 years ago are all members of the same club. They borrow from one another. And they tweak old plays that have been around since James Naismith and the peach basket.

I’ll never forget something Stevens said in Cleveland last October. We were standing in the bowels of Quicken Loans Arena a few minutes before the launch of this Celtics season when somebody asked the coach about the unusual number of high school and college coaches who attended Celtic practices during the 2017 preseason.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

DHL Dan LXVI - The One About Yawkey Way

Passing on the predicted slew of Robert Kraft bashing columns, Shank instead cranks out a Picked Up PiecesTM column, his first in eight days. The end of the Winter Olympics can depress you for a while and probably put a good dent in your willingness to write about sports. He's still banging on about renaming Yawkey Way:
■ Spoke with Yawkey Foundation chairman John Harrington about the controversial proposal to change the name of Yawkey Way back to Jersey Street. This is some of what he said: “I was very happy with the money we put in the bank [after selling the Red Sox to John Henry]. It’s Tom Yawkey’s money. So when the Red Sox today try to separate the Yawkey Foundation from Tom Yawkey — you can’t do that. It’s Tom Yawkey’s money that we’re investing. And it was his investing that started all this goodness that’s going around the city. They [the Red Sox] are just trying to separate the issue because it’s to their benefit to do that.’’
This is an unusually good PUP column, partly because he refrained from referring to next year's Patriots opponents as tomato cans and other signature Shankisms. The Pitino & Calipari bashing sealed it for me! I recommend it for full reading, and I don't do that often.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Shank's Next Three Columns?

... or maybe we'll just get one?