Monday, April 30, 2018

Let The Whining Commence!

With Shank saving his powder until the Bruins or Celtics lose ugly or lose a series, he picks up on this possible out of context quote from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady:

Naturally, Shank weighs in:

...and shots are fired!

The Kids Are All Right

After a week off, Shank's unable to bury any local sports teams and finally figures out something to write about:
A couple of them can’t buy a beer in Boston and all of them get carded regularly. Renting a car can be a hassle because — according to their birth certificates — they are high risk. None of them needs to shave every day and they listen to their parents. A lot.

Three are American-born, one hails from Canada, one from the Czech Republic, and another from the Dominican Republic.

They are David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, and Charlie McAvoy of the Bruins, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown of the Celtics, and Rafael Devers of the Red Sox. They represent the greatest collection of 21-and-under talents ever to play simultaneously for any North American sports city. They are the Boston sports baby boomers of 2018; prodigies almost on a par with Mozart, Bobby Fischer, and Mark Zuckerberg.
You know the drill - standard athlete / game recaps follow.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

What Gives?

Three Boston sports teams were in action yesterday. The Bruins & Celtics both won while the Red Sox lost, giving Shank a chance to rag on the latter. Is it laziness, or is he just on vacation?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Never Let Bad News Go To Waste

The Boston Celtics lost Game 4 of their series with the Milwaukee Bucks, and Shank is there with a shovel to start burying them.
MILWAUKEE — Color me shocked. In this awesome April of Boston sports dominance, all of our teams went off script in a wicked 18-hour stretch from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon.

The Bruins were set to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs in their first-round series at the Garden late Saturday, but fell behind, 4-1, and couldn’t finish their dramatic comeback. Moments later, while most of you were sleeping, the 17-2 Red Sox were no-hit on the West Coast by an Oakland A’s lefthander named Sean Manaea.

And just after Sunday brunch here in Brew-town, the Celtics fell behind by 20, roared back to a late-game lead, but fell to the Milwaukee Bucks, 104-102, when Marcus Morris’s 18-footer clanged off the back of the rim just before the buzzer. The loss erased Boston’s series lead and sent the Celts back to the Hub tied at 2-2.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Desperation II - A Pattern Emerges

How predictable is Shank? This predictable - on the current Boston Bruins playoff season, Shank doesn't write a column about them until their first loss, ignoring their first two wins in which the aggregate score was 12 to 4.

The Boston Celtics won their first two games, in which Shank declined to write about them. They lost last night, and they lost fairly bad. Naturally, Shank's got the goods when they lose.
MILWAUKEE — It took 50 seasons, but the forever-mediocre, traditionally boring, never-stylish Milwaukee Bucks are finally almost NBA chic. They are on the threshold of fashionable. They might even become a destination. And they certainly think they have what it takes to knock the young, injury-riddled Celtics out of the playoffs.

The Bucks gored the Celtics, 116-92, at the Bradley Center Friday night and have a chance to tie this best-of-seven joust with another win at home Sunday afternoon.

Star power?

The Bucks finally have some. Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick sat courtside for Friday’s rout. As power couples go, they may not be Tom & Gisele, or BeyoncĂ© & Jay-Z, but they are a pretty big deal here in Milwaukee. Rodgers’s presence at the game was more than window dressing. He was at the Bradley Center to announce that he has joined Wes Edens and the Bucks’ smart, young ownership group.

And Now For Some Boston Globe Employee Bashing - V

Earlier in the week, we had a Tuesday column by Nick Cafardo that had the audacity to compare Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts to Angels outfielder Mike Trout. At the time, it faced a decent amount of ridicule, but by the time that series was over, the notion did not seem so ridiculous. Kudos to Cafardo for handling the bashing during the week!

And then there was Kevin Cullen, who stands accused of 'pulling a Barnicle' and fabricating parts of a story from the Boston Marathon bombing five years ago and is currently suspended. The current environment in the newspaper industry is shaky; I'll go out on a limb and say he gets shitcanned within the week.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rare As A Diamond

Here's something you won't see again for a while - Shank writing a positive story on the Boston Bruins!
TORONTO — You’ve got to love the Li’l Ball O’ Hate.

Playing without star linemate Patrice Bergeron (late scratch, upper-body injury), Brad Marchand broke a 1-1 tie with a goal late in the second period and paced the Bruins to a 3-1 Game 4 victory at Air Canada Centre Thursday night. The Bruins lead the series, 3-1, and will have a chance to close it out Saturday night at the New Garden.

Boston’s diminutive Puck Provocateur invariably stands tall in the big moments. On a night when the Bruins didn’t have much jump, Marchand put them ahead and made everybody forget that they got outplayed in the first period.
The standard game recap & player quotes follows this section. In that sense, you have seen this before, many times!

Bonus - Larry Bird Watch!
In a weird way, Marchand reminds me a little of Larry Bird. Larry Legend was a foot taller and far more dominant, but both are vintage trash-talkers who save their best stuff for in-game interactions. Like Marchand, Larry didn’t do a ton of talking off the court, but he was in the ear of his opponents on a nightly basis.
What's a hockey column without a comparison to a basketball legend? It just wouldn't be the same...

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Admitting The Obvious

Shank occasionally engages in self-reflection:
TORONTO — Some of the stuff I write on these pages doesn’t age particularly well.

Watching free agent-to-be Pablo Sandoval at the 2014 World Series, it was easy to urge the Red Sox to sign the Panda immediately. It was a perfect fit. No doubt. After all these years, you know the goods when you see it.

More recently, I anointed the Patriots Super Bowl champs a few days before the game was actually played. There was, after all, no way that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were going to lose to a team coached by Doug Pederson and quarterbacked by Nick Foles. The Eagles simply had no chance.

In this spirit, I approached Bruins president Cam Neely at the Air Canada Centre during practice Wednesday to give him a chance to mock me in the wake of my preseason September column about the Bruins’ fourth-place ranking in our local sports market.
Read on if you like how Shank's bad column ideas come to the fore.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


The hockey playoffs have started.  The Bruins win the first two games by an aggregate score of 12 to 4. No columns from Shank on the first two games.

A game 3 loss by the Bruins? You bet your ass he's doing a column!
TORONTO — We know the Toronto Maple Leafs. We know their fans. We know what it’s like to care about a team that never wins.

Because we WERE them.

Not too long ago.

One thing we can all appreciate about Shank - he sure loves to remind us of things we may have forgotten:
The Leafs beat the Bruins, 4-2, at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night to close the gap to 2-1 in their first-round playoff series with the Bruins. By any measure, it was a must-win game for a team that has been in must-lose mode for more than a half century.

The Leafs of today are the pre-2004 Red Sox. They have fans that care about the team as much as they care about their own families. They have a 51-year championship drought. They suffered one of the most hideous losses in hockey history in Boston five years ago when they blew a three-goal lead in the third period of a seventh game against the Bruins. They were the Toronto Leaf Blowers. It remains their Bill Buckner/Bucky Dent moment.
And in the end, comparisons to Bill Buckner & Bucky Dent are always the yardsticks deployed by Shank when measuring failure.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Shaughnessy Compilation

I've been away for a week or so (hospital stay) since Shank massively overreacted to the Red Sox' first loss of the season; goes on to laments a 5-1 record as "fool's gold" in the next article five days later; starts to pretend like them a day after that; does a Teddy Ballgame / Red Sox themed Picked Up Pieces column; really, really likes the Red Sox (or so we're led to believe) after a win over the New York Yankees, digs this new offshoot of the game they call basebrawl; then declares the remaining Red Sox-Yankees series as a good omen, presumably for the rest of the season.

In retrospect, it looks better to present Shank's ever shifting opinion of the Red Sox in this manner as it demonstrates the complete overreaction after the first loss. Had the Red Sox went on to tailspin over the past few weeks, he'd pile on and steal more negative themes from Michael Felger & Tony Massarotti. It's the classic path to potentially having it both ways.