Sunday, September 30, 2018

Didn't See This One Coming! - III

After the New England Patriots get back on track with a 38-7 win over the Miami Dolphins, Shank once again feigns support for them:
Since this was just posted by Shank, no one's cutting loose on him yet, so click on the tweet for the inevitable 'feedback'.

Get Me Rewrite! - V

The words may be different but the column's the same:
I need an intervention.

The Red Sox have the best record in the majors. They have won more games (107) than any team in the 118-year history of Boston’s American League franchise. Mookie Betts is going to be the MVP. The Sox have two Cy Young starters and another guy who was the best starter in baseball for most of this season and last. They have a closer who is probably bound for the Hall of Fame. They have a guy who almost won the Triple Crown. They have scored more runs than any team in baseball. They have a great rookie manager — winning more games than any first-year manager other than Ralph Houk. They are humble and noble. They are very good dancers. If they were nominated for the Supreme Court, they would be confirmed by the Senate, 100-0.

So why do I worry that they are going down in the first round of the playoffs? Why do I think they have us teed up for a cataclysmic, apocalyptic fold of the highest magnitude? Why do I sometimes wonder if perhaps they are the most-flawed 107-win team in the history of baseball (think about the absurdity of that statement)?
If you get the feeling that you've read this column before, it's because you have, in one form or another.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Rooting For... The Yankees?

A few times a year, Shank writes a column where he feigns interest in a non-Boston team. This time around, it's the Yankees:
Next Wednesday — on the night of the one-game, wild-card playoff between the New York Yankees and Oakland A’s — I will be a Yankee fanboy. I will watch “The Pride of the Yankees” early in the afternoon. I will scatter biographies of Billy Martin and Thurman Munson around the house and place my autographed photo of Mickey Mantle on top of the TV. I will raise a cup of java to Mr. Coffee and read Joe DiMaggio references in “The Old Man and the Sea.’’ At gametime, I will don Yankee footie pajamas. I will order pizza and when the person on the phone asks me if I want it cut into six or eight pieces, I will quote Yogi and say, “Make it six. I could never eat eight pieces.’’
Throw in a 20th century pop culture reference:
Sorry. I know that stings a little. But admit it, Sox fans. Deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want the Yankees on that Left Field Wall next weekend. Simply stated, the New England sports world is a better place if the Red Sox are playing the vaunted Bronx Bombers in the American League Division one week from today.

The Yankees this weekend are in town for a regular-season-ending three-game series, winning the opener, 11-6, and we can only hope this is a preview of the first round of the playoffs. In order for that to happen, the Yankees will have to beat the no-payroll Oakland A’s next Wednesday.

I want this. Desperately. It’s a much better story. Red Sox-Yankees in October is the ultimate baseball theater.
Tough to improve on these comments (slightly edited):
"Nah, the Shank just is hoping the yanks will beat the sox so he can rag on them. it won't be quite as good, shank thinks, if Oakland beats the sox."

"You already root for the Yankees. In 2004 the Red Sox ended forever your ability to profit, both financially and journalistically from the non-existent curse of the Bambino and so you’ve hated and rooted against the Sox ever since. You can no longer go the well of self doubt and self loathing that you possess and assume all new Englanders possess. But we don’t."

"Long time readers of our "cynical scribe" understand exactly what's going on with this column. Our ole scrivener's background is filled with covering losses after heartbreaking losses. The Ole Towne Team and the Patsies for years gave our scribe years of easy columns ridiculing both teams' bad play year after year. Then suddenly things turned around. Our scribe was shell-shocked and cannot comprehend the reality of constant winning and duck boat parades. What to do? Turn cynic. Report that every Super Bowl was lost by the other team. The Patriots were always "lucky". Very rarely mention 2004, 2007, and 2013 to Red Sox Nation. Now hope for the Yankees to win and then play the Sox and beat them. Oh, just imagine those miserable columns dripping with memories of those good ole days when the Yankees dominated the Sox. Stay strong Red Sox Nation do not be fooled by his obvious "shell" game."

Friday, September 28, 2018

'Bostoned Out', Revisited

One of Shank's favorite pastimes - second guessing the Red Sox:

...which included a World Series championship in 2013, but never mind that.

Here's what we wrote about this five and a half years ago:
Without a hint of irony, Shank then drops this one on Lester:
Is he Bostoned out?

“Yeah, sometimes,’’ he said. “Sometimes I want to strangle myself. It can be intimidating, especially when you have seasons like last year. It’s tough. You know [you’re bad] and your teammates are trying to pick you up and everybody else knows [you’re bad] and you’re trying to break even on the whole deal. You try to live with it and move on.

“If you can play in Boston and survive and do good, I think you can play anywhere.’’
So, the columnist arguably the most responsible for contributing to an athlete's feeling of being 'Bostoned out', asks that question of Jon Lester with a straight face? Who said irony is dead?


Just another bag of Red Sox criticism, dripping with sarcasm, take a small dump on Bob Kraft, etc.:
Picked-up pieces while lending some perspective to this “greatest ever” Red Sox season . . .

■ Anybody else worried about Chris Sale? While the Sox were reaching all of their offensive milestones in Wednesday’s 19-3 rout of the putrid Orioles (Mookie stole his 30th! Xander knocked in his 100th! Whee!), the true takeaway from the day-night doubleheader was the state of Sale and the Sox bullpen.

Sale had a great two-thirds of a season, but the Sox go into the playoffs banking on a guy who pitched only 17 innings after July 27. His velocity is way down. Sale was in the low 90s in his final start Wednesday, and the Orioles cuffed him around for three runs on four hits, a walk, and two hit batsmen in 4⅔ uneven innings in which he threw 92 pitches.

Sale will be working on eight days’ rest when he gets the ball at Fenway for Game 1 of the ALDS Oct. 5. He said he’ll try to figure some things out in the bullpen between now and then. Sale has thrown 158 innings this season and has a history of fizzling in September.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

So Now He Likes Numbers?

Shank's legendary hatred of statistics is legendary (edit - that was redundant!), unless they can be used to disparage a local professional sports team:

Let's get this one out of the way first, shall we?

And just in case you're wondering if this is an original thing from Shank:

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Asshole Shaughnessy - XXI (?)

Reaction was swift:

Noted, Tim.

The Predictable Shaughnessy - III

Now for Shank's chance to pile on the Patriots:

The Predictable Shaughnessy - II

The Predictable Shaughnessy

As well timed as a bowel movement after coffee and breakfast:

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Does This Guy Complain About Everything?

I'm gonna go with 'yes':

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Get Me Rewrite! - IV

Shank's latest column is a general rehash of yesterday's column, again bemoaning the failure to clinch the A.L. East title at Yankee Stadium:
NEW YORK — Are the Red Sox going to have to pack up all that champagne and take it with them to Cleveland?

Waiting for the Red Sox to clinch the American League East is starting to feel like waiting for Yaz’s 3,000th hit, or Tim Wakefield’s 200th win. It’s like waiting to close on your dream home, or waiting for Larry Bird to pick up a check.

The Sox were pummeled in the Bronx Wednesday, 10-1, and so the Magic Number — which hasn’t moved since Sunday — remains stuck at two. Boston leads the division by 9½ games with 10 to play, but the Sox have managed to breathe life into a Yankees team here this week. They’ll have only one more chance to clinch on the Yankee lawn. And suddenly the idea of facing the Yanks in October does not sound so sweet. Who wants to be the new edition of the 2001 Mariners?
Why, Shank of course - why else does he keep writing columns after Red Sox losses?

Also - the only time you're likely to see consecutive daily columns from Shank is after consecutive losses by one of the local pro sports teams.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Bad Bullpen

Shanks devotes yet another column pointing out the weakness of the Red Sox bullpen.
NEW YORK — Put the champagne on ice for another day.

On a night when it looked like the Red Sox would clinch their third consecutive American League East title, Boston’s Raging Bullpen struck again and the Sox suffered a 3-2 defeat to the Yankees.

Brandon Workman and Ryan Brasier put a torch to Boston’s 1-0 lead in the seventh inning. Workman walked a pair before Brasier surrendered a three-run homer to Neil Walker.

So take those old records off the shelf, remove the cellophane from in front of the lockers, and get the bubbly out of the room. For at least one more day.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

You Were Saying?

Stop Making Sense

The ever predictable Dan Shaugnessy, everybody!

DHL Dan LXXIV - Danny Downer

While we wait for Shank's stupid tweets about the Patriots / Jaguars football game at 1:00 this afternoon, we're assaulted by another picked-up pieces column where he leads off by (surprise) dumping on the Red Sox yet again, specifically Chris Sale:
Picked-up pieces while working on my next segment of “Dan vs. Time” (Time is winning in a rout) . . .

■ Sorry, Chris Sale is not worthy of the American League Cy Young Award. Sale has been great almost every time he has pitched, but the man has hurled only 147 innings. Sale is 12-4 with a 1.96 ERA. He has pitched six innings since July 27. He wins two-thirds of the Cy Young. The front-runner would be Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell, who is 19-5 with a 2.03 ERA.
Well, that's a) stating the obvious, which b) we've been hearing on local talk radio for a couple of days now. Way to get out in front of a topic of conversation.

The rest of the column's a snoozefest - read at your own peril.

UPDDATE, 1:23 PM - Whoops! It's a 4:25 start...

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bitch, Whine And Moan

Since no one or no team is perfect, Shank will always have something to complain about:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Shank's Niece Weighs In On The Serena Williams Gasket Blowing

Since Shank's not ripping on writing about local professional athletes, we get a decent column from an interview with Shank's niece, Meghann Shaughnessy:
Meghann Shaughnessy was a professional tennis player for 19 years before retiring to raise a family six years ago. She was the world’s 11th-ranked female player in 2001. She played more than 1,200 professional matches, including three singles matches against Serena Williams (winning one, losing two) and seven against Venus Williams (2-5).

She was a teammate of the Williams sisters on America’s Federation Cup team captained by Billie Jean King in 2003. She played numerous matches officiated by veteran chair umpire Carlos Ramos. She is also the daughter of my brother.

By now, just about everyone other than Donald Trump (did I miss a tweet?), Alan Dershowitz, and Kendrick Lamar has published an opinion piece about Serena Williams’s meltdown in her US Open final loss to Naomi Osaka Saturday. Serena’s behavior has been excused by many (“she was mistreated because she’s a woman,’’ “male players get away with what Serena did”) while another segment of our global population simply believes Serena was being a poor sport, incapable of accepting defeat, and making the story about herself while deflecting the spotlight from a worthy opponent.
Go read the comments if you want to read inane crap from the PC / snowflake crowd who complain about nearly everything and keep bringing up the usual bogus shit about 'sexism, 'racism' and Shank 'mansplaining'. What a bunch of fucking babies.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Get Me Rewrite! - III

The New England Patriots won in Foxborough yesterday, a 27-20 victory over the Houston Texans. As is his specialty, Shank focuses on the losing team & coach.
Bill O’Brien is the latest opposing coach to do the Foxborough fold

What was true last year, and the year before that, is still true today. Nothing has changed. The Patriots are going to get where they want to go this year on the merits of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, plus the unwavering buffoonery of their opponents. Like death, taxes, and the first penalty in the old Montreal Forum, you can depend on the guy on the other sideline throwing up on his shoes. Every week.

Sunday’s easy Patriots victory over the Texans was a great case in point. It was more of the same stuff we’ve been telling you for the last 15 years. Smart, accomplished football men lose all of their grid acumen at the very sight of Belichick and Brady. It is a certainty.

As the years have unfolded, the Patriots have become less talented, less deep, and less dominant, but it does not matter. New England can no longer overwhelm teams on sheer ability. But the coaching disparity across the league is greater than ever. The Patriots can always rely on the kindness of the strangers and friends who come into Foxborough with the misguided mission that they can compete based on sheer physicality and football ability.

The Patriots know all they have to do is . . . wait. Stand around and the opponent will self-destruct.
If you get the feeling that you've read this column before, it's because you have.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Douchebag Gameday Tweets - II

Douchebag Gameday Tweets

Friday, September 07, 2018

Shank's Back On The Warpath - III

Let's rehash some old columns, shall we?
With Tom Brady, some topics remain out of bounds

FOXBOROUGH — Bill Belichick has Malcolm Butler.

Tom Brady has Alex Guerrero.

They are Third Rail Topics in Fort Foxborough. They are Those Who Must Not Be Named.

We are not going to get an answer. In either case.
So why do you keep asking the questions?
I took a run at the Alex topic with Brady Friday afternoon. Tom was ever-polite but thoroughly obtuse regarding his satisfaction with how Belichick and the Patriots are handling the Guerrero situation.

If you just parachuted in from Guam and need some background, here goes:
No we don't 'need some background' - we've all read it at least a dozen times by now. It's a poor excuse to continue your war against the New England Patriots.

Thursday, September 06, 2018


Shank cranks out another picked-up pieces column, about two weeks after his last picked-up pieces column. It's probably the calm before the next Patriots storm:
■ Put me down as a Holy Cross alum who is a tad nervous about the resumption of the Boston College-Holy Cross football “rivalry.’’ The Jesuit schools played one another on the gridiron 91 times between 1896-1986 before the series was mercifully put to bed. The aggregate score of the last five meetings: BC 221, HC 60. Average score: 44-12.

The disparity is worse now. BC plays FBS football in the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. The Eagles this year will play (among others) Clemson, Louisville, Virginia Tech, and Miami. Holy Cross is a member of the Patriot League and plays FCS football. The Crusaders this year will play (among others) Georgetown, Fordham, Lehigh, and Lafayette.
Stolen from the Globe comments section: "Are you saying that Holy Cross is now a Tomato Can?" Heh heh heh!

Monday, September 03, 2018

Shank's Back On The Warpath - II

Today we have another column in a continuing series of Shank rewriting column themes in order to criticize the New England Patriots in every conceivable fashion possible.
All of it is very real.

And none of it means anything.

Things really are frosty at the top of the Patriot pyramid. We are not making this up. We have the sound bites from Tom vs. Time, and Tom with Oprah, and Tom with Jim Gray, and Tom abruptly ending interviews when he gets asked about Alex Guerrero.

Bill Belichick is still angry about having to trade Jimmy Garoppolo (he did not deny that he texted Jimmy G after every 49ers win last year). Bill isn’t happy that he is forced to tolerate Guerrero in the locker room and on the team plane. Bill is never going to tell us why he ordered the Code Red, and he will mock any reporter who pins their hopes to a phone bill or objections from disgruntled ex-Patriots.
But that's not my main point of contention with this column. Rather, it's the continued assertion of Shank's (and local radio people) that the AFC East is a horrible, terrible, awful division chock full of patsies and 'tomato cans':
In dramatic lore, they were known as Famine, Pestilence, and Destruction. These are only aliases. Their real names are the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills, and the Miami Dolphins — New England’s ever-wretched competition in the AFC East.

What has been true in 15 of 17 seasons since 2001 (since Brady became Belichick’s starting quarterback) is true today. The New England Patriots, with all their flaws, simply cannot lose their loser division. For the millionth consecutive season, the Jets, Bills, and Dolphins are reinventing themselves with kid quarterbacks and doofus coaches.
Funny you mention doofuses, Shank! This column theme is used every single year and, like this column, Shank does not offer up any statistics to back up this assertion. This 'tomato can' division theme of his is completely unsupported by any meaningful examination of team and division records over any peroid of time, and Shank (to the best of my recollection) has never done this in the past ten years. This blog keeps pointing out the outright lie this is each and every single fucking time this lazy son of a bitch brings it up, yet it never stops. Nor will our rebuttals.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Shank's Back On The Warpath

After writing a whopping five columns during the month of August, Shank is now tanned, rested and ready to continue his 23 year-old jihad against the New England Patriots:
I love anything that shines light inside Fort Foxborough.

This is why I love “Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times,” a new book by New York Times Magazine chief national correspondent Mark Leibovich, scheduled to be released on Tuesday.

Unearthing truths from Gillette Stadium is almost impossible for local reporters. The Patriot PR Industrial Complex is a perfect model for keeping things in-house. Half the folks who cover the team are working for the team
Got any names? Got any proof of contracts / payments from the team?
...and much of the other half are too fearful or beaten-down to discover anything. Years covering the Patriots are like dog years. Reporters wear down and lose their will to live. How many times can a reporter hear Bill Belichick say, “It’s a football decision,’’ or “We’re on to Cincinnati,’’ before he/she stops asking for answers. This is followed, of course, by the chorus of angry Patriots fans wondering why anyone would dare ask Bill anything.
Would that include your line of questioning from last month?
Into this mix comes Leibovich, a homegrown (Newton) Patriots fan, a responsible adult (interesting comment there, isn't it? - ed.), and serious national reporter for the vaunted Times. The author somehow coaxed Tom Brady, Bob Kraft, Jerry Jones, and even Donald Trump into cooperating with his four-year, part-time project to plumb the inner workings of the Patriots and all things NFL. The result is a 349-page grenade guaranteed to rattle cages in Foxborough, Dallas, and at 345 Park Avenue in Manhattan.
It should make for some fun reading, and the rest of the column reads like he got an advance copy from Leibovich. My initial take - one part truth, one part gossip. Either way, it's a major error for anyone connected to the Patriots to give Leibovich this kind of fodder, unless they're all at a point where they don't give a flying fuck anymore, since the dynasty is on its last legs. It's possible Leibovich has an axe to grind, or he's just another scumbag journalist, but right now I can't tell, not knowing his background. Time will tell.

Note this, however - it's early Christmas for Shank, because he can use / hijack the work of someone else to do the dirty work for him. Scumbag Globe journalism at it's 'finest'.

Shank's Twitter followers loved the column - for real!

Wicked hard would be my guess!

This Week In Hot Takes

Our Man Shank is awarded fifth place in this week's Awful Announcing Hot Takes Sweepstakes:
5. Dan Shaughnessy calls a Red Sox win “the most demoralizing victory in baseball history”: Yes, the 8-7 win the Boston Red Sox recorded against the Miami Marlins Tuesday, with the winning run coming on a walkoff throwing error by Miami shortstop J.T. Riddle, wasn’t the world’s most impressive result. The win moved the Red Sox to 91-42 and dropped the Marlins to 53-80, so Boston wasn’t exactly playing a titanic opponent, and this saw the Red Sox blow leads in both the eighth and ninth inning. Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly said “Obviously, the ending was not very good” afterwards, and Boston Globe baseball columnist Nick Cafardo started his game story with “Usually after a walkoff win, you feel pretty good about the night’s work. But the Red Sox didn’t so much as win this one,” and used that story to raise questions about the Boston bullpen. That’s all understandable; some games are lost more than won, and even a win can be an opportunity to examine a team’s flaws. But Cafardo’s fellow Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy really brought the hyperbole when it came to discussing this on Twitter the next day:

That’s quite the absurd take. There are plenty of actually-demoralizing victories in baseball history, from ones where a team won while suffering an injury to a star player that wound up destroying their season (Pyrrhus knew a thing or two about that idea) from pennant race wins where a team won, but didn’t make progress or didn’t make the playoffs thanks to results elsewhere. And in a different light, this win could even be seen as a rallying moment for the Red Sox, one showing their determination to fight on despite blown leads and bullpen struggles. Criticism of their play is fair, especially with the winning run coming on that error, but calling this “the most demoralizing victory in baseball history” is a ridiculous argument.