Tuesday, December 31, 2019

I'd Rather Look Away

Remember that awful column from a few weeks ago (which one? - ed) where Shank was trying to be funny and clever? He's at it again:
There are two ways to look at the Patriots right now

The Patriot Hater and the Defender of the Wall have been friends for many, many years. They shared an apartment in Brighton after college, relying on the 57 bus, which roared through Oak Square each morning. They went on to enjoy careers in new cities after the turn of the century, but never stopped talking on the phone, and these last two decades have been filled with lively debate about the dominant and ever-controversial New England Patriots.

The Hater grew up far from New England and never liked the Patriots, but only in the new millennium did his true hatred emerge. He’s wildly jealous. He thinks the Patriots are arrogant cheaters. He keeps a framed photo of Ted Wells in his home office. And after 20 years of watching confetti rain on the heads of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the Hater finally thinks his time has come.
Sounds like an autobiography!

The rest of the 'column' goes on about a mythical Patriots hater arguing with a mythical Patriots fan. It's unfunny schtick that's now overused to boot. Steer clear of it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Adding Insult To Injury

To paraphrase Peter in Office Space, 'I wouldn't say I missed this column...'

It looks like Shank wrote something a few days ago speculating on the New England Patriots run in the upcoming playoffs. My first thought was 'great - it'll give him a chance to rewrite some columns from previous playoff runs'. It's actually worse then that:
In all likelihood, get ready for a Patriots-Chiefs rematch in the playoffs

Things could still change, of course. Technically speaking, the Patriots could lose to the Tank-Palooza Miami Dolphins at home next weekend. Lamar Jackson could get hurt if John Harbaugh allows the MVP to play against the Steelers in Week 17. And the Chiefs could lose a wild-card weekend home game against the Steelers or the Titans.

But probably not. In all likelihood, we now know what it’s going to take for the Patriots to get where they want to go.

In all likelihood, the Patriots will get their coveted, hard-earned, first-round bye. Then they’ll have to beat the Chiefs at home, and the Ravens on the road to get to Super Bowl LIV in Miami Gardens, just 73 miles south of Orchids of Asia.
What a classless son of a bitch. For what it's worth, I read the first 50 or so comments on the article, and he was uniformly trashed for saying it, and generally being a douchebag has-been who should retire. On the bright side, this will lead to a few more cancellations of Boston Globe subscriptions.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Second Bite At The Apple

Perhaps realizing his previous column was horrible and sucked big hairy donkey balls, Shank takes another stab at the most recent Patriots sideline taping controversy:
The Patriots and their fans sell more Whoppers than Burger King.

Mini Whoppers. Meatless Whoppers. Whoppers with cheese.

It starts at the top. Remember Bob “I did nothing illegal” Kraft and his army of attorneys after the Orchids of Asia debacle in February?

Here we are again. Spygate II. And again the polygraphs are exploding as we wait for the Patriots to release “Spygate II In Context.’’

Let me see if I’ve got things straight:
It's a fairly persuasive column, primarily because it required research and effort to compile. If only he led off with this one and not that crappy lame attempt at humor from a few days ago, I'd take this column seriously.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Mothers Of Invention

News came out this week that the New England Patriots were again involved in a sideline filming controversy, this time involving the Cincinnati Bengals. Shank, clearly missing out on an opportunity to bash the team, finally jumps on the bandwagon in that fine tradition of Boston Globe fiction artists like Mike Barnicle (of 'Whitey Bulger kept the drugs out of Southie' fame), Patricia Smith and Kevin Cullen:
Where do Patriots ‘rule benders’ end up?

LOCATION UNKNOWN — Welcome to the Patriots penal colony, the place where the rule benders are stashed so they will never be heard from again.

“We call it the Jerod Mayo Zone, as in Area 51,’’ said Jimmy Hotfingers (a.k.a. “the Deflator”), as he greeted me at the door of the palatial lodge. “Don’t ask, don’t tell. Just Do Your Job and don’t say anything. Ever. That’s what we’re about. How was your trip?’’

A little disturbing, I told him. It was somewhat scary to be blindfolded and rolled into a private jet at Hanscom Field. I wasn’t in the sky that long, but I couldn’t tell if I was in upstate New York or Las Vegas. You lose your sense of time and space in the darkness. Same goes for the bumpy ride to the cabin.
Unfunny, uninteresting and complete bullshit - this is his worst column in some time, and that's saying something.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Late To The Party

I was at CPE courses this week and didn't have the time or motivation to post any of Shank's recent 'work', so here are links to his recent columns. The first one was on the recent passing of Peter Frates, the former Boston College baseball player who had succumbed from ALS and who raised millions of dollars from the Ice Bucket Challenge. Shank then shows his positive side with heapings of praise for the offseason moves by the Boston Red Sox (with trademark hyperbole thrown in for good measure):
Why this could be the worst Red Sox offseason ever

Pardon me while I heave into my official, team-sponsored 2020 Red Sox barf bag.

I have been following the Sox since 1962 and never found a Red Sox offseason more odious. Granted, it’s still early, but this has potential to be the worst Sox winter of all time. Four days of Big Nothing at the Winter Meetings only fortifies the financial teardown and impending Bridge Year that awaits.

This offseason narrative stinks. In the old days, we talked about ballplayers as trading cards. It was exciting if the Sox dealt Don Schwall for Dick Stuart, or Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi for Lee Smith. We got fired up about the Local Nine acquiring Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, and Chris Sale in offseason blockbuster signings/deals.
It wasn't that long ago when Shank loved the new Red Sox manager, was it?

By the way, Shank's still doing his weekly radio appearances on Zolak & Bertrand (which is simulcast on NBC Sports Boston); he's just given up on tweeting about them beforehand. I was watching the last part of it yesterday when he does his 'Dates of Distinction' / 'On this day in history...' schtick, which to me is pretty boring radio. It got interesting / strange as soon as Shank stopped talking and finished his appearance. I had looked down to grab a bite of lunch and then looked up about five seconds later. What I saw was amazing - it was a shot of Shank's back and he was walking away rapidly. A second or two later both Scott Zolak and Beetle were saying to each other - where the hell is Shaughnessy? He just up and bolted from the place as soon as he was done, was in the next room and had his jacket on, all within a span of about five seconds. It was and will always be the best TV studio pick & roll of all time. I think it also says something telling - Shank really dislikes doing these appearances now.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Stop Yer Complaining!

Shank's here to scold you folks that had any problems with yesterday's officiating of the Patriots / Chiefs game:
Patriots fans should not be complaining about officiating

Be better, Patriot fans. All this crying about officiating is embarrassing.

Suck it up. The officials stunk in Sunday’s 23-16 loss to the Chiefs, but we have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. Folks around the nation are celebrating New England’s late-season woes, and we only make matters worse by blaming it on the officials.

Everybody knows that the entire Patriots dynasty was built on a football lie. Remember the Tuck Rule? Of course you do. The bad rule (which nobody knew about before Jan. 19, 2002) was correctly enforced on that snowy night in Foxborough and it turned Tom Brady’s fumble into an incomplete pass, giving birth to 18 years of Do Your Job, No Days Off, and They Hate Us ’Cause They Ain’t Us. The rule was so bad that it was eventually repealed. Brady’s fumble today would be what it should haven (sic) been that night: a fumble.
Except that it was not a fumble on the day it occurred. Rules are added, changed and repealed with some frequency, so Shank's argument can be used selectively, as he did here. When that fumble happened, I did indeed think that it was a fumble and like the occasional moron that I am, I went right to bed after that play, thinking that it was a fumble. The next morning I read all about it and I was pleasantly stunned at a) what happened and b) that the 'Tuck Rule' was in place, as I didn't recall that particular subtlety of the NFL rulebook at the time.

He goes on from there to 'remind' all of us at how lucky the Patriots have been since that game. While it's hard to argue against that notion in general, I don't agree with Shank that it tips oh so heavily in the Patriots favor.

That said, I'd recommend reading the rest of the column. It's a decent read, because you can see Shank is energized in this column, as he usually is when he gets a chance to write a column after a Patriots loss.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Shank's Next Column?

Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird turn 63 today. Does Shank walk down memory lane again with a tribute column?

Friday, December 06, 2019

DHL Dan XCIIII - Dwight Evans Revisted, Etc.

Shank bangs out another Picked-Up Pieces column which among other things touts Dwight Evans' chances of making the Hall of Fame:
Picked-up pieces while playing Mitch Miller and the gang’s Christmas hits on my hi-fi stereo system . . .

■ The Red Sox are actively boosting Dwight Evans’s campaign for the Hall of Fame. You knew it would come to this last year when Harold Baines, who was never as good as Evans, was broomed into Cooperstown in a back-room deal brokered by Jerry Reinsdorf and Tony La Russa.

Evans will need 12 of 16 votes cast when the Modern Era committee meets in San Diego Sunday. He should have two big backers in the room — Dennis Eckersley and Dave Dombrowski — but it’s a crowded field (10) of strong candidates, including Ted Simmons, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dale Murphy, and Marvin Miller. Voters can vote for no more than four candidates.
All in all, it's a decent PUP column.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

The End Is Near Again?

While Shank's previous column wasn't viciously critical of the New England Patriots and their second loss of the season, he did put some effort into it. With today's column, he keeps the fire burning for another day.
STILL HOUSTON — What a field day for the hate.

Monday. Tuesday. Every day. And this is the way it’s going to be until the Patriots get a chance to prove everybody wrong at Gillette Stadium against the Chiefs Sunday.

It’s open season on Tom Brady and the Patriots across Football America. The Patriots are frauds. They are the worst 10-2 team in NFL history. They are a house of cards, upheld only by a soft schedule, the stupidity of others, and the genius of Bill Belichick.

Suddenly those Patriot wins against the Eagles and Cowboys don’t look so impressive anymore. In a cluster of 10-2 teams including the 49ers, Seahawks, and Ravens, the Patriots are the ones that don’t belong. They are the ones trending in the wrong direction as the playoffs near.

Monday, December 02, 2019


Completely ignoring what he wrote the day before, Shank writes with great fanfare about the Patriot's second loss of the season.
HOUSTON — Pigs can fly. Republicans and Democrats agree on everything. Larry Bird is buying rounds for the house. Jackie Bradley is a .350 hitter who never strikes out.

And the Houston Texans just beat the New England Patriots, 28-22.

Anything is possible.

DeShaun Watson took it to the Boogeymen Sunday night at NRG Stadium, throwing for three touchdowns and catching another as the Texans snapped an eight-game losing streak vs. New England. Former Belichick protege Bill O’Brien secured his first win against mentor Bill, breaking a humbling and at times humilating 0-5 skid. Late in the game, with the Texans leading, 28-9, Antonio Brown tweeted, “Still I Rise.’’
Funny how we always see a Patriots column from Shank when they lose, isn't it?

Sunday, December 01, 2019

He's Got His Number

Thirteen weeks into the 2019-2020 pro football season, Shank writes something complimentary about the New England Patriots:
HOUSTON — New Englanders love this place. This is where 28-3 happened in February 2017 and where the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick Patriots won their second Super Bowl in February 2004. Houston is where the 2018 Red Sox eliminated the cheatin’ Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on a night when David Price beat Justin Verlander. It’s where Larry Bird won his first NBA championship in May 1981 and where Roger Clemens learned how to throw a fastball in the 1970s. Houston was headquarters to our space program when Derry, N.H.’s Alan Shepard walked on the moon in 1971.

And it is the home of the Houston Texans, a sometimes formidable football team that is constitutionally incapable of beating the New England Patriots.

So, here we go again. We are Lucy holding the football and the Texans are Charlie Brown lining up for a kick, ever hopeful that it will be different this time. But everyone knows it will not be different.
Lots of Shank staples in this one - there's a Larry Bird reference, lots of references to other sports and the signature reuse of previous columns, so there's your triple play for the day.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Now I'm A Believer?

That one's for you, Monkeesfan!

Shank sits down with Bill Parcells, who tells Shank what football's all about:
What’s the secret to the Patriots’ success? Let Bill Parcells explain

When you cut through all the analysis, strategy, fame, and gossip that’s been part of this historic two-decade Belichick-Brady dynasty, there’s one football element that’s more important than anything else:

The Patriots win because they don’t turn over the football.

It’s really that simple. The 2019 Patriots are an NFL-best 10-1 (tied with the Niners). Not coincidentally, they have the best turnover differential: plus-19. The next-best team is plus-10. The Patriots have 29 takeaways and only 10 giveaways. It is the annual secret to their success.
I could have sworn that on a number of previous occasions Shank had described Belichick's turnover philosophy as 'obsessive' or some such denigration. Unfortunately, I came up emptyhanded looking for examples and actually found the opposite from an old column:

Zero turnovers in the cold and snow of Chicago is particularly impressive. Absence of turnovers is the ultimate formula for success in the NFL.

Monday, November 25, 2019

It's That Time Of Year

...when Shank pretends to care about high school football.
It is supposed to be the football highlight of a high school senior’s life. You invest a great part of your youth playing football and it culminates in the annual Thanksgiving Day game against a century-old rival. Morning football jousts give way to afternoon turkey, stuffing, and canned cranberry sauce.
The rest of the country has Friday Night Lights. Here in Massachusetts we have Turkey Day bragging rights.
But our ancient ritual has been modified and in many cases, severely diluted.
This is not the fault of global warming, the Internet, or millennial apathy. The change in our traditional Thanksgiving football rivalry games is owed to changes in the MIAA state football playoff format.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It Must Be Passive-Aggressive Week

We're only two days into the week and we see Shank kicking Tom Brady when he's down, and for his second act he's gonna pull a few punches with former Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez:
Manny Ramirez is apologetic, contrite, and renewed by his faith

All these years later, Manny Ramirez wants you to know that he loves you and that he is sorry for mistakes he made while playing in Boston.

He is sorry he knocked down Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick over a ticket issue when the Sox were in Houston in 2008. He is sorry for the way he shot his way out of town and got himself traded to the Dodgers later that season. He is sorry he got popped for PEDs three times.

“It’s a mistake,’’ Manny said of his failed drug tests. “It’s like Barry [Bonds], Alex [Rodriguez], and everybody that was in that [Mitchell] Report. We made mistakes. I cannot go back and change it. I think it’s going to be good for young players to see what happened in that time. But when you’re good, you’re good. Those things don’t make you a better hitter.’’
That's as harsh ash Shank gets in the column about Manny. A few sentences later the irony meter exploded:

Manny signed an eight-year, $160 million contract with the Red Sox before the 2001 season and made good on 7½ seasons of the deal. He was a latter-day Jimmie Foxx, good for about .312, 40 homers, and 120 RBIs every year. He was MVP of the World Series when the Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino in 2004. Paired with David Ortiz, he gave the Sox a Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig combo.

But he also was goofy. Fans loved it most of the time, but “Manny being Manny” sometimes triggered headaches for teammates, managers, and owners.
Readers need an occasional reminder or two or even three in order to keep the record straight - Shank was no friend of Manny Ramirez, until now.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


That's the theme of yesterday's column on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots after they ground out a 17-10 win on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tom Brady is frustrated with the Patriots offense, but won’t take any blame himself

The Patriots are 9-1, sharing the best record in football. But the New England sky is falling because Tom Brady is unhappy. And Brady is not taking blame for anything regarding the Patriots’ struggling offense. Evidently, we all need to give Tom a hug and tell him it’s not his fault.

Postgame Sunday, Brady looked as if his dog just died. Frowny face. Mr. Mope.

He came to the podium after New England’s 17-10 rock-fight victory over the Eagles and presented like an 8-year-old about to get a flu shot. He took nine questions and delivered nine clipped answers, speaking a total of 130 words in just over 100 seconds.
A few observations - you can tell right away that Shank's focused on this column by which the half-clever crafted insults are hurled at Tom Brady. It also seems like he's been waiting to write this column (again) since the last time it was all over for the Patriots quarterback.

As befit a number of other Dan Shaughnessy columns, he swiped the prevailing theme from somebody else on Monday and ran with it:
Brady was back with a few more words early Monday when he called into WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” fulfilling a contractual obligation he’s had since he became a starter two decades ago.

Hill started by telling Brady that it looked like the QB needed a hug after Sunday’s game. Then he asked if this was the most frustrated Brady had been after a win.

“I don’t know,’’ Brady started. “I think I’m always generally frustrated during football season . . . so, yeah . . . I was very happy we won. But I just wish we played better offensively. You have to go do it. I don’t think it’s about talking about it, it’s about doing it and trying to get the best we can out of our offense to see if we can be more productive and score more points.’’
To which Shank speculates:
Some might take this as an indication that Brady is finally looking 42 years old.
And we know who 'some' is, don't we? Eventually, Shank will be right....

Sunday, November 17, 2019

DHL Dan XCIII - Cheatin' Bastards

Shank tosses out another picked-up pieces column while he wishes for another loss by the Patriots:
Picked-up pieces while wondering whether Malcolm Butler will tune in when the Patriots play the Eagles on Sunday.
■ Are sports fans bothered when their teams are caught cheating?

The investigation into the 2017 world champion Astros — triggered by charges from a former Houston pitcher — touches fans everywhere, certainly those who root for New England teams.

Nobody around here liked it much when the Super Bowl-winning Patriots were caught and punished in the Spygate and Deflategate scandals. We lived through years of pushback, denials, and controversy as fans in other regions tried to assign the Patriots’ stunning success to petty crimes and misdemeanors.
Shank's done exactly that numerous times during his stint at the Boston Globe, and that's not restricted only to the Patriots.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

UMass Sucks!

At least their football program does, sayeth The Shank:
UMass’s football team, and its brand, are taking a beating

UMass’s football program is an embarrassment. This is not the fault of the student-athletes. It is the fault of the UMass administration and the athletic department. The players are not being put in a position to succeed, and that’s on the grownups and the citizens of Massachusetts who are letting this happen.

Simply put, the Minutemen should not be playing big-time college football. They lose by whopping scores. UMass is 1-9. Here are the scores of the Minutemen’s last five games:

Florida International 44, UMass 0.

Louisiana Tech 69, UMass 21.

UConn 56, UMass 35.

Liberty 63, UMass 21.

Army 63, UMass 7.
At least he's consistent with his purported desire for better collegiate competition.

Dwight Evans, Hall of Famer?

Shank certainly feels that way, with a pretty good column to back it up.
Could this be the year Dwight Evans makes the Hall of Fame?

New England baby boomer sports fans are a romantic lot. In this spirit there are local athletes from the 1960s and 70s who enjoy a lifetime of love owed to accomplishments from 30 or 40 years ago. Not necessarily Hall of Famers, the local legends are routinely showered with affection if they appear at a card show or merely stroll around the corridors of Fenway, Gillette, or the Boston Garden.

These are guys like Luis Tiant, Terry O’Reilly, Bill Lee, Steve Grogan, Freddie Lynn . . .
And Dwight Evans.

Dewey. Best right fielder we ever saw. The man who made The Catch of Joe Morgan’s long drive in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. The man who got the big hits and provided the big moments in those years when the Red Sox annually almost won it all.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Familiar With The Premise

If there's one sports columnist that can write about it with authority, it's Shank:
Face it, Red Sox fans, you are overrating Mookie Betts a bit

All Red Sox fans love Mookie Betts. And what is not to love? He was MVP in 2018, hitting .346 with 32 homers. He has led the American League in runs each of the last two seasons. He is a Gold Glove right fielder, playing half his games in the toughest right field in baseball. He is an electric player and has never done anything to tarnish himself or the uniform.

But he is also a free agent at the end of next season, shows no signs of re-upping with the Red Sox, and, quite frankly, is a tad overrated around here.
Look in the mirror, big guy...

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

DHL Dan XCII - Another Predictable Shaughnessy Column

The New England Patriots lost to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night. Shank barely wrote about the Patriots over the past two months, so of course Shank devotes a column to their first loss of the season, half-disguised as a lazy Picked Up Pieces column:
Patriots-Ravens had something that’s been missing all season: competition

■ Sunday’s 37-20 loss to the Ravens was easily the most entertaining Patriots game of the season thus far. Sorry, but I find a game like this more enjoyable than yet another nauseating 60-minute network homage to the greatness of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Bob Kraft, and New England’s Boogeyman defense.

Patriots-Ravens was still a 4-point game through three quarters. The Patriots had plenty of chances to come back and win it. Silly me, I find this more exciting than watching a 43-0 blowout at Miami, or seeing the Browns turn the ball over on three consecutive touches in the first half of a beatdown at Gillette. I like it when there’s some big-boy pushback from the other team, when the coach on the other sideline is not genuflecting at the Altar of Bill.
He's only happy because the Patriots lost.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Old School Baseball?

That would be Shank's words, not mine:
Old-school Nationals, at last, are first

HOUSTON — They were born as the Montreal Expos in 1969 and made the playoffs only once in 36 seasons. Montreal’s best team, the 1994 Expos, might have won a World Series, but there was no World Series that year because of a work stoppage.

When the Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005, they were wards of the state, literally owned by Major League Baseball. MLB hired their manager and general manager. Until this year, the Nats never won a playoff series. They were legitimate heirs to the old Washington Senators.

And now they are Faustian champions of the baseball world, with a team that started the season 19-31.
Shank expands on the aforementioned 'old-school' angle:
The Nationals are an homage to old-school baseball. They rely on scouts more than analytics. They still have guys in the front office who chomp on cigars and go with their instincts. General manager Mike Rizzo has a staff that includes six former scouting directors, four former managers, and two former GMs. All of Washington’s scouts played pro baseball. The operation is about people more than numbers. They’ll take a lunch over a launch angle.
The rest of it is game recappage, etc.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Shank On Game 6 Of The World Series

It's pretty much what you'd expect:
This World Series was a dud. Then Game 6 happened, and now we get a Game 7

HOUSTON — Something about Game 6.

Game 6 gave us Carlton Fisk and the home run for the ages in 1975. It gave us Don Denkinger blowing the World Series for the Cardinals with a bad call in 1985. It gave us Bill Buckner and a late Saturday nightmare in 1986. It gave us Kirby Puckett’s walkoff in the Metrodome in 1991.

Game 6 is only truly great when it gives us Game 7 and that is what we now have. Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals stunned the hardball universe Tuesday, beating Justin Verlander and the Astros, 7-2, to force Game 7 at Minute Maid Park.
UPDATE - Fixed the typo in the headline - sorry!

Captain Obvious To The Rescue

Entering last night's game, the Washington Nationals are trailing the Houston Astros 3-2 in the World Series. Naturally, the Nationals need to win game 6 and stay in the series, and Shank is here to tell you again:
It’s up to Stephen Strasburg to extend the Nationals’ season

HOUSTON — Earl Weaver always said that in baseball, momentum is best defined as your next game’s starting pitcher.

This is what the underdog Washington Nationals must believe if they are to win the 115th World Series. Down three games to two after being routed three straight at home, the Nats will turn their desperate eyes to Stephen Strasburg when the Series resumes Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.
Throw in a twist on some lame lyrics from Simon & Garfunkel, and it's a fish wrap.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Shank Gets One Right

Maybe not a really tough prediction, but give some credit where it's due.

Remember him predicting Chaim Bloom's gonna be the next Red Sox baseball honcho? He nailed it:
In his introductory press conference, Chaim Bloom made it clear: his goal as chief baseball officer of the Red Sox is to “build as strong an organization as possible in all aspects so we can have sustained long-term success and so we can compete in championships year in and year out.”

Does that long-term plan include holding on to Mookie Betts or J.D. Martinez? Bloom’s not quite ready to answer that.

The Red Sox’ new chief baseball officer -- on the job for about two hours before his introductory press conference on Monday -- said there are a lot of options for the roster and it would be premature to say what direction the team will move in.
I wonder how long it'll take before Shank starts second guessing him? Probably with Bloom's first trade!

Shank On Game Five & The Rest Of The Series

Pretty good column by Shank, actually:
An Astros World Series championship sure feels inevitable

WASHINGTON — It feels like the old Senators could have done better than this.

The World Series is not over, of course. Stephen Strasburg could mow down the Astros on Tuesday and then anything could happen in a Game 7, right? That’s what Kevin Millar would say.

But a ’Stros championship feels inevitable after watching Houston sweep the Washington Nationals three straight by a 19-3 aggregate at Nationals Park. The Astros hit three two-run homers in Sunday’s 7-1 win.

The Nationals were already having a bad weekend when righthander Max Scherzer awoke Sunday morning with neck spasms and was unable to raise his pitching arm. Already reeling from back-to-back dull losses on their home field, the Nats no longer had their trusty ace available for a critical Game 5 of the World Series.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Shank Still Sucks At Math

Or we might call this one 'wishful thinking' instead:
Is Chaim Bloom the next Theo Epstein?

WASHINGTON — History tells us that the Red Sox can’t go wrong when they hire a young Jewish man from Yale to run the baseball operation.

Theo Epstein broke the mold 17 years ago when — just a few years out of Yale — he took over as the youngest general manager in baseball history. Theo won a World Series two years later. He was the first of a new generation of baseball executives — analytics-driven students of the game who did not play baseball at a high level. Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings today are overrun with bright job seekers well-versed in the topics at MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Everybody wants to be the next Theo Epstein.

Say hello to 36-year-old Chaim Bloom, new chief baseball officer of your Boston Red Sox.

Bloom takes over for Dave Dombrowski, who was fired in September, less than a year after winning the World Series. Dombrowski took over for Ben Cherington, who was knifed in the back less than two years after winning the 2013 World Series. Cherington succeeded Epstein, who ignited this whole geek craze back in 2002 when he was named general manager of the Red Sox at the age of 28.
Shank seems to think that one data point (hiring Theo Epstein) indicates a trend; it does not. Furthermore, the announcement hasn't been made yet, and the column doesn't indicate anything about Bloom's hiring - rumors, insider scuttlebutt, etc. It is pure speculation, which of course means Shank could wind up with egg on his face yet again. This is what happens when you nuke your bridges leading into Fenway Park.

Friday, October 25, 2019

That's Because They'll Let Anybody In

Reader responses were positive and constructive:

The Bad Old Days

If it weren't for the fact that there's always a losing team, Shank would have nothing to write about.

Is that an evergreen comment or what? While this column's of better quality than his previous one, it's because Shank writes about a theme (losing / being terrible at something) that he's eminently qualified to write about:
Looking back at the bad old days of Washington baseball

WASHINGTON — The World Series this weekend returns to our nation’s capital for the first time since 1933. Like everything else in this town, it’s complicated.

Major League Baseball in Washington is a study in failure and unrequited love. This is a city that lost two big league franchises in a span of less than a dozen years, a city that suffered through 33 summers of Baseball Prohibition after the perennial basement-dwelling expansion Senators bolted for Texas in 1972.

The expansion Senators were a punch line when I grew up in Central Massachusetts in the 1960s. The old adage about the original Senators — Washington, first in war, first in peace, last in the American League — still applied to the 1960s version. We took comfort in this in Red Sox Nation. The Senators were just about the only team annually worse than the Young Yaz Red Sox.

The Provincial Shaughnessy - A Continuing Series

Here's another column template for which Shank has based countless columns on - it's all about Boston!
HOUSTON — The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals are engaged in the 115th World Series and a lot of folks in Boston have tuned out because the games are too late, the pace is too slow and . . . in case you hadn’t noticed . . . the Red Sox are not here.

But the Sox are always here, don’t you know? Everything in life traces back to New England and the Red Sox. So here’s a clip-and-save, handy-dandy guide to how New England and the Red Sox are represented in a Astros-Nationals World Series:
And this is part of what Shaughnessy considers 'representation':
■ If the Nationals win the World Series it might help the Red Sox in their PR campaign if they have to trade Mookie Betts. Bryce Harper was The Franchise for Washington, but the Nats couldn’t re-sign him and then went out and won the National League pennant anyway. A championship for the Nats makes it easier for the Sox to justify trading their best player. They can point to Washington and say, “Look what happened after the Nationals lost Harper.” Meanwhile, if you are thinking about a logical place to trade Betts, consider the White Sox.

■ The Red Sox have David Price in the middle of a seven-year contract that pays him $31 million per season. Chris Sale next year starts a five-year, $145 million deal that puts him on the threshold of Price. This series has Stephen Strasburg (seven years, $175 million), Max Scherzer (seven years, $210 million), Zack Greinke (six years, $206.5 million), and Justin Verlander (two years, $66 million). It also has Houston righty Gerrit Cole, who is a free agent and will be making more than any of them by the time spring training rolls around.
To save the reader some time, these two brief examples purporting to demonstrate how 'the Red Sox are always here' - baseless speculation and player salary comparison that amounts to a huge non sequitur, for lack of a better way to explain the useless nature of that comparison. There are other attributes of this column that make it suck like a bilge pump but you don't need me to point the rest of them out, as you may be familiar with them by now. If he was trying to make a convincing case about this series being 'the Red Sox are always here', he fails poorly.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

It's Shetland Pony Time Again - 2019 World Series Edition

As with the Antonio Brown situation, Shank gets into high dudgeon with the Houston Astros:
HOUSTON — Before the World Series even started, the Washington Nationals were America’s team.

It’s got nothing to do with the fact that the Nats play in our nation’s capital. Or that they’ve never been to a World Series.

No, the Nats are the team to root for because the Houston Astros’ organization has framed itself as arrogant, shifty, tone-deaf, stubborn, and completely unaccountable. And that is why on the night of the first World Series opener ever hosted in Houston, the Astros were dodging arrows from across America as they attempted to defend the indefensible.

A little background: On Saturday night, after the dominant ’Stros defeated the Yankees in walkoff fashion to win the American League pennant, assistant GM Brandon Taubman decided to play muscle-flexing, tough guy with three female reporters who were in the clubhouse as the perfunctory champagne celebration was winding down. The 34-year-old Taubman, out of nowhere, turned on the female reporters and started shouting.
Let's cut to the chase:
Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein was one of the three reporters targeted in Taubman’s tirade and wrote a piece about the episode Monday. After initially not commenting, the Astros furnished a statement in the wake of Apstein’s story late Monday. The statement acknowledged Taubman’s clubhouse comments, but said the team was “extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.’’
It appears to me that this 'big stink' Shank and others are making is primarily because Taubman yelled at female reporters and dropped F-bombs in the process. It also may be due to the fact that one of the reporters tweeted about domestic violence and for some reason Taubman decided to be a dick about things after the Astros won the AL pennant. Much like former president Barack Obama, criticism of a black person is somehow defined by leftists certain people as racist, criticism of gay people is now homophobic and, naturally, offending women is sexism.

Again, maybe this guy Taubman's a genuine dickhead but it seems to me that this story doesn't become as big without the female reporter angle and Shank and his fellow media parasites are going to milk this as much as possible, or make Mt. Everest out of the Blue Hills.

Monday, October 21, 2019


Presented without comment:

Shank's First Celtics 2019-2020 Column

...and it's terrible right off the bat:
The Celtics were big-time underachievers last season. Presumed front-runners to get to the NBA Finals, they feuded and fumbled all season. As they staggered into the spring, toxic Kyrie Irving told us not to worry. He told us we would see the real Kyrie and the real Celtics in the playoffs.

We did. In round 2 of the playoffs, Kyrie stunk up the gym and the Celtics got pantsed in a feeble five games against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Mud on their face . . . big disgrace . . . dishonoring championship banners all over the place.
Talk about disgraceful - if you're ever wondering how to ruin a column by the third paragraph, just use lame lyrics from a 40+ year old song. I could barely read the column after that, and that's enough Shank for this guy today, maybe all week (and it's only Monday!).

Sunday, October 20, 2019

DHL Dan XCI - Still Beating A Dead Horse

Tired, lacking in imagination and creativity - that's our man Shank:
Patriots’ competition continues to unravel, and other notes

Picked-up pieces while assisting Ed Davis in finding out what really happened down there in the Dominican Republic in June . . .

■ The 2019 AFC is shaping up as the Tomato Cans conference of the century. It’s in a class by itself for patsies. Leading into 2019, we figured the Kansas City Chiefs would provide the Patriots with the most resistance in the conference. Last January’s AFC Championship game was truly epic. But it’s pretty clear now that the Patriots — who have won only four road playoff games (same as Mark Sanchez) during the Belichick-Brady dynasty — are not going to have to travel in the postseason this year. We have seen the Chiefs come back to earth in the last three weeks. The Colts pushed them all over the field in Week 5, and then the Texans had their way with them last weekend. Now all-world quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a dislocated kneecap. Right on schedule if you are a Patriots fan. In the old days, the Patriots won because they were better than everybody else and overcame their rivals. Now they just sit back and watch the competition unravel. Every day in which the Patriots do not play a game, they gain ground. They are legit progeny of Sun Tzu (“The Art of War”) who wrote: “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.’’ It has happened again. While the Patriots were idle Thursday, Mahomes dislocated his kneecap against the Broncos. And it’s not just the KC QB injury. Like most teams that lose to the Patriots in the playoffs, the Chiefs are psychologically damaged from the AFC Championship game. They will never be the same after losing that coin flip at Arrowhead before overtime. They are toast.
How Shank 'knows' the Chiefs are 'psychologically damaged' is beyond me - it's simply an assertion, a small scale version of his 'Curse of the Bambino' minus the book sales.

Then again - aren't we all 'psychologically damaged' by reading Dan Shaughnessy columns over the decades? Maybe we should file a class action suit against him!

Of course, Shank takes yet another stabbing in print on Patriots owner Robert Kraft:
■ Bob Kraft cannot possibly be happy with Tom Brady’s participation in Paul Rudd’s Netflix series “Living With Yourself.’’ In the premier episode, Brady appears in a cameo emerging from an Asian spa in a strip mall and then ducking into a waiting limo. Now Brady is mad that the scene is being taken out of context. So let me see if I’ve got this straight: After Kraft is charged with solicitation at a strip-mall Asian massage parlor in February (Kraft hopped into a limo after the alleged crime), Brady went ahead with a video shoot in which he emerges from a strip-mall Asian “Top Happy Spa” and ducks into a limo. Timothy Greenberg, creator of the show, has told reporters that he could not believe Brady agreed to do the shoot in the wake of the Kraft arrest, and now Brady is telling us that he can’t believe the “blame and shame” media would take all this “out of context.’’ And the Patriot media cartel rushes to Tom’s defense. Please. We were not born yesterday. It’s OK, Tom. It’s a funny scene. You are a grown-up. You knew what you were doing. It’s a shot at Bob Kraft. Just don’t pretend to be surprised and outraged when this video is “taken out of context.’’ No thinking person could view it any other way.
Anything to fan the flames...

Nothing says predictable like reusing a joke:
■ If you are a Celtics fan and you’ve seen five minutes of any of those interminable Democratic presidential debates, you have noticed that South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg is a dead ringer for Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
...and from early July of this year:
■ If Mayor Pete Buttigieg gets sick and can’t make it to the next debate, he can send Brad Stevens in his place and no one will know the difference.
It was funny the first time but like any schlock 'Top-40' radio station that plays the same song over and over every four hours for weeks on end, this one's already beaten to death after its second use.

From there, you know the drill - oddball subjects and a silly quiz. I'll save you some time - your time's better spent watching the paint dry.

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Predictable Shaughnessy, A Continuing Series

We've read at least three dozen variations of this one in recent years:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Big Bowl Of Bad / Still On The Outs

What a surprise - Shank's ripping the Red Sox again:
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and well-deserved LeBron bashing to remind you that the stove glows dimly on Jersey Street.
As the baseball playoffs keep reminding us, the Red Sox — despite having the top payroll in baseball — are not part of October ball for the first time since 2015.
In the absence of postseason games, bad news seems to visit Fenway Park regularly. Ticket prices are up. NESN ratings are way down. And nobody seems to want the once-coveted job of Red Sox general manager.
OK, maybe ripping is too strong a word but note that the column is a fair amount larger than his normal / on average column. This is a general indication that he's engaged with the subject matter, and this is when it's more or less worth it to go read the whole thing. In that sense that it's a longer column, that's kind of ripping the team, isn't it?

Anyway, here's the parts that jumped out for me (made me laugh, actually):
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy insists that the Sox have yet to formally reach out to any candidate, but I am of the opinion that several veteran baseball men have been approached through back channels. And no one has bitten.
I love this shit - Shank's been persona non grata in the Red Sox inner circle ever since he did his infamous 'Dirty Laundry' column fourteen years ago where he threw former GM Theo Epstein right under the freakin' Greyhound.

But wait - there's more!
Try to imagine a conversation in Cleveland when Tribe GM Antonetti stopped by Tito Francona’s office and asked, “Hey, got a minute? Do you think it’s a good idea for me to talk to the Red Sox about their GM job?’’
I don't know Shank - you wrote a book with him. Why don't you give him a god damned phone call and ask him? This isn't difficult or time-consuming.

As far as others in baseball are concerned, he either a) was too flippin' lazy to make a few calls and see if he can at least pick up a vibe / pattern from talking to some people, or b) everyone else in baseball thinks Shank's an asshole and won't return his calls.

One other thing - general manager or the team manager, whatever - Shank will get the vapors and bitch about the process / time length whenever the Red Sox go looking for managerial talent. It's just another part of his schtick.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Blame Game

If it weren't for the fact that there's always a losing team, Shank would have nothing to write about.

Damn straight, prescient commenter - this is a constant refrain in these parts. It also helps a lot to pin blame on one guy, Bill Buckner style:
It was a holiday festival at the Garden Monday. It’s not every day the home team wins and you see a guy score four goals in one game.

With lots of families on hand for the Columbus Day matinee, David Pastrnak found the back of the net four times and the Bruins improved to 5-1-0 with a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Brad Marchand, the goat of Game 7 in June, had assists on two of the goals and seems to be on a mission to get back to the Cup Finals. Marchand has five assists and four goals in the last five games.
How big of a goat is he, Shank?
And then it all went away in the final seconds of the first period when Marchand, after making a faint effort to check Blues winger Jaden Schwartz, inexplicably skated to the bench in the closing seconds of the period. This left the Bruins shorthanded, and Alex Pietrangelo took a pass from Schwartz, skated free toward the net, and potted a backhand past a defenseless Tuukka Rask.
My hockey buddy John mentioned this one salient fact - St. Louis physically beat the shit out of the Bruins in that series. I did pick up on that when I was watching it, but John's assessment makes it official. Yes, it's another ill-informed Bruins column that he manages to whiff on.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Waxing Nostalgic, New York Giants Edition

With the New England Patriots on TV tonight, Shank gives us another walk down memory lane.
The Giants, remember, are a big part of New England football history

The New York Giants, who will play the 5-0 Patriots Thursday night at Gillette Stadium, are a big part of New England’s football history. Your awareness of Patriots-Giants linkage depends on your age.

If you are a Gen X or Millennial Patriots fan, you know that the Giants ruined the greatest season in franchise history, beating the undefeated Patriots in Glendale, Ariz., in February 2008. You know they beat the Patriots in another Super Bowl four years later in Indianapolis. This makes you hate Eli Manning, and curse the lucky catches of David Tyree and Mario Manningham.

Maybe you have read some history and are aware that Bill Belichick coached with the Giants for 12 seasons and won his first two Super Bowls in the Meadowlands.
Quite a few times, Shank!

Monday, October 07, 2019

DHL Dan XC - Painfully Uninformed

...and that might be a big understatement:
Why we can’t tell how good the Patriots are, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces while watching the gluten-free, Red Sox-free baseball playoffs . . .

■ It is impossible to tell how good the Patriots are because of the historically bad level of the teams they have played. Truly unbelievable. The aggregate record of the Patriots’ five opponents thus far is 5-18. There are only four winless teams in the NFL, and the Patriots have played three of them in the first five weeks.

Patriots fans, ever-sensitive and protective of The Wall, don’t like the Tomato Can narrative, but it has never been more applicable. In five weeks, the Patriots have faced the wretched of the wretched. Terrible coaches and quarterbacks. Every week.
Actually, there are a number of indicators, the first one being the Patriots are the only 5 - 0 team in the NFL. The Patriots have scored 155 points so far this season, second only to the Ravens with 161. Conversely, the Patriots have allowed a total of 34 points this season. The next two closest teams to that mark are the 49ers (3 games played, 54 points allowed) with the Buffalo Bills next (4 games, 70 points) and the lowest total for a five-game team are the Titans at 76. I'd say that's sufficient to answer Shank's question - they're the best team in the NFL as it stands now but somehow that doesn't seem to register at all with him. As a wise man once said, 'you are what your record says you are'.

Secondly, I'll say this - I don't believe Shank has watched much of the Patriots this year. My observation over the years about Shank's engagement with the Patriots can be determined by two things - game day tweets and columns about Patriots games. To this point in the year he's only done game day tweets last week (Pats at Bills) and he's written no columns about a Patriots game this year. Way to shed that label of being lazy prick!

The rest of the Picked-Up Pieces column shows a heavy interest in baseball and the Red Sox and the usual odd tidbits here and there.

And now for the piece de resistance - if you still have doubts about Shank being an asshole, I can remove that doubt with one sentence:
■ November’s Vanity Fair has an excellent lengthy feature on Bob Kraft’s visits to Orchids of Asia before last year’s AFC Championship game.
Like I said - what possible motive would Shank have to write that sentence other than to stab Bob Kraft yet again in print? What are the odds of the Boston Globe or Shaughnessy mentioning this effete snob magazine's 'excellent lengthy feature' at least a few more times over the next couple of weeks?

Oh - almost forgot one:
■ Brad Stevens knows we all want Tacko Fall to be the 12th man on the Celtics roster. “Everybody wants Tacko,’’ said the coach. “My kids are the same way.” Tacko has to be better than Greg Kite, right?
Who wants to tell Shank that current NBA rosters now have fifteen players and have been for quite some time?

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Even His Stories Are Old

Shank hasn't written a column in over a week (for which we should be thankful); might as well tell some old war stories, right?

Friday, October 04, 2019

And Now For Some Print Media Bashing

Shank's former employer for one year (2010 - 2011), Sports Illustrated, has announced the sacking of half of its staff:
Things at Sports Illustrated are getting ugly.

Thursday has been a tumultuous day at the company, starting with initial layoff meetings earlier this morning postponed minutes before they were supposed to begin. Hours later, SI’s staff put out a statement of support for each other and against any potential layoffs at the company. Shortly after that statement was released, the layoffs began.
Shank, of course, was himself shown the door by Sports Illustrated back in October / November 2011 when it became obvious that he started mailing in columns and rehashing his Globe columns into CNN / SI columns halfway through that one year stretch.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Great Early Gameday Calls, By Dan Shaughnessy

The game, of course, was close with a final score of Patriots 16, Bills 10.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Shank Pulls His Punches Again

Well, to the extent he can actually punch, I suppose...

The owners of the Boston Red Sox, avoiding any public discussion about the firing of then-general manager David Dombrowski, finally broke that spell late yesterday afternoon in a classic Friday evening news dump:
Sox owners finally field questions, but spare the clear answers

You say Tomato . . . I say (Tomato Cans? - ed) Bridge Year.

Almost three weeks after firing World Series winning GM Dave Dombrowski, Red Sox (and Globe) owner John Henry finally had a press conference at Fenway late Friday afternoon, before the start of the season-ending series against the moribund Baltimore Orioles.

I’d like to tell you that this session answered all of our questions about the firing of Dombro and the future of the team, but that would be an alternate reality. Accompanied by ubiquitous wingman Tom Werner and CEO Sam Kennedy, Henry (and Werner) responded to 26 minutes of inquiries, but it was a tad confusing and intentionally ambiguous. These guys rarely talk to us and, when they do, sometimes it feels like they are speaking a foreign language. It was an awkward, sometimes bizarre press conference.
Shank did have some questions, primary among them this one:
I asked if this meant the Red Sox are headed for the dreaded Bridge Year.
Three weeks ago, however, Shank didn't seem to have any questions at all about the firing:
Fair or unfair, this felt inevitable. I wrote last month that I would be shocked if Dombrowski was still GM next year and those words were greeted with stony silence on Jersey Street. No one came to the defense of a boss that had just won the World Series and had finished in first place in each of his first three full seasons.
Granted, three weeks between events allows for a few questions to develop but every time I see a journalist 'demanding answers' or 'they need to explain themselves', it's pretty obvious that most of the time they're looking for a groveling apology or something as servile. By the time the column's over, it's clear that Shank does not actually mention any unanswered questions, only his 'disappointment' over the three week delay between Dombrowski getting axed and this press conference. That's probably the best route to take when you're more or less questioning (or not) the guy who writes your paycheck every week.

Friday, September 27, 2019

A Heckling Opportunity Presents Itself

Guess who's coming to my hometown today?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Looks Like Today Is National Goofy Haircut Day

Presented without comment, which doesn't mean you can't comment!

DHL Dan LXXXIX (?) - It's Shetland Pony Time Again, Part Deux

(The above Roman numeral indicating approximate times Shank got morally righteous in one of his columns - your mileage may vary!)

This has not been a decent run for the Boston Globe the past several days since Antonio Brown was released by the New England Patriots. After an initial attempt to criticize the team for bringing Brown on in the first place, Shank's little sister (aka Tara Shaughnessy Sullivan) tries the same lame trick.

Naturally, Shank doubles down on beating a dead horse and disguises it (not very well) as a semi-Picked Up Pieces-type column but injects a new twist - he's gonna criticize his boss as well, likely after being given the green light to do so:
We need answers from team ownership on a couple of matters
What do you mean 'we', kemosabe? And what kind of 'answers' do you seek, besides a groveling apology or two?
Some talking points regarding local sports ownership and accountability . . .
Yes, 'talking points' - a general set list of things to say and cutesy catchphrases that are first passed around to all 'journalists' in a manner reminiscent of the Journolist from the previous decade. Now they just do it via e-mail, once they got busted and exposed for their Borg-like hive mind mentality.
■ The Patriots and Bob Kraft have been in the news plenty over the past couple of weeks. Relatively speaking, it has allowed the Red Sox to skate free. Two weeks ago, the night the Red Sox fired their president of baseball operations, the Patriots were in the early hours of their Antonio Brown romance, raising a championship banner on the night they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season opener.

The firing of Dombrowski largely got lost in the subsequent two-week AB train wreck, but it’s worth discussing at this critical time in Sox franchise history. We can debate the strengths and weaknesses of Dombro forever; it won’t change the fact that he is gone. But we still have yet to hear a single word from team ownership.
I sent the Sox/Globe owner an e-mail requesting comment on this. Nothing yet. But he is a busy guy.
How convenient! Dan's pulling his punches with his boss - totally predictable. Now that this boilerplate critique of the Red Sox is behind him, let's introduce the headline act:
■ Now on to Kraft and Brown. Like the Red Sox on a GM, Patriot ownership has said nothing about Brown. Instead, we get planted suggestions from Friends of Bob. The first one came on game day in Miami when we read that “there’s no way Robert would have agreed to this if he knew about AB’s baggage.’’

Swell, but Kraft always had the ability to put a stop to the AB plan and willingly allowed Brown to play against the Dolphins.

It should be noted that Brown was no longer an employee of the Patriots when he went on his Twitter attack of Kraft.
Can we get back to the playing field now?
Does that shift of stance make any sense? Shank gets on his 'high horse' demanding answers right off the bat but by the end of the column, he just wants things to be over and 'get back to the playing field'. That would be easier to do without passive-aggressive columns like this one.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

It's Shetland Pony Time Again

Did you think the Patriots releasing Antonio Brown would go down without Shank firing a few rounds at them? Hell no!
Patriots get no points for releasing Antonio Brown

I’m wondering if Antonio Brown gets a Super Bowl ring at Bob Kraft’s house next year.

And I’m wondering if the fans who purchased Antonio Brown jerseys from the Patriot Pro Shop for $99.99 will get their money back.

Hope not. The grinning, dopey guy we featured on these pages Friday — hoisting his No. 17 Patriots jersey at Gillette Stadium — deserves a
financial hit for abject stupidity.

On Friday afternoon, when it became obvious that the Brown situation was only going to get worse, the Patriots finally, grudgingly caved and released the talented but toxic wideout.

In this instance, the Patriots failed to do anything when it mattered.
I could not disagree more. The moment 'when it mattered' was Brown's first act of assholishness (for lack of a better phrase) while a member of the Patriots. Brown was given a shot at redemption by the Patriots, and he screwed it up. Naturally, this is completely ignored by Shank, who uses the rest of the column to lambaste as many people in the Patriots organization as reasonably possible.

Life's real easy when your whole schtick is second guessing everybody and piling on.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Watch Shank Squirm

On his weekly borefest radio appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub this morning, Shank wasn't allowed to sleepwalk and re-read his columns during the two hours he was on today:

Partial squirmage can be found here:

Links to the Shank segments can be found here (first hour and second hour).

I'm wondering how things will play out from here. I don't know if this is a one-off from Beetle or if he keeps the pressure on him next week.

Either way, I'm making a prediction - Shank's days on that program are numbered.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

He Who Sits In A Glass House

...should not throw stones:

Reader reaction was as expected:

Something tells me that Shank won't be fielding that last question.

I'm Here To Ruin Your Morning Coffee

Retweeted by Shank a few minutes ago; you have been warned...
Sometimes I get the impression that a columnist who once wrote 'I write for the fans' didn't really mean it.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Today's column has Shank waxing rhapsodically about Carl Yastrzemski's grandson.
In the old days, it would have been Sherm Feller, Fenway’s voice of God, making the majestic announcement from upstairs in the PA booth.

Now batting . . . Number 8, Carl Yastrzemski. Left field. Yastrzemski.

Tuesday night at Fenway Park, Henry Mahegan will do the honors when Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski (No. 5 in your program) steps into the same batter’s box where his grandfather, Carl, stood all those years ago.

“It will be the first time since 1983 that the name ‘Yastrzemski’ will be announced,’’ says Grandpa Yaz, now 80. “It’s definitely going to be emotional. To see him come into Fenway Park where I played for 23 years, to have his name announced, that will be a great thrill for me.’’\

It might just be the highlight of this sorry Red Sox season.
Isn't that a nice touch?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

It's Shetland Pony Time

My only surprise about Shank criticizing the New England Patriots over the Antonio Brown situation is that it's taken this long for him to respond:
Two days after killing Odin Lloyd, Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez looked into the eyes of Bob Kraft and lied.

“He said he was not involved,’’ Kraft testified in court in Fall River in 2015. “He said he was innocent.’’

Kraft later said that he was “duped’’ by Hernandez, who was eventually convicted of murder. Kraft told us he was duped when he gave Hernandez a $37 million contract extension. He was duped when Hernandez donated $50,000 to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund. He was duped when Hernandez said that the Patriot Way had changed his life.

Here we are again. It is not murder this time. It is a rape allegation. There is no criminal complaint. This is a “he-said-she-said” civil lawsuit filed against wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Of course this comes after other Globies are providing cover fire for Shank to do this relatively unnoticed.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Shank On Former Red Sox Boss Dave Dombrowski

Unable to rag on the New England Patriots after last night's 33-3 stomping of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Shank sets his sights on the former Sox president of baseball operations.
Dave Dombrowski is out as baseball boss of the Red Sox.

The news broke after midnight that Boston’s president of baseball operations had been fired.

Fair or unfair, this felt inevitable. I wrote last month that I would be shocked if Dombrowski was still GM next year and those words were greeted with stony silence on Jersey Street. No one came to the defense of a boss that had just won the World Series and had finished in first place in each of his first three full seasons.

Dombrowski did exactly what he was hired to do when the Sox brought him on board in the summer of 2015. He traded prospects for veteran talent. He signed big name free agents. He threw around contract extensions like fun-sized Halloween candies. He ignored draft and development. And he ignored a lot of the people who worked at Fenway Park.
To some extent, one of the ignored people also included Shank himself. Curious that this column seems to lay all the blame for this season's performance at his feet; nary a word about the players themselves. That part of it doesn't matter, as long as Shank has his fall guy.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Shank's First Salvo At The 2019 New England Patriots

Shank, channeling Sigmund Freud, has the New England Patriots all figured out:
Why Bill Belichick and the Patriots fit our self-image

A sixth championship banner will be unveiled at Gillette Stadium Sunday night before the Patriots kick off their 2019 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As ever, Patriot Nation is smug, arrogant, and oh so satisfied.
I am convinced that the 21st- century Patriots are New England’s favorite team not just because they win, but because they reinforce the local notion that Bostonians are smarter than everybody else.
Jump on the Antonio Brown train wreck? Of course:
How smart? Get a load of this, America. The Patriots just signed Antonio Brown, the best receiver in the NFL and an egomaniacal misfit who acted his way out of Pittsburgh and Oakland in the last six months. It’s going to be all good with Brown now. In Foxborough, he will become an Eagle Scout — Mr. Team Above Self. He will suddenly be a guy who is all about winning and nothing else, simply because he has chosen to be part of the Patriot Way.
Who knew Shank read books?
Blame it on Oliver Wendell Holmes if you must. The Harvard-educated poet and humorist (and father of the legendary Supreme Court justice) is credited with first referencing the State House as “The Hub of the Solar System’’ in the Atlantic Monthly, which begat Boston becoming “The Hub of the Universe.’’
Maybe someone cribbed that stuff for him? That's my bet.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

DHL Dan LXXXVIII - The One Where Shank Complains About Nearly Everything

You know what the result is of Shank taking a mini-vacation towards the end of the summer? A picked-up pieces column, of course!

What is amazing about this particular 'effort'is that Shank manages to complain about damn near everything under the sun, including Major League Baseball, the Red Sox, TB12, other NFL franchises (sans 'Tomato Can' references), and sundry others. He's one miserable dude, but you knew that already.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

When Sports And Politics Collide, Bob Cousy Edition

Leave it to Shank to turn Bob Cousy's White House visit (where he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom) into a political editorial:
In the last few years, Cousy has urged everyone he knows to read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me,’’ which is a letter from the author to his teenage son about feelings and realities associated with being black in the United States.
This being the Boston Globe, there's an Elizabeth Warren ad right below that paragraph.

After graciously accepting his medal, Cousy stood at a podium in front of a portrait of Abraham Lincoln and delivered a five-minute speech. The Celtics legend thanked everyone profusely, including the Holy Cross Jesuits for installing his moral compass, then concluded his remarks with, “This is special because it is being presented by the most extraordinary president in my lifetime.”

The seemingly reverential remark infuriated some Cousy loyalists, including former Worcester Telegram columnist John Gearan, who fired off a mass e-mail, writing (in part), “My lifelong hero, Bob Cousy, has fallen from his pedestal and crashed into smithereens.”

Not so fast, everybody. The statement by Cousy was carefully crafted. Look up the word “extraordinary’’ in the dictionary. In my Google search, it comes up as “1. Very unusual or remarkable.’’

There you go. Would anyone disagree that President Trump is “very unusual”?

It was a perfectly gracious and ambiguous remark. Everybody heard what they wanted to hear.
Well, this guy's heard enough from Shank for the weekend.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

I'll Take 'Giant Stuffed Dolls' for $800, Alex

They seem like a happy bunch nowadays, which was certainly NOT the case when Clemens pitched for the Red Sox:

Here's when that all changed.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Preemptive Burial

With Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale now out of the starting lineup, Shank breaks out the backhoe on their season.
Chris Sale says he has been assured there is no tear in his elbow. No ligament damage. His elbow pain is merely inflammation. Everything will be reevaluated in four to six weeks.
So there’s no need for Tommy John surgery . . . at this time.

“We’ll get through this,’’ Sale said Tuesday afternoon in the Red Sox clubhouse. “It’s not the end of the world. Could be worse.

You say good news.

I say it’s potentially a disaster, having more to do with the future than the present.

The 2019 baseball season — a train wreck for Sale and the Red Sox — is over. There’s still north of 30 games to play and nothing’s official, but everyone knows there’s not going to be any postseason for the Red Sox and we are not going to see Sale in another game this year.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Some Things Never Change

1) Shank creating controversy where there was none before, 2) displaying mid-season Patriots trolling form and 3)…

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Looks Like I Didn't Miss Much Here

I just got out of the hospital after spending five days at Beth Israel Deaconess for a cardiovascular problem that's been largely resolved. My normal daily routine involves reading lots of blogs and websites and small amounts of TV for keeping up on news and current events. Instead I watched a lot of CNBC, Bloomberg Business, ESPN, the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel. The latter two channels were amusing in that if there's an episode on with strange unexplained natural phenomena like crop circles or some such, it was explained by 'could it be... ALIENS???'

By way of contrast, Dan Shaughnessy is quite predictable to the point of boredom and parody, hence the reasons this website's been around for fifteen years now. How predictable is he? Well, I'll let him tell it:
Keeping up with the times is a challenge for this ancient sportswriter

We are all young when we start in this business of writing about professional sports; younger than the players.

I remember being petrified and intimidated, trying to ask questions of grizzled vet Carl Yastrzemski when I was 21 years old in 1975.

Dave Cowens — only four years older than me — was already an NBA MVP by the time I got to his locker in 1976. He told me my inquiry was a “high school question.’’ He was right. I was nervous, nerdy, and not ready.

Now I go into those same rooms and most of the players are younger than my own children.

I turned 66 last month. This means I am three times older than Rafael Devers. Not a little bit older. Not twice as old. Three times as old. For every day Rafael Devers has been on this earth, I have been here three days.

But now I am three times older than Rafael Devers and I’m still here. (Don’t get your hopes up, this is not a retirement announcement.)
So much for the early Christmas present!

Actually, it's a pretty good column and that could be from a number of factors - he's not shitting on one of the local pro teams & players, and... well, maybe that's the only compelling factor. We see this 'old grizzled veteran sportswriter' type of column every couple of months, one of his half-dozen or so column templates.

Then again, his other column is right back to the business at hand - complaining about the Red Sox:
The Red Sox foolishly rested their starting pitchers in March and April in expectation that they would have more in the tank for October.

Now there is not going to be an October, so Alex Cora probably will be able to shut down Chris Sale and David Price in the final weeks of this lost season.

Sunday at Fenway was one of those maddening losses that so typifies this annoying Red Sox season. The S.S. Dombrowski extended its trip to nowhere and made it clear that there will be no games for this team in October.
In summary, what we don't have here is a case of plus ca change - it just stays the same, without ever changing, and that's Shank in a nutshell.