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.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

DHL Dan LXXXVII - Piling On Some More

Since it's still a bit too early for Shank to take a crap on the New England Patriots, he's reached just about the six foot level in burying the 2019 Boston Red Sox.
Dave Dombrowski may have to take the fall for Red Sox’ falloff

Picked-up pieces while planning a rare October vacation . . .

■ I’ll be shocked if Dave Dombrowski is back with the Red Sox next season. Boston’s president of baseball operations has increasingly isolated himself with pals Frank Wren and Tony La Russa and has few friends inside Fenway’s walls. Dombrowski is under contract for just one more season.

When you have the top payroll in baseball and don’t make the playoffs, somebody has to go. Alex Cora isn’t going anywhere. Dombrowski has been exactly what we thought he would be. He delivered a championship. But he gets the blame for the Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi contracts and for failing to address the bullpen need. He’s clearly not the guy to oversee a much-needed farm system rebuild.
Was I just saying something about Shank not crapping on the Patriots? Boy, was I WRONG!
■ Fans who don’t think Bill Parcells should be in the Patriots Hall of Fame are irrational, immature, or just too young to know anything.

The Krafts want you to think they are the ones who turned the franchise around. No. Everything changed when Parcells was hired by then-owner James Orthwein. Parcells delivered instant credibility and got a 2-14 team into a Super Bowl in four seasons. He brought Bill Belichick to New England. He drafted Lawyer Milloy, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, Curtis Martin, and Willie McGinest.

Parcells left on bad terms after Kraft betrayed him, instructing Bobby Grier to make a first-round draft pick behind Parcells’s back.

Ask yourselves this, Parcells haters: How would Belichick have handled things if Kraft ordered Nick Caserio to overrule Belichick on draft day — without informing Belichick of what was going to happen?
Naturally, that is not the entire story about the Bill Parcells Era with the Patriots. Shank left a few things out in making his pitch.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Piling On, By Dan Shaughnessy

Nothing brings more joy to Shank than a Red Sox tailspin.
Collapsing Red Sox more about MIA stars than missed calls

NEW YORK — In 2019, the Yankees are Chris Sale’s Daddy.

Lurching into the fifth month of the worst season of his career — after signing a five-year, $145 million contract extension — Sale imploded on the Yankee Stadium mound Saturday afternoon. He gave up eight runs and nine hits in 3⅔ innings of a 9-2 loss.

When it was still a 1-1 game in the fourth, Sale got squeezed by umpire Mike Estabrook on an 0-and-2 pitch to Gio Urshela that appeared to be strike three. Sale fumed. He wound up surrendering a line single to Urshela. After getting the next man out, Sale yielded five consecutive hits. He got his manager ejected. He got taken out of the game by his acting manager. Then he got himself ejected.
More of the same at the link.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Not At A Loss (For Words)

Five game losing streak by the Red Sox (and a sixth on the horizon)? You bet Shank is all over it:
NEW YORK — Let’s not exaggerate. The Red Sox have endured worse weeks than the one we just witnessed. There was January 1934 when a large portion of Fenway Park burned down in the aftermath of a 63-86 season. There was 1983 when Buddy LeRoux staged an ownership coup on the same night the club was honoring Tony Conigliaro, who had lapsed into a coma. There was the day the Sox hired Joe Kerrigan as their manager. And let’s not forget that fateful week in 2011 when the Sox fired Terry Francona after a collapse owed to chicken and beer.

When a team has been around since 1901, there’s a high bar for low moments, but this past week in Sox World was pretty darned bad. The defending champs appeared demoralized by their front office’s inability to acquire pitching help at the trading deadline. Baseball boss Dave Dombrowski delivered a message that he doesn’t believe in the 2019 Sox and the players responded accordingly, losing five straight for the first time since a last-place season in 2015.
Quick column summary for you tl;dr types - it's all Dombrowski's fault.