Saturday, August 28, 2021

DHL Dan CL - Conflating Dates

I'm not sure what muddled message is being delivered here:
Oct. 3 could be notable not just for Tom Brady’s return, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces while wondering why needy “Mr. Kraft” needs to commute to Patriots practice via helicopter …
Maybe because he can? Sounds like someone's still butthurt about a certain snub from decades ago.
▪ Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, was one of the great days in New England sports history. As fans filled Fenway Park for a critical evening playoff game with Dave Dombrowski’s Tigers, folks watching TVs at the ballpark saw the Patriots rally from a 27-23 deficit in the final minute against Drew Brees and the undefeated Saints at Gillette Stadium. With no timeouts left, Tom Brady marched the Patriots 70 yards, winning the game with five seconds remaining on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins.

A few hours later at the Fens, with the Sox trailing, 5-1, in the eighth, David Ortiz crushed a tying grand slam into the Red Sox bullpen as Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter went ass-over-teakettle in a futile quest for the catch. The Sox went on to square the AL Championship Series with a 6-5 win and ultimately won the World Series.

Fast-forward eight years and circle Sunday, Oct. 3, on your calendars.
I'm pretty sure one of these dates is not like the other. I see crap like that and it makes me not want to read further; your mileage may vary.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Change Of The Guard?

That's what Shank's thinking, after Cam Newton seems to have fucked things up over the weekend:
Doesn’t Cam Newton’s latest episode give the Patriots enough reason to start Mac Jones?

Call me a dreamer. We all know Mac Jones is the future of the Patriots at quarterback. And now I am hoping he gets moved into the starting job sooner than expected, because the Patriots can’t rely on Cam Newton … because Newton won’t get the vaccine.

The last time Bill Belichick wanted to change quarterbacks, he had Mo Lewis around to get the job done for him. A Lewis hit put veteran Drew Bledsoe in a hospital and Belichick was able to switch to a guy named Tom Brady.

Fast-forward 20 years and allow for the possibility that Belichick again might make a sudden change at quarterback. Is it possible that Newton’s hiatus will give Belichick the reason he needs to switch to Jones?
I recommend this column - Shank presses coach Bill Belichick for answers, which is like getting blood out of a rock, and the column's solid. I think the notion that Mac Jones will eventually become the Patriots starting quarterback at some point this year is pretty much a foregone conclusion around the Boston area; the only question is when.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Joker's Wild

Shank's latest column lurches into Captain Obvious territory:
Forget the Rays and Yankees, it’s all about the wild card now for the Red Sox
This has been obvious for nearly three weeks now; glad he's come around on this one.
Ugh. This is excruciating. Beating the worst teams in baseball has become climbing Kilimanjaro for these 2021 Boston Red Sox. With 127 games down and 35 to play, the Red Sox are still a playoff contender, but there is nothing about them that inspires confidence. And now they have no closer.

It is time to stop worrying about the Yankees (11 straight wins) and the Rays (6½ ahead of the Sox). It’s all about the wild card now. That means checking West Coast scores to see how the A’s and Mariners are doing. Boston, Oakland and Seattle are in a three-team dogfight for the second wild-card spot. In the wake of Tuesday’s 11-9 win over the last-place Twins, the Sox have a two-game lead over the A’s for the final wild-card spot. Boston’s lead over Seattle is three.
I'm amazed he didn't work in a Three Dog Night reference. He whiffed - Shank's slipping!
These guys have given winning ugly a whole new meaning. We were told they “turned it around” after they swept the tanking Orioles (Baltimore lost its 19th straight Tuesday) 10 days ago. That turned out to be a myth. After beating the Zer-O’s, the Sox went to New York and got swept. Then they almost lost a three-game series to the 43-81 Rangers before being rescued by Travis (”The Franchise) Shaw’s walkoff grand slam in the 11th. Press box colleague John Tomase correctly termed it, “the most demoralizing walkoff win of the year.’’
No doubt about the ugliness angle, so we'll see if the Sox make the playoffs or if Shank goes DEFCON 1 with a possible losing streak.

Monday, August 23, 2021

DHL Dan CXLIX - The Next Boston Championship

Nothing like useless, half-assed and inconclusive speculation for some column inches with your latest mail-in job:
Which team will win Boston’s next championship, and other observations

Picked-up pieces while wondering whether we’ll ever again hear from Red Sox ownership on anything . . .

It’s been a full 30 months since our last duck boat parade (Patriots, February 2019). So which team wins our next championship?


Red Sox?



Not easy, is it?

We know we are spoiled. There have been 12 titles in this century. Starting with Super Bowl XXXVI, when 24-year-old Tom Brady and Co. shocked the world in New Orleans, we’ve never been far from the winner’s circle. All four teams won a championship in a stretch of six years and four months. No city will ever do that. The longest drought of this century was three years (2008 Celtics-2011 Bruins).
Remeber when Shank was criticizing the Red Sox for holding back pitcher Chris Sale from starts against the Yankees and Tampa Bay? Looks like he forgot all about it:
▪ Alex Cora was insistent that Chris Sale have a soft landing in his return to the big leagues after missing two years and undergoing Tommy John surgery. So, instead of starting Sale against the Rays on his normal fifth day — which would have subsequently put him in Yankee Stadium last Tuesday or Wednesday — the Sox held back Sale so that he could pitch at home against the Orioles (38-83) and Rangers (42-80) in his first two games. Sale beat the Orioles, 16-2, and the Rangers, 6-0, pitching five innings in each game. On the day Sale could have returned, the Sox were beaten by the Rays, 8-1. The Sox then lost all three games in the Bronx, when Sale also could have pitched. Obviously, Sox were taking the long view here.
That's an angle Shank either refused to consider a few weeks ago or (more likely) left it aside so he could continue to shit on the Red Sox.

The rest of the column is the usual grab bag of stuff.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Starter

Shank rips off Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal, who appeared on the Felger & Mazzarotti show yesterday and said Cam Newton will be the Week One starter for the New England Patriots, and now so does Shank:
It was only preseason. By any definition, meaningless.

But Cam Newton on Thursday night in Philadelphia played like a man who’d heard enough about rookie hot shot Mac Jones. Newton helped his cause. And there seems to be little doubt he is going to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback at the start of the season.

We know by now that Bill Belichick loves Newton the way he loves Lawrence Taylor, special teams play, and the Army-Navy football game. Newton returned the love in Philly, completing 8 of 9 passes for 103 yards and putting two touchdowns on the board in the first quarter of New England’s second preseason game against the Eagles.
You can read the rest of it if you missed the game; if you watched the game, you already know that the rest of the column's a standard game recap (read - BORING!).

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Right On Cue

We didn't even have to wait for tonight's game:

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Reverse Tomato Cans

Longtime readers of Dan Shaughnessy Watch are familiar with Shank's use of the phrase 'tomato can', which is the notion that one of our teams (usually the Patriots) are so good they should just roll their opponents. This notion is now being turned on its ear:
Yes, the Yankees have looked pretty bad at times this year. But still ...

Red Sox fans have enjoyed the pain and pratfalls of the Yankees this season.

The upstart Bostons pantsed the Yankees twice in June, sweeping a three-game set in the Bronx and another at Fenway June 25-27. When the Red Sox took the field in Oakland on the night of July 3, they led the Yankees by a whopping 10 games.

The Sox improved to 7-0 against New York with a shutout win at Yankee Stadium July 16. The Yanks finally snapped the string the next day, but as recently as July 25, the then-first place Red Sox had a nine-game lead over New York. The Sox own a 10-3 season advantage and have outscored their rivals, 61-43.

When the Yankees went out and got Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo at the trade deadline while the Sox did little, Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy laughed and said, “They had to be active because I think they are 3-10 against us.” The American League East looks very different now as the Red Sox prepare for three games in two days at Yankee Stadium beginning Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.
Thus the table is set - the Yankees suck, and if they win two games or the whole three game series, Shank gets another chance to take a monster dump on the Red Sox. Just in case you're not convinced of that:
Personally, I can’t wait. I can’t wait for these three games in two days, and the delicious, very real possibility of a one-game playoff at Fenway between the Red Sox and Yankees in the first game of October.

Just like in 1978.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

DHL Dan CXLVIII - Stating The Obvious

Yup - Shank's definitely on the Patriots bandwagon:
Picked-up pieces while dreaming about a one-game wild-card playoff between the Red Sox and Yankees in the first week of October …

▪ The Red Sox were putting the finishing touches on their 8-1 loss to the Rays at Fenway Park just after the dinner hour Thursday while the Patriots were welcoming fans to humid Gillette Stadium for the first time in 586 days.

The Sox were losing for the 11th time in 14 games, turning a five-game lead into a five-game deficit after giving us nothing more than a little eyewash at the trade deadline. Alex Cora’s men managed only two hits the day after scoring 20 runs, and Cora was discovering the ineptitude of the meatball-artist relievers Chaim Bloom gave him at the deadline.
The telltale sign is further in the column; the use of the royal 'we' to describe Patriots fans, as though he's one of them.

New Kid On The Block

Is Shank hopping on the bandwagon early this year?
I have seen the Patriots’ future, and its name is Mac Jones.

OK, that’s a little overstated.

It was only an NFL exhibition game, the most blatant example of consumer fraud in sports today. It was only five series of downs. Jones did not throw for a touchdown. He did not run for a touchdown. He completed 13 of 19 passes (11 straight at one point) for 87 yards against the Washington Football Team in New England’s 22-13 win on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

This was not Tom Brady taking over for Drew Bledsoe and leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl. It was not Lou Gehrig taking over for Wally Pipp and becoming the greatest first baseman in baseball history.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Connecting On A Pass

THat would be Patrick Pass, former New England Patriot, reminding us of this gem:

A Market Correction

Well, that's one way to describe the recent Red Sox nosedive:
This Red Sox slump is simply a market correction by a team that had been overachieving

On Saturday, July 3, the Red Sox had a five-game first-place lead over Tampa Bay when they took the field for a night game in Oakland. They led the Blue Jays by eight games and the Yankees by a whopping 10 games.

Fast-forward five weeks.

In the wake of Sunday’s hideous loss to Toronto, in which they blew a five-run lead and lost for the ninth time in 11 games, the Sox fell to four games behind the Rays in the American League East. Toronto and New York have pulled within one game of Boston in the loss column.

This is what you call a collapse. An implosion. A Manila folder. Blowing a midsummer division lead makes these Sox a bit of a throwback edition. But the recent slump is nothing like the ghoulish stuff these eyes have seen over six-plus decades of Sox watching.
The rest of it is worth reading, complete with a 'chicken and beer' reference, which is obligatory for a 'Red Sox collapse' column .

Friday, August 06, 2021

Beaten To The Punch

The Red Sox just took a beating in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays and currently trail them by a score of 9 to 2. Imagine my surprise at this retweet by the Shankster:

DHL Dan CXLVII - Skid Row

Our Man Shank predictably points out the most recent losing streak by the Red Sox:
This Red Sox skid seemed inevitable, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces while wondering if maybe Garrett Richards has a case of the “twisties” …

▪ It was only a matter of time before the wheels starting coming off the Red Sox wagon. The reeling Townies went into Toronto this weekend having lost six of seven, seven of nine, and 14 of 25 since July 4 — which was about the time the Sox Twitter account taunted fans and media who did not believe in the team early in the season (”Remember your tweets from the first week of the season? We do.”).

It was only a matter of time because the Fool’s Gold Sox were built on the shaky foundation of a starting rotation with more meatball artists than Mother Anna’s on Hanover Street in the North End.
A line so 'clever', he used it twice! He goes on from there to make good points about the structure / personnel of the team, and how the Red Sox brass basically sat on the sidelines leading up to the trading deadline, so aside from the weak jokes it merits a read.