Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Fall is when you bring your family out to apple orchards and pick some apples. In that spirit, Shank again reaches for low hanging fruit:

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

If It's Tuesday...'s time once again for Shank to pile on the Red Sox (and pitcher Chris Sale in particular): I wonder if Shank ran similar numbers on Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodriguez? Actually, I don't - that would require too much work and likely not give Shank a cudgel with which to use to beat up on the Red Sox. You almost have to admire his selective use of statistics (i.e., Sale not pitching against the Yankees & White Sox, 1-8 record).

Friday, September 24, 2021

DHL Dan CLIII - So Good, So Good!

With a slight play on the song that annoys Shank so much, here's his latest on the weekend series between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees:
It’s not the glory days of Sox-Yankees 2003-04, but it’s still good, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces while waiting one more week for the return of Tom Brady …

▪ I find myself wondering if Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez will be back at Fenway for Red Sox-Yankees this weekend.

Eighteen years ago, with “Gigli” bombing at the box office, Ben and Jen had the best seats in the house at the height of the Sox-Yankees rivalry. It was Oct. 11, 2003, Game 3 of the ALCS, when the Sox and Yankees drew SRO crowds, delivered great TV ratings, and featured true star power (Jeter, Clemens, Mussina, Rivera, Pedro, Papi, Nomar, Manny — where do we stop?).
With Neil Diamond, perhaps?
On the day Bennifer watched from Henrytown seats next to the Sox dugout, Pedro Martinez and the Rocket had dustups with Karim Garcia and Manny Ramirez, and 72-year-old Don Zimmer was shucked to the Fenway lawn after bullrushing Pedro.

A lot has happened since those days. After losing that ‘03 series in tragic fashion (Aaron Boone’s walkoff vs. Tim Wakefield), the Sox roared back in October of 2004 and shattered the Curse of the Bambino with the greatest comeback in the history of baseball — at the expense of the Yankees.
It must've shattered certain book sales as well, which is the kind of collateral damage we can all enjoy.

If you're up for digs at the Patriots (both former and current) and Covid (AKA the Wuhan Virus), read on.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - LXXIV

As was said by Henry Kissenger about Iraq and Iran during their war in the 1980's, 'it's a pity both sides can't lose':
Members of the Boston Newspaper Guild, which represents the newsroom and advertising staff at the Globe, stood outside WBUR's auditorium at Comm. Ave. and St. Paul Street this evening as Globe CEO Linda Pizzuti Henry was inside speaking on a panel titled "Trailblazers: Women news leaders from Katherine Graham to today," led by NPR's Robin Young - who asked if she wanted to say anything about the guild's lack of a contract for three years now. Henry said the panel was not the place to discuss labor issues.
In other news, Linda Pizzuti Henry, who married into the gig, is somehow considered a 'trailblazer' in 'women's news leaders'.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Disingenuous Column Premise Time

With a much anticipated football game less then two weeks away, Shank's revving up the hype early and is back on the Tom Brady bandwagon:
Tom Brady is better at 44 than he was at 24, and it’s amazing

It’s the only thing we’re going to be talking about a week from now, so let’s get ahead of it and state the obvious: Tom Brady is coming to Foxborough Oct. 3 and it’s going to be the most in-your-face moment in the storied history of New England sports.

Bill Belichick was wrong. Bob Kraft was wrong. I certainly was wrong. Brady not only has left us and thrived — winning another Super Bowl last year while the Patriots didn’t make the playoffs — but he will return to Gillette Stadium as a 44-year-old professional athlete playing the best football of his career.

I give up. Bill and Bob have to give up, too. Brady in 2021 is better than he was in 2007 when the Patriots went 18-0. He is better than he was when he was on the Deflategate revenge tour. He is better than he was in his 20s or his 30s. In this, his 22nd NFL season, he is better than he has ever been.
This here link is just a reminder of all the times Shank has said, shall we say, less then flattering things about his newly found man crush.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Disingenuous Question Time

Do you have a minute or two for Shank's latest bullshit about the Boston Red Sox?
It’s not the losing or the defense that makes it hard for me to embrace these Red Sox — it’s something else

Are you loving these Red Sox?

They are right in the thick of things for a wild-card game — a one-game bakeoff vs. the Yankees or Blue Jays on Tuesday, Oct. 5. They would pitch indominable Chris Sale in that game, which means they could advance to the first round of the American League playoffs. That’s pretty good after a last-place finish in 2020.

So why have they not captured the love and loyalty of the region? What’s missing? What it is we do not trust about this Local Nine?
Please - this guy spent the past seven months criticizing and / or outright shitting the team on many levels and now has the nerve to churn out Grade A bullshit like this?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

We're Halfway There

Dan Shaughnessy Watch, September 4, 2021:
I'm kind of bored with the column already (again, we've heard it already ad nauseum), but suffice to say Shank will be singing a different tune if the Patriots lose two in a row.
Dan Shaughnessy, an hour or so ago:
No doubt Mac Jones is the future, but this is a game the Patriots always used to win

Mac Jones, the Future of the Patriots, arrived at Gillette Stadium Sunday and played like a guy who someday may bring grid glory back to New England.

Making his NFL debut against the Miami Dolphins, Jones was just about everything Pats fans were hoping he would be. He demonstrated accuracy (29 for 39, 281 yards, no interceptions), pocket presence, and good decision-making. He took hits, and moved the football downfield. He put the Patriots in position to win.

But the Patriots lost, 17-16. In excruciating fashion.

Late in the game, Kid Jones looked like he was going to lead the Pats to one of those old-timey Brady comeback wins. The Patriots were storming toward the Miami goal line with just over three minutes left. They had a first and 10 from the Miami 11. And then running back Damien Harris fumbled.
He forgets (conveniently or otherwise) an earlier Patriots fumble which did much the same thing. Or could it have been blamed on the high number of penalties on the Patriots during the game? Not Shank - he'll just go for the low hanging fruit.

To be somewhat fair, he does mention them a few grafs later, but his intention is clear - blame it all on Tom Brady's departure and question Bill Belichick's coacing acumen.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

DHL Dan CLII - The Rookie Column

Seems Shank can't get enough of new Patriots quarterback Mac Jones:
Wondering where Mac Jones will fit among notable Boston rookies, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces while waiting for the start of the Mac Jones era …

▪ Here in Boston sports, the list of our best rookies includes Ted Williams, Walt Dropo, Bill Russell, Tommy Heinsohn, Bobby Orr, Dave Cowens, Larry Bird, Ray Bourque, Fred Lynn, and Nomar Garciaparra. The best Patriots rookies probably were John Hannah, Mike Haynes, Curtis Martin, and Jerod Mayo.

But how many of them were asked to lead? How many of them were asked to get their first professional team to the playoffs? The 18-year-old Orr couldn’t get the Bruins into the playoffs in his rookie season, but of course, we never held it against him. There was so much ahead for the greatest hockey player of all time.

In the pantheon of Boston rookies to lead teams to the playoffs, my freshman four would be Russell, Heinsohn, Bird, and Lynn. Heavy on Celtics, I know, but basketball simply lends itself to team turnarounds triggered by a great new player.
The rest of the column - meh.

The Dwight Evans Seal Of Approval

I was watching the Red Sox / White Sox game tonight when it was mentioned / repeated that current Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe has sixteen assists for the year, drawing praise from another cannon-armed Red Sox right fielder, Dwight Evans.
Hunter Renfroe.

Just like … Dwight Evans.

He throws like Evans. He hits long homers over the Green Monster like Evans. He contributes big moments in September/October games.

Just like … Dwight Evans.

Evans, the homer-hitting, laser-throwing, fan-favorite Red Sox right fielder from the 1970s and 1980s, turns 70 in November and still has a good shot at Cooperstown. He works for the team as a big league instructor almost every spring in Fort Myers, Fla.

Dewey wasn’t able to tutor Renfroe last March because of COVID restrictions (Luis Tiant, Pedro, Yaz, and the rest of the Sox legends were asked to take a year off until things get safe), but was impressed Wednesday with Renfroe’s late-night tour de force against the first-place Rays.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Defense Wins Championships

...but not potentially upcoming one game playoffs:
Red Sox are likely headed to a one-game playoff, but with that defense, how do you like their chances?

They look great waving to teammates in the dugout after reaching base. They take care of each other with the laundry cart ride after every home run.

Now if they could only back up one another when the baseball rattles away from their center fielder. If they could only hit the cutoff man when showing off their cannon from right field. If they could only move the runners over with a routine sac bunt. If they could only handle the baseball like big leaguers. If they could only maintain a full roster of healthy players.

The iron-mitted, COVID-ravaged Red Sox are most likely bound for the one-game playoff, probably with the Yankees on Tuesday, Oct. 5. I haven’t been this sure about anything since announcing that Cam Newton was starting quarterback of the Patriots. The Sox are 79-61 with 22 to play and went into Monday evening with a 2½-game lead for the final wild-card spot.
He sure worked in the requisite amount of digs & cheap shots on those paragraphs, didn't he?
But how do you like their chances in October? These Sox are the worst defensive team among contenders and there are days when Chaim Bloom pays for shopping on Freecycle despite working for one of the wealthiest teams in baseball.

Monday was one of those days. The Sox had a 7-1 lead with Chris Sale on the mound, but managed to lose a 10-inning, clown car contest, 11-10. The Local Nine committed four errors in a four-hour-54-minute Labor Day matinee (appropriate holiday for this slog) that featured 33 hits and 24 runners left on base.
With that, and the Sox doing fairly well (but not wicked awesome) in certain offensive categories, he's right to ring the alram bell a bit, which would be his first good call since the Cam Newon call. Doh!

Saturday, September 04, 2021

DHL Dan CLI - Mr. Excitement

Now that everyone and their brother has weighed in on the New England Patriots new quarterback, Shank gives us a take that's probably been said a hundred times by now.
The Patriots just got a lot more interesting with Mac Jones, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces while counting the hours until the Patriots kick off against the Dolphins next weekend …

▪ Sign me up for the Mac Jones Era. The Patriots officially became the Dos Equis Most Interesting Team In the World when Bill Belichick fired Cam Newton and anointed Jones as New England’s starting quarterback.

Jones is a rookie, a first-round pick, and was a national champion for Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. Now he’s the future of the Patriot franchise. Situations like this don’t come around too often in Foxborough.
I'm kind of bored with the column already (again, we've heard it already ad nauseum), but suffice to say Shank will be singing a different tune if the Patriots lose two in a row.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

The Savior?

I suppose we should enjoy a rare positive Red Sox column from the Globe's eternal critic:
In a time of desperation, Red Sox turn their lonely eyes to Chris Sale, and he delivers
What's a lame song lyrical reference doing here?
It felt like the Red Sox were on the verge of mathematical elimination . . . even though they were still perched in a playoff spot.

It felt like a must win . . . even with 27 more to play and a one-game lead for the second wild-card spot.

All night long the Sox teetered on the edge of defeat. And more dismay. More scorn and discouragement.

But Chris Sale came to the emotional rescue and the reeling Red Sox finally beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2, in the Trop Dome on Wednesday night.

So, the season is not over. There is more baseball to be played.
But are there more lame song lyrics ahead?

There isn't, but I was half hoping for some justification for the Red Sox bringing Sale back slowly from his surgery two years ago. Shank doesn't mention it but he does mention the 2011 Sox (AKA 'Chicken-and-Beer').

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Another Swing And A Miss

Well, not just the fact I missed this one from a few days ago (not on his Twitter feed), but check out this great call:
We shouldn’t have wasted our time wondering. It’s clear who the Patriots will start at quarterback

Cam and Mac. Mac and Cam. It’s been a sports radio talk-a-thon, a gridiron soap opera, getting us through a hot/rainy August while waiting for games that finally count in September.
I don't know about you, but I find that verbiage extremely irritating, lazy and unoriginal.
Why did we waste our time wondering?

The Patriots final preseason game was Sunday night in the Meadowlands against the Giants (a 22-20 Patriot win) and it’s clear there was never any real competition for the job of Patriots’ starting quarterback.

Cam Newton got the start for the Patriots Sunday. Again. Even after a “misunderstanding” that took him away from the team for five days and would have landed any other Patriot a week in the Cooler. Not Cam.
Let's circle back to the beginning of the column:
Update: The Patriots released Cam Newton on Tuesday morning and named Mac Jones the starting quarterback.
Shank was saying something about coolers?