Friday, December 30, 2022

DHL Dan CLII - Picking Up Where Others Have Left Off

Shank's had nearly a full season of watching Patriots football and sums up what most other people have been talking about for months:
Mac Jones’s reputation has been taking a hit, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces while wishing I saw PelĂ© just once …

▪ What’s up with the Patriots and Mac Jones?

As the Patriots prepare for their penultimate regular-season game vs. the Dolphins at Gillette Sunday, there’s nonstop negative narrative regarding their second-year quarterback.

Mac has regressed in his second season and is one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.

He actually has been bad since the first eight games of his rookie season. That’s a year and a half of bad.

He has been caught on national TV yelling at his coaches and teammates during games.

He couldn’t slow down Chandler Jones on the clown-show final play of the loss to the Raiders.

He presents as insubordinate and defiant of his coach. When Bill Belichick said, “We couldn’t throw it that far,” regarding a possible Hail Mary attempt at the end of the Raiders game, Jones came back a day later and said he could have reached the end zone. ”I know my number,” he said.
The rest of the column is the usual grab bag of stuff, most of it decent to good.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

DHL Dan CLI - Placing Blame

Shank's favorite pastime as applied to the offseason Boston Red Sox:
Don’t blame Chaim Bloom. It’s ownership that did this to the Red Sox, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces while playing Mitch Miller Christmas carols . . .

▪ Chaim Bloom is having a horrible offseason, but he’s not the sole reason the Red Sox are bad.

It’s not Chaim. It’s not Alex Cora or Alex Verdugo. It’s not Joe Castiglione, Wally The Green Monster, or his sister, Tessie.

It’s ownership. It’s John Henry, Tom Werner, and whoever else is directing baseball ops to seek value over winning. Mookie and Xander are gone with virtually nothing in exchange, and the last Sox star — Rafael Devers — has a foot out the door. Fangraphs reports that the Red Sox — ever a top-five spending team — have dropped to 12th in cash payroll.

What is happening to the Red Sox is a direct result of ownership decisions made late in the 2019 season, after Dave Dombrowski was fired. That’s when they decided to put the bottom line above winning. And that’s why the Red Sox — while charging the highest ticket prices in baseball — have only one healthy star left on a team that will be a consensus favorite to finish last for the third time in four seasons.

Monday, December 19, 2022

DHL Dan CL - Charlie At The NCAA

Shank's quick to point out the obvious flaw in this plan:
Good luck, Charlie Baker, you’ve got your work cut out at the NCAA, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces from a week on the dusty trail in Arizona . . .

▪ Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker Thursday was named the new president of the NCAA.

Sheesh. The man who looks like Roger Goodell is now going to try to fix something far more broken than any professional sports league.
As far as them being effective or even innovative managers, I don't see it in either guy. Guys like Goddell and Baker are simply yes-men, have zero history at turning companies / organizations around and nothing of note will happen with Baker heading the NCAA.
Good luck, Charlie. Big-time college sports is a cesspool. The NCAA makes the MBTA look like a well-oiled machine.

When Baker, who could have been governor for life (wrong! - ed.), announced he was stepping down after two terms, I assumed he was preparing to run for president of the United States.
Just what the 2024 field needs - Massachusetts' answer to Jeb Bush in 2016.
No. He’s now president of the NCAA, which could be more challenging than sitting in the Oval Office.

Baker’s now got to deal with the billion-dollar, blatantly professional, borderline criminal greed of big-time college sports while at the same time trying to serve worthy, Division 3 programs with true amateurs playing for the love of the game. It’s like overseeing Brookline Booksmith and Amazon Prime simultaneously.
How unlikely is Charlie Baker to succeed here?
Good luck, Charlie. Your first day on the job is March 1. By Easter you’ll be longing for those golden days of trying to fix the Orange Line.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

She Ain't Exactly Pretty (She Ain't Exactly Small)

Here's Shank on last night's admittedly tough to watch at times Patriots / Cardinals Monday Night football game:
It wasn’t the prettiest football in a place filled with Patriots lore, but Mac Jones and Co. remain in the playoff chase

GLENDALE, Az. — It was injury-plagued, mistake-filled, and sometimes downright unwatchable. But in the end, it was a beautiful thing for New England football fans as the ragged Patriots scored 20 unanswered points in a 27-13 victory over the 4-9 Arizona Cardinals on “Monday Night Football.”

Bill Belichick and Co. are 7-6. Postseason hopes live.

“We did some things better, but we’ve still got a long ways to go,” said Belichick. “It takes everybody, and I thought we kind of had that tonight . . . It’s always good to win. That’s what we practice for.”

Mac Jones (24 for 35, 235 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT) did little to remind anyone of Tom Brady — and he’s still yelling at his own people — but his performance was good enough to keep playoff hopes alive in this tractor-pull season. The Pats have been able to beat bad teams and the Cardinals (losers of five of their last six) certainly qualify. Making things easier for New England, Arizona’s star quarterback, Kyler Murray, suffered a non-contact injury on the third play of the game and never returned.
What Shank means by Mac Jones 'yelling at his own people' are the two clusterfucks 'running' the offense - Matt Patricia and Joe Judge (AKA Beavis & Butthead):

DHL Dan CXLIX - Swing And A Miss On Bogaerts

Shank covers the recent signings (and non-signings) of the Boston Red Sox as they gear up for 2023:
Xander Bogaerts leaving is the latest blow to an enraged Red Sox Nation, and other thoughts

TUCSON — Picked-up pieces while contemplating an Opening Day lineup of Yoshida, Hernandez, Devers, Story, Verdugo, Casas, Hosmer, Arroyo, and Wong.


▪ A lot of you went to bed Wednesday night feeling better about the Red Sox. They’d picked up a legit closer in Kenley Jansen and spent some real money to acquire outfielder Masataka Yoshida from Japan. There was even word from the Winter Meetings of new contract talks with Xander Bogaerts.

Then, while you were sleeping, it was reported that Bogaerts agreed to an 11-year, $280 million deal with the Padres.

An abused and enraged Red Sox Nation awoke to soul-crushing news of another cornerstone player gone with little coming in return. The notion that ownership cares more about money than winning was reinforced.

The Red Sox can afford to keep their best players. They just won’t do it anymore.
Not if it's going to be a contract lasting over a decade, which ought to be understandable. Three other teams are supposed to have been ready with similar bids but a 10+ year contract for a guy who's 30 isn't very logical. Let the other teams chase and likely overspend.

Monday, December 05, 2022

Dancing On A Grave

Posted with great glee and satisfaction, no doubt about it:

Sunday, December 04, 2022

DHL Dan CXLVXIII - Last At-Bat For Curt Schilling

A man who Shank can't stand has one more shot at the Baseball Hall of Fame:
Sunday is the judgment day Curt Schilling wanted, and other thoughts

Picked-up pieces while remembering when the Red Sox used the Hot Stove season to announce something better than advertisements on their uniforms …

▪ Curt Schilling could be named a Hall of Famer Sunday night. Same goes for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.

Baseball’s 16-person Contemporary Era Committee convenes at the Winter Meetings in San Diego Sunday, and just after 8 p.m., white smoke will likely emerge from the conference room, indicating that one or more new Hall of Famers have been chosen from a list of eight candidates who failed to gain election in 10 or 15 tries on the writers’ ballot.

Sheer math ensures that we won’t have a large class from this vote. A candidate needs 12 of the 16 votes to gain admission, and each voter can select no more than three. I’m expecting to see Fred McGriff elected. Schilling is a possibility. The other six men on the ballot are Clemens, Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, and Albert Belle.

It’s a potentially explosive night for MLB. This is the first opportunity for Schilling, Bonds, and Clemens to be judged by their peers. Seven Hall of Fame players — Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Frank Thomas, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, and Alan Trammell — are on the committee. Others on the committee are executives Theo Epstein, Paul Beeston, Arte Moreno, Kim Ng, Dave St. Peter, and Ken Williams, plus media reps Steve Hirdt, La Velle Neal, and Susan Slusser.

McGriff has considerable support, including some former teammates who are members of the committee.
We'll see how much support the others on the ballot receive, including Schilling.