Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sandoval Signing Will Beget Major Hissy Fits

Funny the headline over The CHB today uses the word "fit" to describe the hypothetical match between the Red Sox and current Giants 3B Pable Sandoval.

Funnier still, The CHB's proclamations and assertions that he "promise(s)" never to rip Sandoval for being out of shape or going on the disabled list."

This is the guy who mocked Dustin Pedroia (future MVP and Rookie of the Year) for being small and no good, David Ortiz (two time playoff MVP and six time Silver Slugger winner) for being fat and no good, Pedro Martinez for being sensitive and injured (3 Cy Youngs; future Hall of Famer), Roger Clemens for being fat and good (7 Cy Youngs), and Curt Schilling (3 Cy Young runner-ups) for being injured and talking too much?

And those guys are total studs. So do we really think Shank is going to sheath the daggers for a middle of the pack infielder who is already on the wrong side of 27 and has had three straight years of diminishing performance?

"Promises" are made to be broken.

Friday, October 24, 2014

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XXIII

This author hasn't taken a crap on Dan's employer in well over a year, more or less coinciding with John Henry's purchase of all that fine Morrissey Boulevard real estate the Boston Globe newspaper company. If this report is any indication, the migration to online sales and the related advertising revenue won't be enough to save that sinking ship (or any other newspaper, for that matter).

That, and it's pretty straightforward to defeat the Globe's paywall, so they're getting skinned to a degree in their online subscriptions to boot. So where's the revenue going to come from again?
"...putting newspapers online has not remotely restored their profitability..."

"Now, however, in the first years of the 21st century, accelerating technological transformation has undermined the business models that kept American news media afloat, raising the possibility that the great institutions on which we have depended for news of the world around us may not survive."
Depends on how you define 'news', doesn't it?

(link via Zero Hedge)

Better Late Than Never

It may or may not be news to you that the World Series hasn't been terribly popular TV viewing this year, although the numbers for Game 2 showed some improvement. This general apathy may or may not explain Shank's own absence in covering the World Series.

But find a Red Sox angle to tonight's Game 3? Shank's on it!
SAN FRANCISCO — Remember Tim Hudson, Red Sox fans?

Hudson was part of a dominant pitching staff that Billy Beane assembled in Oakland in the early part of this century. Hudson averaged 17 wins per season with the A’s from 2000-03.

In the first game of the 2003 American League Division Series, Hudson won a duel with Pedro Martinez in Oakland. The A’s took a 2-0 series lead and were perched to eliminate the Cowboy Up Red Sox in swift fashion.

When the Series shifted to Boston, Hudson was involved in an altercation at a bar near Faneuil Hall. Two days later, he was Ken Macha’s starting pitching for Game 4 at Fenway and was lifted after one inning because of a muscle strain in his left side. At that time, it was the shortest outing of Hudson’s career. The Red Sox won, 5-4, and a day later, the Sox went to Oakland and won the Series in five games. It was one of four consecutive Game 5 eliminations for the Moneyball A’s.
Now that Shank's in San Francisco for the next three games, we can look forward to a few more baseball columns, that is, if 'look forward' is the right choice of words...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shank On The World Series

After writing a few columns during the past fortnight about the American and National League championship series', Shank sits down, analyzes the strengths & weaknesses of both the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, offers a few opinions, and puts all of that into a thoughtful, concise and timely column.

Almost had you there for a second!

Seriously, if Shank can be bothered to churn out a few columns during the championship series of both leagues, why not do a column before the series starts? If he can do the trite 'compare & contrast' type of columns like this one, why not do a similar / some sort of column on those two teams before the World Series starts? Is he on vacation? Is that too much work? Inquiring minds want to know!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Once In A Blue Moon

Today, Shank tries his hand at comedy:
Man, it’s getting angry out there in the unsocial media world. A fellow tries to write a few opinions about sports and next thing you know you’re a good-for-nothing, over-the-hill troll who’s trying to agitate faithful fans. Lately I’ve had to don a hazmat suit before booting up my laptop.
Surely you jest! For starters, I stopped buying the Boston Globe in 1995 because of this guy. This site was established nearly a decade ago. Go read any of the comments section on his columns. For Shank to pretend that this a recent phenomenon is complete bullshit.

Speaking of bullshit...
Not today, gentle readers. On this leisurely October weekend I am going to give you nothing but positivity. No sarcasm. No cynicism. No cheap shots mixed in with the bon mots. Promise. It’ll be fun. Let’s see if we can get through 1,000 words in which everything really is awesome.

The Patriots are in first place. Folks need to stop complaining and telling us what is wrong with our local football team.
Except for when it's time to pile on!

How many teeth did Shank grind to dust writing this mini-paragraph?
We should all grow up to be as powerful, stylish, and charitable as Robert Kraft. And we all secretly wish we had the brains of Jonathan Kraft.
All you need to know about how amusing this column is can be found in the next paragraph:
The Red Sox have an excellent chance to get right back into the race in the American League East next season. The East is weak and the Sox have a lot of money off the books, and we’re pretty sure general manager Ben Cherington will go get a couple of established starters this offseason. While Cherington is at work, he should take a long look at robust Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. The Kung Fu Panda is a free agent and would look good at the hot corner at Fenway next year.
He'll be bitching about the 2015 Red Sox as soon as they hit their first three game losing streak, if not sooner.
The Celtics have that lean and hungry look and a terrific coach in Brad Stevens. They’re going to surprise a lot of folks this season.
Shank will be surprised in about a month - 'Boy, this Celtics team really sucks this year! I didn't think they were going to be this bad!'

How long until Shank reverts to form? Yes, that's a rhetorical question...

Bust(er) A Move

Shank wrote a column on Friday on San Francisco's best player, catcher Buster Posney. Two things interfered with a timely response, primarily work and, perhaps more importantly, these recent baseball columns are so damn boring and tedious. Let's hope the anticipated World Series columns breaks away from that trend.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

In Defense of Small Ball

It's baseball Armageddon!

Let us count the ways:

1. Barry Bonds threw out the first pitch at an NLCS game.
2. At least one small market team will be in the World Series.
3. Neither the Red Sox nor Yankees will be in the World Series.
4. The World Series won't be watched by people who like home runs or big market teams.
5. Pitching and defense are in vogue.
6. Major league baseball players can actually, you know, catch the ball!

Today's utterly meandering column, which begins in San Francisco with Barry Bonds and ends with somewhere outside Cleveland with Indians manager Terry Francona pondering the Kansas City Royals, begs the question as to whether The CHB realizes that several years ago, Mr. Moneyball Billy Beane started investing in defense, seeing that as the undervalued asset, and that since 2012 no team has converted a ball in play into an out more often than Oakland, and the 2013 World Series Champion Red Sox were built on -- you guessed it -- pitching and defense.

No, he doesn't realize it, because he spends half the piece quoting Terry Francona on how great Kansas City's defense is, while never pointing out that KC finished just 12th overall in defense efficiency.

Guess Shank won't be watching, either.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oh, That Shank

Our Man Shank is in San Francisco to cover the National League Championship Series and has fallen for another team.
SAN FRANCISCO — Oh, those Giants.

I mean, they are really not that good, right? They don’t have a lot of star players, they go long stretches without any kind of offense, and every other year they out-and-out stink.

But this is one of their “on” years, and the Giants did it again Tuesday, beating the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-4, in the bottom of the 10th on a walkoff sacrifice bunt/throwing error. The crushing “blow” came after a walk and a hard-fought single by the Giants’ eighth and ninth hitters.

San Francisco leads the National League Championship Series, two games to one, heading into Wednesday night’s game at AT&T Park, the best ballpark in America.
How could you desert us Red Sox Nation fans after all these years?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

World Series Remembrance Falls Apart at Seams

Only The CHB could take an event as dramatic as an earthquake which interrupts the World Series just before the start of a crucial game and leaves more than 60 people dead in the San Francisco Bay area and turn it into something completely trite.

Which he does today.

Writing on the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, Shank manages to reduce both the elegance of the World Series and the solemnity of a wide-scale tragedy into a pronounced heap of metaphorical slop, thanks to such phrases as "unforgiving riptide," "angry earth," and "the upper deck was ...  frozen in time." (Not to mention his self-characterization of trying to get his work done before being escorted from Candlestick Park: he "typed feverishly." Ugh.) He simultaneously manages to depersonalize the significant while inflating his own role in the proceedings, describing how he sneaked back to the press room to grab his jacket.

Let's hope The CHB spends the next 25 years learning to compose better prose. And growing a heart.