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Monday, September 29, 2014

One Final Time

Shank churns out one last Derek Jeter column. Why bother sampling from the story when you've already read it twice?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Waving Goodbye - II

Shank gets another column out of the Derek Jeter Retirement Tour.
It’s the same ballpark where Babe Ruth played his rookie season in 1914. It’s the same hardball theater where Ted Williams homered on his final big league swing, Sept. 28, 1960. It’s where Mickey Mantle made his last out on the same date in 1968.

And on Sunday, it’s where Derek Sanderson Jeter will finish a 20-year major league career that defined a game and an era.
Will Shank go 3 for 3 with yet another Derek Jeter retirement column tomorrow? Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Waving Goodbye

As the season winds down for the 2014 Boston Red Sox, as well as Derek Jeter's career, Shank devotes today's column to the retiring Yankees shortstop. Sort of!

Tongue firmly in cheek and dripping with sarcasm, Shank uses the first few paragraphs to take his patented dump on the Olde Town Team:
Welcome to Jeter-palooza. Hub Fans Bid Jetes Adieu. Three final sellouts and more eyeballs diverted from the train wreck of the 2014 Red Sox.

The Red Sox are truly blessed. They’ve managed to finish in last place in two of the last three seasons, but everybody’s still having a swell time singing “Sweet Caroline’’ before the home half of the eighth.

Nobody’s mad at the Local Nine. After all, they’ve won the World Series three times in 10 years and they won it last year and they’re going to bring Jon Lester back (OK, I made that one up) and everybody is happy just to enjoy another day in America’s most beloved ballpark.

Fenway fans don’t mind paying the highest prices in baseball to watch the Pawtucket Red Sox stagger across the finish line in the basement of the once-proud American League East. Now, thanks to Derek Jeter, the ready-for-golf Red Sox and Yankees are the feature game on Fox today, and seats behind the Yankee dugout Sunday are fetching something north of $20,000.
The rest of the column is in fact devoted to Jeter, and the obligatory comparison to Ted Williams is made.

And in case you needed to be reminded about the Red Sox' performance in recent years, Mr. Sunshine drives the point home to wrap things up:
The Red Sox, meanwhile, continue to enjoy the widespread notion that they are a perennial contender. They are not. Since losing the 2008 ALCS to Tampa in 2008, the Sox have won a playoff game in only one of six Octobers. They have not made the playoffs in four of the last five years. Since Sept. 1, 2011, they are an aggregate 24 games under .500.

But never mind all that. Pay no attention to those AL East standings on the Green Monster. The sun is shining and Derek Jeter is here to say goodbye. It’s going to be a great baseball weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tank Job

As the NFL hires outside counsel to investigate the Ray Rice matter, Shank is not impressed with the man chosen for the job.
The NFL continues to reel in the wake of its domestic violence scandal, and the league wants to assure you that the truth will come out when former FBI director Robert Mueller completes his review of the conduct of the league and its leader in the days, weeks, and months after Ray Rice punched his fiancée in an elevator in Atlantic City Feb. 15.

It’s certainly possible that we’ll get true disclosure in the Mueller Report. Commissioner-under-siege Roger Goodell pledged that Mueller will have “the full cooperation of NFL personnel and access to all NFL records.’’

Swell. But this investigation is already compromised and will remain compromised because, despite Mueller’s long and impressive career, his position as a partner at the WilmerHale law firm demonstrates an enormous conflict of interest regarding any investigation involving the NFL.
Interesting column - how often do we say that around here?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Venting His Spleen

Shank ought to consider changing his picked up pieces columns to the above suggested title. Reverting back to his trademark sniping, nitpicking, self-righteousness and petty vindictiveness, with the occasional positive / nice thing to say about something designed as countermeasures or to drive you crazy, behold his utter disdain for the New England Patriots, whom he promised not to judge a mere fortnight ago:
Picked-up pieces while reading the small print of the NFL’s exempt/commissioner’s permission list, a.k.a. “Double Secret Probation.’’

■ Anybody seen Roger Goodell? Anybody?

■ Those are not booster seats or phone books, folks. Along with the shoulder pads, helmets, and cleats, Bob and Jonathan Kraft’s high chairs are officially part of the Patriots’ traveling entourage.
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■ Kudos to Eli Manning for standing up and saying something about the scandal-ridden NFL: “We can’t accept that as players, we can’t accept that from our teammates and around the league. Hopefully . . . the NFL can learn from this, and we can go on and start getting back to football . . . We don’t like when the NFL gets a black eye on anything.’’ That’s a lot better than the Jordanesque/Tigeresque “there’s nothing I can do to make a difference” we got from Tom Brady when he was asked about it on WEEI.
As though starting quarterbacks should be the primary spokesman for the team's players and not share Shank's concern on these issues... that started approximately one week ago.

My outrage meter goes to 11!
■ It was cowardly of the NCAA to announce that Penn State’s bowl ban has been lifted in the middle of Ray Rice Week. It was classic “let’s do this while no one is looking,’’ but rest assured, we will have time to slam the shameless NCAA at a later date.
How long should current Penn State players pay for the sins of their forbearers? Any suggestions?
■ Speaking of shameless, Kentucky coach John Calipari has basically come out and admitted that his “college” team is nothing more than a soft landing spot for AAU warriors and their bag men en route to the National Basketball Association. According to Yahoo, Cal will host an invitation-only two-day scouting combine at Kentucky Oct. 11-12. It doubles as a one-time look for NBA scouts and a nifty recruiting tool for Cal.
This wasn't obvious a year or two after he took the job? He's shocked, I tells ya!

Passive / aggressive Shank, anyone?
■ Bill Belichick’s genius is reinforced when we watch Matt Cassel against the Patriots. The Patriots went 11-5 with Cassel as their quarterback in 2008.
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■ How did Avery Bradley get that contract?
Because Danny Ainge is a better assessor of NBA talent than certain Globe sports columnists?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Indignation And Outrage!

With the recent domestic abuse problems of four NFL players (Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Grag Hardy and Ray McDonald), Shank joins the vast chorus of self-righteous media harpies, politicians and sundry others in hysterically overreacting to the issue and mounts his Shetland pony high horse to express his feelings about the current state of affairs in the NFL. Throw in a few tangential issues, and we have the classic Shank moral outrage column.
We have outrage. We have heightened awareness. We have thousands of hours of programming, debating who should be allowed to play football this Sunday, and whether Roger Goodell is fit to be commissioner of the National Football League.

Magazine covers and newspaper headlines expose and condemn the criminality of ballplayers while the league itself acknowledges that playing football causes brain damage in nearly a third of the pro players. And social media, of course, never sleeps, providing an endless forum on the awfulness of it all.
Did you know the NFL involves a lot of money? Those greedy bastards! Shank's here to helpfully remind you of that:
On Tuesday, we had mighty Anheuser-Busch (halfway through a six-year, $1.2 billion deal with the NFL) firing a veiled threat at The Shield.
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Meanwhile, the overstuffed NFL owners keep getting richer,
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Until the beer barons and their friends withdraw sponsorship...
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The NFL is a $9 billion industry and Goodell has pledged to his owners that he will make it a $25 billion industry. Think Bob Kraft or Daniel Snyder or Jerry Jones wants to mess with this game plan? Think again.
Nothing like appealing to the base emotions of greed, jealously and resentment to whip up the outrageous outrage, is there?

And what's a Shank NFL column without a shot at Patriots owner Bob Kraft?
Think Kraft is going to take a stand and talk about the sins of the NFL? Think again. According to Forbes, the Patriots are worth $2.6 billion and appreciated by 44 percent since last year — which is the same year in which Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder, shortly after the Patriots signed him to a $40 million extension.
At least he gets one thing right:
It goes on everywhere. It is a societal problem, not just an NFL problem.
Which is precisely why the self-righteous media harpies and the rest of the lynch mob (like this asshole) might want to take a step back in piling on the NFL like this problem is the sole purview of the NFL and will be resolved by kicking the players out of the league and shitcanning Roger Goodell. I'm not holding my breath on that one...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Still Gasping

Not one to pile on the hyperbole, we get this beauty from Shank in today's column:
MINNEAPOLIS — Kickoff could not come fast enough.

The worst week in the history of the National Football League finally came to a close Sunday when more of the suspended and the suspected were ruled out of games and finally America had football again. And everything went on the way it always does.
If you conveniently ignore the weeks of the JFK assassination, Ray Lewis accused of murder, 9/11, Rae Carruth being convicted of murder, Aaron Hernandez accused of murder and Jovan Belcher killing his girlfriend, then himself, I suppose he's right...