Saturday, August 29, 2015

Classy, Professional Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

If you're dusting off the cheap shots at the Krafts, it must be football season:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Don Orsillo Gets Axed

Shank finally gets around to the firing of Red Sox TV announcer Don Orsillo.
This Tuesday, while the Sox were in Chicago, WEEI reported that Orsillo would be done with NESN at the end of this season. Sox owners and NESN officials (the team owns 80 percent of NESN) did not respond to reporters’ inquiries after word leaked, and Orsillo issued a polite “no comment” from Chicago.

At 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, shortly before the Sox played the White Sox, NESN issued a statement on its website confirming Dave O’Brien would replace Orsillo for the 2016 Sox season.

Ratings are down, the Sox are in last place for the third time in four years, and they can’t simply fire another pitching coach.

And so Don Orsillo is gone. Without any explanation from ownership or Orsillo’s bosses at NESN. And he’s apparently expected to finish out the season as if none of this is happening. Awkward.
If anyone runs into the suit responsible for this (Joseph Maar), kick him in the nuts for me, ok?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jim Lonborg

There's a charity baseball game tomorrow night in Cambridge featuring former Red Sox pitching great Jim Lonborg, so Shank gets a column out of it.
Twenty-two-year-old Tim Kurkjian had a chance to bat against 61-year-old Bob Feller back in the summer of 1979. Kurkjian, now a popular baseball analyst with ESPN, was then a cub reporter covering the Alexandria Dukes for the Washington Star.

On that fateful night 36 years ago, media members were invited to hit against Feller, an aging Hall of Famer who was forever making a buck barnstroming across the USA.

“It was amazing,’’ recalls Kurkjian. “Bob Feller was my dad’s hero. He was one of the greatest pitchers who ever lived. And there I was, standing in the batter’s box, hitting against him in this pregame exhibition.

“He wasn’t throwing very hard. He was 61 years old! So I got a couple of hits.

“When it was over, they gave me a certificate with my name on it, which had some large print at the bottom. It said something like, ‘The aforementioned slugger acknowledges that if he had faced Bob Feller in his prime, the results might have been different.’ No kidding! I’m sure I would have lit him up when he was throwing 101 miles an hour in 1940!’’

All of which brings us to Jim Lonborg, a 73-year-old South Shore dentist who will be toeing the rubber for charity at St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Monday, August 24, 2015

CHB Column Latest Underperformer

Six days after The CHB was laid to waste, scooped on the Dave Dombrowski hiring by the likes of Heidi Watney (!) and David Wade (!!), he picks up the pieces long enough to claim the renewed energy at Fenway owes itself to players worried about losing their jobs.

Who, exactly, is worried remains to be seen.

Pablo Sandoval has a huge contract, and the Red Sox don't have a viable replacement at third base. He ain't worried. Hanley Ramirez has an even huger contract, and while they have lots of outfielders, none of them is making $22 million a year. He ain't worried either.

Dustin Pedroia is injured but the heart and soul of the team and has a contract that runs through 2021. The only guy in the system who might be able to fill his spot today is the current starting centerfielder, Mookie Betts. He ain't worried.

And on it goes. The other underperformers have already been traded (Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino) or released (Justin Masterson), or are on the DL and unlikely to be booted without a long look next spring.

The other myth The CHB tries to push is that the Red Sox are suddenly going to return to the Stone Ages of baseball; that is, when the league RBI leader was the default MVP. Ha! Wonder if Shank knows the difference between the Red Sox and, say the Cardinals and Giants is not their scouts but rather their so-called baseball people NOT taking the stats guys' advice. Keep in mind, it was the stats guys who said don't sign Sandoval. The CHB, on the other hand, made it the platform of his off-season campaign. Who's the smart guy now?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Dave Dombrowski was named head of the Boston Red Sox's baseball operations last night, and Ben Cherington, the GM since 2011, has resigned.

It's the biggest story, hands down, of the Red Sox season in 2015, and The CHB is nowhere to be found.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jealous Shank

That's okay, Shank - you can just show everyone your Pulitzer Prize...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Deflated Column

As we wait for the Federal court proceedings to work itself out, Shank may have finally come down with Deflategate Fatigue Syndrome.
The symptoms are obvious.

You are tired, edgy, and have bags under your eyes. You scan your monthly National Grid bill looking for language about ideal gas laws. After you have blood drawn for your annual physical, you call the doctor’s office to ask about your PSI levels. You know way too much about the vacation schedules of Gerry Callahan and Michael Felger. You get angry every time Chris Mortensen comes on ESPN. You sleep in a Free Brady T-shirt.

But you don’t sleep much.

You have Deflategate Fatigue Syndrome, a.k.a. DFS.
One of his better efforts recently.

A Cancer in the Clubhouse

All of The CHB's hyperventilating and bloviating over the Red Sox goes for naught now that manager John Farrell has been diagnosed with lymphoma.

But never let Shank miss a golden opportunity to revise history. As Roger linked to below, in today's (last night's) piece The CHB surmises, "[E]ven in bad times Farrell has commanded respect and dodged the slings and arrows that traditionally puncture the man in the corner office on Yawkey Way."

Indeed. Just a couple weeks ago, The CHB was referring to Farrell (among others) as one of the "company men ... headed to their third-last place finish in four seasons" and a "subordinate eager to please the bosses".

Slings and arrows 1, respect 0

And The CHB questioned in late June why Farrell still had a job, asking LArry Lucchino, "Why does he have that support? Again, it looks like he’s a company man, who won’t push back and therefore stays on the job."

Slings and arrows 2, respect 0

Oh yes: There's also all the usual background info on Farrell, a CHB staple, as if no one has heard of Wikipedia (which is probably where he gets it all).

The Boston Red Sox have a cancer in their midst all right, but it writes for the Globe.