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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Opening Day

Shank covers Opening Day from Fenway Park, and reveals his true age:
If it seems like we’ve been doing this for 104 years . . . it’s because we’ve been doing this for 104 years. As it was in 1912, when the granddaddy of JFK threw out the ceremonial first pitch, it is today.

You know the drill. First day of Fenway. Skip school. Watch the opening ceremonies. Honor the past. Watch the Sox beat a worthy rival. See a spectacular catch by Mookie Betts in the very first inning. See yet another homer by David Ortiz. Decide that this is the year. Hope that maybe some dreams come true.

We gathered back at the Fens Monday to watch the surging Sox of 2015 take on the deeply-talented, highly touted Washington Nationals. It marked the first time Washington served as an opponent for Fenway’s opener since the old Senators (they became the Twins) played here on April 14, 1959 with a young third baseman named Harmon Killebrew.

After the snowiest winter on record, the baseball god blessed the Red Sox and their fans with one of the more spectacular April afternoons of all time. It was a perfect, sun-splashed 69 degrees when the Nationals and Red Sox lined up for pregame introductions. A young child accompanied each Sox player. In an age of Xbox and X Games, Major League Baseball finally has decided it needs to re-charge its fans base and cultivate a new generation of fans.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pucked Up

Overreactors of the world, unite!

The guy who knows nothing about hockey (the time the Holy Cross varsity shoved a puck up his ass as a prank notwithstanding) says it's time to fire the Bruins GM and the coach.

Here's the best part: The CHB says Peter Chiarelli has "bleeped up" the draft every year. Here's a few of the guys who Chiarelli has drafted: Phil Kessel, who finished fifth in goals and sixth in scoring two seasons ago; Tyler Seguin, who finished fifth in goals and 7th in overall scoring this year, and fifth in goals and fourth in overall scoring a year ago; Dougie Hamilton, considered one of the top young blue liners in the league; and David Pastrnak, who at 18 made the big club. If there's a nit to pick, it's that Chiarelli didn't react fast enough to the change in hockey from lumbering to speed, and gave up too soon on the guys who could finish.

Great analysis, Shank!

'Yank'ing a Familiar Chain

It's Red Sox, it's Yankees, it's cliche time!

Starting the counting:

  • Teddy Ballgame
  • Bucky Dent
  • King George
  • The House that Jeter Built
  • Pedro Martinez tossing aside Don Zimmer

Wait, that's it? Nothing about Johnny Damon, The Rocket, Wade Boggs or Jacoby Ellsbury? Zippo on Nomar sitting out or Manny striking out?

Even The CHB is getting bored with the charade, it seems.

'Yank'ing a Familiar Chain

It's Red Sox, it's Yankees, it's cliche time!

Starting the counting:

  • Teddy Ballgame
  • Bucky Dent
  • King George
  • The House that Jeter Built
  • Pedro Martinez tossing aside Don Zimmer

Wait, that's it? Nothing about Johnny Damon, The Rocket, Wade Boggs or Jacoby Ellsbury? Zippo on Nomar sitting out or Manny striking out?

Even The CHB is getting bored with the charade, it seems.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Shank On A-Rod

Shank posted this column during the latter innings of last night's 6 - 5 marathon win over the Yankees. It's interesting to note that in this column Rodriguez is treated far better than the Red Sox's DH, complete with Shank's new favorite catchphrase:
NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez is approaching Willie Mays on the all-time home run list and his own team won’t acknowledge this fact.

A-Rod is baseball’s pariah. He is the bubonic plague. Hating on A-Rod is one of America’s favorite parlor games. Even in his own organization.

Rodriguez went 2 for 5 with three strikeouts in Friday night’s Red Sox-Yankees series opener that went deep into the night. It’s weird to see him in uniform again. It’s weird to see him in the Yankee locker room, where he dresses next to Jacoby Ellsbury, a tremendous talent who never gets particularly close to his teammates.

The beloved Yankee stars are all gone. Bernie Williams. Andy Pettitte. Jorge Posada. Mariano Rivera. Finally, Derek Jeter. But A-Rod is back. He is back because the Yankees still owe him a giant bag of money ($61 million through 2017). He is back because he served his one-year suspension. He is back because he’s got nowhere else to go.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Like He Rides The Green Line

Dan Shaughnessy, with positive comments on our local public transportation infrastructure:

Points are awarded for his consistency on the subject.

Off By Six Days

You just knew Shank was going to say something about UK basketball, didn't you?

I guess it's okay when Duke basketball players leave early for the NBA...

Monday, April 06, 2015

Stupid Tweets, by Dan Shaughnessy - III

We can barely believe a guy who gets paid to watch baseball games for a living actually wrote this tweet:

Actually, 1) We can believe it - after all, it's Shank! 2) Honest introspection and self-criticism are not this guy's strong suits.

Stupid Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy - II

The Boston Globe's been financially circling the drain for twenty years, and only recently does it finally hit Shank:

UPDATE, at 8:55 PM - Remember, this is the guy who had trouble figuring out odds & probability on Patriots' coin flips. While it may seem unsporting to criticize someone who's not strong with math and numbers, we here at DSW have no problem returning fire on a professional second-guesser like this guy.

Bitter To The Last Drop

Of course, we could have used this title for any number of Shank's columns, but after the 2015 Boston Red Sox started their season this afternoon with an 8 - 0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Red Jheri Curl Columnist does his best to pour cold water on it.

Take a gander at the headline:
For a day anyway, Red Sox’ plan worked perfectly
That's okay, Shank, you still have 161 games to piss on everyone.

Actually, that's not completely accurate, as his cynicism and snideness is replete throughout the column:
PHILADELPHIA — This is the way they drew it up in the dimly lit silo in Lawrence, Kan., during the long, cold baseball winter of 2014-15.

Bill James, Ben Cherington, John Henry, Michael Gordon, Larry Lucchino, and Tom Werner could not have asked for a better Opening Day. The guys who run the Red Sox are pushing a new world order, and everything worked out perfectly in the first 24 hours of the new major league season. Let the gloating begin.

Less than 18 hours after Jon Lester spit the bit in his nationally televised Cubs debut at Wrigley Field (take that, Theo!), the revamped Red Sox lineup crushed five homers in an 8-0 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Sox hit four homers (two by Dustin Pedroia) off the coveted Cole Hamels, a high-priced ace they eschewed in trade talks. Hanley Ramirez, who received the bag of money that Lester and Hamels did not get, hit a pair of bombs, including a ninth-inning grand slam.
This tone of nearly unprofessional butthurt runs throughout the rest of the column, right up to the last word:
“Everybody put a lot of hard work into spring training,’’ said Pedroia. “Now is the time for it to pay off.’’

“This is how I planned it in my head,’’ said Buchholz. “Our lineup feels like our lineup in 2007. It’s pretty cool.’’

Sounds like worst to first.

Again.

But It Might Help This Blogger!

This 'Red Jheri Curl' column from Saturday got by me somehow - I'll blame tax season!

It's ostensibly a column on Boston athletes, but you'll know better once you realize half the column is devoted to shitting on Big Papi:
And now we have David Ortiz . . . cuddly Big Papi . . . Baseball’s Father Christmas . . . perhaps the greatest clutch hitter of all time . . . A man so beloved, he can drop an F-bomb on national television and be applauded by the boss of the FCC. Ortiz has emerged as the face of Boston baseball over the last decade and it is doubtful he has ever heard a single boo at his Fenway office. He has earned the love and returned the love. Watch how he interacts with Fenway fans.

But this love is not unanimous when one ventures outside the gates of Fenway. Owed largely to his own acts of selfishness, and occasional boorishness, Ortiz has assembled a significant army of detractors in his hometown. He knows this and it bothers him.
Like many of Shank's recent columns, the Globe closed its comments section, which is just as well...

Sunday, April 05, 2015

More Training Won't Do Him Any Good

The CHB is definitely ready for the baseball season to start, because today's column is a lackadaisical effort at best.
  • "We have just endured the worst winter of our lives — a season of snow, wind, and cold that motivated many to sell properties and many more to make plans to flee to Florida next February — and there is unusual hunger for green grass, warm days, and the daily, sometimes wacky narrative of the Boston baseball team." 
Really? A lot of snow doesn't make for the "worst winter of our lives," although I'm sure it made running his daily mile a bit of a chore. No, it makes for the snowiest winter of our lives. Skiers were enthralled, and Patriots fans are on top of the world.
  • "The team payroll is more than $200 million, easily one of the top five in the game." 
A little research would have uncovered that, according to Deadspin, it's $187.4 million, which is closer to No. 19 Milwaukee than to No. 1 Los Angeles.

  • "They are intent on proving they can win without an ace."
The best pitcher in the majors, by VORP, in 2014 was Cory Kluber. He did not make the playoffs. Nos. 2, 3 and 4 didn't make it out of the first round. In fact, of the top eight pitchers in the majors last year only four made the playoffs, one of whom (Jon Lester) did so because he was traded to a contender with two months to go in the season. The AL Champion Royals' best thrower was 15th, meaning half the teams in baseball had a pitcher who performed better in 2014. The Orioles' best pitcher finished 36th, which didn't seem to stop them from advancing to the second round of the playoffs. The best pitcher on the playoff-making Pirates wasn't even close to that high. Ace, schmace.

  • "The Sox’ owners and analytic masterminds believe pitchers over 30 who make big money are to be avoided."

Except that they offered Lester $135 million in a deal that would have taken him past his 37th birthday.

Let the regular season begin. Shank is already in top form.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

New Column Fodder

Now that the University of Kentucky has lost in the Final Four and thus deprived of their quest of a perfect season, do we have even money on the odds of a Shank column taking his last shit on coach John Calipari for the calendar year?