Dan Shaughnessy: Taking a dump in your mouth one column at a time

MarkInLondon

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I can't link to it, but Dan's article after the Bs lost Game 7 to the Flyers seemed to have been written with some relish - like, great, I've got another home town team I can run all my 'cursed' cliches on.
 

Phenom

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QUOTE (MarkInLondon @ May 20 2010, 09:06 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2979825
I can't link to it, but Dan's article after the Bs lost Game 7 to the Flyers seemed to have been written with some relish - like, great, I've got another home town team I can run all my 'cursed' cliches on.


To build off that point, you know that Shaughnessy is relishing all of this Ortiz stuff.

He opens his radio show by saying, "Ortiz needs to stop talking, because we will go to dark places! We will bring up the 2003 steroid list! We will go to dark places with him! It will happen!"

The man sounds so giddy when dealing with this kind of stuff. He lives for it.
 

Myt1

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QUOTE (MarkInLondon @ May 20 2010, 09:06 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2979825
I can't link to it, but Dan's article after the Bs lost Game 7 to the Flyers seemed to have been written with some relish - like, great, I've got another home town team I can run all my 'cursed' cliches on.


He's a vulture, that's all.
 

JimBoSox9

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QUOTE (Myt1 @ May 24 2010, 04:29 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2986282
He's a vulture, that's all.



Can you imagine if the Celtics had combined with the Bruins to blow a pair of 3-0 playoff leads? CHD would have been hooked up to the Juvenation machine. He'd be putting out a thousand words a day for a month.
 

crystalline

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I haven't read a CHB column in years. But this was previewed on the Boston.com front page and sounded positive. It is.

http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/ce...raise_of_rondo/

The question is: should people read it so his editor says "Dan, that article you wrote on Cousy and Rondo got the most hits of any in the past year! Write more positive articles!"
Or should people continue to ignore him? (too late for me).

It's an interesting interview with Cousy. He says he told Pitino to trade Billups but told Ainge to keep Rondo.
 

wutang112878

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QUOTE (crystalline @ Jun 2 2010, 10:24 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=3000043
I haven't read a CHB column in years. But this was previewed on the Boston.com front page and sounded positive. It is.

http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/ce...raise_of_rondo/

The question is: should people read it so his editor says "Dan, that article you wrote on Cousy and Rondo got the most hits of any in the past year! Write more positive articles!"
Or should people continue to ignore him? (too late for me).

It's an interesting interview with Cousy. He says he told Pitino to trade Billups but told Ainge to keep Rondo.


I liked the article, found it very interesting, enjoyed reading it, and was positive about CHB afterwards. But when evaluating CHBs role in this, my critique would be what did he do other than get Cousy on the phone? That was 80% of the article, and 99% of the good stuff. I just wonder if my expectations for good non-bashing articles from him are so low or if I just want to be overly critical of the guy
 

Spacemans Bong

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He's been a grouchy jerk for so long that nothing may ever change, but if CHB ever pulled the stick out of his ass, went into the sun more, and got laid, he would be a great writer. There's no doubt he's talented, he just seems to hate his job and the people he covers.
 

bosox188

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QUOTE (Spacemans Bong @ Jun 2 2010, 05:53 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=3000590
He's been a grouchy jerk for so long that nothing may ever change, but if CHB ever pulled the stick out of his ass, went into the sun more, and got laid, he would be a great writer. There's no doubt he's talented, he just seems to hate his job and the people he covers.


You forgot getting a haircut.
 

someoneanywhere

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Here's CHB on fraternization of foes, from SI.

In the abstract I guess I could see why a column like this would get written. But you know, I just wish sometimes an editor were around to question the whole premise. Okay, I get that in the old days guys didn't consider their opponents their pals. On the other hand, I never got the sense at all -- not even close -- that friendship ever diluted the competitive fierceness of the game. When Wade and Bronnie were playing each other as opponents, you could always tell they wanted to win, and bad. Growing up, the person I always wanted to beat the worst was my brother -- the person closest to me. What's so hard to grasp about that?
 

Harry Hooper

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Another trademark Bob Gibson reference for the CHB. News flash: if you use Gibson as your yardstick for talent & competitiveness on the baseball field, very few modern players OR players in Gibson's time are going to measure up to him. This is something the CHB willfully ignores.
 

Rocco Graziosa

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I liked the article and agreed with its general premise. The camaraderie of these ballplayers has been taken to new levels, and now it appears 2 of the best players in the game, along with an all star big man, conspired YEARS ago to become free agents and join each other on one team. Thats certainly their prerogative, and they earned the right to do it, but I don't find it fun to watch happen and its most certainly a shift in how players have operated than in the past. I thought Jordan summed it up well the other day:

"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team,'" Jordan said after playing in a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada over the weekend. "But that's ... things are different. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys."
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/2010/07/19/2010-07-19_michael_jordan_on_lebron_james_i_was_too_much_a_competitor_to_have_joined_magic_.html
 

cornwalls@6

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Here's CHB on fraternization of foes, from SI.

In the abstract I guess I could see why a column like this would get written. But you know, I just wish sometimes an editor were around to question the whole premise. Okay, I get that in the old days guys didn't consider their opponents their pals. On the other hand, I never got the sense at all -- not even close -- that friendship ever diluted the competitive fierceness of the game. When Wade and Bronnie were playing each other as opponents, you could always tell they wanted to win, and bad. Growing up, the person I always wanted to beat the worst was my brother -- the person closest to me. What's so hard to grasp about that?
He also shamelessly distorts the sox/mfy rivalry of the last 10 years to fit his tired, cranky old guy premise. Is there a bit more grab-ass between today's players and the players from the 70's?? no doubt. But to state the current era of the rivalry is sometimes best remembered for Manny and Enrique Wilson drinking in the hotel bar together is absurd. Best remembered by whom?? And he willfully omits the bench-clearing incident in game 3 of the 2003 alcs, the Varitek/A-rod bench clearing fight in 2004, and the knock down, drag out playoff games of both those years. To say nothing of the Joba/Youkilis head-hunting incidents of more recent vintage. Just the worst sort of lazy, button-pushing, red meat column writing that has been out-dated for at least a decade.
 

joe dokes

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Apparently Shaughnessy's hotel room doesn't have cable.

Youk was in the cleanup spot against Haren. Ortiz was batting third
Not according to the pictures being beamed to my TV.
 

RedOctober3829

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He never wastes an opportunity to rip Schilling.

Finally, hats off to the ship of fools known as the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. The RIEDC yesterday pledged a $75 million loan guarantee to lure Curt Schilling’s game company (the one with no games) to the Ocean State. It’s the best demonstration of sports sycophants gone wild with public money since the yahoos in Connecticut promised to give Bob Kraft the world to move his team to Yo Adriaen’s Landing in Hartford.
Link
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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That's the second time he's mentioned the Schilling business connection to RI; he mentioned it last week in that awful "cleaning out the random thoughts" file when he praised Lt. Gov. candidate Jeremy "Dude who always sits behind home plate" Kapstein for opposing the loan to 38 Studios. Also, 38 Studios just announced their upcoming game, so to claim that the studio has no games is misleading and inaccurate.

Setting aside the economic merits of such a loan to the company, Dan's continued bitching about it in an ostensible sports column shows he's a small, bitter man.
 

terrynever

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That's the second time he's mentioned the Schilling business connection to RI; he mentioned it last week in that awful "cleaning out the random thoughts" file when he praised Lt. Gov. candidate Jeremy "Dude who always sits behind home plate" Kapstein for opposing the loan to 38 Studios. Also, 38 Studios just announced their upcoming game, so to claim that the studio has no games is misleading and inaccurate.

Setting aside the economic merits of such a loan to the company, Dan's continued bitching about it in an ostensible sports column shows he's a small, bitter man.
Well, we're all bitching about it down here in R.I., including political columnists like this guy:

http://www.projo.com/news/efitzpatrick/edward_fitzpatrick_22_07-22-10_35J8VQ1_v25.3616298.html
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Well, we're all bitching about it down here in R.I., including political columnists like this guy:

http://www.projo.com/news/efitzpatrick/edward_fitzpatrick_22_07-22-10_35J8VQ1_v25.3616298.html
And I have no problem with that. But CHB's opposition to it is undoubtedly based on personal acrimony. He doesn't live in the state, so it's not costing him a thing. And he's using his column inches to pursue a personal feud.
 

terrynever

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And I have no problem with that. But CHB's opposition to it is undoubtedly based on personal acrimony. He doesn't live in the state, so it's not costing him a thing. And he's using his column inches to pursue a personal feud.
If that's true, he would join a long line of columnists -- political, movie critics, sports -- who have done this since Ben Franklin first started publishing his newspaper nearly 300 years ago. This is what columnists do. They use their pulpit to assail elements of society they deem unworthy of their blessing. Now whether a particular columnist -- such as CHB -- has earned this right is a problem for the people who own his newspaper to deal with.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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If that's true, he would join a long line of columnists -- political, movie critics, sports -- who have done this since Ben Franklin first started publishing his newspaper nearly 300 years ago. This is what columnists do. They use their pulpit to assail elements of society they deem unworthy of their blessing. Now whether a particular columnist -- such as CHB -- has earned this right is a problem for the people who own his newspaper to deal with.
Doesn't make him any less of a petty douchebag though.
 

Pilgrim

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Apparently the development team for these games is pretty big deal too. Todd Macfarlane is involved, and there's a pretty good amount of hype.

Is it too much to ask that Shaughnessy read up on the latest news from comicon, dammit?
 

Blacken

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That's the second time he's mentioned the Schilling business connection to RI; he mentioned it last week in that awful "cleaning out the random thoughts" file when he praised Lt. Gov. candidate Jeremy "Dude who always sits behind home plate" Kapstein for opposing the loan to 38 Studios. Also, 38 Studios just announced their upcoming game, so to claim that the studio has no games is misleading and inaccurate.
Not that I disagree about Shank, but until I can pull a copy of Curt Schilling's Generic Fantasy RPG Thing from Steam or buy it at Wal-Mart, they don't have any games.
 

lostjumper

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Not that I disagree about Shank, but until I can pull a copy of Curt Schilling's Generic Fantasy RPG Thing from Steam or buy it at Wal-Mart, they don't have any games.
That's like saying you don't believe a minor league player exists until he makes it to the majors. You don't create a studio and then put out a game the next month. It takes 3-4 years to create the big games these days. 38 Studios is working on 2 projects they've made known to the public; Project Copernicus(which will be a MMO) and Kingdomsof Amalur(an RPG). That's a huge undertaking for a new studio.

Additionally, Schilling has been incredibly effective at bringing together some of the top minds from within and outside of the industry. McFarlane, the creator of the comic Spawn, R.A Salvatore, the best selling author, and Ken Rolston, who was the Lead Designer Oblivion just to name a few. They have an excellent chance to succeed, and that's going to bring RI jobs and money in the long term. It's a pretty smart move in my opinion.

Also saw an interesting note regarding Schilling a couple of days ago. This seemed like the place to put it.
[font="arial][size="4"]McFarlane also said that Schilling was up until 4 a.m. delivering his original pitch to the comic artist, causing the sleep-deprived Boston Red Sox pitcher to be shellacked on the mound the subsequent day.[/size][/font]
I wonder which start that was?
 

Blacken

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That's like saying you don't believe a minor league player exists until he makes it to the majors. You don't create a studio and then put out a game the next month. It takes 3-4 years to create the big games these days. 38 Studios is working on 2 projects they've made known to the public; Project Copernicus(which will be a MMO) and Kingdomsof Amalur(an RPG). That's a huge undertaking for a new studio.
Uh, yeah. I'm well aware of exactly what is involved in developing a game. I'm also well aware of how long it takes--I've been dealing with those issues for about five years (on a smaller level, but it's not like the timeframe changes for independent development). I can also think of two studios who suddenly closed their doors when they were working on titles that had already demoed at E3. I mean, you do know who Black Isle is, right? And, unlike Schilling's company, Interplay actually had cash flow at the time.

I'm no Steve Jobs fan, but hey: "great artists ship." It's true in game development, too (a field in which I have something of an interest, and where while I'm working away on it I am acutely aware I have not shipped). You have nothing until you ship. Shaughnessy's statement is entirely reasonable. They have no track record of success--buying Big Huge indicates that they likely have the talent, but does not guarantee success--and pointing out that somebody wants to give $75mil in loan guarantees on such a gamble is not really all that unreasonable. (That he's doing it in this particular column is another matter, and one I don't really have an opinion on.)

Additionally, Schilling has been incredibly effective at bringing together some of the top minds from within and outside of the industry. McFarlane, the creator of the comic Spawn, R.A Salvatore, the best selling author, and Ken Rolston, who was the Lead Designer Oblivion just to name a few. They have an excellent chance to succeed, and that's going to bring RI jobs and money in the long term. It's a pretty smart move in my opinion.
LOL. Yeah, people thought that a number of the other me-too developers who wanted to take a piece of Blizzard's pie had pretty good chances to succeed. It's telling that the only Western MMO released since World of Warcraft that's had really notable success is the one designed to scare away the exact sort of gamer that WoW attracts. Making yet another derivative MMO--another derivative anything, in today's game market--is a fast path to insolvency.

(That making more games like Oblivion is considered a good thing makes me a bit depressed, but it doesn't surprise me anymore.)
 

MikeM

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LOL. Yeah, people thought that a number of the other me-too developers who wanted to take a piece of Blizzard's pie had pretty good chances to succeed. It's telling that the only Western MMO released since World of Warcraft that's had really notable success is the one designed to scare away the exact sort of gamer that WoW attracts. Making yet another derivative MMO--another derivative anything, in today's game market--is a fast path to insolvency.
Just curious, what game you are referring to there? Eq2 is the only game i'd consider to be a notable success since WoW launched (at least outside box sales), but i doubt that's it given the description.

Anyway, and as a long timer player of such games, i just spent some time trying to dig around for a legitimate reason to be optimistic about Todd McFarlane's name being attached to an mmo. Ya know, outside the whole comic book thing. I guess he did do the artwork for Soul Calibur 2's main character, and make some action figures for Halo 3. That's something.....

$75m to a company with no track record, that's goal is to make a game that can compete in a market being utterly dominated by one franchise, and which already sees Sony firmly established behind that picking up the subscription scraps.

Hey, it's $25m less then they flushed away on Tabula Rasa :rolling:
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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$75m to a company with no track record, that's goal is to make a game that can compete in a market being utterly dominated by one franchise, and which already sees Sony firmly established behind that picking up the subscription scraps.

Hey, it's $25m less then they flushed away on Tabula Rasa :rolling:
A small point, but $75m in loan guarantees does not mean a $75m gift to Schilling's company.

From Wiki: "A loan guarantee, in finance, is a promise by one party (the guarantor) to assume the debt obligation of a borrower if that borrower defaults."

It's a way to encourage investment by mitigating the risk for the investor. Rhode Island, which has a poor unemployment rate, is looking for a way to attract high profile jobs. This is one way to do that - come here, and we'll cover for you if it all goes to shit.

Schilling is going to do everything in his power to avoid defaulting on loans, since that will mean the end of his company for most intents and purposes, and thus it's possible Rhode Island will never pay a dime.
 

Blacken

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Just curious, what game you are referring to there? Eq2 is the only game i'd consider to be a notable success since WoW launched (at least outside box sales), but i doubt that's it given the description.
EVE Online has done quite well for itself. It's not as huge as WoW, but, then, it wasn't trying to be.


 

PBDWake

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A few things on the 38 Studios issue.

1) They also have the Lead Dev from EQ on Staff. It might not make a huge dent in the MMO market, but with the staff they've assembled, I'd be surprised if the MMO didn't at least see the market. It might go the way of LOTRO or Warhammer, but conceptualization and art alone will probably jump start some interest.
2) That's not a guarantee of success, obviously. I still haven't seen any sort of legitamate programming corp on staff, and working with a bunch of unknowns is always a crapshoot. Who knows if the gameplay will back it up?
3) The single player will be very telling about whether or not there's any future in the MMO at all, and personally, I think they're rushing the MMO. I think if there's anything Blizzard has proven, (and Bioware has reinforced, now, with the anticipation for their MMO), it's that most modern MMOs succeed based on stepping into an established world. Blizzard had 3 installments of warcraft before they launched WoW, EQ2 was built on the back of EQ1, Warhammer was based off an existing universe, and Bioware (and Square Enix with Final Fantasy) spent years legitamizing themselves by creating quality RPGs and establishing trust with gamers that they could handle the universe. I feel like Curt should have focused more on that avenue than diving right in.
 

MikeM

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Ahh, i forgot about Eve, as i never really view it as a traditional sense mmo.

Which i guess enforces your point there :)
 

dcmissle

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Quibble with any and many of the particulars if you like, but Shaughnessy is on firm ground here with regard to what's described in another thread as "L'affaire Jacoby" --

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2010/08/03/situation_with_red_sox_ellsbury_is_at_critical_mass/

The situation is indefensible precisely because of the state of our season and the fact that Jacoby is suiting up in Pawtucket. Tito is yet again the guy looking foolish. The principals deserve to be called to account, and that's the role of a columnist in situations like this.
 

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I thought that this was a well-written article, but the lede had me laughing:

It’s impossible and unfair to measure another man’s pain.
Someone should send that to him the next time he does another hatchet job trying to measure another man's pain.
 

CTsox24

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Quibble with any and many of the particulars if you like, but Shaughnessy is on firm ground here with regard to what's described in another thread as "L'affaire Jacoby" --

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2010/08/03/situation_with_red_sox_ellsbury_is_at_critical_mass/

The situation is indefensible precisely because of the state of our season and the fact that Jacoby is suiting up in Pawtucket. Tito is yet again the guy looking foolish. The principals deserve to be called to account, and that's the role of a columnist in situations like this.
Firm ground is that it sucks that ells is not playing for the sox right now.

Firm ground is not bullshit statements like
"Many fans and folks in the Sox organization are disgusted by how this has unfolded..., but this is tough to stomach in a town with a slot receiver who is back on the field six months after reconstructive knee surgery...There is damage being done and it will be hard to repair...clear the Sox had to trade Nomar and that’s the way it feels with Ellsbury now."

Disgusting is the assasination game calling Jacoby out. First, for not being with the team rooting and second, then calling him out for being with the team on the bench watching and rooting the team on but not playing. I will agree with only one thing this asshat implies. The redsox FO screwed the kennel on this one. Their response should be "He broke multiple ribs twice! Soft? Please! He is at API getting the best rehab and conditioning possible and when he is healthy to play we look forward to seeing him on the field with us as soon as he is ready. Next story" The most important thing to think about with the CHB is what story he would have run if the score was 6-5 sox. Maybe a puff piece on Kalish with a tasty Ellsbury will be off the DL soon comment or the sox have a chance to catch up to the rays and MFYs.

Shaughnessy's suck is monstrous. He hurts the team. Jacoby is hurt and rehabbing. It sucks. Now STFU and write something useful. Follow a prospect, bash a yankee player, fan, employee etc. His mean spiritness will be more supported that way. CHB go kick your cat, who cares, but stop making smoke where there is no fire.
 

Shelterdog

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Quibble with any and many of the particulars if you like, but Shaughnessy is on firm ground here with regard to what's described in another thread as "L'affaire Jacoby" --

The situation is indefensible precisely because of the state of our season and the fact that Jacoby is suiting up in Pawtucket. Tito is yet again the guy looking foolish. The principals deserve to be called to account, and that's the role of a columnist in situations like this.
I don't see why Tito looks foolish and I don't see any principal that needs to be called to account other than Ellsbury who's evidently being ultracautious in order to help preserve his career.
 

HomeBrew1901

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Firm ground is that it sucks that ells is not playing for the sox right now.

Firm ground is not bullshit statements like
"Many fans and folks in the Sox organization are disgusted by how this has unfolded..., but this is tough to stomach in a town with a slot receiver who is back on the field six months after reconstructive knee surgery...There is damage being done and it will be hard to repair...clear the Sox had to trade Nomar and that’s the way it feels with Ellsbury now."

Disgusting is the assasination game calling Jacoby out. First, for not being with the team rooting and second, then calling him out for being with the team on the bench watching and rooting the team on but not playing. I will agree with only one thing this asshat implies. The redsox FO screwed the kennel on this one. Their response should be "He broke multiple ribs twice! Soft? Please! He is at API getting the best rehab and conditioning possible and when he is healthy to play we look forward to seeing him on the field with us as soon as he is ready. Next story" The most important thing to think about with the CHB is what story he would have run if the score was 6-5 sox. Maybe a puff piece on Kalish with a tasty Ellsbury will be off the DL soon comment or the sox have a chance to catch up to the rays and MFYs.

Shaughnessy's suck is monstrous. He hurts the team. Jacoby is hurt and rehabbing. It sucks. Now STFU and write something useful. Follow a prospect, bash a yankee player, fan, employee etc. His mean spiritness will be more supported that way. CHB go kick your cat, who cares, but stop making smoke where there is no fire.
You're the same guy that called Mazz yesterday and whined about Jacoby being your favorite player aren't you? Do you really own all 4 of Jacoby's shirts like Jones suggested?

I like ripping CHB as much as the next guy, but I think his sources are solid here and it was a good article. YOU can say CHB is full of shit, but where there is smoke there is fire, the Sox FO, Tito, and most of the players know how to talk to the media in Boston and when they don't stick up for a guy like Jacoby, it tells me all I need to know. CHB is there everyday (or at least a lot more often than I am) and this doesn't seem like the typical hatchet job where he makes something up because he doesn't like the guy.
 

CTsox24

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You're the same guy that called Mazz yesterday and whined about Jacoby being your favorite player aren't you? Do you really own all 4 of Jacoby's shirts like Jones suggested?

I like ripping CHB as much as the next guy, but I think his sources are solid here and it was a good article. YOU can say CHB is full of shit, but where there is smoke there is fire, the Sox FO, Tito, and most of the players know how to talk to the media in Boston and when they don't stick up for a guy like Jacoby, it tells me all I need to know. CHB is there everyday (or at least a lot more often than I am) and this doesn't seem like the typical hatchet job where he makes something up because he doesn't like the guy.
Sorry didn't call Mazz, don't get the station i am from CT. I am a fan of homegrown players that do well for the sox. I do have an Elsbury shirt if that makes you happy. I also have a Beckett, Oki, Pedroia, and Ellis Burks shirt. I guess I must have a pink hat also with hanging sox.

Is there a certain level of annoyance that is evident with the sox and ellsbury? Sure according to CHB this is damage beyond repair and similar to the nomar situation. He has to be shipped out of town apparently. Jacoby is a pussy and "fans and folks" are upset and disgusted.

You can make fire with a magnifying glass. That is what annoys me about this story and others like it. There is frustration about the injuries and the standings. Why focus on the "they are not sticking up for him" storylines? He's not on the bench cheering and slapping asses. If that tells you all you need to know then I am glad you are in the know. What it does for me is way different. It strengthens the fact that the boston media blows stuff out of proportion. That has an impact on who signs with the sox and how much they get paid and eventually how well the team does.

Making assumptions about what people "didn't say" doesn't seem to me like solid reporting. It stirs the pot. He's a dick that must have ESP because he is around the team more than me. I don't buy it. If you do great.
 

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CTsox24: I agree with just about everything you said. It is fascinating (in a way) to see the media create and reinforce a label that will follow Ellsbury for the rest of his career -- and beyond. But to say "The redsox FO screwed the kennel on this one" may not be accurate.

More likely, they are the ones pushing the meme behind the scenes.

After Mazz's column appeared, there was a fair amount of talk during the games on both Tv and radio about how great it was that certain players (I remember Castig and OB gushing over Cameron) were hurt but still cheering their teammates or were on the field before games. It was almost like a number of media members suddenly got a memo.
 

CTsox24

New Member
Dec 14, 2006
9
CTsox24: I agree with just about everything you said. It is fascinating (in a way) to see the media create and reinforce a label that will follow Ellsbury for the rest of his career -- and beyond. But to say "The redsox FO screwed the kennel on this one" may not be accurate.

More likely, they are the ones pushing the meme behind the scenes.

After Mazz's column appeared, there was a fair amount of talk during the games on both Tv and radio about how great it was that certain players (I remember Castig and OB gushing over Cameron) were hurt but still cheering their teammates or were on the field before games. It was almost like a number of media members suddenly got a memo.
I agree and remember that there was a wave of activity about this. Pedroia taking grounders, Tek working in the Pen, Cameron being a warrior with the abdomen issue. The FO maybe the ones responsible for the negative media about Ellsbury. If that is the case I don't understand the benefit. Seems to me that if Jacoby really is a big baby and is milking the injury and whining about being with the team that the FO should either bury it or call it out. This middle ground implied situation that is deciphered by "insightful reporters" is ridiculous. If the sox were quick and resolute about defending the kid there would be very little L'affaire Jacoby. If they know he's a whiny wimp wait till his value is high and dump him. Why tarnish him? I guess i don't see the benefit.
 

CJM

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Mar 2, 2009
1,101
Oklahoma
To rescue this thread from L'affaire Jacoby Part Infinity, Shaughnessy's latest, and it states the obvious about the Beckett we've seen all year:

CHB on Beckett

I find Shaughnessy to be an endlessly infuriating presence. If he were a open-mouth-chewing blowhard like Mariotti or a lead-penned bloviator like Plaschke, he could simply be a source of humor. But Shaughnessy has God-given talent at writing. His ledes are punchy and humorous, he can turn a phrase, his style flows in a natural fashion, and he integrates opinion and fact pretty seamlessly. The problem, of course, is what he uses that talent for. I don't know if he's simply a curmudgeon or if he's a canny, amoral shit-stirrer, or both, but he uses his talents so often for evil. I don't know if he thinks he's speaking truth to power, some fourth estate ideology. It's obviously worse if it's simply manipulation for clicks, but either way I get a particular brand of infuriated with Shaughnessy.

He reminds me of Christopher Hitchens in a lot of ways. I respect his writing style and rhetorical abilities, but I so deeply distrust his motives and so often disagree with his premises/conclusions that reading him makes me really uncomfortable.

EDIT: Cleaning
 

WenZink

New Member
Apr 23, 2010
1,078
He reminds me of Christopher Hitchens in a lot of ways. I respect his writing style and rhetorical abilities, but I so deeply distrust his motives and so often disagree with his premises/conclusions that reading him makes me really uncomfortable.
Hitchens is an excellent comp to Shaughnessy, and if Hitchens used his talents to write about sports, I'd read his columns as well.

I made this point in another thread, but every newspaper has it's curmudgeon that always has to be the turd in the punchbowl. It's inevitable, because it sells newspapers. But we're lucky, in Boston, to have one like CHB who can write with style and humor.... as opposed to having a complete, talentless a-hole like Jay Mariotti.
 
Christopher Hitchens? Really? Love him or hate him, Hitchens is an extremely hard-working and brilliant writer with unique perspectives. I find myself disagreeing with him sometimes, but I always enjoy his arguments. On the opposite spectrum, Shaugnessy has become lazy and highly unimaginative the past decade or so. I don't even know if people think he's polarizing anymore - his act is too tired to evoke those emotions in people. Maybe it's just me...
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
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Aug 4, 2005
28,269
His ledes are punchy and humorous, he can turn a phrase, his style flows in a natural fashion, and he integrates opinion and fact pretty seamlessly. The problem, of course, is what he uses that talent for.
He once had a soulmate at the paper in Ron Borges.
 

CJM

Member
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Mar 2, 2009
1,101
Oklahoma
Christopher Hitchens? Really? Love him or hate him, Hitchens is an extremely hard-working and brilliant writer with unique perspectives. I find myself disagreeing with him sometimes, but I always enjoy his arguments. On the opposite spectrum, Shaugnessy has become lazy and highly unimaginative the past decade or so. I don't even know if people think he's polarizing anymore - his act is too tired to evoke those emotions in people. Maybe it's just me...
The comparison I meant to imply was that both have inarguable talent and intelligence, but I distrust the ends to which they use their abilities. Hitchens operates on a completely separate stratosphere than Shaughnessy, but often I find my response to their writing is the same. Hitchens used to be a furious and righteous polemicist. Now, when I read his stuff on Slate, I'm impressed with his skill but can't shake the feeling he's making arguments simply to make arguments. I don't trust his motives, though I admire his ability. I feel the same with Shaughnessy, though I respect him a great deal less. I also doubt Shaughnessy would handle cancer in such a badass fashion. Who could have guessed that Hitchens and Swayze would provide the models for facing the big C?
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Jun 26, 2006
13,881
I don't think that Beckett piece is the one with which to start a discussion about how Shank is a good writer but doesn't put his talents to good use.

I suppose the sentence-level stuff is pretty good and punchy and all that, but a lot of the reasoning here is pretty specious.

Even the lede, which is punchy, kind of had me scratching my head:

Good Josh/Bad Josh. The ultimate splitter.
Because, you know, some pitchers throw a splitter. Except Beckett doesn't... So, ha-ha, pitching terminology, but that's a much better lede for a Papelbon or Clemens or someone known for a splitter. Seems Beckett's been maligned for refusing to learn a splitter, but Shank doens't actually make any mention of that.

And then there's all kinds of lazy stuff here, so that the premise, which might be interesting (why have we had such mercurial performance?), becomes: sometimes Josh is good, sometimes he's bad. It would be better if he's good.

Yep. No shit.

For example, this is the set-up for "Bad Josh":

Then there is Bad Josh. Bad Josh is the guy who came to the American League in 2006, tried to strike everybody out, and wound up with a 5.01 ERA that he characterized as “embarrassing.’’ Bad Josh gets mad and overthrows and gives up far too many hard-hit balls for a guy with four plus pitches. Bad Josh fumes when he gives up homers. Bad Josh lets his stubborn nature get the better of him.
The idea isn't just that he pitches poorly, it's that the Bad Josh character flaw (gets mad, stubborn nature) is what causes the poor pitching.

So, a good column writer would carry that idea through. Let's see if Shank accomplishes this.

As in:

For six innings he was the pitcher we all remember from the glory days of 2007. Then came the seventh and he was the hard-headed hurler with the (are you serious?) 6.50 ERA.
Right, Good Josh was good, and then hard-headedness undid Bad Josh.

So, where's that follow through? There's a whole bunch of ancient history about how he was good then bad after coming off the DL, but there's no description of how the character flaws of Bad Josh did him in. That's because yesterday was a perfect example, obviously. It's coming. It must be on the second page.

Here we go:

Then came the seventh. The Sox had just scored four runs in a 27-minute sixth to take a 4-0 lead. Beckett started the seventh by fanning Figgins for his seventh strikeout. Then he fell behind Branyan and the caveman lefty mashed a 3-and-1 pitch into the bullpen. After a hard single by Jose Lopez, old friend Casey Kotchman launched another homer into the bullpen on a 2-and-0 pitch. Beckett’s day was over and he was angry.

At himself.

“Nobody else to be mad at,’’ he said.
So, he struck out Figgins. That's good. Then he fell behind Branyan (who's a caveman, apparently) and gave up a dinger. Did he give up that dinger because he was being hard-headed and stubborn? Did he shake off Victor and throw a fastball in a fastball count because he's so stubborn? Dunno. It was just a "pitch." Did he then get mad and lose his cool and that caused the single and second homer on the 2-0 pitch? Maybe, but Shank doesn't mention it.

He makes a point of telling us, by the way, what the count was when both homers were hit, but doesn't actually say what pitch it was he threw, nor mention anything about how this character flaw came into play.

Rather, he did what lots of bad writers do, which is try to impress you with details that are absolutely meaningless to the point being made, or which actually prove a contrary point.

Rather than Bad Josh, that hard-headed and stubborn guy, isn't it more likely that the same Can't Hit His Spots Josh, who was beating a .236 batting Seattle team, continued pitching and finally got tagged?

Maybe Shank is just doing a kind of slow play, though, and we'll get to Bad Josh:

Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon came on and did the job in textbook fashion, but Beckett and his manager were less than satisfied.

“The biggest inning of every game is after you score runs,’’ said the manager. “You want to put up zeros.

“There’s probably some hurdles he’s got to get by, but the good news is that he pitched pretty well.’’

“I didn’t feel tired,’’ said Beckett. “My pitches stayed up.’’
Ah, nope. It looks like it was, indeed, Can't Hit His Spots Josh. His pitches stayed up. Anybody mention his stubborness or hard-headedness? If he was being stubborn, is he stubbornly refusing to pitch well?

In fact, there is exactly zero follow-through on Shank's little theory about there being two "split" personalities here.

But, surely, he'll wrap things up in a way that brings it all together?

Or not:

Beckett is no longer a dependable starter, but the Sox need Good Josh to show up in September if they want to stay in the quixotic chase for a playoff spot.
No shit. Or, to put it another way, "Beckett hasn't been very good. It would be better if he was good."

This guy sucks bags of dicks and those of you fooling yourselves into thinking he's a "good writer" shouldn't be fooled by decent sentence-level syntax. Just because you can string words together in relatively pretty fashion and your prose doesn't plod along like Nick Cafardo's doesn't mean you're a good writer. Good writers have something to say and make you think something you hadn't thought before. Shank never does that.
 
The comparison I meant to imply was that both have inarguable talent and intelligence, but I distrust the ends to which they use their abilities. Hitchens operates on a completely separate stratosphere than Shaughnessy, but often I find my response to their writing is the same. Hitchens used to be a furious and righteous polemicist. Now, when I read his stuff on Slate, I'm impressed with his skill but can't shake the feeling he's making arguments simply to make arguments. I don't trust his motives, though I admire his ability. I feel the same with Shaughnessy, though I respect him a great deal less. I also doubt Shaughnessy would handle cancer in such a badass fashion. Who could have guessed that Hitchens and Swayze would provide the models for facing the big C?
I understand your point and I'm sure many would agree, but I just don't think Shaughnessy has anywhere the wit or writing acumen to make such a comparison. Years ago maybe a "Poor Man's Hitchens" moniker might fit but I think he's pretty lazy at this point and has become too predictable.

As for the distrusting their motives part, I'm with you on that one. That compariston makes a lot of sense to me.
 

Phenom

as if andy gresh and gary tanguay had a baby
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Jul 31, 2006
998
Shaughnessy is far more low key on radio and TV. He has kids and was always seen at their sporting events and what not (I've met Shaughnessy several times at local youth baseball games...I used to umpire and his son Sam used to play).

The point is, he's a real person. Mariotti is a middle aged man who parties in LA clubs and physically assaults his girlfriend. His TV appearances just consist of constant shouting. He's not clever.

I'm not saying Shaughnessy is the best writer known to man. His style to an extent has become cliche and his takes on things are rather predictable. But the man has written several best-sellers. You don't do that without having a lot of writing talent.

In fact, I've always preferred to read a Shaughnessy column to a Bob Ryan column. I love Bob Ryan and love his passion. I just don't think he's as good a writer as Shaughnessy. (I also think Gerry Callahan used to be the best sports columnist in town when he used to write regularly. His columns have great flow to them).
 

JohnnyTheBone

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May 28, 2007
36,178
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This guy sucks bags of dicks and those of you fooling yourselves into thinking he's a "good writer" shouldn't be fooled by decent sentence-level syntax. Just because you can string words together in relatively pretty fashion and your prose doesn't plod along like Nick Cafardo's doesn't mean you're a good writer. Good writers have something to say and make you think something you hadn't thought before. Shank never does that.
Fantastic post, MDLTG. Thank you.
 

Brianish

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Dec 11, 2008
5,547
But the man has written several best-sellers. You don't do that without having a lot of writing talent.
Not to be flippant or circumvent the actual issue here, but I just had to jump on this point. You absolutely can write best-sellers without having writing talent. It happens regularly. If the topic is sensationalist enough, and the work gives the buyers what they want, the garden variety reader isn't going to discriminate or even recognize the stylistic failings of a writer.

I thought about saying "Dan Brown says hi," but that seemed a bit snotty.
 

loshjott

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Dec 30, 2004
14,856
Silver Spring, MD
IMO, when Shaunghnessy writes about under the radar stuff, like youth leagues, or the grizzled old HS coach who's retiring, or sick kids, he's fantastic. Good prose and thoughtful points - the essence of good newspaper writing. His stuff about big time college and pro athletes and coaches (most of his work, of course) is lazy and mean-spirited. It adds nothing to anything. Quite a dichotomy, IMO.

And I would not compare the CHB to Hitchens at all. Hitchens makes you think. He works hard, reads everything, has exhaustive sources, etc. CHB's work on big league topics never adds any nuance to any issue.