Props to the CHB. (Schilling Disagrees).

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but Dan Shaughnessy’s column today — a parody of Curt Schilling’s Q&A sessions on his blog — is very funny.

Not only does it capture the stereotype of many of the more enthusiastic postings there, but he even refers to himself as the CHB. Will wonders never cease?

Update: Schilling responds to Shaughnessy, and he apparently didn’t see as much humor in it as I did:

The only response I have to Carl Everett’s Curly Haired Boyfriend is this.

“First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win”

Putting his inherent ’toolness’ on display for all the world to see did far more than I could ever hope to do by trying to explain what a dope he is.

I think Shaughnesy has proved his "toolness" via his writing in far better cases than this one, but AG is right. This is definitely a war in which all of us — including the fans and the bloggers — are spectators.

34 comments… add one

  • Something’s come over old Dan this year; he seems a lot less grumpy than in the past. Maybe someone’s started to poison him?

    Eric Hanson March 26, 2007, 12:15 pm
  • Paul, I agree that it’s funny and spot on, but it’s still out of line, it’s not news, he’s again trying to make him self the story, which is a cardinal sin in journalism.
    He’s declaring war on Schilling and his more pathetic fans, it just seems silly and stupid to me.

    LocklandSF March 26, 2007, 12:19 pm
  • I have to disagree with you there, Lockland. He’s a columnist, so his opinions, essentially, are the news. Besiudes which, Schilling’s blog is certainly news, and Shaughnessy’s job as a columnist is to give his opinion on the news.
    He declared war on Schilling a long time ago, so his sentiments are nothing new. And considering those sentiments, he found a way to repackage them and make them palatable, even funny, instead of rehashing the same old angry, bitter, trite arguments.

    Paul SF March 26, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • Shaughnessy repeated the joke a dozen too many times for my taste. Good idea, poor execution.

    airk March 26, 2007, 12:44 pm
  • To me, the main reason the CHB sucks as a “journalist” is that he has no respect for the fans. This article – though funny at times – reflects that.

    Tyrel SF March 26, 2007, 12:55 pm
  • I agree with Lockland that basing the article around a mean-spirited stereotype of Schilling’s blog’s commenters was at times funny but ran too long, and agree with Paul that it is just another note in an ongoing battle between two men who have obvious distaste for each other and share a strong drive to be in the spotlight. It’s petty, trivial, vicious, and definitely fun reading. That closing “question” from DS, though somewhat self-deprecating, is a brutal rip and the fictitious response is an all-guns broadside blast.
    I question DS’ need to continually rip the world of blogs and discussion boards; it’s an ongoing obsession. Okay Dan, we get it. You don’t like Curt, and you are smarter and better than everyone who posts on teh intrawebs and it’s really just a fad anyway and now I will go back to my D&D ‘cos I just made 6th level Paladin who just got a +1 platinum helm and my hot pockets just beeped in the nuker and yull tell me what to think about everything.

    attackgerbil March 26, 2007, 12:57 pm
  • I think i have to agree with the take of the guys over at the fire joe morgan blog:
    http://www.firejoemorgan.com/index.html
    I dont like schilling one bit but I still think its a good idea to open communication between players and fans in any way possible. Is Shaughnessy worried his type is going the way of the dinosaurs?

    sam YF March 26, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • I do agree that he goes a bit overboard in slamming all bloggers/Internet types as jobless hacks, but I could see where he’s doing that in the interests of parody, so I gave him a pass.

    Paul SF March 26, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • i don’t give shaughnessy a pass. if you’re going to mock your audience for the same key factor that *makes* them your audience–positive interest in the Boston Red Sox–you don’t deserve that audience, imo. I’d much rather be a “pathetic” fan hearing about Schilling’s pitching decisions after a game straight from him than someone who continues to support the career of someone who clearly has nothing but contempt for me. why would i subject myself to that? i’m a fan. liking players, wanting to hear what they have to say, being interested in how they perform, uh DUH, that’s what makes me a FAN. if shaughnessy thinks that makes me or any of us a loser, he clearly lost sight of what his job is a long time ago.
    when curt first started the blog, the general dread was that he was going to use it as a platform for political opinions, but so far, he has answered technical questions and given fans some interesting insight into his decisions and technique while pitching. so far his blog has actually been a very interesting resource for baseball fans interested in the subject, and that in itself is a pointed reminder of how little of that we’re getting from our journalists.
    furthermore, i disagree that shaughnessy’s pissing contests with players / management is news because it involves his opinion–the sad fact of the matter for dan is that what schilling ate for breakfast this morning is more compelling news for most red sox fans than what dan shaughnessy thinks of schilling’s blog.
    forget his overt insults to sox fans in his column–the column itself is pretty insulting, if you ask me. look at all the shit going on with papelbon right now, for example–from arm slot whisperings to the contention from an anonymous Gammons source that papelbon wasn’t going to cut it as a starter, to, hell, just the same warmed-over skepticism about any sox decision he usually trades in, ANY of that is what a decent columnist would’ve picked to write about this week. but curt said mean things about him online, so dan’s wasting valuable column inches on that, all while slamming the same audience reading him online for having the free time to read things online. what a service to his readers!
    say what you want about his personality or politics, but at the end of the day, curt is very good at what he does. much more than i can say for dan.

    beth March 26, 2007, 3:07 pm
  • beth pretty much nailed it. i hate the guy, but i like the idea of his blog, and that for the most part, good baseball discussion is going on.

    m.g. yanks fan March 26, 2007, 3:32 pm
  • Great points, Beth. You won’t find me disagreeing about the suckiness of Shaughnessy. Maybe I gave him too much grace because some of those fan comments on Schill’s blog are way over the top.

    Paul SF March 26, 2007, 3:42 pm
  • Beth – Excellent post.

    VicSF March 26, 2007, 4:15 pm
  • Wow, I avoided reading the CHB’s column on principle, but took a few minutes just now to do so. What total contempt he shows for both the medium of the blog and for those who spend time reading, writing, and commenting on them, not to mention Schilling. In the column, which mimics numerous other fake chats written on much better websites (how ironic that the CHB clips his humor from the medium for which he has utter disdain), Shaughnessy is barely able to cobble together a series of lame jokes on all the hot-button issues: bloody socks, Curt’s religion, etc., and all of them are predictable and unfunny, not unsurprisingly. Even when Shaughnessy refers to himself as the CHB, it’s not to make fun of himself, it’s to ream Curt in hyper-aggressive fashion through namecalling.
    What an awful, unfunny column. He and Murray Chass should go take a long vacation in a country where there’s no new media, where they can grab their little pocketsized spiral-bounds and hit the field on the strength of their presspass, head up to the box to eat free hot dogs and type on their old-school Selectrics, and just basically live in the past where sabermetrics and computers don’t exist. We’d all be better off, and someone like Rob Bradford or Pete Abraham might have a deservedly wider readership. On the other hand, Pete and Rob provide such a great service over the net that I am inclined to say that, if they can make a good living doing it, they should stick to their format and to hell with old media. They are the future, while the CHB is the sad, tired past.

    SF March 26, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • I’ll have to agree with Paul for once and say Danny Boy’s column was quite amusing.
    I’ve read bits of Schill’s blog a few times, but had to leave as I started to grow nauseous with the fanboy worship going on there.
    I happen to like Shaughnessy’s columns, not only because of his writing style, but because he won’t be afraid to badmouth the Sox if he sees fit.
    And anybody that’s not afraid to point out what a self-serving blowhard Schilling is is all right in my book.
    Btw, Peter Abraham had a link to Shaughnessy’s piece on LoHud today, calling the article hilarious.

    Whatever March 26, 2007, 5:04 pm
  • The article taken as a whole is hilarious in the fact that DS is basically scattershot in his attacks and appears particularly un-clued; of course the joke(s) he wrote wore thin after about one or two tries. I have read many comments around the net that think that they aren’t interested in reading a CS/DS smackdown, but frankly, I am. This too, is part of the evolution of the medium. Curt made a point of where he called DS an “asshole” (SoSH I think) as well as labeling him a sphincter in a public forum, and this is just more jawing between the two. I am having fun reading it, not that it is consequential in any sense. If you are personally offended by DS’ mockery, I recommend not to take it so hard and laugh at his misguided generalizations. Kind of like watching a car wreck, without the fatalities. (ooh.. videogame reference. NURD)
    Schilling’s malapropism referencing “Everett’s CHB” (since edited/deleted) is interesting, but probably an honest mistake. However, it does mean that Curt cares enough about follow-through and image on his blog that he is taking the time to tend his garden. I have no problem with that.
    I wonder if Shaughnessy would be receptive to an open QA session? I think I will send him an email.

    attackgerbil March 26, 2007, 6:15 pm
  • If you take the piece at face value, Shaughnessy is unfairly and outrageously attacking baseball bloggers. I’m not so sure he’s doing that, as he seems to be parodying some of the more over-the-top posters at Schilling’s own blog. FJM flies way over the deep end in rebuttal, to the point of embarrassment. Regardless of what you think about the basis or opinions underlying the humor, it’s important first to recognize that it was, in fact, intended as humor. So I have a hard time being offended as a blogger who actually has a wife and a job over Shaughnessy’s intentional mischaracterizations of my ilk, as it were.
    I’m all for criticizing Shaughnessy for his Luddite tendencies, and maybe knowing those tendencies, I should be more critical or at least more offended. But I’m not. Sorry. Some of the jokes did get old. He could have gone with two fewer “questions,” but Shaughnessy always does that — gets so wrapped up in himself he can’t stop when he should (which often is before he starts writing).
    Considering the only people who have agreed with me are YFs, maybe I should reconsider my viewpoints. Or I could just call it an example of how broad-minded and conciliatory I am… :-D

    Paul SF March 26, 2007, 8:26 pm
  • I think Paul’s right here, although I don’t find the the article particularly funny but that’s because it isn’t rendered as a simple graph. Actually, I’ve read comments here by both Yanks and Sox fans about how sycophantish some of the posters are at Schilling’s site. Seems like fair game to me. Again, the article wasn’t that funny, but it also didn’t seem like he was attacking all bloggers in general either.

    Nick-YF March 26, 2007, 8:52 pm
  • ok, here’s the deal…ds’s piece was funny for the first 2-3 jokes anyway…i agree with those that say he took a good thing too far…i didn’t even finish reading it frankly…however, those of you who took it too seriously and are insulted, well, calm down…his mo is to insult you, beth, sf, and others…damn, even murray got dragged into it…don’t you guys see that’s exactly the overreaction ds [and murray] are hoping for?…you’re playing into it…shilling is extreme [as in "a self-serving boob"], as are his legion of suck-ups, so he deserves to be dealt with in that manner, and that makes his overreaction all the more comical and pathetic…

    dc March 26, 2007, 9:06 pm
  • dc:
    I think Shaughnessy’s column is awful. But that doesn’t mean I am pissed and angry, or take it too seriously. He’s so far gone as a columnist that I basically don’t even read him anymore (except today, mistakenly), and I even almost escaped reading this one. I am simply calling it as I see it, but the column truthfully occupies nary one iota of my emotional space, frankly. I have more invested in the lot of our commenters here than I do in Shaughnessy, which is kind of sad – he used to be a darn good writer about the Sox. Now he’s basically a joke, a caricature of his own self-defined position as the blowhard who stands at speaker’s corner gesticulating.
    I regret clicking the hyperlink. Lesson learned.

    SF March 26, 2007, 10:03 pm
  • And here’s the other thing: forget the commenters at Curt’s site. We all know that the blogosphere is highly democratic: anyone with a keyboard can write pretty much what they want. So why is Shaughnessy all over the commenters? Who do they represent? Is he intimating that Curt has set his buddies out to fawn all over him? Doesn’t seem like it. So the commenters at 38pitches are sycophantic — so what? Their stuff isn’t worth paying attention to, and nobody will from here on out. Is that really worth Shaughnessy’s energy, was that his goal, to expose the commenters? Nope. His goal was to ream Schilling, and he did that towards the end, in a transparently phony attempt at self-deprecation.
    And why is he so upset with Schilling? Basically because he started a BLOG. That’s just lame. Really, really lame.

    SF March 26, 2007, 10:09 pm
  • He might be upset at Schilling for the whole sphincter comment on SoSH. Just a guess.

    Nick-YF March 26, 2007, 10:51 pm
  • “And why is he so upset with Schilling? Basically because he started a BLOG.”
    No SF, this feud has been going on for a couple of years at least. This blog episode is just the latest round, and provided Shaughnessy with an easy target to poke fun at. I have no idea what started the exchanges between these two fine gentlemen (heh) but it was probably a combination of Schill’s big mouth and Shaughnessy writing something that Schill didn’t like. I find the whole thing quite refreshing and humorous. And btw, Shaughnessy is not the only person around baseball with a big dislike for Schilling and how he conducts himself.
    I could understand Sox fans liking Schilling and accepting him for what he is, because of what he’s done for the Sox, absolutely. But if your not a Sox fan, chances are you can’t stand Schilling.

    Whatever March 26, 2007, 10:53 pm
  • This just in.. Dan and Curt don’t like each other, and blogs keep rolling.

    attackgerbil March 27, 2007, 12:25 am
  • Even if you don’t like Schilling (which is understandable,) there’s no reason to hate him for the blog itself. He’s not using it to push politics or gain exposure. For the most part, he’s only used it to give sincere answers to the decent fan questions, baseball and game related…how is that a bad thing?
    This may be the homer in me coming out, but CHB’s just a childish little jackass.
    If any of you have read Fire Joe Morgan’s take on CHB’s column, I pretty much agree with everything said there.

    Steve March 27, 2007, 1:04 am
  • As I said before, (and I love Fire Joe Morgan), they don’t come off looking too good in their rebuttal. Shaughnessy was clearly attempting humor, for better or worse, and FJM sounded pretty pathetic trying to shoot down a joke for several thousand words.

    Paul SF March 27, 2007, 1:30 am
  • But CHB failed with the “humor”, badly. It only comes across like he’s a bitter old fool (which may not be all that off base) who is taking clear shots at the fans (see, those who determine if he has a job,) and angry that Schilling is getting a lot of positive feedback for the blog.
    As I said earlier, maybe it’s the homer in me that’s bringing up a lot of disgust, but I just can’t stand him and the rest of the Sox media (exception to Bradford and one or two others) anymore.

    Steve March 27, 2007, 1:40 am
  • the displeasure with ds is his occasional disrespect for all things sox…so what…the article was not terrible, it was sort of funny…sportswriters are not real journalists [what a scoop]…yeah sf, like i said before, ds’s mo was to take a slap at schilling and his band of suckups, and rile up you guys [works every time]…and i predict you will pay [lots of] attention to him, his blog, and his bloggers as the year unfolds…the notion that he’s using the blog to reach out to fans with sincerity is so naive as to ignore the fact that everything the guy does is a self-serving attempt to call attention to himself…

    dc March 27, 2007, 2:06 am
  • In addition to Beth’s great dissection above, the CHB managed with his parody to make Curt’s point precisely: most of what he does with his space is rip other people, WITHOUT DOING MORE THAN ABOUT 5 MINUTES OF RESEARCH. OK, he’s a professional writer so he’s usually well written. That just makes him lazy, professionally. At least when a baseball player gets bad he gets cut (with a few exceptions for starting pitchers). The Globe can’t tell the difference.
    Once upon a time he was a good baseball writer — my parents thought he did more than anyone else in Baltimore back in the 70s and 80s to turn the city’s energy from horseracing to the Orioles — but he’s just irrelevant now, and needs to be DFA & go rebuild his career in the Northern League.
    Ignoring the 114 mush note comments for every 38pitches entry (zzzzzzz), I must say I get more interesting insights about baseball in any one week of Curt’s writing than I’ve read in a lifetime of newspaper writing. Better coverage of out-of-market ballplayers, too. Blowhard or not, Curt’s a better baseball writer than most baseball writers. Presumably still has a better fastball, as well.
    And, FWIW, do a little reading on how Ted Williams got ripped daily back in the 40s and 50s and you’ll see CHB and the rest of the Boston press corps aren’t writing much of anything new anyway.

    Jim in CT SF March 27, 2007, 8:24 am
  • Schilling and Shaughnessy should settle their differences the old fashioned way, with fisticuffs in the ring.
    Just think of the possibilities in a Schilling vs. Shaughnessy bout.
    One middle-aged, overweight, egocentric White guy Vs. another middle-aged, overweight, egocentric White guy with curly hair.
    This would have more entertainment value than the famous Celebrity boxing match between Screech and Horseshack.

    asdf March 27, 2007, 8:27 am
  • I think people are personalizing and extrapolating from this single article. (Maybe I’m compartmentalizing too much.) I’ve said any number of times here that Shaughnessy has fallen to the depths of Boston sportswriters, exceeded in his bile and vitriol only by Callahan. I just don’t see as much of it here. This strikes me as a puirely personal thing between the two men, and as such it’s pretty entertaining.

    Paul SF March 27, 2007, 10:41 am
  • ASDF, I like your thinking. They can do it after the season (last thing I want is for Curt to break a knuckle on Dan’s lack of chin) (and it would give Dan some time to hit the gym). They call tix and put it on Spike. If Curt wins, he can donate his money to ALS research. If Dan wins, he can keep the money for a severance package.
    If course the blog is self-serving, and of course Curt has an ego. Doesn’t make it any less fascinating. As fans, all we get to hear from (actives) players are ten second soundbites, two minute interviews, or ghostwritten inanities like Idiot. Curt has answered hundreds of questions abut his approach, his team, his career, his retirement, Tek, and whatever else people want to ask. No active player has ever given this much access to so many people. It’s pretty damn cool.

    Tyrel SF March 27, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • “Kind of like watching a car wreck, without the fatalities.”
    Yes, gerb. A Demolition Derby, perhaps?
    Damn, this is fun!!!!
    If DS needs a stand in for that fight….

    Andrews March 27, 2007, 1:36 pm
  • Curt gives his opinion on who has the best pitches.
    “Sinker? D Lowe and B Webb and then the rest of the world. These two guys are in a totally different league when it comes to throwing a 2 seamer. It’s so hard, and breaks so much it looks, sometimes, like a left handed slider. The best I ever ‘saw’ was Kevin Browns in 2001. We pitched a 2-0 1:50 minute game in Az and I had three AB’s, I felt like Rob Deer, without the power. I don’t believe I came close to contact. Ball was sinking about a foot, at 96.
    4 Seamer? Lot of good ones but Oswalts stands out to me. He throws his ball on a completely unique and different plane than most guys. A knee high FB that looks ‘flat’, and about the last 10 feet goes from 95 to 200mph. It explodes at the plate. Pete Harnish had the same kind of FB. Papelbon has that same thing. Guys were blown away last year facing him. They’d be talking about “It’s not 100, it’s a 95mph fastball, but I can’t catch up with it.” That’s because unlike most 4 seam fastballers his ball travels on a lower plane, and is ‘level’, which is weird as hell to see. I haven’t see a lot of him yet because he’s been hurt, but Harden is the other guy. His 4 seamer is unhittable because it belies his soft easy delivery. He winds up and next thing you know it’s at the plate.
    Changeup? Santana. It may not be the ‘best’ change up, but it’s the most effective because of how great his FB is. You cannot look for something else when you hit off him because he throws so hard, but you also know he’s got this fantastic change up. If, even for a second, you are not committed to one or the other, you end up a highlight on ESPN. Cole Hamels has an incredible change up as well. The few times I’ve been able to see him throw he’s dominated with it. Few guys can ring up huge K numbers due to a great change up, because you have to have the FB to compliment it, like Pedro does. Pedro had the best combo I’ve ever seen. When he had both, you were losing.
    Curveball? Oswalt, Halladay have fantastic curveballs. Oswalt broke out the eephus one a few years back and that one is almost unfair on nights he’s got his A FB and location. Docs is so good because hitters know he’ll throw it anytime. Burnett, in my mind, has the best power curve in the game. If he does consistently throw it on the plate this year he’s going to be sick. Josh’s CB is getting to that point as well. This spring I thought he elevated the effectiveness of that pitch by leaps and bounds.
    Knuckleball? Wake owns this one. In addition to being just about the ONLY one in the game, people can’t fathom just how hard it is to not only throw the pitch, but to ‘control’ it like he does. It’s truly an art form and ZERO fun to play catch with (which I’ve done just once since I have been here)
    Cutter? Mo. 7 days a week and twice on Sunday. There are a lot of guys with very good cutters, John Lester has a great one, but no one touches Riveras cutter, literally. Given the praise people have for him I still would argue that he’s incredibly underrated when thinking all time best. This guy has constructed a first ballot HOF career on ONE PITCH. He knows he’s throwing it, the hitter knows he’s throwing it, the fans know he’s throwing it, and you still can’t hit it. He’s pitched the highest leverage innings his ENTIRE career, and dominated, with one pitch. No one else has ever done that, ever.
    Splitter? Clemens, period. And I get to speak from experience on this one. Game 7 of the 2001 World Series and he’s throwing 94-95mph. I almost think I can deal with it after I see the first one. Then he breaks out a 92mph split, that drops off the table. 0-3 with 3k’s, no foul balls. It was so intimidating it was humorous. I think the best in the game, active pitcher, right now would be a toss up between Rich Harden and Papelbon. I can’t think of many others I see much but those two guys throw it incredibly hard with a ton of movement.
    Forkball? I don’t know anyone throwing a true fork ball right now. The best one I have seen was Bryan Harvey, in Florida. His started about waist high and had to be blocked in the dirt 9 times out of 10. He threw gas and could locate.”

    Tyrel SF March 27, 2007, 5:37 pm
  • And his response to CHB-
    “And as far as CHBs column that ran roughshod over me and the people coming here let me say this. Obviously, like anyone, I sincerely appreciate the well wishes, the thank you’s and the support. I didn’t start doing this to get an outpouring of back pats and hand shakes. Life has been more than great to me to this point and there are a lot more deserving people than me in this world that could be living my dream. If that bothers you then I would tell you that the problems you have are yours and yours alone. If someone wishing someone else well, or thanking them, is something that gives you problems, or makes you mad, then you’ve got a lot bigger problems than this one.
    If that’s not acceptable or a problem then as I stated very early on, don’t come here. You come here by choice and it’s appreciated when it leads to you learning something about the game, ALS, Shade or whatever, and I appreciate the Q&A when it comes to 38 Studios, Baseball, whatever. I started doing this because of the unfiltered and open forum it provides to talk about the things I like to do. I don’t go out of my way to talk to people I don’t respect or like, why would you? I don’t moderate the comments here, other than to delete the vulgar sophmoric posts that have nothing to add. I don’t delete posts that are rants and what not, about me or what people think of me. To date the site has had almost 900,000 viewers, and almost 2000 posted comments. I’ve had to delete 23 posts for content, the rest are there for everyone to see.”

    Tyrel SF March 27, 2007, 5:45 pm

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