Shaughnessy Being Shaughnessy


Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Attributed variously to Benjamin Franklin or Albert Einstein

I must be insane. I keep clicking on Dan Shaughnessy’s columns, expecting to read something that doesn’t offend me as a Red Sox fan, as a baseball lover and as a writer who enjoys the merits of a good logic-based arguments. Instead, I get idiotic essaying that, well, does all those things.

I know that my reaction should be like Manny’s (the cat whose photo you see above) — a big, fat yawn. Something tells me that’s also the other Manny’s reaction to mean-spirited, pedantic hacks like Shaughnessy.

34 comments… add one
  • While we’re on the subject of stupid things printed in the Sunday Globe, this sentence from Gordon Edes in an otherwise excellent article assessing Curt Schilling’s HOF chances struck me speechless:
    “That might be a reach. He’s certainly not a cinch like other great pitchers of his era, e.g. Clemens, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera, and Trevor Hoffman. Many people would add Pedro Martínez to that list as well.”

    Paul SF February 18, 2007, 5:46 pm
  • good sportswriting = optimistic puff pieces with strong pro-sox bias
    bad sportswriting = hall of fame credentials [see murray], forgoes appeasement, sacrifices popularity for telling it like it is

    dc February 18, 2007, 5:56 pm
  • Keep throwing that out there, dc. I’m still not gonna bite.

    Paul SF February 18, 2007, 5:59 pm
  • “fan-boy bloggers breathlessly e-mailing one another 24/7.” breathlessly e-mailing? that really shouldn’t get past a decent copy desk.

    YF February 18, 2007, 6:02 pm
  • Wow, another article about how Manny gets a pass from the fans. Truly original; groundbreaking, even. Anyone else think Shaughnessy could be just a little jealous that virtually everyone who cares about the game enough to write about it (online, especially) sh*ts on everything he does? And that members of the Sox organization seem down on him, too? Meanwhile, here’s Manny, loved appreciated by all most.
    Maybe the editor got enough of a laugh at the unabashed contempt CHB displays towards the so-called New Media that he/she decided to leave the “crack” as is. I’m also pretty sure he should have caught the fact that e-mail is the wrong verb…

    desturbd1 February 18, 2007, 7:11 pm
  • If Sandy Koufax is in the hall, so should Pedro, who had the most dominant string of seasons since.
    But the article is right, Schilling’s not a definite shoe-in. Careers like Clemens, Maddux, Johnson is on a completely different level. I’d say Schilling’s statistical career is more comparable to, say, Smoltz, with (big) added bonuses of being a big-time postseason performer.

    Andrew February 18, 2007, 7:23 pm
  • “Can’t wait for that Manny Moment when he sees Daisuke Matsuzaka for the first time and asks teammates, ‘Hey, who is that Japanese guy and why is he wearing Johnny Damon’s number?'”
    Isn’t he basically ripping off YFiB’s haiku?

    Anonymous February 18, 2007, 7:24 pm
  • Sorry, that was me. I’m on vacation and forgot to type in my name…

    pastorsteve February 18, 2007, 7:29 pm
  • Seriously, pastorsteve, that’s borderline from Shaughnessy. Since the haiku contest was linked to on the Globe’s website, it makes me wonder.

    SF February 18, 2007, 8:29 pm
  • “Why are you hitting your head against the wall?”
    “Because it feels good when I stop.”

    attackgerbil February 18, 2007, 8:30 pm
  • For reference: the competition and the judging; here’s the relevant result:
    The Bash-o Prize (first place): Yanks Fan in Boston
    hub’s opening day
    signs read: “we love daisuke”
    manny asks, “who’s that?”

    attackgerbil February 18, 2007, 8:39 pm
  • I think the weirdest line in the story is the one about Sox fans “rejoicing in the retirement of Keith Foulke”. I can’t figure out what he means. Is he saying that Foulke was rightfully lauded by fans, celebrated for his contributions to the first championship in 86 years? Or is he being snide, intimating that Red Sox fans dislike Foulke so much that we revel in his walking away from the game? The first might be true (though I doubt that’s what CHB is saying), the second is almost viciously untrue, but either way I can’t even decide what response to Foulke’s retirement he’s characterizing as “rejoicing”? Was there a great outpouring of emotion in Boston on Friday after Foulke walked from the Indians? Was there supposed to be?

    SF February 18, 2007, 8:45 pm
  • < This Sox talk is enough to fill the sports hole for the nightly news at 6 and 11 and keeps the fan-boy bloggers breathlessly e-mailing one another 24/7.
    There’s the nugget. As noted by YF, Shaughnessy would have done well to run this past a savvy editor, but the telling point is his scattershot attack on bloggers and bulletin boards.
    To extend, Shaughnessy paid his dues as a beat writer; there is no arguing that fact. Since he arose as a Cardinal amongst New England sports writers, there has been a sea change, and he doesn’t like it. Some authors embrace it (Pete Abraham, Rob Bradford, for example). Some are wary and try to deftly step around it. Some observe it with a fascination while realizing that this is the way of things when they came from a different landscape (Bob Ryan); some vilify and demean it, with the hope that their perspective and judgement is somehow made more valid by the tar-and-feather one-sentence dismissal of this new dialog.
    It’s a far cry from when Guttenberg eliminated the necessity of hand-transcription of the bible, but the theory is the same. Shaughnessy and his compatriots no longer own the channel of delivery. They still have key access to the principle components of interest. Pete gets it. Bradford gets it. If Dan wants to stay relevant, he needs to get it.

    attackgerbil February 18, 2007, 9:01 pm
  • LOL! I read that article this morning in Buster Onley’s blog and I totally stopped and told myself; “I bet Paul or SF will make a thread bitching about this article”. So soothe. Not that you guys are wrong or anything, he’s a total douchebag.

    bloodyank78 February 18, 2007, 11:33 pm
  • By the way Gerb, that was a fantastically intelligent post.

    bloodyank78 February 18, 2007, 11:37 pm
  • “…it makes me wonder…”
    …dontcha just love a good mystery?…it’s kind of like me accusing someone of stealing my comment that manny might dog it once in awhile…
    “…keeps the fan-boy bloggers breathlessly e-mailing one another 24/7…”
    …i don’t know about 24/7, but ds’ crack did keep this group of blogger-boys busy defending ourselves today…is that the method to his madness?…to evoke a reaction?…uh, it worked…
    “…Sox fans “rejoicing in the retirement of Keith Foulke”…”
    …this is probably a reference to the reputation [some] sox fans have for rooting against former players that they perceive were disloyal for not embracing the sox for life [see nomar, damon]…

    dc February 18, 2007, 11:58 pm
  • Once again, dc, you make accusations without knowing the history — or even attempting to. Have you honestly heard anyone criticize Nomar for BEING TRADED, something that’s not even his choice? The fact that the trade helped the Sox win a World Series might mean people speak very positively about that, so would you rather we show more loyalty to Nomar and dog on the trade because we’d rather have him at the cost of a championship?
    I don’t think Nomar’s had an at-bat at Fenway since leaving the Sox, but I guarantee you if and when he does, he’ll get a standing ovation — just like Damon (conveniently forgetful of you, even if there were some boos mixed in), Cabrera, Martinez and other longtime (or not so longtime) Sox who left the club got.
    You do qualify the statement by saying “some” Sox fans, but “some” Sox fans also don’t know a single player who ever played for the team before 2004, and I don’t see Shaughnessy writing columns portraying all fans like them.
    I don’t doubt, though, that you’re right about one thing: Shaughnessy writes to provoke a reaction, which he, and apparently the Globe, believes will sell papers.

    Paul SF February 19, 2007, 10:22 am
  • paul, let me set the record straight for you since you believe i twisted the facts: comment about foulke was an attempt to clarify what i believed was ds’ intent…his opinion…i didn’t say if i agreed or not, but since you brought it up, some of us [including damon who was surprised he got so many boos] remember the reception he got a little differently…chalk it up to perception…
    …as for nomar, it wasn’t the trade, it was his perceived bad behavior leading up to the trade that led to negative reactions from fans and media about his commitment to the team…the trade was met with a “good riddance” attitude from the FO and some sf’s in my opinion…
    …i’m not sure how much impact removing the nomar distraction had on the sox going on to win, but to continue to put that forward as a major contributor [if not “the reason”] discounts unfairly everything the other guys did: ortiz, manny, foulke, damon, meuller, millar, veratek, schilling, your FO, francona, and so on…it was a nugget, but nothing more than that…
    …memories do soften over time paul, you’re right…in fact some day you may fondly remember these conversations with me…so, i don’t doubt that nomar will get a warm ovation if he returns to fenway…he would deserve it…

    dc February 19, 2007, 11:33 am
  • I agree with everything you said, dc — the Damon reaction was viewed differently by different people, but most stood and cheered, I think.
    Except: It wasn’t that removing the Nomar distraction that spurred the Sox to the title — though that helped. It was the arrival of Orlando Cabrera in particular with help from Minky and Roberts. Cabrera was a sparkplug on that team, performing well above his career averages offensively and adding a personality to the mix that gelled and smoothed any of the former clubhouse concerns.

    Paul SF February 19, 2007, 11:51 am
  • yeah, i think we agree…simply removing nomar was a “nugget” as i referred to it, but the other half of the transaction which resulted in getting cabrera was key to helping the team get better…i also know you weren’t discounting what the other guys did, i was just dramatizing the point…and i do believe any animosity felt toward nomar will soften over time…

    dc February 19, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • and i do believe any animosity felt toward nomar will soften over time…
    The reaction to the Nomar trade was not nearly as positive as it became (in hindsight) following the success of the team. If I remember correctly, Theo came under tremendous fire, particularly from the SoSH crowd, over getting rid of an iconic Sox player. There was tremendous outcry,particularly in the media, over Nomar’s “sulking” during the Sox/Yanks marathon Jeter-in-the-stands game, but not to the point where there was a universal call for his removal from the team. The history about Nomar’s “ouster” is constantly changing, and usually wrong. Sometimes we Sox fans are characterized as running him out of town. Sometimes we are characterized as not overstating the value of his removal. Sometimes we are accused of not giving him the respect he deserved once the Sox went on to a championship. I am kind of tired of the moving goalposts. You can check the archives here and elsewhere: Nomar was adored. His trade was questioned heavily (for the record I liked the deal). It turns out that the person who got it right the most was Epstein, against public sentiment; Nomar wasn’t traded because he was cancer, he was traded because he had value and could bring back what the team needed. But the fact that the Sox went on to glory does nothing to diminish how beloved Nomar was and still is in Boston, even after he became somewhat petulant following the A-Rod trade snafu.

    SF February 19, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • here’s what I wrote about the Nomar deal back in ’04:
    Need some time to digest the big moves today, but my first reaction to hearing that Nomar was traded was “who’s the new pitcher?”. The answer was nobody, and to me that seems suspect. Theo must figure that the defensive upgrades of Cabrera and Minky make Derek Lowe into Matt Clement, but that seems like wishful thinking. The general response on SoSH, over 26 pages of comments, is that Theo made an awful mistake. I will be a naysayer, and the bottom line is that Theo got two very good fielding infielders and competent hitters (Cabrera having an off year, though) for a 5-day a week disgruntled former superstar in his walk year.
    For the record, Iclearly wished the Sox had gotten a pitcher for Nomar and then, later in the post, went on to bash Kenny Williams as the worst GM in all of baseball, so I rarely get it all right…oh well.

    SF February 19, 2007, 12:37 pm
  • Ha!
    SF, I was just reading the trade reaction post of yours and as right as you were about the Nomar trade, you were equally wrong about the Contreras trade:
    “As for Loaiza for Contreras, is there any more evidence needed that Kenny Williams may just be the worst GM in all of baseball?”
    God, I wish that you had been right. Anyway, I’m not attacking you, as by well documented history of predictions on this site, I do not have a leg to stand on, but it’s funny anyway.
    FWIW, I know someone who worked behind the scenes with the Sox during the 2004 season, and he said the players felt on the whole felt that Nomar should leave when he went, that he was a downer, and they saw the trade as a positive thing for everyone involved. I’m not sure that is equivalent to the trade being made primarily to get rid of a cancer, but it seems close.

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • I didn’t see your most recent post when I wrote this.

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 12:43 pm
  • English is my 30th language. I apologize.

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • I mean that Nomar being traded wasn’t in response to the public perception of him as a cancer. In other words, trades are almost never made because fans think poorly of a player. Which in Nomar’s case wasn’t even the situation.

    SF February 19, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • “keeps the fan-boy bloggers breathlessly e-mailing one another 24/7>
    “Elvis Matsuzaka”
    ” we won’t sleep until the Sox make a decision on the 2008 contract extension for the Big Blowhard himself, the inimitable Schill.”
    Guys, are you really so offended by quotes which, to me, are obviously meant to provoke a chuckle?
    C’mon, they’re hilarious!

    Andrews February 19, 2007, 3:20 pm
  • i think some of you are confusing “the trade” with “the man”, but that’s no-never-mind…he was perceived as a whiny crybaby who had his lunch money stolen…of course many people questioned the trade sf, you were trading a cornerstone of the franchise…it’s classic to second-guess a move involving such a key player…just like it seems hypocritical [and disrespectful to use your word] to say later “yay, it was a good move because it made us win”…how would you know it was the reason you won unless you could play out both scenarios, and history won’t let us do that…i agree with you that he was moved because he [still] had value, and not just because he was sulking during an important series with the yankees…but, to suggest that nobody [fans, FO, media] was in favor of moving someone who appeared to have lost his motivation is revising the history [it’s not always just about value]…theo saw an opportunity and took it…bully for him…he was only second-guessed because he didn’t get a marquee name in return, and was gambling that some role players would step up…they did…

    dc February 19, 2007, 9:38 pm
  • but, to suggest that nobody [fans, FO, media] was in favor of moving someone who appeared to have lost his motivation is revising the history [it’s not always just about value]
    Seriously, where did I ever say this, dc? I WAS IN FAVOR OF THE TRADE, which would in and of itself prevent me from ever making a statement involving the word “nobody”.

    SF February 19, 2007, 9:44 pm
  • maybe i wasn’t being clear enough sf, sorry…what i’m saying is that he wasn’t traded just to acquire value [that part’s a no-brainer, since they would never just release him or get little in return]…my point was that his exit was hastened by his deteriorating attitude…that’s not news, nor is it a ground-breaking strategy, but it was the point i thought you were glossing over…

    dc February 19, 2007, 9:55 pm
  • I think everyone knows Nomar was traded 1. because he was injury-prone and the Sox had medical data that seemed to indicate he wasn’t going to get better. They were right. And 2. he had become a distraction in the clubhouse. The Sox did not find the idea of wasting one of the best teams they had in a decade because Nomar was hurt AND sulky the whole second half, so they moved him for some value. I myself was unsure of the move when I first heard it and my first reaction was shock that Nomar could be traded away like that. It took a while for me to come around.
    I’m unsure what exactly you’re saying, dc. First you said “some” Sox fans are disloyal, as evidenced by the supposed turning on Nomar, which SF showed wasn’t true. Now you say we’re glossing over the all-too-apparent faults he exhibiteed in 2004. Are we not loyal enough, or too loyal?
    The trade was what it was: A move designed to ship out an injury-prone, petulant veteran who was beloved by the fans and replace him with fresh blood that would fill multiple holes and pump new life into what was then a stagnant team. That trade was a smashing success — Nomar has had no great rebound season, while the players the Sox acquired were instrumental in winning a World Series. Nomar is still respected and still beloved, even as the trade that shipped him away is equally, if not more so, respected and beloved (as much as one can respect and love something as impersonal as a trade). This doesn’t strike me as particularly complicated or controversial.

    Paul SF February 19, 2007, 10:31 pm
  • well paul, your first and third paragraphs essentially corroborate what i’ve been saying…thanks, it may sound more convincing when you say it…
    here are the nomar comments i made earlier at 11:33am as follows:
    “…as for nomar, it wasn’t the trade, it was his perceived bad behavior leading up to the trade that led to negative reactions from fans and media about his commitment to the team…the trade was met with a “good riddance” attitude from the FO and some sf’s in my opinion…”
    “…memories do soften over time paul, you’re right…in fact some day you may fondly remember these conversations with me…so, i don’t doubt that nomar will get a warm ovation if he returns to fenway…he would deserve it…”
    to which you responded at 11:51am:
    “I agree with everything you said, dc — the Damon reaction was viewed differently by different people, but most stood and cheered, I think.
    Except: It wasn’t that removing the Nomar distraction that spurred the Sox to the title — though that helped.”
    i did my best not to take anything out of context here paul, but accusing me of being inconsistent seems a bit unfair…
    as for your 2nd paragraph, you missed my point…the “glossing over” i referred to was sf dismissing the angle you featured in your comments, and that’s that the sox recognized they needed to remove an unmotivated player, and improve their defense [i think was the explanation at the time…which it did…i gave proper kudos to theo for getting it right by the way]…as for the “evidence” that sf presented of a lack of negative reaction to nomar during his tantrum phase that forced the trade is naive and ignores the facts…our world extends beyond the internet, so in assuming that all fans are bloggers you’re excluding a whole block of fans, some of which i stay in contact with by means other than this site [my dad couldn’t use a remote control, but i respected his opinion]…i acknowledged that feelings about nomar were mixed [as i did with damon], but you guys take it like some personal insult…noting the sensitivity to generalizations, i made sure to use the word “some”…
    i’m starting to get a complex that “some” of you guys are so hell-bent on disagreeing with me that you can’t recognize when we actually agree, at least in part, and there may some wiggle room for compromise on a point…i guess the day that we have a disagreement on whether water is wet, it’ll be time to give up…

    dc February 19, 2007, 11:23 pm
  • Heh. Snakey conversation, that one. Fair enough, dc.

    Paul SF February 20, 2007, 12:17 am
  • i may get a little wordy at times which may distort what i’m really trying to say…perhaps if i had simply said:
    i believe that some fans and the FO were disappointed with nomar’s behavior prior to the trade, but many fans were probably not in favor of trading him, or they were at least leery of sending away a popular superstar who had been such an important member of the team…in hindsight however, it was a contributing factor of the sox championship
    the funny part about all this is that the nomar discussion started because i was trying to explain what i thought dan s was thinking…sheesh…next time i’ll let him stew in his own juices…
    paul, you always challenge me to think a little and it’s never personal with us…we probably agree more often than not, but we both struggle to get there i guess…i enjoy our little debates more than i let on…thanks

    dc February 20, 2007, 8:41 am

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