Which Is It?

Thanks to reader Kevin for pointing this out.

Dan Shaughnessy on December 11th:

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, who watches more film than Martin Scorsese, says he has observed Patriot players loafing on defense. Dollars to doughnuts he’s talking about Thomas.

Dan Shaughnessy today:

So we have Pa Brady joining the chorus line of Moss defenders, which stretches all the way from Canton, Mass., to Canton, Ohio. Every person associated with the Patriots came to Moss’s defense last week, and several members of the team’s national media cartel also attempted to convince us that Moss didn’t tank against Carolina.

One of the prominent national media members defending Moss was none other than Jaworski. So Jaworski got stupid in 10 days and is now a member of the Patriots “national media cartel?”

Since when do the Patriots have a “national media cartel” anyway? Doesn’t he know that the whole country hates the Patriots?


“Content Sharing” Agreement Between Boston.com and SI.com

In a post by Chad Finn on the Boston.com Extra Points blog, the following “Editor’s note” appears:

Through a content-sharing partnership with Sports Illustrated and SI.com, occasional articles and information from the magazine and its website will be used on Boston.com. The partnership begins today with some Patriots-related insight from Peter King’s popular “Monday Morning Quarterback” column.

The sharing apparently goes both ways. Check out SI.com’s new NFL Insider:



Was Jonny Miller a bigger “Curse” Pusher than Shaughnessy?

If you didn’t read Bob Hohler’s column this morning – Really big news – I highly recommend that you do so.

The article looks at some of the media pressure that the Red Sox had to overcome en route to winning the 2004 World Series. It seems that much of that “media pressure” came from an unlikely source: WBZ’s Jonny Miller.

WBZ’s Jonny Miller greeted every new player in the Fens by asking him to declare whether the team’s chronic misfortune was born of some ghostly voodoo risen from Babe Ruth’s grave. His tape recorder whirring, Miller followed up by posing the same question every spring training to every player on the Sox roster: “Do you believe in the curse of the Bambino?’

Miller doesn’t refer to the curse any longer, as he is quoted in the article as ““They took away one of my lines,’’ Miller said of the ’04 Sox. “I can’t ask about the curse anymore.’’

The article notes that Jonathan Papelbon this season called Miller “the most negative person around.”

This seems to fit with some of the lines of questioning Miller has pursued, as chronicled by Hohler.

And when the Sox went on a 10-game winning streak to seize a four-game lead in the wild-card race in early September, it was Miller who stirred the ghosts.

“In the history of the wild card, no team has blown a four-game lead starting Sept. 1,’’ he informed Damon. “Are you confident you won’t be the first?’’

There are plenty of other examples in the article.

Hohler also notes that Miller is a prankster, though some of his stunts have been better than others:

Miller became as memorable in 2004 for his pluck as his perseverance. In February, five months after WEEI’s John Dennis and Gerry Callahan compared a gorilla that escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo to a minority Metco student, Miller welcomed them to spring training by presenting them white pillowcases as if they were Klansmen.

And later:

In September of ’04, with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon filming “Fever Pitch’’ in Fenway’s box seats, Barrymore’s history of teen drug problems inspired Miller to raise a placard that asked, “When Will Drew Be Back In Rehab?’’

All in all, this was a nice “behind the scenes” look by Hohler at the type of coverage and questions that were around the Red Sox prior to the 2004 World Series Title.

Update on Worst Boston Sports Column Voting

After 500 votes, the Ron Borges draft column from 2001 is the leader in the clubhouse for worst Boston sports column in recent memory.

Borges’ mocking the Patriots drafting of Richard Seymour and Matt Light over such NFL luminaries such as Koren Robinson and Robert Ferguson currently has 29% of the vote.

Three other columns are in a hotly contested race for second place:

Bob Halloran’s attack on the coach of an autistic child.

Dan Shaughnessy’s “I created the Curse, I say when it is over” column from October 2004. 

Gerry Callahan’s “Manny hates kids with cancer” column from last summer.

Each entry has about 10% of the vote at the moment.

As for the AX MEN giveaway from the original post, I am awaiting receipt of the prize from the marketing company, as soon as I receive it, I will notify the winner and post it here.

Three Lunchtime Quick Links

Three columns to check out over lunch:

Curt Schilling goes after Dan Shaughnessy. Again. With great effectiveness.

Gary Andrew Poole with the Columbia Journalism Review has a very interesting piece on how sports writing can recapture its relevance.

Eric Dorval makes the case for Jim Rice’s Hall of Fame candidacy on Examiner.com

And a NESN note:

This Friday is the 30th anniversary of the Bobby Orr Retirement Ceremony when the Bruins raised # 4 to the rafters of the Boston Garden in a pre-game ceremony before an exhibition game against a team from the Soviet Union. The ceremony originally aired on TV 38 on 1/9/1979 and NESN will, for the first time, re-air this half-hour ceremony in its entirety on Saturday, January 10th at 9:00 PM.

Globies Back on CSN, The Genius Of Manny

Yeah, that was Dan Shaughnessy on the 6:30 edition of CSN’s Sports Tonight program last night. As Gary Tanguay explained in his blog yesterday, CSN’s partnership with the Boston Herald (they were a sponsor of New England Sports Tonight) has expired, and that partnership was what had kept Globe writers off the show. Tanguay says that Tony Massarotti will be back on the show as well.

Tanguay’s blog has had some interesting entries as of late, as he tries to give us more “behind the scenes” type narratives about what’s going on at CSN.

Due to a scheduling conflict, Troy Brown will not be making his scheduled appearance tonight on Sports Tonight, as had been reported on the Herald’s Point After blog.

Yesterday Curt Schilling blasted Manny Ramirez on a call-in appearance to WEEI’s Big Show. Schilling’s remarks irritated me at first, simply because this is a topic we’re all sick of, and we know full well Manny was a major disruption near the end of his Red Sox tenure. Manny’s gone now, and his teammates have moved on, and have been playing their best ball of the season (well, except against Tampa) and I just didn’t see why Schilling, who hasn’t thrown a pitch all season felt it necessary to talk more about it.

On reflection, I think I have a bigger problem with how two-faced Schilling is with this stuff. When Manny was his teammate, he defended the guy to death to these very same radio shows. When Manny and Youkilis had the dust-up in the dugout earlier this season, Schilling was calling the media fools because this stuff happens all the time between teammates, and we just don’t see it. He’s defended Manny’s work ethic in the past, and played the role of good teammate.

Incidents like yesterday show that he really was just playing that role, since as soon as Manny is gone, Schilling can do an about-face and start telling all sorts of tales. I don’t like that.

It’s become customary when criticizing Schilling to acknowledge his huge contributions to the 2004 World Series championship, and to a lesser extent, the 2007 title. OK, duly noted. I’ll always be thankful that we had Curt Schilling on those clubs, and he turned in some legendary performances in his time here.

However, now that his career appears over, I’m rather sick of him. I’ve taken 38 Pitches out of my RSS reader, simply because I’m not interested in what the guy has to say. I’d rather get out now while I still have that great respect for him as a player, rather than keep reading, and totally losing all fondness for the guy.

Back to Manny for a moment, Joe Posnanski, the KC writer who has gained a huge following here in Boston simply because he puts out great stuff, has a piece on SI.com entitled The genius of Manny Ramirez. It’s a lot of stuff we already knew about Manny in better times, but also has some interesting perspectives on Ramirez as a person. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says Manny has made a huge difference to the Dodgers both in the lineup and in the clubhouse.

Tony Massarotti wonders if David Ortiz is returning to form just in time.

TBS has announced their MLB Postseason Broadcast Team, and both Don Orsillo and Dennis Eckersley will be a part of the coverage.

Peter May on Yahoo! Sports has a feature on new Celtic Darius Miles, who says “I would have come here (to Boston) for $5 and a bag of Doritos.” No joke.

Jim Corbett of USA Today has a look at Randy Moss taking on a leadership role with the Patriots in the absense of Tom Brady.

Jeff Pearlman has a must-read feature on former Angels outfielder Lyman Bostock, a budding star who was murdered during the 1978 season.

Cartel or No Cartel. That is the Question.

A little internecine warfare among the “cartel” this morning. While some have suggested that Vince McMahon might be behind this battle, Dan Shaughnessy comes out swinging today regarding the Red Sox relatively late postponement of Tuesday night’s game versus the Yankees. Dennis & Callahan picked up on the theme in their relatively aggressive interview with Sox President Larry Lucchino this morning.

The more significant issue brought to the fore by both Shaughnessy and D&C was the Page 1 advertisement for the Red Sox new travel services feature in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

From Shaughnessy

Speaking of no-win propositions, we've got a problem here at Daddy Globe. Those of you not living in caves know by now that the New York Times Co. owns us, and also owns 17 percent of the Red Sox. This conflict of interest taints everything we do on these pages and the Globe looks especially compromised on days like yesterday when we ran a Page 1 story entitled, ''Hit the road with the Sox and get . . ."Yesterday's journalistic wet kiss included a nifty graphic detailing exactly what Sox fans get if they purchase an official team VIP road trip package. The story contained no inside info that couldn't be gleaned by a fan with access to the Internet, but the timing was abysmal and the packaging worse. By any measurement, this was a Red Sox infomercial, a front-page story guaranteed to embolden those who believe the Globe is part of a Red Sox Cartel and certain to make life more difficult for Messrs. Snow, Edes, and all others who toil tirelessly to bring balanced coverage to our readers.

Notably, the Globe columnist uses the same metaphor (“wet kiss”) employed yesterday by blogging media critic Dan Kennedy with his quick take on the Globe feature. Boston Phoenix media critic Mark Jurkowitz also jumped into the fray. Kennedy follows up on the Shaughnessy angle today.

One loyal reader of the site made note of another phrase Shaughnessy chose to turn this morning.

Whatever happened to peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and Fenway Franks? You won't hear ''Kill the ump!" or ''Yankees suck!" in the EMC Club. It goes something more like, ''Pardon me, could you pass the Grey Poupon?"

With a quick search, the reader found the following from the Globe scribe:

Oct 3. 2003
Indeed, there was a decided dearth of acrimony. Saturday’s rowdiness yielded to “Could you pass the Grey Poupon?” as Sox fans remained under control and the ballplayers behaved professionally.

Aug 16, 2002
Civilization has come to Foxborough. Football games in New England used to mean “hide the women and children.” Now it’s “Praise the Pats and pass the Grey Poupon>.”

May 21, 1999
The bleachers last night had that old-timey, World Cup/hooligan atmosphere. So what will happen in the next ballyard? Will there be fights in the stands, or will Boston-New York rivals take on a “Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Grey Poupon?” attitude when the games are played in a clean, spacious, modern facility?

January 12, 1998
And, given the friendliness between the teams (there are 49ers with connections to the Pack, and vice versa), there was a “Pardon-Me-Do-You-Have-Any-Grey-Poupon?” atmosphere.

April 20, 1997
How boring. No board-room bloodletting. No Draft Day Altamont. No Parcells playing Keith Moon and kicking down doors. This time it was just the polite Carroll turning to Kraft and saying, “Pardon me, could you pass the Grey Poupon?”

May 8, 1995
There he was again, failing to be a braggart or a jerk. Lemieux is far too calm and thoughtful for this role as Hub Hockey Bad Boy. Next thing you know, he’ll be asking us if we have any Grey Poupon. No wonder everybody hates this guy.

Nov 20, 1994
We had none of that here in Allston-by-the-Charles. We Are At The Grey Poupon Bowl, also known as Harvard-Yale, also known at ”The Game.”

Aug 14 1993
Before Darwin left in the seventh, we saw Rickey take a called third strike, ground to third and fly out to left. Darwin stared at Henderson for a long time after the fly ball in the fifth, but none of Darwin’s pitches came close to Rickey. Instead of chin music followed by a flurry of expletives, we got “Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Grey Poupon?”


Shanked Stories

John Molori has his take of the highlights and lowlights of the Super Bowl.

While Ron Borges has drawn a lot of attention from this site as of late, we haven’t forgotten his Globe colleague Dan Shaughnessy. While the website devoted to watching Dan has done a great job of following his stuff on a daily basis, here are a couple of items that prove once again how far the Globe sports section has slipped and what shoddy work the lead sports columnist of the paper has been turning in.

First, from Sheriff Sully very early this morning:

I really don

The State of The Boston Globe – Part One

Bruce is out of town for a few days. This is the first of a two-part article looking at the current sports coverage by the Boston Globe. Today, we look at the columnists, baseball, hockey and media coverage. If you’re looking for links to the Red Sox and Patriots stories, you can get some of them here:

Red Sox Daily Links

Patriots Daily Links

The State of the Boston Globe, August 2005. Part I

Bob Ryan
Dan Shaughnessy
Jackie MacMullan

These three are all capable of cranking out compelling columns. Bob Ryan is still a must-read almost every time out, and can produce an interesting column on even the most minor or mundane sport. That seems to be part of the problem from where I sit. He

Afternoon Links and Curt in the Car

A few afternoon links while listening to Curt Schilling call Dan Shaughnessy an “all pro cheap shot writer” during a call-in to WEEI’s Big Show this afternoon…

Alan Greenwood looks at Matt Clement giving the Red Sox their first complete game of the season. Rob Bradford also looks at Clement, who may have changed public perception of himself in just a couple hours. Mike Fine writes that Clement had the whole package yesterday. Win Bates and Ron Chimelis also have articles on the Red Sox righthander. Chimelis also urges fans frustrated with the starts of Manny Ramirez and Edgar Renteria to give them a chance…given their track, they’re bound to return to form. Bates reports on the Brockton Rox signing Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd to a contract for the entire season. Greenwood’s notebook looks at signs of life in Manny’s bat yesterday. Chimelis notebook looks at Terry Francona having to manage a few extra games by virtue of having won the World Series.

As mentioned in the outset, Curt Schilling called into the Big Show this afternoon to address comments about why he has not been speaking to the print media. He mentioned his frustrations with being misquoted, saying: