These Red Sox Sure Are Hateable Right Now

Just putting this here:

The Red Sox have now won six in a row, including three on the road against Cleveland and Baltimore.

That’s Hall of Fame worthy analysis by the voice of Boston sports right there.


John Dennis is gone. It certainly appears that the longtime morning co-host will not be returning to the WEEI airwaves.

This meshes with what I had been told, which was that he flat-out quit.

While Dennis definitely had his flaws, he was infinitely a better host than Gary Tanguay, who seems to be the lined-up replacement. (Please no.)


The Patriots play their second preseason game tonight, against the Chicago Bears, whom they have scrapped with in joint practices this week.

The preseason broadcasts remain a bit of a disjointed mess. I like all the people involved on the telecasts, but they’re not in great roles. I appreciate Dan Roche for his positive outlook on sports – a refreshing alternative in a sea of negative pundits, but he’s not a play-by-play guy, or whatever facilitating role he is expected to perform on these broadcasts. Christian Fauria is not a great a analyst. He’d be better as the sideline guy where he can be be Tony Siragusa Jr. Matt Chatham would be better as the booth analyst.

I’m never sure when they’re tossing to the PFW guys, or what they’re expected to contribute to the telecasts.


It’s A Shame About John Dennis.

No, no it isn’t.

Will John Dennis return to Dennis and Callahan on WEEI? (Finn)

The only shame of it is that it probably means more Gary Tanguay foisted upon us.

If John Dennis is indeed done with the morning show at WEEI, it is the end of an era, the Dennis and Callahan program was the last show from WEEI’s heyday which had its original hosts remaining intact.

At their best, Dennis and Gerry Callahan (with or without Kirk Minihane) provided a smart, snappy program which always carried an edge. At their worst, they were bickering, angry, borderline hateful men who could force a dial change faster than anyone else in town not named Tony Massarotti.

In a way, it is rather sad and pathetic that it has come down to this. John Dennis, who has spent much of his media career as a bully to to his co-workers, can’t get along with his co-hosts, publicly threatens to beat them up, and then disappears, perhaps for good.

There’s no complicated legacy at play here.


The world got another close up view of the disaster which is the NFL Ops department last night as the annual Hall of Fame game which kicks off the preseason for the league was cancelled due to unsafe field conditions.


I’ve refrained from knocking David Price thus far, knowing that he’ll be better next year than this year, but man, he’s been a tremendous disappointment this season. To his credit, he’ll admit the same, but things are not improving.


Bryan Curtis of The Ringer profiled the voice of Boston sports, Dan Shaughnessy last week: Dan Shaughnessy Roots for Himself.

It’s also confirmation that Shaughnessy has no real interest in sports.

In 1986, when Mookie Wilson’s grounder rolled through Bill Buckner’s legs, Dan Shaughnessy felt a familiar sensation: nothing. Here was a play so awful that it seemed — as Shaughnessy would lucratively suggest — cosmically directed. Yet as he perched in the Shea Stadium press box, Shaughnessy was unmoved. Without a pang, he put aside the feature he was writing about Dave Henderson and changed course.

Yes, Shaughnessy is just as narcissistic as the headline would lead you to believe. Rather than reflecting about the moment, Shaughnessy thinks about himself.

“What does this mean for my work and my travel and my book?” he continued. “What does this mean next spring, and how we’re going to have to cover these guys? It’s not about, Oh my god, the team of my youth was just denied winning the World Series. None of that. … I always say, ‘I’m rooting for myself.’”

I suppose there are points for honesty there, but he can’t resist twisting the knife, even in an interview. When asked what moments did bring him pleasure and move him, he mentioned a couple events.

It was just that his exultations were often untethered to Boston’s happiness. As he ticked off the times he’d been genuinely moved, he listed Aaron Boone’s homer in ’03 and David Tyree’s helmet catch in ’08 — two moments that made Bostonians want to jump off a bridge.

Kind of says it all.

Let’s Get Something Straight: Dan Shaughnessy Is NOT a Hall of Famer.

shank

No.

Despite what you may have heard, Dan Shaughnessy was not inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. He was given the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, presented at the Baseball Hall of Fame, and will be recognized in the media exhibit at the Hall. 

There is no induction, he has no plaque.

That doesn’t stop the lie from spreading.

Oh, but it’s just semantics, right? I hate Dan Shaughnessy so I need to discredit him and take this tremendous honor which has been bestowed upon him and minimize it. Probably because I’m jealous or something, I forget what exactly.

(For those who apparently didn’t get the above paragraph. I don’t “hate” Shaughnessy. I’m accused of it often, so I took that perception and projected it into that statement.) 

But, as Rob Neyer wrote last year –

But one of the CENTRAL TENETS of our profession is accuracy, and it’s just wildly inaccurate for a Spink Award winner to describe himself as a Hall of Famer, or to say he’s in the non-existent “writer’s wing” of the Hall of Fame.

Some do try to set the record straight:

What exactly is this J.G. Taylor Spink Award? Well, it’s pretty vague, actually. The award is voted on by the BBWAA to recognize meritorious contributions to baseball by members of the BBWAA.

That’s all. So this “Hall of Fame” award is the BBWAA voting for a BBWAA member. Only once has a non-BBWAA writer received the award, and that was Roger Angell in 2014. Now if any writer deserved to be inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame, it might be Roger Angell. But since Angell wasn’t a member of the precious BBWAA they didn’t honor him with the Spink Award until he was 94 years old.

Of course, in 2011 they honored Bill Conlin, six months before he resigned following multiple accusations of child-molestation. Nice timing.

Aside: How has Roger Kahn not been recognized yet? Oh, he’s not a member of the BBWAA.

Here’s more on the award from the actual Baseball Hall of Fame website:

The award is voted upon annually by the BBWAA, via a meeting and subsequent “show of hands” either at the preceding year’s World Series or Winter Meetings. A nominee is recommended by the BBWAA’s Screening Committee prior to the meeting. Each award recipient (not to be confused with an inductee) is presented with a certificate during Hall of Fame Weekend and is recognized in the “Scribes & Mikemen” exhibit in the Library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

(Emphasis mine)

From now on though, be prepared to hear Shaughnessy introduced as Hall of Fame writer Dan Shaughnessy. (and die a little inside each time.)

So what about these “meritorious contributions to baseball” that Shaughnessy has provided?

You mean like the Curse of the Bambino? That qualifies? Apparently so. If you were around prior to 2004, you remember how much that thing was shoved down our throats. Because of his book(s) Shaughnessy had an active interest in the Red Sox losing at the end of each season in the most painful way possible. He profited from it.

From his work as a beat writer? As a day-to-day baseball beat writer, he was actually not on the job all that long. How many people remember him for that?

young-dan

1977 World Series

Well, OK, he’s been around a long time, I guess. Is this a longevity award?

Lets look at what the BBWAA thought made Shaughnessy worthy of this honor. Check out their page on him. (That’s a really bad WordPress website guys. Maybe check out WordPress.com VIP?)

Here’s the pertinent part:

Shaughnessy, 62, came to the Globe in 1981 after four years of covering baseball for the Baltimore Evening Sun and Washington Star. The Holy Cross College graduate has covered more than 35 spring trainings and 25 World Series. Shaughnessy has written 12 books, nine of them on baseball, notably Curse of the Bambino. He also popularized the phrase, “Red Sox Nation.”

Through his columns, Dan has taken on owners, front offices, managers, coaches and players alike in pertinent issues through good times and bad with the Red Sox. He has covered three championship Red Sox teams, the heartbreaking 1986 season and wrote some of the most eloquent prose in 2004 after Boston ended its 86-year title drought.

In 2006, Shaughnessy wrote a column which forced Theo Epstein to resign as Red Sox general manager. Dan wrote a book on high school baseball; covered high school, NCAA and Cape Cod League baseball, and delivered talks on baseball at the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Shaughnessy was the last writer to interview Ted Williams, in 2002, and had exclusive access to Williams in his final years.

Wow.

We know Shaughnessy didn’t invent the Curse of the Bambino. He just pounded it into the ground. He didn’t coin the phrase Red Sox Nation, either.

Ah yes, his bravery in taking on owners (but not John Henry, he’s his boss) front offices (but not Larry Lucchino, he’s his source) managers (but not Terry Francona, he wrote a book with him) coaches (like who? Wendell “send em in” Kim?) and players (mostly Dominicans.)

He wrote eloquent prose? When? Has anyone ever read a Shaughnessy column and been awestruck by his craftsmanship with words? Just because the Globe put his columns during the 2004 postseason the front page of the paper didn’t make them eloquent.

In 2006, Shaughnessy wrote a column which forced Theo Epstein to resign as Red Sox general manager.

This is stated as if this was an accomplishment! The column was ghostwritten by Larry Lucchino. Epstein resigned because it was clear to him that Lucchino had gone to Shaughnessy, said these things, and acted like Epstein’s new contract was a done deal. It doesn’t even read like a typical Shaughnessy column. But this gets put on his “Hall of Fame” resume?

Epstein didn’t resign out of shame because of something Shaughnessy wrote exposing him. He resigned out of disgust. This is supposedly a feather in Dan’s cap?

Dan wrote a book on high school baseball – to be more accurate, the book was about his son.

Shaughnessy was the last writer to interview Ted Williams, in 2002, and had exclusive access to Williams in his final years.

Why was that? Because Shaughnessy brokered a peace with the duplicitous John Henry Williams, who had taken over his father’s life. Dan would get exclusive access to Ted in exchange for not being critical of what JHW was doing to his father and his business decisions. Brave, indeed.

All that is worthy of being honored at the Hall of Fame?

In recent years Dan Shaughnessy has had no aim other than to make the life of Boston sports fans miserable – during the greatest period of sports success this city has ever seen.

Does that qualify as a “meritorious contributions to baseball?”

It’s worth keeping in mind that the J.G. Taylor Spink Award is really just a media award given out by the media. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the Hall of Fame, other than that is where the award is given, and the recipient will remembered in the media exhibit.

If you look through the names of the writers who have received this award, many of them are all-time greats. Ring Lardner, Grantland Rice, Damon Runyon, Shirley Povich, Red Smith, Dick Young, Jim Murray, Sam Lacey, Jerome Holtzman, Peter Gammons, Angell.

Now Dan Shaughnessy.

Forgive me if I don’t fawn over him, or call him a “Hall of Famer.”

Now What?

Kevin Durant would’ve been fun to watch here in Boston. Kevin Durant will be very fun to watch with the Warriors.

The former Thunder star disappointed Boston fans when he announced yesterday that he was choosing to join the Golden State Warriors, a team that won a league record 73 games but lost in the NBA finals to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Durant is under criticism in some corners for choosing to go to a team that already has three established stars, with the knock being that should the Warriors win the NBA title, Durant will have just tagged along for the ride, rather than taking a team on his own to the championship.

I don’t really buy into that. If all Durant wants is to win, and to win right away, Golden State was the choice. This doesn’t feel the same to me as when superfriends LeBron, Wade and Bosh teamed up in Miami. Durant was also smart in signing the two year deal with the option after one, not only for the raise he’ll be able to command next offseason, but also in case this just doesn’t work out.

It’s tough to swallow as a Celtics fan, but I can’t get too upset over this.

The Celtics still have more building to do. Al Horford is a nice piece and will make them better, but he’s not the star they need to really challenge the Cavs in the East. They need more shooting, though the youngsters put on quite a show in that area in last night’s Summer League game.

The extremist factions of the Boston sports media will paint this as another failed offseason for Danny Ainge and his “assets.” They can be ignored on this topic, just as you would on many of their other precious opinions.

  • The Brady en banc decision should be coming down any day now. I was optimistic that the court would at least order the NFL to respond, but my hopes are going down in that regard. I now think it is Supreme Court or bust, and I think Brady’s team believes that as well, which why Ted Olson was brought on in the first place.

  • The calls for John Farrell’s head on certain sports radio shows has been loud and adamant. My thoughts on Farrell is that in-game decisions, which is the most visible part of his job, is also his weakest area. I don’t know this for sure, but my sense is that Farrell is strong in the other aspects of the job, the parts that aren’t seen by the media and fans. This could explain why he’s hung onto this job through multiple last-place finishes.

A Familiar Scenario

Stop me when this sounds familiar:

  • Sports league has annual draft.
  • Local team has a ton of draft picks shrewdly acquired through various trades.
  • Lots of anticipation and speculation as to what local team should do with picks.
  • Local GM with Championship experience makes draft selections based on players he and his scouts like.
  • Internet scouts and airchair GMs decry picks because they’re not in line with their own rankings and expectations.
  • Same people shout that trades should be made, ANY TRADE.
  • When trade IS made, it involves future picks, not players.
  • TV analysts left scrambling for highlights of said picks because they’re being taken out of the generally prescribed order.
  • Fanz and media are generally underwhelmed by results.

Following the NBA and NFL drafts on Twitter can be one of the most frustrating experiences ever. Instant judgment! Should’ve done THIS instead! Oh, Player X is still on the board, they’re foolish not to take him! WHAT AN AWFUL PICK!

Or the one spilling over into today: DANNY AINGE OVERRATED HIS ASSETS! HE’S TAKING THE FANS PATIENCE FOR GRANTED.

Ah well. What can you do?


I’m largely in agreement with Chad Finn today on Mike Adams:

Mikey Adams was a lock for laughs at WEEI

I was not a fan of the Mike Adams schtick in the early days, but recently as the sports radio landscape became more and more negative, panic-mongering and hot-takez-oriented, I began to appreciate the show more.

It’s odd how that works.

 

WEEI Commits Mundicide

The Planet Mikey show is no more.

Effective immediately.

WEEI removes longtime host Mike Adams from evening program – Finn.

A Phil Zachary quote in that article reads:

“As you know, WEEI has extensively–and successfully–revamped every major weekday show over the last three years. The time is right to extend that thinking to nights.”

Two of those moves have involved bringing back longtime hosts who had been removed from their shows, namely Dale Arnold and Glenn Ordway.

I can only assume that this means the return of Ted Sarandis is imminent.

 

The More Things Change…

…The more they stay the same.

Especially in the Boston sports media.

After years of trashing “Pedro the punk,” Manny Ramirez’s lack of hustle, David Ortiz’s annual requests for a new contact, the sports radio airwaves have a new Dominican target: Hanley Ramirez, who has been a steady topic on the WEEI mid-day show. For some reason, the affable, goofy Christian Fauria, really hates Hanley.

It couldn’t be an act, could it?

Dan Shaughnessy rips the Patriots. Rinse. Repeat.

Dan Shaughnessy shows he is clueless (or more likely willfully obtuse and ignorant) about Deflategate. Let’s break down his most idiotic statement from yesterday and put it on blast:

3. Love the high-powered legal frauds who had no issue with other Goodell punishments, then expressed outrage in amicus briefs (solicited by the Patriots) in the name of justice and labor fairness . . . all because it was Tom Brady.

This is awesomely stupid. The best known arbitrator in the country, Kenneth Feinberg is a “high-powered legal fraud?” So the former Solicitor General of the United States, Ted Olsen is a “high-powered legal fraud” as well because he recently joined Brady’s fight?

Even if the Patriots did solicit the amicus briefs, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, the parties who submitted them could’ve refused, but chose to do so.

They had no issue with other Goodell punishments because the NFL lost those cases and Goodell got smacked around by Judges, who made specific reference to his dishonesty.

And sure, what Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson did and their punishments are exactly like what Tom Brady is accused of doing. If Shaughnessy can’t see the difference, he’s…well, we know what he is.

Also:

Bill Simmons is wildly rich and famous. So why does he have to keep playing the diva and crying about past slights?

This from the guy who got snubbed at a breakfast 20 years ago and has used every opportunity since that day to take it out on the Krafts.

Why am I talking about Shaughnessy? He’s irrelevant, right?

Things just never change around here.

A few things to check out:

Latest retelling of O.J. saga is ESPN at its very best – Chad Finn with a look at the latest 30 for 30.

Bill Simmons doesn’t hold a grudge. No, really. – Finn also has a piece in the Globe Sunday Magazine about the abovementioned Simmons.

Sports Illustrated debuted their “Tech & Media” vertical, which looks like it will immediately become one of the best destinations for sports media.

CSNNE’s “THE ‘86 CELTICS” Debuts Wednesday

Their release:

CSN NEW ENGLAND PRESENTS:

“THE ‘86 CELTICS”

A 2-HOUR SPECIAL DEBUTING JUNE 15TH AT 8PM 

In-Depth Interviews with Celtics All-Time Greats Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Bill Walton, Danny Ainge & More in this Exclusive CSN-Produced 2-Hour Documentary on the Exceptional 1985-86 Celtics Team…30 Years Later 

BURLINGTON, MA, June 9, 2016 — The 1985-86 Boston Celtics team has long been considered one of the greatest teams in NBA history, fielding one of the strongest and deepest talent pools and bringing the storied franchise to its 16th NBA Championship.  Featuring NBA legends like Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, and Larry Bird  (who once again confirmed his MVP status that season), the 1985-86 Celtics team is still revered and celebrated, even 30 years later.

On Wednesday, June 15th at 8PM, CSN New England will debut a 2-hour documentary — “’The ’86 Celtics” — recounting this incredible season of NBA dominance with 67 wins, just one loss at home all season, and culminating with an NBA Championship. This CSN-produced original documentary, almost a year in the making, includes exclusive and insightful interviews with the team’s key constituents who are now spread across the country.

The documentary — narrated by Glenn Ordway who served as the Celticscolor commentator along side the legendary Johnny Most during the 1986 season — features exclusive interviews from every key member of the ‘86 Celtics team and others.  Interviews include the original “Big Three” Bird, McHale, and Parish as well as Bill Walton, Danny Ainge, Greg Kite, Jerry Sichting, Sam Vincent, and Rick Carlisle. In addition, the show includes interviews and guest appearances from several who battled against this formidable Celtics team, including Dominique Wilkins, Doc Rivers and James Worthy, as well as former Celtics great Cedric Maxwell.  The journalists who covered the team during this amazing journey to Banner 16 will also be featured with their perspective, including Bob Ryan, Jackie MacMullan, Dan Shaughnessy, Peter May and Mike Gorman.

Highlights from ”The ’86 Celtics” will include:

  • A summary of how Celtics legend Red Auerbach assembled one of the greatest teams in NBA history.
  • A look back from Bill Walton and Cedric Maxwell on how Auerbach made the trade with the Clippers to bring Walton to the Celtics.
  • Player interviews and insight on how their dynamic roster — which included five future Hall of Fame players –were able to mesh to become one of the most prolific teams in NBA history.
  • A plethora of Celtics nostalgia as the film takes viewers back inside the original BostonGarden to the glory days of the Bird era.
  • A retrospective on how the Celtics battled Michael Jordan in one of the greatest playoff games in NBA history.
  • A recount of the Celtics supremacy in the Playoffs over the Hawks and Bucks, culminating in a showdown with Rockets in the NBA Finals.

Leading up to the documentary debut, CSN has been running an “86 Days until the 86 Celtics Special” countdown initiative (#86Celtics) in an effort to get viewers and fans ready for this exclusive 2-hour show.  CSN will also begin running dedicated podcasts which will include additional exclusive content and interview material related to the ‘86 Celtics that can only be seen online.

This documentary, produced by the same network and production team that just won the New England Sports Emmy for Sports: One-Time Special for the “Tommy Heinsohn: An NBA Masterpiece” documentary, promises to provide CSN New England viewers with an exclusive and honest look back at the 1986 Boston Celtics franchise with unique viewpoints from the players and media who were part of that era and others that have been part of the franchise since. Anyone tuning in – whether it be on TV or online — can bask in the glory of the Celtics Championship title 30 years ago as this cherished team raised Banner 16 to the rafters.

“The ‘86 Celtics” is presented by SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service. After its original debut on Wednesday, June 15th, it will repeat throughout the month, only on CSN New England (check local listings for airtimes).

# # #

The Blocklist – Thursday on BSMW

As most of my punditry (and posting) is being done via Twitter these days – look in the right hand sidebar for proof – I thought I’d put together a list of people who I have apparently angered so much that they felt the need to block me.

I only bring this up because, if you know me at all, or have followed me, you know a couple things. 1. I rarely, if ever make personal insults, and 2. I am never profane.

So why would these people block me?

the-blocklist

It’s an illustrious list, no?

Let’s break them down.

Ron Borges – I think the first thing Ron Borges did when he got a Twitter account was block me. Ron was always willing to spar via email, and never give an inch. On Twitter, where it is public and the whole world can see, he is less inclined.

Tony Massarotti – I definitely have given Massarotti a hard time about his moronic takes, his lapdog status and the fact that he sold his soul, betrayed everything he once stood for to make a few bucks more on 98.5 FM weekdays. He might be entitled to the block.

John TomaseWhy won’t you leave John alone? It’s been almost 10 years now. As long as people are claiming that the Patriots taped the Rams walkthough, and by extension that the Patriots “taped practices” Tomase should be reminded of it. He won’t be, by me, on Twitter anyway. Because I’m blocked.

Kevin Paul Dupont – Dupes is a fairly recent addition. It came after I responded to this Tweet:

My response was “You can’t fix stupid.” So, that might’ve crossed the line to personal, but still pretty mild in terms of internet insults. He retweeted, called me a Professional Whiner and blocked me.

Mikey Adams – I honestly don’t know too much about why I’m blocked here. Adams had an undercover account on the older BSMW Forums, and probably didn’t like how he was talked about there. He trolled me on Facebook once, and I blocked him there, so maybe this is retaliation.

Sun Chronicle Sports – Wow, blocked by an entire sports section of a newspaper! Actually this is the account of Mark Farinella, who has had a back and forth relationship with BSMW for many years now. I believe the block came during the time he was being extremely critical of the Krafts for having a backup power line to Gillette Stadium, meaning they had power and the rest of the town did not during a power outage.

Michael Silver – The only national media in the bunch, Silver blocked me during deflategate after I challenged some of his ridiculous posturing and questioned the NFL Network’s ability to report straight – especially after Judy Battista had reported the leak that Brady’s camp desperately wanted the transcript of his appeal to be sealed, when in fact it was the exact opposite. Another lifetime ago, I had interviewed Silver for PFW, and found him a quirky, interesting guy.

I’m sure I’m blocked by other people, but these were ones that I was aware of.

Do you see who isn’t on the list?

Dan Shaughnessy, for one, I don’t think he actually reads mentions on Twitter, but I have to grudgingly give him credit for not blocking people. Albert Breer is another who takes a lot of crap and doesn’t block people left and right. Gary Tanguay, John Dennis, Gerry Callahan are others I’d think might block me who haven’t.

I think Twitter blocks say something about character. Especially when they’re blocking someone who isn’t confrontational, isn’t profane at them, or personally insulting them and their family. So why the block? They can’t handle criticism. Can’t be told they’re wrong, and can’t be called out for their manufactured hot takes?

It’s interesting that the people on this list have no problems viciously and spitefully calling out the people they cover. But when the spotlight is turned to themselves, they do not like it.