Friday, March 30, 2007

Dan Shaughnessy Can Suck My Balls

Was trying to think of a creative title for this, but I'm just too pissed off right now.

I am sick to death of Dan Shaughnessy, aka Mr Negativity, aka Mr Big Dorky Asshole. I've reached the point where I don't even read him anymore. However, Buster Olney's blog directed me to this article in which he turns on one of the Sox most amicable, likable players, Coco Crisp. Crisp had the audacity to claim that he didn't care what the fans thought of him. 'I don't care if people think I suck or if they think I'm good. I just go out there and have fun' was his quote.

Shaughnessy's take: 'Hmmm. There's a good idea. You come to Boston strapped with the pressure of replacing Johnny Damon. You get hurt, post abysmal numbers, get hurt again, then tell the fans you don't care what they think'.

You know what Shaughnessy, that actually IS a good idea. Why put more pressure on yourself then is needed. Crisp knew what he was getting into when he came here. Shaughnessy goes on to state what a 'soft player' Crisp is. 'No arm. No power. No sizzle. No impact'. I think I speak for Coco when I say 'Fuck you, Shaughnessy'. No impact? Did you miss the amazing diving catch to end one of last year's games and keep Papelbon's perfect save record intact? I personally witnessed the defensive play of the year. Man on first, Sox in the field, one of the hottest nights of the year, batter drives the ball to the gap between center and left only to see Crisp come diving in, make the catch, jump up and double the guy off first with a perfect throw. Replacing Damon? Damon wouldn't have made EITHER of those plays. Mainly because his pick off throw would have dribbled in to the infield.

What Shaughnessy didn't add in his column was the rest of the quote, because, you know, that would have been rational and given his readers an accurate account of what was really said. Here is the entire conversation from Gordon Edes' article. It's not clear if Shaughnessy was even present for this.

"I don't really care what the people think about me," Crisp said. "Or you guys or anything like that. I just go out there and play and have fun. Hope the rest of the people enjoy watching me.
But as far as me wracking my brain about what anybody thinks, I don't do that. I hope they enjoy watching us play as a team, I do something, they enjoy that part of it. But I don't care if people think I suck, or they think I'm good. I just go out there and have fun, and hopefully the ball falls in."

"Don't get me wrong," he added. "I like the fans."

You really don't care if people think you "suck"?

"No. I don't care. I go out there and play hard. If people think I'm good, then thank you. If they think I suck, then thank you anyway. I don't really care. Go out there and play hard and try to do my job and have fun with it. Hopefully, I do well at it."

As a fan, I see nothing wrong with this approach. Play hard, do your best, and if the fans like you so be it. If they don't or boo you, it doesn't mean you stop playing hard. This is the perfect mind set to have. Especially playing in Boston or New York where fans live and die by how their teams are doing.

So, what, exactly, is the problem Shaughnessy?

'Last year he played only 105 games and slumped to .264 with 8 homers and 36 RBIs. He also stole 22 bases and was caught only four times. But it was a hollow year in every way'. He goes on to compare Crisp to the four years Shaughnessy apparently spent blowing Damon at the end of each game. We get it, Dan, he isn't Johnny Damon. And you know what, we're all ok with that except you. Nevermind Crisp was kicking ass the first month and a half of the season before breaking his finger and missing a huge chunk of the season. He was never the same after that, but he still busted his ass. Nevermind that Damon sold his soul to go play for the Yankees. Nevermind that Shaughnessy writes this less than a week after mocking Curt Schilling's blog

What pisses me off isn't that he spouts this nonsense, it's that he thinks he speaking for the casual fan: 'Sox fans were frustrated by a leadoff center fielder who seemed to have no impact on the outcome of games.' We were? Well, thanks anyway, douchbag, but I wasn't frustrated with Crisp at all. I enjoyed watching him. Nice to see someone out there with a smile on his face while he's playing hard.

The bottom line with Shaughnessy and his kind is that they get pissed when they aren't getting the respect or insight from athletes to which they think they're entitled. Shaughnessy's petty anger and cheap shots at Crisp aren't because he feels he's speaking for the supposed slight Crisp directed at Red Sox Nation. It's because Crisp basically told the reporters he doesn't care what THEY think of him. It's the 'Or you guys' part of that statement that got to Dan. How dare he? I am a powerful, highly respected writer and will turn the fans against you in my next column.

Or maybe, as Bill Simmons has written before, he's not happy simply reporting a story, but wants to become one himself. An attention craving ego maniac who thinks everyone should cower and bow to his powerful pen. You think it's a coincidence he's taken on two of the team's most popular players the week before Opening Day? What he doesn't realize (or maybe he does and doesn't care) is more and more fans are turning on HIM and not the athlete. Every time he slams yet another Boston athlete, we roll our eyes and think 'Here he goes again'.

I clearly remember the article that ended my reading relationship with him. Nomar had just been traded to Chicago and Sir Dickwad lambasted him the next morning. Dredging up old stories, insults and sullen behavior Nomar had exhibited during his entire time in a Red Sox uniform. I hated that article. I felt dirty when I was done. Not because the stories were true. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. But why didn't Shaughnessy write any of this when Nomar was still on the team? Because it wasn't an article at all. It was character assassination. And it was done when the character, who also happened to be one of the most popular players in Red Sox history, was on a flight to another city and could not defend himself.

Most people already know about the negative Manny articles. Or the time he published a supposed behind the scenes play by play about the ongoing Theo Epstein negotiations that made Epstein so angry he walked away from the team. This prompted Shaughnessy to write another article about the first article and became the center of the storm. He probably loved every minute of it.

You ever think, Mr. Shaughnessy that there's a reason athletes are rude and aloof to reporters? Maybe there is a reason they don't like coming to play in rabid cities like this one and New York? That maybe it's good when a player says 'I don't care what you think of me' and actually means it?

Maybe, Mr. Shaughnessy, you and the writers like you are that reason.

Today's distraction: Take a test of the Major League Ballparks. Scored a 100, thank you very much, but it is an easy test.


French said...

I went to Coco's return game last year and he received a standing ovation from the Fenway Faithful. After the game, Crisp said something like he didn't know what to do because it had never happened before and he was moved by it. Coco is gracious, humble and blue-collar; everything i look for in a ball player (see Trot Nixon).

I was actually going to write about Big Curly today, too. I hate him, I hate his angles and in my opinion, he's a Yankee fan writing about the Sox. Hey, the Globe is wholly owned by the NY Times.

BeachBum said...

Totally agree. Crisp is the perfect athlete for Boston. Plays hard, appreciates the fans, exciting to watch at times, and seems to be enjoying himself in the process.

I never realized it at the time, but Shaughnessy also had issues with Bird. Or more accurately, Bird had issues with Shaughnessy and took great pleasure ragging on him in front of the other Celtics and reporters. So this has been going on for decades. I just haven't realized it until the last couple of years. Or maybe Danny Boy has become more overt about it. Either way, it's time for him to move on to another city.

Boston sports fan said...

So everyone should stop buying the Globe until he's gone, once and for all - we've put up with enough of his anti-Sox shit for way too many years.

BeachBum said...

Problem with that is missing all the other writers that deserve reading. Bob Ryan is one of my favorites, so I've taken to just reading them online and avoiding any Shaughnessy articles.

As you can see by this post, that's not working out so well.