While Dan Shaughnessy gets lionized among local media for his David Ortiz column from the other day, especially among sports radio hosts, a few people displaced from the local scene see the column for what it really was: garbage.
The worst baseball writing of the month -Rob Neyer says that the column takes muckraking to a whole different place.
You know what’s really a shame? I mean, aside from the fact that Shaughnessy gets paid a great deal of money to compose this drivel, year after year? He might have spared himself this particular embarrassment if he weren’t so bloody afraid of statistics that his grandpappy didn’t teach him.
Nowhere in the column does Shaughnessy offer even the tiniest shred of evidence, not one, that Ortiz’s bat speed is higher now than when he was 34. Nothing from an Internet database, no quote from some grizzled (and anonymous) scout. Just the argument that Ortiz’s bat speed must be higher because hey look! .426!
From Deadspin: Dan Shaughnessy Invents Some David Ortiz PED Rumors
Except, this isn’t a column accusing David Ortiz of PED usage. It’s a column about David Ortiz denying accusations of PED usage. Except there are no active accusations, so Shaughnessy has to create them, confront Ortiz with them, and then run his denials. The truly incredible part is that at some point, this logic ran through Shaughnessy’s brain and he decided it would be a good idea for a column.
The Red Sox have been in first place for most of a season in which they’re supposed to finish last. If there’s not enough there for a local sports columnist without having to resort to sorry-I’m-not-sorry defamation after a month, I feel for Dan Shaughnessy’s shriveled black writer’s soul. But Boston’s lost three in a row, seven of 10, and Ortiz is hitless in his last 13 at-bats. Shank can happily go back to blasting the team for being bad, which is a lot easier and more straightforward than this tortured bit of “I’m just asking questions.”