Just Another Sunday For The Globe

Yesterday’s Sunday Boston Globe was AWESOME.

If you’re into marveling at a lack of self-awareness, I guess.

We’ll start with the top story:

Baseball pitchers want a better grip, not a competitive advantage

Oh, the irony. baseball players would rather not cheat, but they’re FORCED to because of the slickness of the ball. Everyone does it. They joke about it.

The column (by Peter Abraham) ends like this:

Uehara smiled when asked what he uses.

“I do what everybody else does,” he said. “But I’d rather not talk about it.”

Now, when Tom Brady wants a better grip on the footballs, and requests that they are at the bottom end of the legal limit for inflation, he is CHEATING. It’s the end of the world. It’s the biggest scandal since…well, ever.

Abraham admits the contrast:

It’s a speck on the scandal meter compared to the lingering question of whether Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ordered footballs deflated before the AFC Championship game in January.

The difference apparently is that baseball players are not seeking a competitive advantage when they bring a foreign substance to the mound, or doctor up the ball in some way, they are just innocently trying to grip the ball better. Tom Brady is a cheating fraud whose entire legacy is on the line and he and the Patriots have been tendered the biggest punishment in the history of the NFL for this atrocity.

Moving to Ben Volin’s Sunday Football Notes, Volin proudly shows off his discovery of a Patriots fan statistician who agrees with the Wells Report!

Well, not really. Volin originally tweeted out the email he received from the statistician, who is not agreeing with the Wells Report, but is letting AEI know that he was able to replicate the results of the Wells Report when they could not. He still disagrees with the Wells Report and agrees that the data set used by Wells is flawed and the results were cherry picked.

That’s a far cry from PATRIOTS FAN STATISTICIAN BACKS WELLS REPORT SCIENCE, which is what it seems like Volin was going for. He somehow uses this as a way to wag his finger at Patriots homers:

The Wells Report was attacked viciously and thoroughly in New England, home to some of the most brilliant scientific and legal minds in the world, as well as the most rabid and passionate fans in the country.

It’s millions of Patriots fans vs. one Ted Wells, and Wells has gotten clobbered.

But when anything pro-Patriots is released — such as the AEI report or the Patriots’ Context Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are innocent” story line is ignored.

Awww, poor Teddy got clobbered!

That last bit is just classic. Volin does realize that outside of New England, it is the EXACT OPPOSITE. It would be written like this – But when anything anti-Patriots is released — such as the PSI report or the Patriots’ Staffer Tried To Introduce Illegal Ball Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are cheaters” story line is ignored.

(Props to Jerry Thornton for this – Wells Report ‘science’ firm Exponent gets whacked by court order – a judge is ordering Exponent to turn over documents related to their work on another case, saying “Methodologically sound science has nothing to fear from full and open disclosure.” Remember though, that according to Roger Goodell, “Ted Wells’ integrity is impeccable.”)

Let’s head over the Sunday Baseball Notes. Nick Cafardo is an unabashed Jose Iglesias fanboy. He is also Scott Boras’ local mouthpiece. So what is the lead section of the notes yesterday? Iglesias vs Xander Bogaerts – who also happens to be a Boras client! So he gets to compare (and promote) two Boras clients! Nick searches far and wide to get a source that agrees with his take on things:

“With all due respect to Bogaerts, he’ll never be Iglesias,” said a National League GM. “I haven’t seen anyone like that in years. I saw a lot of [Omar] Vizquel, and I think this guy [Iglesias] is better. To do something extraordinary like he does . . . I know that even though you have a good player like Bogaerts, when you trade away a guy like that you’d better have a great reason.”

I hope the GM is only talking defensively, because that is a bunch of nonsense. Bogaerts’ ceiling is much higher offensively than Iglesias, and he’s improved dramatically in the field.

Then we have Dan Shaughnessy talking with Larry Lucchino! (Anti-Shaughnessy linking policy prevents us from bringing you this content.) Hey guess what? The Red Sox have marginalized Larry, and the team is struggling! Lucchino gives canned answers and Shaughnessy has an easy, mail-it-in Sunday column. All is good.

Finally, we’ll look at the Sunday Basketball Notes. Gary Washburn grades each team’s draft. OK. Kind of expected, even if the grades mean absolutely nothing. My gripe with this column is not with Washburn, but with Celtics forward Jared Sullinger. The guy has struggled with his weight and conditioning during his time here, even to the point where Danny Ainge publicly called him out on it. Sullinger is reportedly working hard this summer, but this quote doesn’t do him any favors:

“I think I’m going on a personal feel,” Sullinger said. “If I’m able to move the way I want to move and make the moves I want to make, I think the number [weight] doesn’t really matter. It’s all about how long I can stand out there and be able to put the work in that I put in in the first quarter all the way through the 48 minutes of the game.”

Ugh. I’ll paraphrase Shaughnessy on this one. Get. Him. Gone.

Finally, from today, it must be summertime – WEEI suspends morning show host Kirk Minihane

No Excuses, Huh?

(From BSMW member Claude45)

How about all the reasons you and your d-bag co-hosts keep hammering us with:

– Belichick the GM sucks
– Horrible Drafts
– Letting Welker go
– Kraft is cheap
– Brady is DUN
– Window is closed
– Denver’s ALL IN !!!!!
– The game has passed Belichick by on defense
– They can’t win a rock fight
– They play too many close games
– Lousy free agent signings
– They can’t draft and develop wide receivers
– They missed on Amendola
– They traded the heart and soul in Mankins (which would inevitably lead to Brady getting KILLED!!!)
– Trading draft picks for guys would be cut anyway
– Waiting for guys to get cut and pick them off the scrap heap instead of being AGGRESSIVE. STOP MESSING AROUND AND GET SOME GUYS IN HERE TO WIN SOME GAMES!!!!
– Brady does not care about football anymore. Just banging Giselle and fashion week.
– They will never recover from losing Scar
– Belichick surrounds himself with only yes men, needs a strong voice in the room
– Too many Rutgers guys
– They hate Gooch
– They have a tuba player on the OL
– They don’t have a signature road win in 4 years
– ARROGANCE!!!!
– The Jets passed them by (while somehow remaining a tomato can)
– Wasting a second round pick on a QB who won’t play for years INSTEAD OF GOING FOR IT!!!
– Tough stretch schedule with no tomato cans
– Inexperienced DB coach
– Coaches from Division III schools!
– NO PLAYMAKERS!!!!

Based on your football acumen, the Pats are huge underdogs to hang on for the number 1 seed, Tony. It will be a miracle or I may start to think you don’t know what you are talking about.

Dan Shaughnessy Forgets That Red Sox Won World Series Last Year

Writing about sports is HARD.

That’s the lesson we can take from Sunday’s Boston Globe.

How else to explain some of the content from the region’s largest newspaper?

First we have Shaughnessy, who rails about how Red Sox fans have all gone soft on the team and we’re not miserable bastards like we were in 1978.

At this hour, your Boston Red Sox enjoy a friendlier environment than almost any of the 30 teams in baseball. The Sox have a chance to finish in last place for the second time in three years, win a playoff game in only one of six seasons, and still be perceived by their fans as “perennial contenders.’’

Well, let’s see, since 2003, we’ve had three World Series victories, two other appearances in the ALCS, and made two other playoff appearances. Since 2003 they’ve averaged 91 wins per season, and that includes the 69-win season of 2012.

But we’re insane for thinking that the Red Sox are generally pretty good.

It amazes me how soft this baseball market has become. In 1978 fans and media crushed the Sox for a 99-win season that concluded with eight consecutive pressure-packed victories. The Boston manager was unmercifully booed on Opening Day the following year. Now everything is awesome because the Boston ballpark is a tourist destination and fans fall in love with the hype of every young player coming through the system. Swell. When did we become St. Louis?

I think Dan is still upset he lost his “Curse” business.

What’s truly amazing is that throughout his rant, he never mentions ONCE that the Red Sox actually, you know, WON THE WORLD SERIES last year.

Chad Finn very nicely took Dan to task yesterday – I Can Think of 3 Good Reasons Why The Red Sox are Getting the Benefit of the Doubt.

Then we had Bob Ryan’s column, the premise of which was promising enough – how much sports coverage has changed since the days that he was on the beat. The main thrust of which is that there really is no offseason for sports coverage any longer.

Ryan then includes quotes from all of the regular Globe sports writers, including Nick Cafardo, Peter Abraham, Amalie Benjamin, Shalise Manza Young, Ben Volin, Gary Washburn, Baxter Holmes and Fluto Shinzawa.

Amalie Benjamin once covered the Red Sox. Now she covers the Bruins. “Hockey is not as crazy as baseball,” she says. “I hated baseball offseason.”

Why? Too busy in the offseason? Most of the rest of us work year-round, too. Some travel just as much as these writers, and put in 60+ hours a week for the entire year. No offseason.

Then there’s Volin:

“It’s an 11-month news cycle,” says Ben Volin, the Globe’s NFL analyst. “For one thing, people just love talking about next year. That’s a big part of it. And the whole football thinking is different. They have OTAs because they don’t want people to get out of shape and because they don’t want them getting into trouble.”

So, it’s not about putting in your offense or defense and building a team, it’s all about keeping the players busy so they don’t all become fat criminals in the offseason? OK, Got it.

Let’s go back to the social media thing for a minute. “It’s really changed dramatically the last three or four years,” says Abraham. “The littlest things can become big things. You’re asking yourself, ‘Is this a story?’ ’’

“There is no way to distinguish what is news and what isn’t,” says Manza Young.

Wait, what? These are reporters for the largest newspaper in New England and they don’t know what is news and what isn’t?

Finally in the Sunday Football Notes from Volin, there was his line in the section outlining how advanced the NFL is:

Equality barriers have been broken. The NFL is now the first among the four major North American pro sports leagues to have an openly gay player (Michael Sam).

Do these columns get edited? Jason Collins was a fairly big story last year, and he played in the NBA after his announcement. How does this get missed?