Shaughnessy’s Continued Digs at Robert Kraft…And Fondness For Tomato Cans

Dan Shaughnessy just can’t help himself.

From Sunday:

In typical lucky fashion, the tomato cans* are lining up for the Patriots, which is great news for Robert (“you can call me Amos Alonzo or you can call me Hef, but please don’t call me Bob”) Kraft and the CBS executives who worship the Patriots.

*see below

From today:

According to the Patriots Pro Shop website, you can still order a Myra H. Kraft lapel pin or patch for $5.

Is Shaughnessy accusing the Patriots/Krafts of making money off the MHK pins? The Patriots Pro Shop website states:

Show your support with the Myra H. Kraft Lapel Pin. All proceeds go to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.

Or is Shaughnessy expressing disapproval for Kraft’s current relationship? (The “Hef” reference above would seem to indicate that.) Whichever it is, the point remains that the MHK pins and patches are only there to raise money for charity.

Shaughnessy’s digs are predictable…and despicable. That breakfast snub 15 years ago or so really burns him up so much to this day?

Back to the asterisk above, Shaughnessy seems to have a fondness for that phrase, and mostly when it comes to the Patriots schedule, Celtics too on occasion.

From just this year:

January 14, 2012

Their 2011 regular-season schedule featured more tomato cans than an Andy Warhol gallery, and they’re coming off a bye week in which several of their wounded warriors got healthy.

February 7th, 2012

Ultimately, they were fortunate sons enlarged by a tomato can schedule and masterful coaching.

May 9th, 2012

Like the 2011 Patriots, the Celtics are beneficiaries of some nice breaks at the start of the playoffs. The Patriots drew a horrible Denver team for the first round. The Celtics got the Atlanta Tomato Cans.

May 19th 2012

The tomato cans were falling down in front of the Celtics.

May 28th 2012

The Tomato Cans from Atlanta and Philadelphia have been beaten.

September 10th, 2012

Tennessee was 9-7 last year, but on Sunday looked like just another tomato can lined up in front of Bill Belichick’s steamroller army.

November 6th, 2012

The AFC is weak, and once again the tomato cans are falling down in front of the Patriots.

December 2nd, 2012

In typical lucky fashion, the tomato cans are lining up for the Patriots, which is great news for Robert (“you can call me Amos Alonzo or you can call me Hef, but please don’t call me Bob”) Kraft and the CBS executives who worship the Patriots.

December 3rd, 2012

The Dolphins are like fellow division tomato cans, the Bills and the Jets.

Might be time for a new catchphrase, Dan. I know you’re thinking it is a clever way to discredit whatever accomplishments the Patriots might achieve, but it is incredibly lame.

Especially when there is a specific formula for coming up with the schedule. The Patriots will have played the Ravens, Broncos, Seahawks, Colts, Texans and 49ers – all who could be playoff teams. The Ravens, Broncos and Texans are the top teams in the AFC, with the Patriots.

Shaughnessy — “Get Off My Lawn, Bloggers”

The Boston Globe continued its series of attacks on blogging, Twitter and the internet by old-school media dinosaurs with the publication of today’s column by Dan Shaughnessy.

You’ve probably heard by now that Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was injured on Sunday and some Kansas City fans actually cheered when he was taken off the field.

The bloggers are to blame, naturally.

It’s an issue about civility in America today. It’s about accountability. It is about angry fantasy football players who do not know how to look someone in the eye, or hold a face-to-face conversation. It is about fanboy bloggers who kill everyone and everything under the brave cloak of anonymity. It’s about instant tweets fired from the safety of your basement. It is about anonymous bullying with the World Wide Web serving as the new bathroom wall.

Those of us who write stories and do talk shows are not blameless. Winston made a good point when he said that Cassel “hasn’t done anything to the media writers who kill him . . . ”

I’ve certainly done my share of tweaking and exposing professional athletes or organizations who don’t give an honest effort to live up to their contracts or fulfill the team-fan accord. In print, on TV and radio, we contribute to a climate of anger in the stands. But at least you know who we are.

That last paragraph is mind-blowing. He only tweaks those “who don’t give an honest effort?” or who don’t  “fulfill the team-fan accord?” What does that even mean?

So has “Amos Alonzo Kraft” failed to give an honest effort, or has he not fulfilled the team-fan accord? Which is it? (By the way, Shaughnessy actually took that moniker from Mike Barnicle. If you’re stealing material from Mike Barnicle, it might be time to acknowledge that you actually do not possess a conscience.) And that is an incredibly minor Shaughnessy tweak.

And “at least you know who we are.”

OK, that makes everything better.

Guys like Shaughnessy are terrified of the internet, because while he might not be the most self-aware guy around, he at least recognizes his increasing irrelevance, as evidenced by this old-man rant.

Yes, there are nasty, vicious people on the internet. I sometimes am disgusted myself at just how angry some people are online, and the things that they say. But speaking in sweeping generalities, like Shaughnessy does, isn’t right either.

It’s easier for Shaughnessy to write a column like this now, because a lot fewer people – especially those online, who are his targets – are able to read it due to the paywall.

Which just might be the best thing about the paywall, limiting the exposure of a Dan Shaughnessy column like this one.

Bizzaro Boston: Shaughnessy Is On Point

You know things are screwed up around here when Dan Shaughnessy is 100% right in a column.

Wind of change

Many of you will still refuse to read it, and I understand that view completely. But Shaughnessy is completely correct today in his assessment of the Red Sox, how far they’ve fallen and where they stand. The vitriol is warranted.

One thing he doesn’t touch is the issue of the character assassination on Terry Francona, a subject that still has many seething.

Has the Globe finished their victory lap over yesterday’s piece yet? It was a big nauseating seeing all the promotion they put into it, even arranging a special mid-day chat with Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan, who lauded the ethics and professionalism and reporting in the story. Apparently Bob Hohler was supposed to do the chat, but had a conflict, and Sullivan said he felt very comfortable speaking for Hohler. Why not just wait for when Hohler was available and have him do the chat?

The whole situation has caused media on media crime, a subject Ryan Hadfield is going to explore in a bit, with the likes of Michael Felger and Heidi Watney going head-to-head with Joe Haggerty jumping on the pile, Junior Seau-style.

Exit, Epstein – Peter Abraham looks at the departure of Theo Epstein, who has agreed to join the Cubs. Jackie MacMullan says that even though we saw it coming, this move is still stunning.

Owners under microscope more than ever -Sean McAdam says that it “would be nice to get some clarity rather than the strange silence — beyond the dastardly, off-the-record sliming of exiting employees, that is — that has existed of late.”

Sox ownership showing its true colors: yellow – Mike Fine says that ownership has hit a new low.

Forget the wrecking ball: Red Sox unlikely to blow up roster in light of revelations – Alex Speier says that huge roster changes this offseason are likely impossible.

Clean up starts with Josh Beckett – John Tomase says that Beckett is most likely the one to get dealt in the offseason.

Cherington would have work cut out – Nick Cafardo looks at what Epstein’s apparent successor would be looking it in his first year. Scott Lauber has more on Cherington.

Empty feeling inside Fenway – Jon Couture says that Sox fans would be smart to keep their credit cards in their wallet this winter.

Special teams leads to bigger things – Chris Forsberg looks at how special teams led to a starring role for BenJarvis Green-Ellis. Julian Benbow looks at others on the Patriots roster who got their first chance on special teams.

In blink of eye, Tom Brady calls it as he sees it - Ian Rapoport looks at what goes into calling and changing a play at the line of scrimmage.

Pats must ready for another Ryan – Tim Whelan Jr. has the Patriots prepping to face a defense led by one of only two coaches to beat them last year.

Dez Bryant-Devin McCourty a select matchup – Karen Guregian notes that the 2010 draftees will always be connected.

Tip of the hat to Cowboy – Monique Walker’s notebook has Bill Belichick saying that it is fair to compare DeMarcus Ware with Lawrence Taylor. The Enterprise notebook from Glen Farley has Albert Haynesworth feeling like he’s improving. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport has Tony Romo speaking about his clutch failures.

Bruins in need of a remedy – Stephen Harris has the Bruins dropping another one, this time 3-2 on the road to the Hurricanes. Fluto Shinzawa also reports.

2011 Approval Ratings – Dan Shaughnessy

The voice and face of Boston sports – at least according to the Boston Globe – is Dan Shaughnessy.

Shaughnessy is the Globe’s front-page go-to guy for all major sports stories, the latest example being all the front page runs he received during the Bruins Stanley Cup chase.

Shaughnessy grew up in Groton, MA, and is a graduate of Holy Cross. He started his professional career with the Baltimore Sun in the late 1970′s, serving as Orioles beat writer. He moved on to the Globe in 1981, where he covered the beat for the Red Sox and Celtics before moving to the columnist role. In the last couple of years, he has also been writing the occasional column for SI.com. He is a nine-time Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year, and at least eight times he has been selected as one of Americas top-ten sports columnists by Associated Press Sports Editors.

His formulaic columns, ripjobs, unabashed agendas and contrarian opinions have earned him the title of The Most Hated Man in Boston. His work has inspired his own watchdog blog, the entertaining Dan Shaughnessy Watch.

Shaughnessy has written at least 11 books, including The Curse of the Bambino, The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino and Reversing the Curse: Inside the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Other credits include Senior Year: A Father, A Son, and High School Baseball and Ever Green The Boston Celtics: A History in the Words of Their Players, Coaches, Fans and Foes, from 1946 to the Present.

Dan Shaughnessy 2011 Approval Ratings
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Shaughnessy Column Corrected

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post – Fun With NFL Payrolls and Draft “Value”

From the Globe this morning:

Correction: Because of a reporting error, the ranking of the Patriots’ payroll among NFL teams was incorrect in a column about the Jets-Steelers game in Sunday’s Sports section. The NFL salary cap can be tabulated in different ways, but in three of the most-commonly acknowledged ones, the Patriots are ranked second, ninth, and 12th.

So did he just Google “NFL Payroll?”

Fun With NFL Payrolls and Draft “Value”

It seems that the payrolls of NFL teams can be interpreted in many different ways. This is apparent from a pair of statements in articles over the last couple of days.

On Sunday, Dan Shaughnessy wrote the following:

If the Jets win the AFC Championship at Heinz Field, perhaps the Krafts will be inspired to spend a little more money on payroll next year (are we supposed to feel good that the Patriots have the third-lowest payroll in the NFL?).

Today, Mike Reiss has this:

“We’re comparing teams by a simple, bottom-line metric: Player payroll dollars spent per regular-season victory,” Hruby writes. “Using the most recent and accurate salary figures available, we’re also examining which clubs have been penny-wise and which have been pound-foolish.”

Hruby ranks the Patriots fourth in the NFL — their $152.73 million was the second highest in the league and the team produced 14 regular-season wins.

So which is it?

This is a game I’ve heard the likes of Ron Borges, Michael Felger, and Shaughnessy play. They interpret the payroll one way so that they can accuse the Krafts of being “cheap” and others calculate things out so that it shows that the Patriots are near the top of the league in payroll. They cite bonuses, “dead money” and actual salary paid for that season as variables that can be swapped out, apparently to make your argument either way.

Where did Shaughnessy get his information? If you type NFL Payrolls into Google, this page is the second result, and has the Patriots third-lowest in the NFL. The problem is that the data on that page is from at least 2008.

I’d like to think that Shaughnessy used better information than just a quick Google search.

Shaughnessy also snuck in: Maybe New England will stop trading down to get “value’’ for high draft picks.

I think that strategy, while criticized, has worked out pretty well the last two years. In 2010, they traded down twice in the first round, and still ended up with Pro Bowler and Second Team NFL All Pro cornerback Devin McCourty. In trading down from their original position at 22, the Patriots obtained the picks used to later select Taylor Price (3rd round, from Dallas) and Aaron Hernandez (4th round, from Denver).

Then check out this maneuver – During the 2009 draft, the Patriots obtained the #47 pick in 2010 in exchange for a third round pick in 2009. Then in this year’s draft, the Patriots traded that second round pick (47 overall) to Arizona for a later second round pick (58 overall) and a third round pick (89 overall).  They then sent the #58 pick to Houston for #62 (Brandon Spikes) and #150 (Zoltan Mesko). They then took that #89 pick and sent it to Carolina for their 2011 second round pick, which is now the top pick in the second round.

So from that one third round pick in 2009, they turned it into Brandon Spikes, Zoltan Mesko and the top pick in the second round in this coming draft.

Instead of sarcastically refering to that as “value,” I’m going to say they got VALUE from that one pick and a couple of trades.

For some reason, the media and fans HATE when the Patriots trade around in the draft. It generates snide remarks like the one from Shaughnessy, who can’t be bothered to see what actually comes of those moves.

A Challenge To Dan Shaughnessy

Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy submitted a routine hack job of the Patriots and their methods in this morning’s newspaper. He made the usual comparisons (Nixon White House) and accusations (arrogance) and even made a statement calling out some of his colleagues in the media.

The Patriots are the Nixon White House of sports. They see demons everywhere. They bash dissent, deny the obvious, and rely on a silent majority of loyalists (including some credentialed media) to pledge allegiance.

(emphasis mine)

So here’s the challenge to the bravest columnist in town (as described by his editor, Joe Sullivan):

Name the credentialed media. Call them out by name. Do it publicly. Don’t send an email or make a phone call. Just name them.

I mean, this is a serious offense, is it not? These so-called objective media members, who have pledged allegiance to the evil empire that is the New England Patriots and their emperor, Bill Belichick, need to be identified.

I like how Dan is implying his own bravery here as well by mentioning the “silent majority of loylists” – the implication being that there are only a few brave souls – including himself – who dare speak against the evil being committed down in Foxborough.

So let’s hear it Dan. Who are the credentialed media members who have pledged allegiance to the Patriots?

Newsday’s Policy Would Mean The End of Shaughnessy, Borges

The New York newspaper Newsday recently implemented a new policy in its sports pages. An article by John Koblin in the New York Observer reports on the policy and has reaction from many Newsday staffers, who are unhappy with the decision.

The article opens this way:

Newsday has a new policy for its sports page. The paper’s editors have told their writers there has to be a new, softer tone. They don’t want loaded words. They don’t want name-calling. They don’t want stories to be unnecessarily harsh.

Naturally, this has staffers crying “Censorship!” Media critics such as @richarddeitsch of Sports Illustrated (a favorite of mine) state that they are “angry and sad” with the decision.

Now, Newsday deserves a lot of criticism for a lot of things, but I’m not sure this is as awful as it is being made out to be by those in the media.

The paper is not asking the writers to refrain from criticizing underperforming teams and athletes, they are simply to keep it professional. I’ve always wondered by there was a separate set of standards for news reporters and sports reporters. You don’t generally see news reporters using the brand of sarcasm, name-calling and harshness that sports reporters use on a regular basis.

Columnist Wallace Matthews is quoted extensively in the piece, as a harsh critic of the new policy. He ended up quitting Newsday and going to work for ESPNNewYork. Matthews complains:

“They don’t want sarcasm in the paper,” he said. “What they want is straightforward analysis of why they’re having problems. You can’t have fun with it.

That’s awful. Straightforward analysis. How dare they insist on such an unreasonableness. You can’t have “fun” taking cheap shots at athletes anymore. Just terrible.

It’s playing big in New York, but can you imagine if the Boston Globe or Herald came down with a similar edict? Dan Shaughnessy would never get another column published.

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:

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