Sean McAdam Wins 2009 “Best Red Sox Writer”

In last year’s BSMW Approval Ratings, Sean McAdam, then of the Providence Journal, scored one of our highest ratings, with an 87% approval.

In last week’s BSMW Opinion Poll on who is the best Red Sox writer, McAdam, now with the Boston Herald, took home top honors with 38% of the vote. Out of over 1000 respondents, 385 voted for McAdam.

He easily outdistanced the second place finisher, Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe, who got 171 votes for 17% and the third place finisher, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, who got 99 votes for almost 10% of the total.

For this achievement, McAdam wins…nothing. Unless you count the ribbing he’s sure to receive in the Red Sox press box this week.

Worst Boston Sports Column Nominees

Last week, I asked for your help in coming up with some of the worst Boston sports columns of recent memory. 100 comments later, we’ve got quite a pool to choose from.

Here are some of the ones you mentioned:

Dan Shaughnessy from January 10th, 1999 – “As the Jets take off, let’s get on board – Foes have familiar faces” In this column, just two seasons removed from Bill Parcells leaving the Patriots, and a year after Parcells took Curtis Martin from New England with a “poison pill” contract, Shaughnessy tells Patriots fans they should root for the Jets in the playoffs.

Jackie MacMullan from September 26th, 2006 – Body betrays a mental slump – reading Tom Brady’s Body language.

Bob Halloran, date unknown. Unfortunately don’t have a link for this one, This one was actually on ESPN.com and this was in the height of the Brady/Bledsoe debate, and Halloran compared Brady to a sneeze guard at a buffet.

The infamous Ron Borges draft analysis of 2001…you know the one:

“On a day when they could have had impact players David Terrell or Koren Robinson..they took Georgia defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who had 1 sacks last season in the pass-happy SEC and is too tall to play tackle at 6-6 and too slow to play defensive end. This genius move was followed by trading out of a spot where they could have gotten the last decent receiver in Robert Ferguson and settled for tackle Matt Light, who will not help any time soon.”

Sadly, Borges can’t even blame Mike Sando for that one.

Jim Donaldson, May 6, 2005 – Ainge Code may be hard to decipher. Yikes.

Michael Muldoon (Lawrence Eagle-Tribune) Feb 5th, 2008 – Time for classless Belichick to eat some humble pie.

Dan Shaughnessy, June 10th, 2008: Smoke and mirrors – Red takes me through his looking glass

Ron Borges, January 20th, 2002 – Ruling Keeps It From Being A Just Win, Baby. Quotes from Ben Dreith about how bad Walt Coleman’s “tuck rule” call was.

Tony Massarotti –  March 16th, 2009 – The Bostonian’s guide to sports injuries

Bob Halloran – Coach is Not the Saint He was Portrayed to Be – “He took the feel-good story of the autistic high school basketball team manager, who came into the game and kept hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer, and decided to play contrarian by viciously ripping the coach.”

Kevin Mannix – Boston Herald, 09/05/04 – the “Consumer Fraud” article.

Will McDonough, Feb 16th, 1997 – “An Inside Look At Parcells-kraft Here’s How They Came To The Breaking Point In A Tumultuous Year.” The one that starts with “This is my story and I’m sticking to it because I lived it and know it is right.”

Shaughnessy pretends to be Curt Schilling: Famous guest blogs in – Given ‘invite,’ Schilling issues direct answers  March 25th, 2007.

Shaughnessy’s one-mile per day column, Jan 6th, 2003.

Tony Massarotti, June 2nd, 2006: Hey fake fans: Make like Damon and leave. Contrast that with his column last year about New England being “the official home of yahoos, hero worshipers and gutless suck-ups.”

Shaughnessy, Oct 20, 2004: Now wait just a minute: Series still must be won. “The Curse isn’t over until I say it is, dammit!”

The sad thing, we’re still not even scratching the surface here.

(Yes, there have been plenty of GOOD sports columns too, we’ll discuss those in a future session here.)

So here are 20 nominees for the worst Boston sports column in recent memory:

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BSMW Group Project – Worst Boston Sports Columns

Before I left on vacation at the beginning of the month, Jim Donaldson of the Providence Journal wrote a column that was simply staggering in its stupidity. The column was titled Has marriage cost Tom Brady his competitive edge? 

It got me thinking…where does that column rank in the annuals of just bad, absurd, off-base Boston sports columns of the last few years?

There are no shortage of candidates. You’ve got Tony Massarotti’s column while at the Herald last year (“Nobody Wins This One – 5/15/08)  in which he called New England “the official home of yahoos, hero worshipers and gutless suck-ups.”

There’s Gerry Callahan’s over-the-top farewell to Manny Ramirez on August 1, 2008, (“No Dodging it: Manny Ramirez just a bad, bad man”) which can be summarized as “Manny hates kids with cancer.”

We can go with Bob Ryan’s claim that the Celtics might just barely be a playoff team after aquiring Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. (Title for Celtics far from a done deal – 8/2/07) “That’s it? Someone actually thinks this Celtics team will win the East and contend for the championship? Really?” The column ends with “They might even make the playoffs.” The only player the Celtics added before the season started was James Posey.

Going back a little further, we’ve got the column Dan Shaughnessy wrote which essentially caused Theo Epstein to quit – Let’s iron out some of this dirty laundry (10/30/05)

That’s without touching anything from Bill Burt, Ron Borges, Steve Buckley, Nick Cafardo, Peter May, Bill Reynolds, Jeff Jacobs or even Buddy Thomas.

John Tomase’s Rams Walkthrough Tape report doesn’t really fit here, as it was reported as news, not an opinion column, so it doesn’t fit here. We’re looking for columns only here. Let’s keep it fairly recent, maybe the last 10 years or so.

Your assignment is to submit further columns – with links and excerpts if possible, and post them in the comment section below.

There will be prizes given away as part of this project. Everyone who submits a comment suggesting a column or voting on a suggested column will be entered in a giveaway for one of two AX MEN (Mondays 10:00pm on HISTORY) roadside kitsclick here for a photo of the prize – they’re pretty sweet.

You need to enter a valid email address in the comment form email field (won’t be displayed to others) to be eligible for the prize.

We’ll leave this open through the end of the week, and then we’ll publish a list of the top columns as suggested and put them to a formal vote.