Dan Shaughnessy has some advice for Red Sox fans.

Some might look at all of the above and have negative thoughts. Not me. I have seen the light. I am buying the plan. This isn’t about this year. Never was. The Sox are planning on being great in 2007 and even better in 2008. Let those foolish New Yorkers delude themselves into thinking that the future is now. We know better. We watch the Red Sox.

I can’t understand how such a relentlessly negative person has been able to profit so much from said attitude. Is his “popularity” (assuming it exists) due to some sort of latent masochism on the part of Red Sox fans? The man created the so-called “Curse of the Bambino” and profited from it for twenty years. His columns come fast and furious when the Sox are having trouble—more than a dozen so far in August—whereas in July he wrote two pieces on the Sox, from what I could find (both were warnings that the Sox weren’t really doing that well and that, regular as death and taxes, the Yankees would soon reassert their dominance). Maybe he was on vacation in July, I don’t know. But he sure made himself available when the Sox started having trouble. He’s like one of those guys in Harvard Square with “The End is Near” boards depicting a fiery apocalypse.

As a casual Red Sox fan, I read Shaughnessy’s columns and see a man who doesn’t seem to like the Red Sox at all. As a writer, I can tell that Shaughnessy really pulls out all the stops for the sarcasm-laden pieces like the one above. Do people enjoy reading such schadenfreude-laden diatribes?

In a recent piece on the alleged despair of Red Sox Nation, the Globe‘s Bob Ryan wrote,

The truth is that in this perverted sports climate, the other team is never just allowed to be better, even for a day, let alone a series or a season. No, no. Blame must be affixed. Heads must be severed.

Once upon a time, losing brought a brief period of sorrow. Now it brings rage. The rest of the season, I fear, will not be much fun.

The truth is we need to sit down and figure out what sports are all about. We’ve lost our way.

I think Ryan makes a good point here. And if he wants to help get us back on track, he can start by convincing his bosses to give the boot to the number one source of provocation: Dan Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy’s “advice” column above essentially makes the argument (in highly sarcastic fashion) that we ought to be pissed at Theo & Co. for daring to suggest they’d rather not blow their entire wad on trades in a second-half already dogged by injuries to key players; we ought to be outraged, Shaughnessy suggests, that the Red Sox management aren’t risking future seasons for this one just two years after winning a World Series. Isn’t that exactly the kind of attitude Ryan is arguing against?

I admit it: I don’t follow baseball all that much, and the columnists are where I get a lot of my information. But it seems to me Shaughnessy’s work is fairly devoid of useful insight and instead filled with sarcasm, egotism, and petty potshots at the Red Sox management and players. Maybe he’s got a whole “guy you love to hate” thing going on. Thoughts?

  1. Mumma left a comment on August 24, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    With these comments, Mr. Shaughnessy was hit by 3 Clarke’s on the same day! I did an email direct to his trash bin, but I tried to be sneaky and put ” Excellent Point” in the subject space. However, the excellent point was MINE!! Nice job, Jase.

  2. Well, I think a lot of people from this area treat Firehead Dan like the joke that he is these days. I think most folks see him for what he is and he’s just there, like most columnists in my view, to kick any subject when it is down. I do like what Ryan is saying (and I usually do).

    As for the money question, Theo answered a lot of this in a Nick Cafardo piece on Monday. Buster Olney talked a lot about this piece in his blog on Monday as well, but you need to be an ESPN Insider to read the full post. The gist is the Sox have a ton of money, so why not spend it to keep up.

    Personally, I’d rather keep the payroll where it is or trim it down under the luxury tax and see what it brings us. I don’t want to stoop to the Yankee level of buying a championship. Porge will soon be dead or finally have relinquished control to the son-in-law and when that happens, I believe saner methods will return to that organization.

    As for you, stop reading the columnists for your information and read the beat guys instead. Guys like Edes and Cafardo of the Globe or Massarotti (sometimes), Silverman and Horrigan of the Herald are better.

  3. Big Guy left a comment on August 26, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    I was going to write something, but just thinking about Dan Shaughnessy infurates me. All I can say is that he makes a living trying to cause all types of trouble.

  4. Grodd left a comment on August 26, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    As a little more of a die-hard, I can tell you that you hit the nail on the proverbial head. I used to read all of the globe’s columnists, as it’s a little less tabloid(y) than the Herald. I stopped reading any of Shittessy’s columns back in 2003 and haven’t looked back. I’m a much happier person. I would urge the Nation to do the same.

  5. Mumma left a comment on August 27, 2006 at 5:57 pm

    For whatever it is worth, Shaughnessy wrote me back, and we had a quick exchange of incredibly sarcastic emails. My signature is a line from a Springsteen song “…meet me in the land of hope and dreams…Red Sox 2006”, and knowing his fondness for old time rock and roll, maybe he won’t assume that it was just an ‘EEI mouth roaring back at him. I did tell him that he is the sports print version of Howie Carr and that WRKO might make room for him next year when they carry the Sox games.That is, of course, if Larry lets him take the job…

Comments are closed.