As I detailed yesterday, Dan Shaughnessy tried to break the "myth of contention" around the Boston Red Sox in a recent column. He did so with his typical attempt to crap on the team while they were down. I posted this attempt yesterday. It was the June 2 column that Dan posted. Then the Red Sox won a few games in a row and the reactionary, narrative-driven Dan Shaughnessy changed his tune just a little bit. He didn't go entirely positive, but all that "Pablo Sandoval is the next Adrian Gonzalez" stuff is now followed by Dan briefly defending Sandoval. One would think Dan could stay somewhat consistent within a week, but apparently not. Say what you will about Dan. No really, say whatever you will say about Dan, he's a terrible trolling writer. Words feel too insignificant to document how annoying his writing is. So here is Dan's slightly sunny outlook on the Red Sox, based entirely on the team winning a few games (which is why he is overly-reactionary), along with some of the mini-contradictions in this column compared to what he wrote six days earlier.
It was the best inning of the season. It was the best game of the
season. It was a seven-run, eight-hit frame, starting with “Sweet
Caroline,’’ and ending after the Red Sox greeted Oakland’s fifth pitcher
of the inning with “Everything Is Awesome.’’
THE MYTH OF CONTENTION CONTINUES! WHEN WILL THE RED SOX STOP PRETENDING LIKE THEY ARE A FRANCHISE THAT CAN COMPETE FOR WORLD SERIES TITLES?
It was a breakthrough day in every way. The Sox had been 1-26 in games
in which they trailed after seven innings. They had not won three
straight since April 9-11. The victory gave the Sons of John Farrell a
three-game winning streak and kept them out of the cellar of the
American League East by a few percentage points.
Or as Dan wrote in his June 2 column:
And now here we are again. Worst-to-first has become worst-to-worst.
So a breakthrough that will ultimately lead the Red Sox back to being the worst team in the AL again. Naturally.
Best of all, now they get to leave town and play hundreds of miles from the angry fans and nonstop noise of Boston.
Not ironically, the angry fans are angry sportswriters who have started writing the team off and those making the nonstop noise are sportswriters like Dan Shaughnessy who write columns burying the 2015 Boston Red Sox. Dan is basically saying it's great the Red Sox are able to get away from him. It's like Dan knows he's terrible, but still continues to play the role. Dan is one of those creating the nonstop noise.
Boston’s baseball summer was beginning to feel like Deflategate 2
This makes no sense in the context of the Red Sox season, but is an obvious attempt by Dan to be like, "Hey remember that thing that the Patriots are being punished for? Here's a reference to that."
Upstairs in the press box, the sad stories and obits were being prepared.
Obits that looked exactly like this.
They were going to fall flat at the end of the homestand that featured
memorable support from ownership and the front office. They were going
to fall 6½ games out, their largest deficit of the season.
Of course it was early June, but Dan also lives in a world where he thinks the Red Sox have to win the division in order to make the playoffs. So 6.5 games out of the division lead is a disaster because the two Wild Cards don't exist in the fantasy world where Dan Shaughnessy spends most of his time.
Castillo hit his first home run of the season. Dustin Pedroia and Brock
Holt followed with back-to-back singles. Hanley Ramirez made it 4-2 with
a single. After a pitching change, David Ortiz made it 4-3 with a sac
fly. After another pitching change and a Mike Napoli strikeout, Pablo
Sandoval lined a single off the Wall in left, moving Hanley to third.
I like how Dan capitalizes the word "Wall" as if the Green Monster isn't a "wall" but an official "Wall." Maybe Dan is just a big Jon Snow fan and got confused.
The Sox got a much-needed break on Sandoval’s hit. It should have been
caught for the third out of the inning, but Oakland left fielder Mark
Canha gave up, turned, and watched it hit the base of the Wall.
Welp, the Red Sox got lucky on this hit, so it doesn't count as a real base hit. Pablo Sandoval is still, in Dan's own words of course:
looking like Crawford and Gonzalez from 2011
That was the only break the Sox needed. Xander Bogaerts put the Sox ahead with a two-run double and the jailbreak was on.
Now is Xander Bogaerts one of those Red Sox prospects who the team needs to:
stop perpetuating the fallacy of Boston’s amazing scouting and player development.
I'm guessing Xander is a product of this non-amazing scouting and crappy player development, but it also depends on which way the wind blows whether Dan will agree with his own opinion or not.
It gave the Sox a stay of execution from the ever-ready-to-bury talk show circuit.
You, Dan. That is you. You are a crucial leader of the ever-ready-to-bury talk show circuit. So to talk about this circuit in some way like you aren't talking about yourself is very funny for me to read. I know Dan wants to separate himself from those burying the Red Sox, as well as one of the loudest noisemakers in Boston when it's convenient for him, but it's simply not reality.
“This is a momentum-builder for us, no doubt’’ said Farrell. “The way
in which we won . . . it was as big as the win itself. It was a
Dan says to stop celebrating this one meaningless victory. The Red Sox will lose again sometime this season and that will mean they are complete failures again. Dan is laying in wait for this to happen.
Indeed. The victory gave the Sox a 5-2 homestand after a 1-6 road trip.
So this means the Red Sox played well against the Twins? You know, the same Twins that Dan described as having,
no payroll, no star power, and no national following.
They also have a first-place team with the third-best record in the American League.
I can't believe the Red Sox, mythologize the idea they are contenders, beat the Twins since Dan has told me that the Twins are the little team that could. It's unbelievable to me this could occur.
It also validated (for one day, at least) the supportive commentary from
ownership and the front office that had made it a homestand of unusual
The failures are permanent until proven otherwise, while the success is temporary until proven otherwise. That's how it works for Dan, apparently. Once the Red Sox struggle over a stretch of games, this success against the Twins and A's will be forgotten. Meanwhile, this stretch of struggling will be intentionally magnified by Dan as further proof the Red Sox myth of contention is indeed a fact.
At the beginning of the homestand, Red Sox/Globe owner John Henry had
assured the constituency that the jobs of general manager Ben Cherington
and Farrell were safe.
But hasn't he read Dan's column about the myth of contention that surrounds the Red Sox? This isn't an opinion, but is a fact. John Henry is really messing up by not heeding the wise words of Dan Shaughnessy, even though Dan's words and opinion might change depending on what day it is and the Red Sox record over the last week.
Three days later, Cherington came forward and said the Sox still have
what it takes to win the AL East. He cited progress, and said we need to
be more patient as we wait for this $200 million squad to live up to
its potential and start playing better baseball.
"Fuck patience," says Dan Shaughnessy. What's the point of being patient when there are hot takes to be had which overreact to the Red Sox lack of success during the 2015 season? If the Red Sox can only win the World Series 3 times in 10 years then they don't deserve the patience they are asking for. How can patience be expected when the "myth of contention" is not being acknowledged by Red Sox management?
Ramirez and Sandoval were twin-tower lightning rods at Fenway throughout
the week. Ramirez was called out (by fans and media) for his bowser
tendencies, but was staunchly defended by Cherington.
Ramirez was called out by the media, which is a group that includes Dan Shaughnessy. Dan was already eagerly comparing Ramirez to Carl Crawford and/or Adrian Gonzalez. If you remember from past Dan Shaughnessy posts on this blog, Dan compared Adrian Gonzalez's swing to that of Ted Williams on multiple occasions. Of course, when Gonzalez struggled as a Red Sox, then Dan took every chance he could get to bash Gonzalez for lack of leadership and his many failures as a baseball player and human being. That's just how Dan works. One week he is comparing Hanley Ramirez to previous Red Sox free agents who didn't produce, the next week he's talking about how some have bashed Ramirez, as if he isn't a part of this group.
Sandoval was buried on the bench after a couple of errors and a
hitless week, then came back with two hits Sunday, including the lucky
laser to left.
Go easy on the Panda, folks.
Wait, what? Dan is telling people to go easy on Pablo Sandoval? This is the same Dan Shaughnessy who wrote TWO MONTHS INTO SANDOVAL'S TIME AS A RED SOX the following words,
But many of the Red Sox’ current problems are still rooted in arrogance,
NESN ratings (Messrs. Sandoval and Ramirez are looking like Crawford
and Gonzalez from 2011),
Dan already had Sandoval down as another Red Sox free agent bust two months into his tenure as a Red Sox. Dan explains Sandoval is just another example of:
A lot of big contracts have been given to the wrong people, and it might
be time for the Sox-loving world to stop perpetuating the fallacy of
Boston’s amazing scouting and player development.
But yes, go easy on Sandoval. Dan wouldn't want you to jump to any conclusions about Sandoval's performance or how it may or may not reflect on the ability of the Red Sox to judge talent. That would be crazy to do.
He is the ultimate streak player and he is a veteran who understands the
162-game haul. He is not prone to panic. He’s won three World Series.
Ah yes, the life of a fickle sportswriter who has no beliefs other than he believes he'll overreact to what just happened. One week Sandoval is looking like a free agent bust, the next week he's a veteran who won't panic and brings must needed World Series gravitas to the Red Sox team. It's funny how Dan's story changes as Sandoval's performance changes. But at no point, will Dan take back any of the dumb things he said prior. Never. Just forget about those things Dan said, because he certainly has.
He’s wildly overpaid and may be a burden at the end of his pact, but despite what you have seen he is not a burden today.
Well, I'll look for an update from Dan in the coming weeks after Sandoval is on a 2-for-24 streak at the plate. I'm sure Dan will see him as a burden at that point.
“It feels good to sweep the series,’’ said Sandoval, who always seems to be smiling and sweating.
As soon as Sandoval starts struggling, Dan will see this smiling as Sandoval simply not caring how well he performs because he's gotten paid. Dan will state that of course Sandoval is smiling, he took the Red Sox for millions of dollars and doesn't give a shit anymore. Dan will then explain Sandoval is sweating, not because he's working hard, but because either (a) Sandoval is overweight or (b) he's scared someone will see him for the fraud he truly is.
“I was glad to keep the line moving and I was excited to see my
teammates excited. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.’’
As many times as Dan has bashed the Red Sox, then followed it up with silence after being proven incorrect, these are words he should probably heed.
Winning three games in a row is a start. And getting out of town, away from the noise of us, may be just what this team needs.
The noise of "us." So Dan is self-aware to realize he is part of the parade of overreactive idiocy in the Boston media. Wouldn't it be nice if he did something about it rather than continue to write the same crap over and over again? That wouldn't allow Dan to be the troll that he truly is nor would it allow him the pageviews and attention he gets for being so negative. He doesn't care about the integrity of what he writes, as long as it gets attention.
We have the Red Sox.
We have the myth.
I think the only myth being perpetrated here is the myth that Dan Shaughnessy puts in his columns about the Red Sox being failures and non-contenders. Dan is the worst.
Welp, the Red Sox aren't playing well again, so of course Dan is back to ripping them.