Pay no attention to that curly haired man behind the curtain!
Dan Shaughnessy v the World
Oh boy does Mr Dan Shaughnessy like to poke fun at people. The Boston Globe's Sox columnist has a pop at at least one individual in most articles. His acerbic style of writing is generally entertaining and I for one really got up to speed with what it means to be part of Red Sox Nation by reading his Magnus Opus 'The Curse of the Bambino' while working on the Cape for a summer in 1993.
Every now and then, however, he manages to not only cause the reader to raise an eyebrow in surprise, he also manages to offend a reader like no other current Baseball Journalist (yes, even George King).
Take one of his latest efforts, entitled;
''Baseball season means a trip to wondering land with Manny''
Now, Dan absolutely loves taking swings at Manny Ramirez. I likened it once to the Simpsons character Frank Grimes who's passionate hatred of Homer Simpson ultimately leads to his demise. .Shaughnessy seems to hate Ramirez to the same extent.
In this piece, however, Dan manages to take jabs at Keith Foulke, Curt Schilling, Red Sox fans who write blogs and indeed Manny himself. I ask out loud, Dan, why so angry? Why do you have to scream this absurd nonsense at us when all around you the Globe journalists (Wilbur, Edes, Ryan etc) generally excel at what they do in a rational, well thought out and peaceful manner?
His 'jabs' are short and brief this time round, but all serve to illustrate how spiteful Shaughnessy can be when the mood takes him. First off the bat Dan tries a one-two combo aimed at Keith Foulke and Curt Schilling. In one fell swoop he ridicules two of the primary reasons the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. Dan rants;
''We have rejoiced in the retirement of Keith Foulke and we won't sleep until the Sox make a decision on the 2008 contract extension for the Big Blowhard himself, the inimitable Schill.''
Now I do have a theory on why he hates Schilling and Foulke with such glee. With the Sox win of 2004 a new aura of optimism and hope surrounds the Red Stockings and this is not good for Dan's book sales. When all you do is throw vitriol and spite at people, well, you need hard times to be popular.
That aside, Dan shows how bitter he can be by rejoicing in an injured baseball players retirement (Foulke). Apparently Shaughnessy is not a fan of 'My name is Earl' or any other Karmic entertainment. Enjoying anyones demise through injury is just about the lowest of the low.
After having taken a couple of pot shots at two of his favourite whipping boys Dan then turns on Red Sox fans from all around the Globe, preaching;
''This Sox talk is enough to fill the sports hole for the nightly news at 6 and 11 and keeps the fan-boy bloggers breathlessly e-mailing one another 24/7. ''
Well, sorry Dan. I completely apologise, along with all the other Red Sox fans who enjoy writing harmlessly about their favourite sport, team and pastime in the form of blogs. I (and indeed 'we' I am sure) am enormously sorry for even daring to pen anything about the Red Sox and I promise not to get excited about them this season. I particularly promise to remain in control of my breathing at all times during same season.
For the love of God. Do you think Shaughnessy hates puppies? Probably. Does anything escape his bitter rhetoric?
To cap it all off Dan goes back to his favourite topic and spends a little time slating Manny Ramirez. Naturally everyone is absolutely welcome to their opinions however Frank Grimes, sorry, I mean Dan Shaughnessy, beats this dead horse like no one else alive.
He starts with a little shot across the bows;
''Nothing from Manny's teammates who loathe his attitude but bite their tongues and say nothing ''
My first question is, if his team mates have said nothing, how does he know they hate him? Personally I think many of Manny's team mates seem very at ease around the chap. You are telling me David Ortiz hates Manny Ramirez? Sorry Dan, you may be selling but I aint buyin'.
Dan continues with;
''Manny has the Nation over a barrel and he knows it. His talent has allowed him to go through life without the rules that apply to the rest of us.''
So now we should picture Ramirez sitting in a oversized white chair stroking a cat giggling with glee as to how he has fooled Red Sox Nation?
Finally, Dan offers;
"Hey, who is that Japanese guy and why is he wearing Johnny Damon's number?"
Well now, that's just plain insulting, insinuating Ramirez doesn't know that the Sox have a couple of new Japanese players and that Johnny Damon is long gone.
Come on Dan, why so much anger? We are all here to help you. Come out of the shadows and into the light. The Red Sox are tuning up for what should be a great season and the sun is shining. It's a beautiful day! If you don't start being nice, the 'breathless' denizens of Red Sox N ation are going to have to drop an intervention on you. You have been warned!
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