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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dan Shaughnessy: Your sports columnist is here to write, not to root

Koko the Clown and his inkwell dried up years ago…

Why is it presumed to be different for us? Why do readers expect — and in some cases, demand — that sports reporters be fans of the team they cover? This amazes me. Are we supposed to suspend all rules of journalism because we cover sports?

I had this discussion with a very smart woman at a dinner party some years ago. She was from a family of newspaper publishers. And she was astounded to learn I was not rooting for the Red Sox while I was covering the Red Sox.

Trust me when I tell you this whole thing has changed. When I came into this business in the 1970s, it was OK for sports reporters to be skeptical and critical. It was not a crime against humanity if you suggested the Patriots or Red Sox might not win the championship, or perhaps might not be serving the best interests of their fans. It was OK to occasionally poke fun at Haywood Sullivan or Billy Sullivan.

Naturally, the Internet is a good source of explanation for this new dynamic. The web gives fans an infinite forum. Fans have a place to read like-minded people. It’s like one giant sports-talk show with no hosts interrupting. It turns out that fans love reading other fans. And, naturally, they all love their teams. What a surprise. Now they expect everyone else to love a team. It’s the wild west of fanboys.

And so the industry has changed. The press box is peppered with folks who are working for the teams, or the league, or other fans. And woe is the fly in the punchbowl who’d dare interrupt the fanfest celebration.

Repoz Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:22 PM | 63 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4620277)
Dan Shaughnessy's ##### hurts.
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4620284)
I expect sportswriters to write and not vomit on a keyboard.
   3. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4620285)
Is there a difference between cheering for a team to win, and hoping a team NEVER wins because you can write articles/books about the subject and live off it for years to come?
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4620290)
What a disingenuous troll.
   5. TJ Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4620295)
So insulting and belittling those who disagree with you by referring to them as "nerds", "geeks", or "living in their mother's basement" is considered objetive writing?

If Shaughnessy wants fans to respect his work, my advice to him is that he respect their views, even when they don't align with his...
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4620306)
Response to the column here at BSMW
   7. Jeltzandini Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4620322)
Seeing the Haywood Sullivan name again brought to mind Bill James's rant in one of the Abstracts about the Red Sox' continued employment and deployment of Haywood's son Marc as a major league catcher. It was about as angry as he ever got in print in those days.

Marc's bb-ref page hasn't improved with age. A smooth Bergenesque career OPS+ of 33.
   8. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4620327)
He's here to troll, not write.
   9. Sonic Youk Posted: December 18, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4620329)
If anything, his vicious ####### shtick is even more reprehensible if he has no rooting interest in the team.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4620332)
This brings to mind Gawker's recent piece on smarm. This would be Exhibit A in the sports writing world.
   11. Scott Ross Posted: December 18, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4620335)
I don't expect him to root for the Sox, but I think it reasonable to expect that he love and have an intellectual curiosity about the sport he covers. Que sera...
   12. this space for rent Posted: December 18, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4620337)
I had this discussion with a very smart woman at a dinner party some years ago. She was from a family of newspaper publishers. And she was astounded to learn I was not rooting for the Red Sox while I was covering the Red Sox.


Obviously (and wisely) she hadn't read any of CHB's coverage of the Red Sox, or that would not have been terribly astounding.
   13. dlf Posted: December 18, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4620360)
I don't expect him to root for the Sox, but I think it reasonable to expect that he love and have an intellectual curiosity about the sport he covers. Que sera...


I prefer writers who love baseball (e.g. Bill James, Roger Angell, Joe Posnanski, etc.) but I'm not sure that is necessary. Just don't hate it and those who play it.
   14. Textbook Editor Posted: December 18, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4620364)
Why do we give this man any publicity?
   15. BDC Posted: December 18, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4620368)
I'm having a hard time figuring out what y'all think of Shaughnessy. I wish everyone weren't so equivocal.
   16. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4620370)
CHB is substantively correct and I admire his appropriate use of the term "fanboy."

but I think it reasonable to expect that he love and have an intellectual curiosity about the sport he covers.

Uh, no. It's his job. There are many major league players who don't love the sport or their employer. Grow up.
   17. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4620372)
CHB can have whatever opinion he wants. He's a terrible writer. TERRIBLE.
   18. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4620373)
If Shaughnessy wants fans to respect his work,

I didn't see that desire expressed anywhere. Did you?
   19. Publius Publicola Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4620375)
Free advice to CHB: if you're a professional writer and you find your readers are no longer interested in your work, blaming THEM will not solve your problem for you.
   20. Sonic Youk Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4620379)
18- it's the entire premise of the column
   21. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4620382)
18- it's the entire premise of the column

Uh, no. The premise of the column is CHB explaining to a faction of the readership why he doesn't necessarily root for the teams he covers and how that dovetails with traditional journalistic standards. A personal quest for "respect" from the readership is nowhere to be found, explicitly or implicitly -- that's a purely self-congratulatory pose on the part of a small, self-flattering rump of the readership who, for utterly inexplicable reasons, deems itself able to bestow "respect" on traditional mainstream sportswriters.

   22. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4620390)
The premise of the column is CHB explaining to a faction of the readership why he doesn't necessarily root for the teams he covers and how that dovetails with traditional journalistic standards.


A totally unnecessary premise which is designed to aggravate his readership (or former readership who reads the column in places like this) who are well aware - and who know that Shank himself is well aware - that the criticisms of him and his ilk are not, and have never been, that he doesn't root for the teams he covers.

And I'm not sure I buy the other premise: that there is less negativity about teams and players now than in the past amongst the media.
   23. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4620396)
A totally unnecessary premise which is designed to aggravate his readership (or former readership who reads the column in places like this) who are well aware - and who know that Shank himself is well aware - that the criticisms of him and his ilk are not, and have never been, that he doesn't root for the teams he covers.

So every day he goes into work and writes a column, said column must have discerned every fanboy criticism of him and addressed it, lest the column be ... what, exactly?

Honestly, do you expect this veteran columnist to spend his remaining time on Earth and his column space arguing with you guys about what you think of him? We can agree that that's a pretty big ask, right? Is that how you go through your life?
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4620401)
CHB can have whatever opinion he wants. He's a terrible writer. TERRIBLE.


This is the part I'll disagree with and what makes him so frustrating to me. About 3-4 times a year Shank does a human interest story that he cares about and he kills it. I mean he absolutely knocks the thing out of the park.

It's what makes it so exasperating that he skates by so much. He really can write a terrific piece but he just chooses not to, he's the laziest writer I can imagine.
   25. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:39 PM (#4620412)
He came here to chew bubblegum and write ass, and he's all out of bubblegum.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4620417)

So every day he goes into work and writes a column, said column must have discerned every fanboy criticism of him and addressed it, lest the column be ... what, exactly?


Are you serious? Of course not. He could never write a column that responded to his critics, and it would be fine with me. But he chose to make the topic of this column a response and justification for the negativity that he is criticized for. Once he makes that choice, It would reflect better on himself and the column itself if he did it in away that wasn't sidestepping, trolling, smarmish (see the link in #10), phony, arrogant, and hypocritical.

Honestly, do you expect this veteran columnist to spend his remaining time on Earth and his column space arguing with you guys about what you think of him?... Is that how you go through your life?


Again, he CHOSE to write this column on this topic. He CHOSE to use his column to defend himself. I don't think there's any personality flaw for remarking on his execution of his own choice. Do you really want to go through your life intentionally misinterpreting situations and rejecting opinions for no other reason than multiple people share them in the same place? Do you really want to be known as someone who uses smarm as much as the discredited laughingstock Shaughnessy?
   27. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4620420)
he's the laziest writer I can imagine.


I think his papermate Cafardo is lazier.
   28. TJ Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4620421)
Actually, Sugar Bear, I did read it as Shaughnessy asking for fans to respect a columnist who offers his analysis in a professional manner, a view with which I totally agree. The problem for many of us who read his work is that we too often do not see it presented in a professional manner, so we do not respect him as one. Whether or not Shaughnessy should care about that is irrelevant to us, just as our differing opinions are irrelevant to him.

Jose is right- Shaughnessey can write in a manner both profound and professional when the mood strikes him. That makes it even worse, since he has the talent to enlighten with his work and not be childish.
   29. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4620424)
He CHOSE to use his column to defend himself.

This is an overbid. He wrote a column justifying one of two approaches -- yes, one he subscribes to, but that's what a columnist does. He tells you his views and opinions, so he's by definition CHOOSING to defend himself.

In the course of defending a certain position, he's under no obligation to defend other positions or other criticisms he hasn't put at issue.

He's not a participant in an internet thread parrying with the other participants (*), he's a professional columnist writing a professional column. The audience is a check on him, inasmuch as if he loses his audience, he'll lose his job, but he's under no obligation to address every audience quibble or criticism.

He writes from a loftier perch than you do, or I do. Accepting it will do your blood pressure good over the long-term.

(*) Which a lot of people, including around here, insist that sportswriters turn themselves into.
   30. AROM Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4620425)
Marc's bb-ref page hasn't improved with age. A smooth Bergenesque career OPS+ of 33
.

He might have gotten his MLB job through nepotism, but he was a decent defensive catcher who threw out 36% of base runners. His career looks pretty similar to any number of defense first backup catchers who have played throughout the years. On the career level, he's a worse hitter than Jeff Mathis, but compare his career to Jeff's last 2 seasons with the Angels:

Jeff: 499 PA, 184/222/268, 37 OPS+, 6 HR, 21 BB, 134K
Marc: 397 PA, 186/236/258, 33 OPS+, 5 HR, 18 BB, 92K

If you didn't know who Haywood Sullivan was, and someone gave you the Lahman database and asked you to pick out which backup catcher only got a job through nepotism, it would be blind luck if you picked out Marc.

Marc had at least AAA talent. Here's what it looks like when a no-talent gets to play based on who his daddy is:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=willia012joh

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=mantle002mic

   31. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4620429)
I think his papermate Cafardo is lazier.


Nah, I think Cafardo just isn't that good. Cafardo actually gets some interesting information from time to time but his analysis is horseshit and he's about the least interesting writer you can find. Shaughnessy is talented, he just wastes that talent being an ass.
   32. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 18, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4620440)
This is the part I'll disagree with and what makes him so frustrating to me. About 3-4 times a year Shank does a human interest story that he cares about and he kills it. I mean he absolutely knocks the thing out of the park.


Could you provide one of these, please? The only columns of his I've ever read have been terrible, but that may just be selection bias on my part.
   33. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 18, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4620441)
Could you provide one of these, please? The only columns of his I've ever read have been terrible, but that may just be selection bias on my Repoz and other submitter's part.
   34. Scott Ross Posted: December 18, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4620450)
"Grow up."

Charming.

I've never heard of a major league baseball player who didn't love the game and managed to stay with it for any length of time, I'd appreciate you pointing me in the direction of a few. That said, CHB says in column, "I love sports. I love football. I love the story." It's been a long time since I detected in his writing anything approaching that sort fondness for baseball. As for a love of one's employer, I have no idea to what you're referring.

Can I infer that your giving him a pass on his total lack of interest in the advances in analysis the game has witnessed? As recently as 2010 he banged out this gem: "While baseball is played on green grass in fresh-air stadiums, an army of geeks will be holed up in their basements, under a naked light bulb, crunching numbers and finding new equations to measure something that simply can’t be quantified."

Not making some equally snide comment in response has required a Herculean effort and a few edits, I hope Jebus is paying attention.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2013 at 06:32 PM (#4620458)
This is an overbid. He wrote a column justifying one of two approaches -- yes, one he subscribes to, but that's what a columnist does. He tells you his views and opinions, so he's by definition CHOOSING to defend himself.

In the course of defending a certain position, he's under no obligation to defend other positions or other criticisms he hasn't put at issue.


I agree. But in defending this one specific approach or position, I think he is intentionally distorting the valid criticisms about this approach, grossly misrepresenting his approaches or positions, and presenting the defense of those approaches in a hypocritical manner.

----
Here, he trots out the 'rules of journalism' and other places he falls back on being a columnist just expressing his opinions. But anyone familiar with his work knows that neither journalism nor his own opinions actually are the basis or stimulus for his content - which makes his explanations for his writing as BS and trollish as the writing itself.
   36. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 18, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4620508)
I've never heard of a major league baseball player who didn't love the game and managed to stay with it for any length of time, I'd appreciate you pointing me in the direction of a few.

Jeff King said repeatedly that he didn't really like playing baseball and was sticking around only until he qualified for the maximum pension - then proceeded to back it up by retiring immediately upon qualification for the maximum pension.

I don't figure there are too many Jeff Kings, though.
   37. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 18, 2013 at 08:38 PM (#4620512)
Could you provide one of these, please? The only columns of his I've ever read have been terrible, but that may just be selection bias on my part.


Unfortunately, almost all of them are behind the paywall at the Globe. I can vouch for him occasionally (and it seems to be less frequently every year) writing an excellent column, though.

I think it's totally fair not to root - I don't want or need him to root for a team - but he's usually lazy, boring, and not interesting to read. There are dozens of more thoughtful writers who could make better use of the platform than he does.

   38. ptodd Posted: December 18, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4620526)
Dan also took a pretty good shot at other writers whom he pretty much accuses of being Lackeys for the team and/or league. Which is why so few negative breaking stories over the years have come from the beat writers in Boston, they come from out of town writers or Boston writers who write for a different department than the sports department. Pete Abe and Nick are among the chief Lackeys.

Fans lack of tolerance for non-fans or for fans who dare be objective is also right on. Sports like politics is almost like religion, where belief and faith are more important than reason. They pick their blog, newspaper or news station based on which one tells them what they want to hear and tune out the others. They follow or read writers who believe as they do. Nothing new there really as this is pretty much human nature. However, some truths don't go over well.

Now that JWH owns the Globe Dan probably sees the writing on the wall. He is not beloved by the ownership there, and he will soon be working elsewhere. He will take a few shots before he is gone, and this is one of them.
   39. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4620572)
Dan also took a pretty good shot at other writers whom he pretty much accuses of being Lackeys for the team and/or league. Which is why so few negative breaking stories over the years have come from the beat writers in Boston, they come from out of town writers or Boston writers who write for a different department than the sports department. Pete Abe and Nick are among the chief Lackeys.


Which negative breaking stories did you have in mind? The "Terry Francona has a drug problem" stories?
   40. Publius Publicola Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4620574)
Who broke the "beer and fried chicken" story? I thought was Cafardo?
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4620595)
I don't know what hard truths the fans are supposedly avoiding. It has pretty much been the golden age of Boston sports and even so the local media has been more than willing to grasp onto negativity wherever they could find or create it.
   42. madvillain Posted: December 19, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4620633)
The idea that Journalism (capitol J here) must somehow perfectly align itself in the "center" of any given issue is one of its great absurdities that thankfully has mostly died with the Internet age. It's stupid ish like this that gets David Brooks a job with the NYTs and has the same paper reporting "objectively" on WMDs in Iraq.

Now, it could be argued that the current "echo chamber" era of journalism (eg, realclear or salon) isn't much better, but at least the pretense of "objectivity" is dropped and the arguments are allowed to stand on their own, even if they are being consumed by an army of nodding sycophants.

That said, I find it absurd that the the home town beat guy isn't allowed to "root" for the home time. If you're not rooting for the home team wtf are you doing? It doesn't mean you have to bow down to their righteousness, but that people like Shaughnessy and Mariotti and Sharp feel it's there job to trash the home town team is absurd. No, it's not your job to trash the team you cover, just like it's not your job to give them carte blanche praise.
   43. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 19, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4620645)
Every once in a while, something like this reminds of how lucky I was to grow up as a sports fan in Los Angeles. The two sports I cared about were voiced by Vin Scully, Dick Enberg and Chick Hearn, and every day I'd open the sports page and read Jim Murray. Growing up in the future is great and all, but what passes for sports journalism nowadays is ####.
   44. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 19, 2013 at 02:37 AM (#4620676)
Do you really want to go through your life intentionally misinterpreting situations and rejecting opinions for no other reason than multiple people share them in the same place? Do you really want to be known as someone who uses smarm as much as the discredited laughingstock Shaughnessy?

...have you seen any of SBB's other posts?
   45. Jeltzandini Posted: December 19, 2013 at 06:15 AM (#4620690)
If you didn't know who Haywood Sullivan was, and someone gave you the Lahman database and asked you to pick out which backup catcher only got a job through nepotism, it would be blind luck if you picked out Marc.


But what set James off was that the Sox moved him to starter entering 1987, when Rich Gedman had to miss the first month due to the collusion winter. A James snippet:

I'm sorry if this is harsh, but there is nepotism here, and it offends me. The Red Sox in 1979 blew a second-round pick on Marc Sullivan, the son of then-vice president Haywood Sullivan. After young Marckie hit .203 with 1 home run in 117 games in the Eastern League (1982), the Red Sox had the effrontery to dress him up in a major-league uniform and foist him off as a major-league player in two games late the same season. After he went back to the minors and hit .229 and .204, they decided he was ready to play for the major-league team. In 1985 and 1986, as a part-timer, Sullivan hit .174 and .193. In 1987 he opened the season as the Red Sox' regular catcher. We should all find our opportunities so abundant.

What I would like to know is, where the hell does Haywood Sullivan get off trying to make his precious little boy an exception to the rules that the rest of the baseball world obeys? The most basic rule of sports is that in the effort to win, you put the team goals ahead of your personal agenda. The public posture of every major league team is that they expect their players not to play for their own statistics . . . but to do what the good of the team demands. They would be appalled if a player stated publicly that he was playing for himself first and didn't care much whether the Sox won or lost. But Haywood Sullivan wants to add, "Of course, that doesn't apply to me."

And where is the watchdog? What does the press say? They tell us that Marc Sullivan is such a nice kid. Well, who the hell cares if he's a nice kid. Do you have any idea how many nice kids there are in AAA ball? It is not fair to those kids to tell them that Marc Sullivan is playing by a different set of rules than they are. It is not fair to Red Sox fans, and it's not fair to other players.

I call on Peter Ueberroth to intervene and end this disgraceful situation . . . he should tell Haywood to get Marc Sullivan's sorry ass out a Red Sox uniform by sundown.


This was in the 1988 Abstract, and in fact Sullivan was traded to the Astros that winter and never played MLB again.
   46. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 19, 2013 at 08:08 AM (#4620696)
Who broke the "beer and fried chicken" story? I thought was Cafardo?


It wasn't him. I found the article. It's still online. It was Bob Hohler.
   47. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 19, 2013 at 08:14 AM (#4620698)
FWIW, I rarely read the Globe unless I'm over my m-i-l's house and I leaf through it. She's originally from Boston and likes to get it to keep up with her old hometown. I like reading physical newspapers, but rarely keep them at home because I hate the clutter more than I like reading them. For general news, I'll check Google News or CNN or the Times. For sports news I check ESPN Boston. I used to like Yahoo! back in the day before it became so celebrity oriented.
   48. villageidiom Posted: December 19, 2013 at 08:28 AM (#4620701)
I've never heard of a major league baseball player who didn't love the game and managed to stay with it for any length of time, I'd appreciate you pointing me in the direction of a few.
Both Keith Foulke and Hiroki Kuroda have stated they hate baseball.
   49. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 19, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4620706)
Someone mentioned Jeff King. IIRC, Jeff Kent was the same way. JD Drew had some of that in him, too. And I think that's something that created some of the detraction surrounding him. WRT, I think its ludicrous to blame it on chicken and beer. It was just one of those things. Sure, if Carl Crawford played more to his level, it might not have happened. Folks who know baseball better than me say that i was wrong, but it seemed like he opened his stance more in Boston and that ed to hiss hitting woes.

It is easier to find a culprit for the 1978 collapse. Tom Yawkey died at the worst possible moment right at the dawning of the free agency era. The new ownership was looking to cut costs and this led to a shallow bench as well as pitchers like Bill Lee winding up in the doghouse. Don Zimmer went along with this, but I think a lot of the blame should go to those above him as well.

   50. Publius Publicola Posted: December 19, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4620711)
I remember reading that James snippet from the '88 Abstract. It was awesome.
   51. Publius Publicola Posted: December 19, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4620714)
What I find inexplicable about the '78 season was the outright selling of Carbo to the Indians without getting anything back. That right there could have cost them the pennant because Evan was having problems after a beaning and needed some rest but they didn't have an another outfielder to substitute for him. And there was the woodenbrained decision by Zimmer to keep playing Hobson when he bone chips floating around in his elbow. You could actually see Hobson on the field physically moving the chips around with his fingers so they wouldn't hamper his all-too-often errant throws.

The Eckersley trade occurred in the middle of spring training game and when Harrelson heard the details, he paused for a second and then said quietly "They gave up way too much".

   52. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 19, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4620717)
Didn't Fisk have to play the OF for a bit in '78?

I had WEEI On last nite. So when I got into the car, D&E had Shaughnessy on. I wasn't transcribing it in my head, but I think that he thinks of bloggers more as those who followed inthe footsteps of Bill Simmons than statheads. He did mention Simmons as a guy who just watched the games on TV and wrote his take on them.
   53. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 19, 2013 at 09:42 AM (#4620719)
Didn't Fisk have to play the OF for a bit in '78?


1 game, 6 innings.
   54. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: December 19, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4620890)
What I find inexplicable about the '78 season was the outright selling of Carbo to the Indians without getting anything back.

It's hardly inexplicable. Zimmer hated Carbo's guts. Carbo was a member of the Buffalo Heads and Zimmer hated them fiercely. And vice versa.

Kinda similar to the Valentine/Youkilis kerfuffle, really. Useful player dumped for nothing to placate an ####### manager.
   55. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: December 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4620892)
CHB claiming he has no rooting interest in the teams he covers is blatant moose excrement given that he wrote a book celebrating the famous failures of the baseball team he covered. He made money off their failures. His rooting interests were for them to keep losing, and the more painfully the better.

He's a hypocritical, disingenuous, smarmy, lying ass.
   56. Publius Publicola Posted: December 19, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4620973)
That's what was inexplicable. Carbo was a lot more valuable than Zimmerman was. He should have been gotten rid of instead.
   57. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 19, 2013 at 05:05 PM (#4621168)
I liked Shaughnessy's article better last week, when it was written by Bryan Curtis.
   58. Morton's Fork Posted: December 19, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4621207)
I don't think the issue with CHB is necessarily that he's a bad writer, or that he hates the Red Sox and/or baseball, or that he's full of schtick, or that he's lazy. The issue is that as a journalist and seemingly as a person, he's a huge dick; I don't care what he thinks.
   59. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 19, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4621233)
Uh, no. The premise of the column is CHB explaining to a faction of the readership why he doesn't necessarily root for the teams he covers and how that dovetails with traditional journalistic standards. A personal quest for "respect" from the readership is nowhere to be found, explicitly or implicitly -- that's a purely self-congratulatory pose on the part of a small, self-flattering rump of the readership who, for utterly inexplicable reasons, deems itself able to bestow "respect" on traditional mainstream sportswriters.


You know, you're a real ####### piece of ####.
   60. Publius Publicola Posted: December 19, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4621235)
Jeez, Voxter, was that necessary?
   61. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 19, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4621272)
Maybe not "necessary", but in reference to SBB it's certainly not out of line.
   62. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 19, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4621319)
Carbo was a lot more valuable than Zimmerman

Did you forget a comma, hippie?
   63. Publius Publicola Posted: December 19, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4621356)
Victim of autocorrect. :)

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