Let me ask you something.
When you talk sports with fellow workers at the water cooler, have you ever joked about Big Papi David Ortiz? Something like “yeah, he got to be on somethin’, hahaha.” Or, when you are out drinking a cold one with your buddies and the talk turns to the Sox, you’ve heard someone say, “it’s amazing what Papi is doing – can’t even run a lick one month, then starts playing games and hits .500 the next month?”.
If your answer is yes – congratulations! You are Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe columnist.
And, you too now draw the ire of Ortiz. Sox co-owner Tom Werner has taken you to the woodshed. Many in Red Sox nation swear they hate you and want you fired.
I’m here to say that I love Dan Shaughnessy. He is the best at what he does.
Dictionary.com defines a column as “a regular feature or series of articles in a newspaper, magazine or the like, that reports or comments upon a particular field of interest, which may contain letters from readers, answers to readers’ queries, etc.”
A few days ago, the Globe’s Shaughnessy was doing his job when he met face to face with Sox DH David Ortiz then wrote his column based on his questions asked to Papi and the answers Papi gave him.
Shaughnessy: Did you hear the fans in Toronto chanting, “steroids!”?
Ortiz: No, not really. Why?
Shaughnessy: Because what you are doing looks too good to be true.
Ortiz: They test me all the time…This year I would say I’ve been tested five times. They don’t warn you. They just show up.”
I ask – what’s wrong with this?
Shaughnessy: But hitting is really hard and you are making it look so easy. No spring training. You are hitting .426.
Ortiz: It is not easy, bro…We work consistently to get better. I don’t work in the cage every day, I don’t hit every day in the batting practice, I don’t watch video every day to get worse. If I want to get worse, I come here and sit in my chair and 10 minutes before the game I get up.”
Again I ask – what’s wrong with this?
Shaughnessy: Do you understand why people are suspicious?
Ortiz: I don’t care about what people say, bro. People don’t feed my family. I feed my family. I don’t got nothing to hide, bro. I’m not going to screw everything that I have done in my career because I test positive for steroids. That’s not going to happen.”
Strike three – I ask what’s wrong with either this question, or this answer?
In my opinion, Shaughnessy did his job well. Big Papi did his job well. End of story.
Except that Ortiz won’t let it go. The follow up tweets…the comments to Shaughnessy in the clubhouse over the weekend. (Yes, Shaughnessy does show his face in a place where he knows he is not well received right now).
Red Sox owner Tom Werner used the team website to post this. “Those who publicly ask questions must take responsibility for their words. They (the Globe) had the right, but was it right?”
My answer is – returning to the clubhouse is certainly taking responsibility. And, there is nothing right or wrong with this. There were some tough questions and some honest answers.
Globe editor Brian McGrory says, “Dan Shaughnessy did what good columnists do. He gave voice to the questions that were on the minds of many people. Rather than fling accusations from afar, Shaughnessy went right to the source, respectfully posing a series of questions to David Ortiz, face-to-face, and receiving thoughtful answers in return.”
Now let’s all move on.
Or else Shaughnessy will start asking about chicken and beer in the clubhouse.
Naw…no story there.
ITEMS FROM THE DUFFEL BAG:
— Under the category of “it’s a small word” the USM baseball team won the LEC title over the weekend, defeating UMass-Dartmouth 4-2 in the championship game. The same UMass-Dartmouth school where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzohkhar Tsarnaev took classes.
— How about the job former UMaine Black Bear defenseman Jack Capuano did with the NY Islanders…would he make a good replacement for Tim Whitehead?
— Husson softball needed to take that next step in the NCAA softball world. One win and two close losses at the regional – step taken.
— Trade Comparison: Joel Hanrahan: 9 Games/ 0-1/4 Saves/9.82ERA/Arm Surgery…Mark Melancon: 18 Games/18Inn/18 K’s/.50 ERA
— A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on sports emmy nominations. And the winners are….
Play-by-Play: Al Michaels
Analyst: Chris Collinsworth
Sideline Reporter: Pierre McGuire, Tom Verducci
Studio Host: Bob Costas
Studio Analyst: Charles Barkley