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Shaughnessy Really Nailed It

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The Globe, Feb 24th, 2013This must be what it feels like covering the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton every spring. The 2013 Red Sox have reinvented themselves. Surly, entitled ballplayers have been replaced by stand-up guys. Churl has yielded to character. Larry Lucchino actually said the $170 million Red Sox are a team of “scrappy underdogs.’’ Swell, just swell. Hope springs eternal and all that. But here’s the reality, people: The 2013 Red Sox might be really bad. Worse, they might be really boring. Anybody talking about baseball in your neighborhood these days?…[W]ith one (spring training) game down and seven months to go, it’s apparent that the Sox have more questions than any other team in the American League East. It is difficult to pick them anywhere but last… [A]n optimist can make a case for the Red Sox. I am going the other way this morning…

Finally, it’s tough to feel good about Ortiz. He turns 38 this year, and is coming off an Achilles’ tendon injury — an injury he sustained running the bases in front of an Adrian Gonzalez home run last July. Ortiz doesn’t have contract incentive (he finally got his two-year deal, a lifetime achievement award from the Sox), and he is concerned that the Sox did little to find him lineup protection. Sorry. The juice glass is half-empty today. These guys could be really bad. And really boring. “Scrappy” doesn’t sell in Boston in 2013. Not after everything that’s happened. For $170 million, a little more prime-time talent would have been nice.

Spot on, CHB.  That’s the kind of expert analysis and deep insight that made Shank the Voice of the Boston Fan from coast to coast. Now let me make a prediction: An optimist can make a case for Shaughnessy still working at The Globe once John Henry takes over.  I am going the other way. @JerryThornton1