Friday, May 11, 2007

Two Sides of the Schilling

Just once it would be nice if Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made some news from his pitching, as opposed to shooting his mouth off. Apparently Schilling likens the sound of his own voice to a symphony, as he sounds off on any topic which strikes his fancy. I would say the fact that he has a blog just intensifies his self-indulgence, but that might be a tad hypocritical, eh?

To this writer, The Schill lost any shred of credibility he had on that fateful day in March 2006 as he appeared before Congress during the steroid hearings. You will recall the SI article a few years earlier, which predated any of the Jose Canseco book stuff, in which several players estimated the percentage of big league roid users to be at least 50%. Schilling himself said that he knew something was out of sorts when, after a good play, a playful tap on the butt would result in the recipient reacting with a big "Ow!". (That's where the injections went, you see).

Here would be a perfect chance for a player who seemed to value the integrity of the game over all else to simply repeat and elaborate on the statements he made to SI. Would it be easy? Certainly not, but telling truths which nobody wants to hear rarely is. So, what did our hero do? Simple: he told the panel that what he said to SI couldn't be taken seriously.

Wait, what? Were we to believe that the man who is never at a loss for words, who always has something profound to say about any topic which presented to him, suddenly couldn't be taken seriously?

It was a chickenshit copout, plain and simple. When the heat was on, and he was amongst other ballplayers, he clammed up. Something I imagine he wishes he was able to do several times in recent days.

First, when asked to comment on the Clemens to the Yankees story, Schilling gave what I thought was the correct response. He basically said, "we're good right now, and really don't need him". The media took that and ran with it, and within the hour the headlines screamed "We Don't Need Him". In this case, Curt backed the 24 other guys in his locker room, whcih was exactly what he should have done. He went on to say that since the Yankees have been so decimated by injuries so far this year that it was basically a move they had to make. Furthermore, saying "I wish we got him instead" would be a slap in the face to someone on the current roster, which would create needless division in the clubhouse of a first place team. Good on you, Schill.

Feeling the need to talk to anyone who will listen, Curt made another in a long list of appearences on Boston Sports radio WEEI to blather on about anything from the state of the Sox to the Clemens thing, etc. When the topic turned to Barry Bonds and his pursuit of Hank Aaron's home run record, Schill went into character assasinantion mode, calling Bonds an adulterer, tax cheat, and steroid user, none of which have ever been actually proven (swelled head notwithstanding). As expected, the poo hit the proverbial fan, and after manager Terry Fancona prodded him, Schilling came through with a big mea culpa the following day. Not your best showing there, Schill.

Here's a suggestion Big Guy. Take a break from you blog, and concentrate on talking only about your pitching. The media will no doubt be disappointed, as a surefire quote machine will be running dry, but you'll probably feel much better. Leave the blogging to the professionals, like me. Besides, as you said, we shouldn't take your words seriously anyway.

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