Senator Curt Schilling?


Am I the only one who wants Curt Schilling to go away? It seems like every time I read about Schilling, he’s doing or saying something completely irritating. Like this: Schilling is considering running for Edward M. Kennedy’s vacated Senate seat. On August 25th, the beloved senator sadly passed away. Now, a former baseball player with a loud mouth thinks he would be a fitting replacement.

“I’m not going to divulge the discussions, but I’ve been contacted by people whose opinion I give credence to and listen to, and I listened,” Schilling said.

Asked whether he would run, Schilling said, “As of today, probably not.”

“I don’t know, going forward,” Schilling said. “That’s a pretty big deal, from a commitment standpoint, not just for me but for my family.”

After the interview, Schilling added to his comments with a statement he posted on his blog.

“I do have some interest in the possibility,” Schilling wrote. “That being said to get to there, from where I am today, many many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen. I am not going to comment further on the matter since at this point it would be speculation on top of speculation.”

If Schilling were to give it a go, he would presumably run as a Republican — he supported President George W. Bush in the 2004 election, and he campaigned for Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential race.

I hope you’re excited, Massachusetts.

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Schilling has less harsh view on Big Papi than he did Bonds

After news broke yesterday that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, I got to thinking, “What’s Curt Schilling’s take on all of this?”

Schilling was part of the 2004 Boston Red Sox team that Ortiz and ManRam helped win a World Series and is a close friend of Big Papi. He was also the one that absolutely lambasted Barry Bonds in a 2007 radio interview when the slugger was on the verge of breaking Hank Aaron’s record with the obvious aid of performance-enhancing drugs.

Schilling said he thinks that Bonds’s achievements during his period of alleged steroid use — as detailed in the book “Game of Shadows” — should be “wiped out.”

“If you get caught using steroids, you should have everything you’ve done in this game wiped out for any period of time that you used it,” Schilling said at the time of the book’s release.” A lot of players, I think, have said as much because it is cheating.”

Now, Schilling did apologize for what he said about Bonds in the interview. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t mean what he said. And if he truly feels that way, I find it interesting that he wasn’t as harsh on Ortiz as he was on Bonds back in ’07.

This is from Schilling’s blog (which was posted yesterday) in reaction to Big Papi’s positive test in ’03:

Should any of David’s subsequent accomplishments be judged by this?
That’s for you to decide. It seems to be an area of immense debate, but I am not sure how this could/should/will be resolved. Whatever you do you need to do it for anyone now, and if you do do something, make sure there is some detriment for anyone caught going forward. Given that so many people live on their accomplishments or stats, taking one or both away would be a decent way to deter some guys, I think.

Should any of the Sox’ accomplishments in ‘04 or ‘07 be judged differently because of this?
This makes me laugh. I have already seen the bandwagon fans start the *04 and *07 threads and remarks, people with teams who are far deeper into this than most other teams — as if this makes it all OK. Every team going back 10-15 years needs an * if you want to consider giving it to anyone. The hard part is that it’s turning into a situation where we are seeing every single GREAT player in the past 10 years caught, and they’re dragging what we thought were the majority, and are now turning into the minority, down with them.

Well that’s certainly a more diplomatic approach now isn’t it, Curt?

Look, I get it – Schilling isn’t going to blast his buddy like he did Bonds, nor is he going to say that anything he and the Red Sox accomplished this decade should be stricken from the record books because Big Papi and Manny were on PEDs.

But I’m just wondering what happens if Big Papi says that he didn’t know what he was taking a la Bonds. Will Schilling come out and say the same things as he did in ’07? If he truly feels that (and I’m using his words here) if you get caught using steroids, you should have everything you’ve done in this game wiped out for any period of time that you used it, then he should say that Big Papi and Manny’s accomplishments should be wiped out as well. (That is, for whatever years they were doping, which of course couldn’t have been in ’04 when they won a championship right??)

Granted, neither Ortiz nor Ramirez broke a sacred record like Bonds did. But still, wouldn’t it be a little hypocritical of Schilling to voice so boisterously against Bonds and not do it against Ortiz? If Schilling wants to be known as someone who isn’t afraid to speak his mind about steroids in baseball, then he can’t pick and choose whom he blasts. He can’t attack Bonds one year and then essentially give Ortiz a free pass two years later because the two were teammates and friends.

Maybe Schilling is waiting for more details to emerge or for Ortiz to release another statement before he comments further. That’s certainly fair. I’ll wait too. I’ll wait for more details, and I’ll certainly wait for more from Schilling, because more should be coming.

Is Curt Schilling this decade’s Jack Morris?

Through his blog ( last week, Curt Schilling ended months of speculation on whether or not he would pitch this season by announcing his retirement from baseball. And the moment he hit the send button on his computer screen, the debate began if he is a worthy Hall of Fame candidate.

If you consider him a lock for enshrinement to Cooperstown than you must re-evaluate Jack Morris’ career because they’re one in the same. Neither guy was a marquee name. For Schilling, he had to contend with Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson, while Morris competed with Doc Gooden and Roger Clemens for the title of baseball’s best pitcher. They had similar starts to their careers as long men in the bullpen, but once they established themselves in the starting rotation, Schilling and Morris became big game pitchers at the most important time of the year…October.

Their regular season numbers don’t overwhelm you, as Schilling had only 216 career wins and Morris recorded 254 wins in his 17-year career, with both eluding the coveted 300 wins mark for automatic entrance into the Hall. And neither one won a Cy Young Award in their career. But, what really puts them into the conversation is their memorable playoff performances.

Two words come to mind when you say Schilling and postseason…bloody sock. He stapled his ankle tendon to the bone and led the Boston Red Sox to their first championship in 86 years. He was the ace or co-ace on four World Series teams (the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies, the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, and the 2004 and 2007 Boston Red Sox), and was named the 2001 co-MVP in one of the best seven-game World Series ever played. In 19 postseason appearances, Schilling had an 11-2 record with a 2.33 ERA. His detractors will tell you that Schilling never met a microphone that he didn’t like, and who could forget him playing for the camera by covering his head with a towel instead of watching Phillies closer Mitch Williams save game five in the 1993 World Series?

Morris was a true throwback, a pitcher that finished what he started. He had 175 career complete games in an era that was transitioning from dominant starting pitching to a bullpen–based staff. And just like Schilling, he is remembered for one amazing postseason outing. Morris recorded a 10-inning complete Game 7 shutout victory over the Atlanta Braves to capture the 1991 World Series for the Minnesota Twins. His World Series record was 4-2 with a 2.96 ERA, as he led four teams (the 1984 Detroit Tigers, the 1991 Minnesota Twins, and the 1992 and 1993 Toronto Blue Jays) to World Series titles, including three in a row from 1991-1993.

Schilling and Morris raised their level of play when their teams’ back was against the wall. They pitched to the moment and came up big time after time. Other pitchers (Mike Mussina or Bert Blyleven) might have better career numbers, but they will have to pay admission to get into Cooperstown. The debate about whether or not Schilling and Morris are Hall of Famers has begun…let’s discuss.

Curt Schilling to retire

Curt Schilling announced his retirement on Monday the only way he knew how – on his blog.

The 42-year-old right-hander said on his blog he’s leaving after 23 years with “zero regrets.” Schilling missed all of last season with a shoulder injury after signing a one-year, $8 million contract.

“The things I was allowed to experience, the people I was able to call friends, teammates, mentors, coaches and opponents, the travel, all of it, are far more than anything I ever thought possible in my lifetime,” he wrote.

Schilling had surgery last June and had said he might come back in the middle of this season. He was not under contract for this season. He made no reference to his injury on his blog,
Schilling won a World Series with Arizona in 2001 and with Boston in 2004 and 2007.

So, I guess I’ll throw out the obligatory, “does he belong in the Hall of Fame?” question.

And the answer is definitely “yes.” He finished with a 216-146 overall record, helped his club win three World Series titles and had 3,116 strikeouts, which is the 14th most in baseball history. The guy was a pain in the ass when it came to giving his opinions and raised some eyebrows with his bloody sock moment. But Schilling was one of the better pitchers of his time and deserves Hall of Fame nomination.

Top 10 active WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched)

Since we focused on the offensive side last week when listing the Top 10 in active OPS in Major League Baseball, this week we’ll take a look at the active WHIP leaders for pitchers. That stands for Walks plus Hits per Inning Pitched, and is an extremely important statistic when you’re considering pitchers to draft for your fantasy team. Not only do most fantasy leagues count points for WHIP, but it’s a great indicator of overall pitching prowess. Here is that Top 10 in WHIP, and it includes only pitchers who are active going into the 2009 season:

1. Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees (1.0199)—Rivera has been the hammer in the Yankees’ bullpen for over a decade and still shows no signs of slowing down. At the age of 38 in 2008, Mo struck out 77 in 70 innings, and racked up 39 saves.

2. Pedro Martinez, free agent (1.0512)—True, Pedro is about a lifetime removed from his dominating days with the Red Sox, but dude can still pitch effectively and has no MLB team at the moment.

3. Johan Santana, New York Mets (1.1024)—Will Johan be the guy to lead the Mets to their first title in almost 25 years? He had a brilliant first season in New York but was hurt by lousy run support and an even lousier bullpen.

4. Curt Schilling, Boston Red Sox (1.1374)—It’s hard to believe Schilling is not done yet, because he hasn’t pitched in a real game in almost two years. But if and when he goes back out there, I’m still picking him for my fantasy team.

5. Randy Johnson, San Francisco Giants (1.1673)—The Big Unit is five wins shy of 300 for his career, and reaching 300 is something that seemed impossible when he had back surgery before last season. But dude is still a beast and still blowing the ball past hitters, and he’s in his mid-40’s.

6. John Smoltz, Boston Red Sox (1.1697)—It’s going to be strange seeing Smoltz in a Red Sox uniform, but as a diehard Mets’ fan, I couldn’t be happier about that.

7. Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres (1.1864)—When you think of the game’s top pitchers, do you think of this dude? Well, you should. Peavy has already racked up 1256 strikeouts and he’s only 27.

8. Roy Oswalt, Houston Astros (1.1979)—Another amazing young pitcher, Oswalt is 31 years old and has a lifetime record of 129-64 for a usually-less-than-awesome Astros’ team. That’s just sick.

9. Ben Sheets, free agent (1.2010)—If he ever pitched a full season, Sheets would be a lock for the Hall of Fame by now. But you just never see an injury report without his name on it.

10. Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays (1.2076)—Playing north of the border, Halladay has won the AL Cy Young Award once and finished in the top 5 in voting three other times. How have the Yankees kept their paws off of this guy?

Source: Baseball Reference

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