FanDuel - WFBC

October 25, 2004

Is anyone else sick of Curt Schilling?: Tom Boswell is, in a passive-aggressive sort of way: "A nasty injury, gruesome enough to make for good melodrama, but medically insignificant enough to allow him to throw a baseball 92 mph... Pedro Martinez...has felt a bit slighted by Schilling's large, sometimes self-serving persona... Yankees Manager Joe Torre made it clear that he thought Schilling, consummate tough professional that he is, was not doing significantly more by pitching through the inconvenience of an ankle injury than many other players have done in postseason baseball, where countless players take the field held together by tape and a high pain threshold." An interesting perspective from outside the Nation.

posted by Prince Valium to baseball at 07:22 AM - 93 comments

Did he watch game 1 of the ALCS? Did he notice the guy couldn't pitch?

posted by tieguy at 07:34 AM on October 25

I think Schilling's red sock is shaping up to be one of the great larger-than-life moments that makes you a lifelong sports fan. His win-it-before-game-6 plea is a nice bit of Series gamesmanship. It helps that he's one of the most interesting and likeable pros in the game. He pioneered pitch video technology, shows up on Sox message boards, used some of his money to revive his favorite wargame, and is an EverQuest geek.

posted by rcade at 07:36 AM on October 25

I'm not sure when losing five miles an hour off your fastball became "insignificant."

posted by Bryant at 07:41 AM on October 25

Wow. The media has shortened it's cycle. Usually they don't start tearing down the celebrities they built up until at least 6 months later...

posted by grum@work at 07:43 AM on October 25

Schilling was throwing 94 whenever he needed to in those games, including the 7th inning of game 6, Bryant. Not consistently, but he could hit it. What I don't get is how he's managed to throw flat fastballs to both NY and St Louis and win both games without striking people out. To me, that says the hitters are just overanxious or something. The Yankees were all popping out weakly. Most of them said his stuff was no better than game 1, when they lit him up. I don't like that the media has blown it way up because it's one of those larger then life moments, and I don't like how it was an excuse in game 1, but became a hero/gladiator thing once he pitched a good game. I also don't like how he's such an attention whore about it. No wonder his teammates call him Red Light. And I don't like how closeups of his ankle cause me to miss windups and deliveries. I do think it's cool that he figured as long as they were doing that, he'd promote the K ALS thing. That's good stuff. But I applaud a writer who has the balls to mention this - everyone's so caught up in the fact that it's so heroic, when really, all players play through pain, and anyone who wouldn't go to those exact same lengths in the world series is a giant wuss.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:17 AM on October 25

Actually, that article isn't even that critical (or accurate - Bill Mueller is the 3rd baseman). But I d think the first paragraph sums it up well. He's hamming it up. I don't really buy the "I woke up and couldn't walk, and told my wife 'I don't think I can pitch'" bit...

posted by Bernreuther at 08:22 AM on October 25

First off, I haven't read any stories to indicate that Schilling's current teammates call him "red light." That's an old nickname from when he was a young pitcher with the Phillies, probably because his accomplishments/hype ratio was pretty small. Today, though he's one of the best big-game pitchers in the league and a great clubhouse motivator. He belongs in front of the cameras. I don't think many players would let doctors experiment on their injured tendons surgery three times in a month, risking the rest of their athletic career, to win another Series. Schilling's already got his ring. He had a perfectly legitimate excuse to sit this one out, but he's taking a risk to make baseball history. If you're not celebrating that aspect of this Series, what are you celebrating?

posted by rcade at 08:30 AM on October 25

P.s. The reason you don't buy any of the Schilling hype is because he put your favorite team on the golf course.

posted by rcade at 08:31 AM on October 25

I don't really buy the "I woke up and couldn't walk, and told my wife 'I don't think I can pitch'" bit... Even if you do buy it, I'm not sure that we ought to gush over it. "Playing through injury" is all well and good, as a personal choice made by someone who understands the consequences. But a lot of kids see this, and see the way everyone glorifies it and gets all misty-eyed about someone "taking one for the team", and then maybe go out and do some not-so-smart things themselves when they get injured. Summary: if Schilling's ankle injury is all that some claim, he could be in the process of creating an amazing story to tell his grandkids about what he had to do to get that ring, "...and that's why Grandpa can't play ball with you." When the time comes, he might be willing to trade both ring and story for the chance to play with his grandkids.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:34 AM on October 25

You want to find someone who's toughing it out every bit as much as Schilling, look out to second base for the Cardinals. Tony Womack has been suffering from back spasms since game 6 of the NLCS, and yet he has been key in two of the three games since then. I don't see his ass getting all kinds of knobbers from the press. I'm not taking away from what Schilling has done. I fully expected him to be done for the postseason, and instead he managed to beat a team that had done a number on him in the past. But I agree with the hype factor. We know he's hurt, and he's a bit of a hero for pitching through it. Enough.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:35 AM on October 25

I tend to agree with Boswell (and think he's one of, if not the, best baseball writer around), but I don't think he's being critical of Schilling or a lone voice. Joe Buck mentioned Schilling's media awareness when they first spotted the "K ALS" thing, calling Schilling a "master promoter" or something like that. The Boston papers have made mention of Schilling's self-promotion all year. He's certainly not missing any opportunities to tell you what a hero he is, but that doesn't lessen the accomplishment. I don't really buy the "I woke up and couldn't walk, and told my wife 'I don't think I can pitch'" bit Read a bit more of the statement: they had put an extra stitch in this time and drove it through a nerve. When they took it out everything cleared up. That seems believable to me. But I take your point. However, I think you're overstating how crappy Schilling's stuff has been in the last two games. He's given up what, 2 runs (one earned) to some of the best hitters in baseball over 12 innings. That's not nerves. "...and that's why Grandpa can't play ball with you." When the time comes, he might be willing to trade both ring and story for the chance to play with his grandkids. Barf. This assumes he's damaged for life, which he isn't. He probably won't pitch again this year simply because they don't want the tendon itself to rupture, which could be catastrophic. So he's nowhere near disappointing his grandchildren. And if it comes to that, I will fly out, at my own expense, to wherever he is, whenever he wants and play baseball with any of his progeny, give them piggyback rides, run on the beach at sunset, etc.

posted by yerfatma at 09:06 AM on October 25

When the time comes, he might be willing to trade both ring and story for the chance to play with his grandkids. This is silly. Unless the grandkids are looking for him to bring some 97 mph heat, he'll be able to toss the ball around with them, even if -- in a bid for more publicity -- he lets doctors cut the foot off and replace it with an artificial one that has better traction. (Incidentally, did anyone else not know that renowned Irish tenor Ronan "God Bless America" Tynan has both legs amputated?) Today's Peter Gammons column on ESPN dovetails nicely with this discussion. He begins by asking if Schilling is "the greatest postseason pitcher of all time," and the entire column covers Boston exclusively. It's like they're the only team that showed up for the Series.

posted by rcade at 09:13 AM on October 25

Of course the media coverage is lopsided- the Sox are the better story, from the bigger market, and despite best efforts to give the games to St. Louis, are standing at a convincing (almost dull) 2-0 with a pretty well rested Pedro Martinez on the mound on Tuesday. Against Jeff Suppan. Ironically, St. Louis's best chance for fawning media coverage may be if they go down 3-0, and then they can get all kinds of 'will they be able to do the same thing the Sox did?' coverage.

posted by tieguy at 09:25 AM on October 25

Ironically, St. Louis's best chance for fawning media coverage may be if they go down 3-0, and then they can get all kinds of 'will they be able to do the same thing the Sox did?' coverage. I will finally believe in the "curse" if this happens. It would probably be the absolute cruelest thing that could happen to the Red Sox faithful.

posted by grum@work at 09:40 AM on October 25

The cruelest thing that could happen to Boston is to win the Series.

posted by rcade at 09:50 AM on October 25

rcade: dunno about 'cruelest', but yeah, when the central pillar of your self-definition gets taken away... it will be very hard. Very weird.

posted by tieguy at 10:03 AM on October 25

P.s. The reason you don't buy any of the Schilling hype is because he put your favorite team on the golf course. Anyone other than me, and that would be a good assumption. I'd be saying the same if he was an NL pitcher that the Yankees hadn't played. Maybe I'm just an extra tough hockey player, but I expect athletes to play hurt. It's part of the game. I applaud his effort, I just get very angry at the overcoverage it gets, and that he's loving every minute of it. He's making a very intentional play to become some kind of Boston folk hero. The thing that makes me maddest is that he could be done for the series, Ortiz could hit 4 HRs, and they'd still give Schilling the MVP. I can see it coming already. (speaking of Ortiz - the Sox have made 8 errors already, and now they're sticking him at 1st for 3 games? Yikes). Great point on Womack. That's not nerves I'd say that it is... the guy is ice under pressure. Injury or no injury, that does impress me. (Rcade, that's very interesting about Tynan. Seems like he walks pretty normally too, I don't recall noticing him limping or anything) And yeah, the Sox turning around and blowing a 3-0 lead would convince me that a curse exists... I don't think there's any way that happens. The Cards' only hope right now is to sweep the 3 at home. The Sox want it too bad and will not be denied if they have a shot to put it away.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:07 AM on October 25

Incidentally, did anyone else not know that renowned Irish tenor Ronan "God Bless America" Tynan has both legs amputated? he was also an accomplished paralympic track and field athlete in the 80s. i'll give props to schilling for playing through the injury and all that but, i am sick of the hype. and no rcade, it's not because he put my favorite team on the golf course. (that was a pretty cheap shot against bern) if he was a yankee and he was being the same media whore that he is now, i would say the same thing, "shut up and pitch". (i was even getting a little sick of hearing about sheff's shoulder after a while.) shit, gehrig38 even showed up a few times on a yankees message board this year to refute things that were being said about him.

posted by goddam at 10:17 AM on October 25

The cruelest thing that could happen to Boston is to win the Series. I've always wondered about that, but I don't think it's necessarily true. It might be the worst thing to happen to the Sox organization: they'll lose some fairweather fans anbd the mystique. Sox fandom might not be a curse people pass onto their children after a win. I dunno if I could take a loss at this point, but either way I'll be pining for Spring Training by January 1.

posted by yerfatma at 10:21 AM on October 25

I don't think it's a cheap shot to accuse someone of being affected by homerism when he's claiming that the guy only won an ALCS game because of overanxious hitters. To me, that's like athletes who will never admit that the a game was lost because the other team played better. We're all homers here, anyway. The "favorite teams" question on user bios exists for that reason -- I'm a Dallas and Jacksonville homer.

posted by rcade at 10:39 AM on October 25

The cruelest thing that could happen to Boston is to win the Series. Jesus, did someone actually say that? The media built that pile of dog shit. Mount "Curse". Every Red Sox fan I know just wants to taste that WS win. Something a lot of our fathers went to our graves wishing for. If they win this year they will want to win next year, as bad as the Yankees fans wanted to win this year.

posted by DirkDiggler at 10:43 AM on October 25

you know, if Boston wins, they could auction off those bloody socks of his and make a hell of a lot of money for the the K ALS campaign. Hope they have the sense to not wash them.

posted by eckeric at 10:48 AM on October 25

shit, gehrig38 even showed up a few times on a yankees message board this year to refute things that were being said about him. That's another thing I think is cool about him - he is happy to go and interact with fans, and enemy fans too. He made his decision to OK the trade partly based on that. That's pretty cool. He has been running his mouth a lot lately, being anti-Yankee and anti-ARod (when he at first wanted to be a Yankee, and almost had ARod as a teammate), but you've got to hand it to him, he knows how to play to a crowd. I don't think it's a cheap shot to accuse someone of being affected by homerism when he's claiming that the guy only won an ALCS game because of overanxious hitters. I don't think so either. In many ways I'm more critical of my team than most - a lot like Steinbrenner. I was furious, sitting there watching weak popup after weak popup. I didn't watch very much of last night's game closely, but it did seem that despite all those damn errors, he was getting pretty lucky again. I just don't get how they're not hitting him right now. The guy's preparation and knowledge of hitters is unparalleled, so he can with without his best stuff... let's just hold off on giving him the MVP award and building the statue.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:03 AM on October 25

Every Red Sox fan I know just wants to taste that WS win. Something a lot of our fathers went to our graves wishing for. The fact your fathers went to their graves wishing for that, and didn't get it, is what makes the Sox the Sox. All I'm saying is that when you reach a point that you're rooting for Boston to win "another World Series," you'll find yourself missing some of the mystique that was created by eight decades of inexplicable futility. And you'll have a bunch of insufferable bandwagon jumpers to endure.

posted by rcade at 11:07 AM on October 25

... And you'll have a bunch of insufferable bandwagon jumpers to endure... Amen. Already have that. Hate em worse than Yankees fans. And I agree with the second championship (if the first is achieved) not feeling the same. Happened with the Pats last year. But the passion won't die like some people believe.

posted by DirkDiggler at 11:13 AM on October 25

I find it oddly amusing that Yankee fans are complaining about a player being overhyped.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:18 AM on October 25

Didn't want to start a new thread for this, but it's a very interesting article on LaRussa. Worth reading. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6323903/ JerseyGirl, no NY Yankee is ever overhyped. Ever. Heh, actually, aside from the obvious #2, it makes me sick how much people go nuts over Rivera. Speaking of me not having a clue how someone gets everyone out by being predictable, man... Rivera has made me nervous for years. Instead of considering him a lock, I'm constantly wondering "why can't anyone ever hit him?" I'm glad they can't, though. Course, it doesn't matter if they can hit him or not when he walks the tying run and lets him steal second.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:39 AM on October 25

And you'll have a bunch of insufferable bandwagon jumpers to endure. I get your general point, but I disagree with the bandwagon issue: every August when the Sox are in it, they come out of the woodwork. They might not know all nine starters' names, but they know "This is the year!" If anything, a WS win that leads to a loss of mystique will cut down on the bandwagon jumpers. Even some New England columnists question the "Drama King."

posted by yerfatma at 11:44 AM on October 25

Sure he's a little boiserous and a bit high drama, but Schilling can pitch. Teams and fans put up with a lot of shit from pitchers, and a little media hype over two tough pitching performances (a power pitcher on one leg, hyped or not is still a tough thing to pull off). Schilling has already won his biggest of big games for the Sox, something Pedro has rarely (if ever) done. He's gone twice on the one leg. May go again. There is some drama there whether you like it or not. Much more drama, grit, and tenacity than say, a shortstop breaking his face falling into the stands while chasing a foul ball. An easy way I deal with the Schilling hype is just thinkiing that at least he isn't doing this as a Yankee. Imagine the levels of media gushing you'd get then. Now there's something to get sick of.

posted by pivo at 12:57 PM on October 25

a shortstop breaking his face falling into the stands while chasing a foul ball it was going to drop fair. ;-)

posted by goddam at 12:59 PM on October 25

JerseyGirl, no NY Yankee is ever overhyped. Ever. Kevin Maas. I rest my case.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:06 PM on October 25

People shouldnt worry about Ortiz at 1b. He'll hold his own. I dont understand the big deal, as they arent starting the best 1b man as it is. If allowed to play everyday, Dougy M. would produce offensively enough. When he is healthy, he is close to a .300 hitter.

posted by daddisamm at 01:19 PM on October 25

DrJohnEvans: I just saw in USAToday a detailed graphic of where, exactly, the Schilling's ankle is. Thank god. Turns out it is exactly where mine is too. Wasn't quite WebMD standard, but cleared up a lot of confusion.

posted by DirkDiggler at 01:22 PM on October 25

Interesting that we dont hear much about Schilling' giving credit "to the Lord" for getting through these starts. That is what makes his story worth telling. He isnt taking the credit of pitching these two games, he is giving it two who he feels deserves the credit--God. The general ESPN/ FOX media cant handle that-cause would be talking about the dreaded R Word-religion! It makes me chuckle!

posted by daddisamm at 01:27 PM on October 25

you'll find yourself missing some of the mystique that was created by eight decades of inexplicable futility To those that say we'll be depressed by missing the mystique destroyed by winning the world series in 2004, I say this to them. "Bring it on." The first world series I ever watched was 1975, when I was seven years old, and I was hooked. Instant Sox fan for life. I screamed in anguish on the last day of the season in 1978 when Bucky Fawking Dent hit one into the netting over the Monster and cried when Yaz popped out to end the game. As a college Freshman in 1986, I again felt that anguish when Mookie Wilson's dribbled rolled through the brave and decrepit Bill Buckner's legs in Game 6... but I was still hopeful that we'd win Game 7. To those that think the curse makes us Sox fans feel special about ourselves, and our team, you simply don't get it. We want to win this series more than anything, and when the curse ends, so fucking be it. If they never have another winning season, I will still be a Sox fan.... and if they win it every years, I won't take it for granted.

posted by psmealey at 01:31 PM on October 25

Interesting that we dont hear much about Schilling' giving credit "to the Lord" for getting through these starts. That is what makes his story worth telling. He isnt taking the credit of pitching these two games, he is giving it two who he feels deserves the credit--God. The general ESPN/ FOX media cant handle that-cause would be talking about the dreaded R Word-religion! It makes me chuckle! By the same argument, shouldn't the Yankees be blaming "God" for choking? I mean, she/he/it really let them down. They shouldn't have to take the blame themselves. I've never understood why people thank "God" for helping them do things in sports. I could understand it if someone wanted to thank "God" for averting a tragedy, but for baseball? Please.

posted by blarp at 01:55 PM on October 25

I used to be worried about Ortiz at first, but no more than I am worried about Manny in left. And nothing the media says can take this away. I know all of this is overhyped, but remember that everyone of us on Spofi reads way more sportswriting than the average citizen. I was 13 in 1986, and I remember how those games made me feel. I never thought it would take another 18 years to feel it again. This is too great to pass up. I love this team, the characters and the personalities included. The range of emotions I have felt over the last week are unprecedented. So much so, that at times it feels embarassing that I've let a game affect me so much. And speaking of bandwagon jumpers, is there a worse one than Spike Lee? Regardless of what you think of his movies (I happen to like the majority of them) but he grew up in Brooklyn a loyal Met fan, brags about how he was there in 86 when the Mets won, and Boston choked, and there he was before game 6 or 7 (I can't even remember now) telling ESPN how it would happen again, as he was clothed in Yankee gear. THAT pisses me off to no end. Have some loyalty Spike.

posted by usfbull at 01:56 PM on October 25

Hey, Spike Lee was being loyal to his city. The way most Met fans should be... every Met fan I know was rooting for the Sox... that's dumb. Yankee fans would root for the Mets if they were in the series. I know I was pulling for them all season long this year, to try to sneak in and take the division before they started sucking and the Braves started playing well. it was going to drop fair. ;-) I don't know about that (can't remember), but I do know that Pokey made the exact same play earlier in the game, and was able to slow himself down on time to avoid going into the seats.... noone said a word about that.

posted by Bernreuther at 02:21 PM on October 25

Yankee fans would root for the Mets if they were in the series. You think? Most of my Met supporting friends hate the Yankees more than they do any team in the National League. I had just always assumed that that was one of the reasons why people became Mets fans in the first place.

posted by psmealey at 02:25 PM on October 25

blarp - As I understand it, he had asked God to help him to pitch well, not necessarily to win. I don't see anything wrong with that. Shilling's got a gift, and he's not taking all the credit. I like that.

posted by sixpacker at 02:27 PM on October 25

All I'm saying is that when you reach a point that you're rooting for Boston to win "another World Series," you'll find yourself missing some of the mystique that was created by eight decades of inexplicable futility. See, this is a regrettable misunderstanding of Red Sox Nation. A common one, but a misunderstanding nonetheless. We do not define ourselves by our losses; we are defined by others by those losses. We don't care if the mystique is gone. We don't need the mystique. We are sick and tired of people talking about the mystique. What we need, or at least what we want, is a quality baseball team. The passion you see from us is not generated by failure, it's generated by the desire for success. We want to see our team do well. We define ourselves by that desire. It's a simple thing.

posted by Bryant at 02:43 PM on October 25

If they never have another winning season, I will still be a Sox fan.... and if they win it every years, I won't take it for granted. Not possible. Compare the Yankees and their fans at the end of game 7 to the Red Sox fans a year ago. It's the difference between "man, this bums me out" and "I am going to throw myself off a bridge on the way home from this game." The general ESPN/ FOX media cant handle that-cause would be talking about the dreaded R Word-religion! It makes me chuckle! Yeah, 'cause Lord knows, we never heard Kurt Warner thanking God during the Rams Super Bowl run. If those network execs at Fox weren't a bunch of atheistic commies, they surely would have played up this pedestrian quote from a single interview by Schilling as if it were the second coming:

... I honest to God did not think I was going to take the ball today because I didn't think I could. And then everything starts happening. You start looking around at your teammates and understanding what you've been through over the last eight months, what it means to me. And I did what I did last time: I went to the Lord for help, because I knew, again, I wasn't going to be able to do this myself. And you know, thank God for Dr. Morgan and Chris Correnti and Jim Rowe and Dr. Theodore. They made it work, and it happened.

posted by rcade at 03:03 PM on October 25

I don't know about that (can't remember), but I do know that Pokey made the exact same play earlier in the game, and was able to slow himself down on time to avoid going into the seats.... noone said a word about that. it was going to drop fair (the ump even signaled fair before they found out if he held onto the ball). pokey's play (which was damn good. i remember a lot of "oohs" and "aaahs" and "holy shits" from the crowd) was pretty much foul, he may have even reached into the seats to catch it. i believe he ended up flipping over the wall actually. they were similar only because they were in the same general area. i do agree that "the dive" has been way over-hyped. (but i would still pay my $45 to see it again.) re: mets & yankees. i hate the mets more than the sox. i was 11 in '86 and had to hear from the mets fans at school (many of which were bandwagon) about how much the yankees sucked (they did suck, but that's besides the point). the only thing i knew about the sox was that they hadn't won in a really long time. i felt bad for them so i rooted for them. my parents didn't raise me to hate the red sox, only to love the yankees. (i was taught to hate the flyers and islanders though.)

posted by goddam at 03:08 PM on October 25

(i was taught to hate the flyers and islanders though.) That sounds reasonable enough to me (but I actively pull against all the philly teams)!

posted by trox at 03:14 PM on October 25

Let Schilling ham it up. It's the World Series (though for my money, I'd rather Jack Morris or John Smoltz in their primes on the bump for a must-win game). If Schilling deserves any criticism, it's in the way he acted in the dugout while a Phillie. Sure, Mitch Williams was reliable, but covering your face 'cause you can't bear to watch a teammate pitch is bushleague, IMO. But that was then, this is now...

posted by herc at 03:21 PM on October 25

I'd rather Jack Morris or John Smoltz in their primes Or Randy Johnson today.

posted by DirkDiggler at 03:47 PM on October 25

Winning tames, no matter how much you think it doesn't. Cameron today, compared to Cameron of 5 or 15 years ago... just no comparison. The same will happen to the Sox. Shame, really... I've enjoyed the past four years quite a bit.

posted by tieguy at 04:27 PM on October 25

What Bryant said.

posted by psmealey at 04:51 PM on October 25

To make the point further, however, the only other thing I have to compare being a Red Sox fan with is being a Cubs fan. I went to college in Chicago, and even lived there later on for a couple of years. If I can make a gross generalization, (excluding the past few years) a Cubs fan pretty much have very low expectations with regard to their team's success. In fact, it was only in the past few years that Cubs management finally made a financial commitment to putting a good team on the field (despite years of negligence - for years, the Cubs were among the richest teams in baseball, but management was content not to put a good team together). Cubs fans, it seemed, were content to go to their beautiful ballpark, and enjoy the game, win or lose. I've always thought the Cubs fans maintained, and were strangely proud of identifying with their curse, as well as their tradition of abysmal "loveable loser" baseball. The Red Sox, on the other hand have been competitive as far back as I remember. In fact, I can't recall a period over my own 36 years where the Red Sox were not competitive for more than a rare season here or there. Even the Yankees were pretty lousy for quite a few seasons from the late 80s through the early 90s (Alvaro Espinoza, anyone?). So, most Red Sox fans don't care about the curse. In fact, we'd rather not hear about it. We identify, as Bryant said, by the wish for our team to succeed, not because they have frustrated us from time to time. To sum up my rambling... it may be unfair, but I think that idea that "well miss it when it's gone" with regard to the curse, applies much more to the Cubs fans, who identify with their team's futility, than with Sox fans, who will give anything to live to see that first world championship since 1918.

posted by psmealey at 05:09 PM on October 25

Yankee fans would root for the Mets if they were in the series. Hell no. Did they root in '86? As I recall, Steinbrenner threw a hissy fit that the local media was biased toward the Mets. I'm a Mets fan who hates the Yankees. If anything, I understand 1986 because I had a vested interest in the outcome. Red Sox Nation and the Shea bums are brothers in arms this year. Nothing would make me happier than to see the Sox pull this off. Don't forget also the way the Cardinals handed our asses to us on a plate in '85 and '87. (Though we showed them a little something in 2000, thanks to the Rick Ankiel Incident.)

posted by Prince Valium at 05:18 PM on October 25

I wasn't aware of that Mitch Williams story, but their relationship is described in a Maxim piece that brings up some of Schilling's more in-your-face behavior over the years. I now have a better understanding of why some people find him easy to hate. However, that slumpbusters anecdote about Mark Grace is like something outta Ball Four.

posted by rcade at 05:55 PM on October 25

Thanks for posting that, rcade. If anything, I like Schilling more after having read it. But that guy sure does have a potty mouth for a Jesus freak. :-)

posted by psmealey at 06:03 PM on October 25

That is awesome. I still can't decide if Schilling is a dick in a good way or a bad way, but he's not boring.

posted by yerfatma at 06:12 PM on October 25

Damn, he is a candid bastard. I think I'd enjoy having a few beers with him.

posted by usfbull at 06:58 PM on October 25

You go out and fornicate with a woman who might be of less than appealing visual quality I guess is the way to put it. That got me giggling for a while.

posted by dusted at 07:31 PM on October 25

I seem to recall vehemently really hating Schilling in the '93 World Series. Of course, I was eleven years old, and we won anyway.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 07:34 PM on October 25

Most Athletes who thank the Lord after a game are thanking him for getting through the game. For their performance, not for winning. I would like to think that their are people on the other side thanking the Lord for getting through. Warner is a very vocal Christain off the field and I think that has ruffled some of his critics. His comments to the Christian press at the Super Bowl is a prime example of that. I too like what Schilling has said and I appreciate the discussion here. In the age of permormance enhauncing steriods etc itc nice hearing an athlete give the credit to the person (God) who give everybody their talents.

posted by daddisamm at 07:44 PM on October 25

I like him more after reading that article.

posted by Bernreuther at 07:50 PM on October 25

I used to be worried about Ortiz at first, but no more than I am worried about Manny in left. I agree, I would worry more about Manny in left than Papi at first. If the Sox are so concerned about the D at first, they should be playing Dougy boy at first. His is one of the best defensive 1B in the League. Given the chance to play everyday, he can hit. The problem with the Twins tis year is that he was hurt and was being pushed by Mourneau, who is the power hitter the Twins need. (Now that Papi is a Red Sox). Dougy Boy is the real deal. I hope that the Red Sox realize it.. He does have a big mouth at times!

posted by daddisamm at 07:55 PM on October 25

From the aforelinked Maxim Schilling interview: ROUND 6: Is the Padres’ Ben Davis an asshole? He’s the guy who broke up your perfect game with an eighth-inning bunt. That just shocked me. I know Ben Davis didn’t walk to the plate saying, “I’m gonna lay down a bunt to get the tying run on first base.” If it was Tony Gwynn or Rickey Henderson, guys who play the game right—then maybe. The D'backs were only leading that game by two runs. Forgive me for saying this, oh baseball gods, but that was a brilliant play by Davis. I didn't see anyone else's ass getting on base that night. For a 6-4 catcher to pull the bunt out of his ass to get the tying run on base was inspired. God forbid people still try and win games. For a little clarity, here's a link on the subject from USA Today right after it happened.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:35 PM on October 25

The Yankees were all popping out weakly. Most of them said his stuff was no better than game 1, when they lit him up. The difference wasn't his stuff, it was location. Without location he'll get hammered. Look, the yankees, st. louis, these are good hitters, and he shut them both down. I know you're on a "he doesn't have good stuff" kick, but the proof is in the pudding. The man can pitch. Good pitching will beat good hitting (most of the time), and that's what you're seeing. The thing that makes me maddest is that he could be done for the series, Ortiz could hit 4 HRs, and they'd still give Schilling the MVP. Well, Ortiz had no problem getting mvp in the yankees series. If schilling comes back it will probably be for a 6 or 7th game, and a win would probably be the series clencher. If he's lights out in that game like he was last night he'll deserve mvp as much as anyone. The ankle, 4 errors, and he still wins? The cruelest thing that could happen to Boston is to win the Series. I'll agree with the others when I say that for true fans, at least speaking for myself, there's no truth in that statement. It would just be a fantastic moment, but being a red sox fan for me wouldn't change a bit. Sex is pretty special the first time too, but it's not bad the second time either.

posted by justgary at 08:35 PM on October 25

It wouldn't be the cruelest thing to win the Series. It would, however, be the cruelest thing to NOT win the Series. Especially this year. After everything they overcame to get here. And last year. I will be honest and make a confession. I don't know what life would be like after the Red Sox won. I've been thinking about it since last Thursday morning. I mean, yeah, "happy" and "good" and "fantastic", all of those would apply. But winning it all, after all these years and all these generations pining for it... and we're so close right now... it's a concept I can't wrap my brain around. (I was a little female child in 1986, so there's a good chance I was playing barbies or watching Smurfs the last time the Red Sox were in the World Series. While I remember them losing, I obviously didn't follow the team or have any inkling of the pain first hand... at the time.)

posted by jerseygirl at 09:30 PM on October 25

Speaking of "mystique," Schilling will be dead of mouth cancer in less than 10 years. All that effort to win the World Series and committing slow suicide in the process.

posted by Prince Valium at 09:51 PM on October 25

Thanks for posting that, rcade. If anything, I like Schilling more after having read it. But that guy sure does have a potty mouth for a Jesus freak. :-) posted by psmealey at 6:03 PM CST on October 25 I read the Maxim article. Interesting that people who say they are a Christian get labled "jesus freaks" Most arfter reading the Maxum article, might conclude, that Schilling is using the "christian claim" for publicity. The fact that schilling says he had been one for six years might could and should raise some eyebrows. The Maxum piece shows some language that one might not. consider "christian" Christains, especially ones in the limelight, like to please all people and try to play all ends of the spectrum. His admission to being a christain suprized a lot of people, as this seems to be the first time he bought it up. I know many in the Christian Press were surprized. I will not attempt to decide if he is or isnt a christain. There is only one that can truely decide that. All in all, It was a gutsy perfromance, actually two gutsy performances that will go down in history. Are they being over hyped?? Yes but what isnt these days. Look how fox uses the World Series to plugged thier TV shows. They other night, the cast members of "that seventy's show" looked liked they were freezing to death. They didnt look like they were having a good time. All of this for 4-5 seconds of "on air" time. Tom Hanks was there too, at least he looked like he wanted to be there. The whole TV coverage thing its all about hype., It not really about the sport anymore its about how much mileage you can get out of the story!

posted by daddisamm at 10:09 PM on October 25

Schilling will be dead of mouth cancer in less than 10 years. All that effort to win the World Series and committing slow suicide in the process. This is pretty much what my wife (a nurse) said when she saw him pitching on TV. "Stupid" was her exact word.

posted by grum@work at 10:42 PM on October 25

The latest soxaholix deals with life after (possibly) winning the world series.

posted by justgary at 11:07 PM on October 25

Maybe he's Christian like Tony Soprano.

posted by dusted at 01:01 AM on October 26

Tony Soprano, thats a strectch!

posted by daddisamm at 08:31 AM on October 26

Hey, that was meant to be tongue in cheek, daddisamm, just playing on the stereotype. Hence the :-). I have no problem with Schilling's beliefs or his articulations thereof, and have fairly consistently defended him for it. What he says with regard to his faith is always said respectfully, and not exploitative, self-serving or evangelical. Contrast that with Michael Chang, Chris Carter, Kurt Warner, etc..

posted by psmealey at 10:09 AM on October 26

That mouth cancer stuff is horrifying. I can't believe people do that stuff, or that businesses cater to that crowd. Anyone who works for a tobacco company should be forced by law to use their product all the time.

posted by rcade at 10:21 AM on October 26

psmealey--I know it was tongue in cheeck--I was going to put a "lol" behind my comment.----schilling is a very interesting figure to say the least. would you agree that the story is getting a little more hype than its deserves????

posted by daddisamm at 10:35 AM on October 26

That mouth cancer stuff is horrifying. I can't believe people do that stuff, or that businesses cater to that crowd. Anyone who works for a tobacco company should be forced by law to use their product all the time. rcade, any cancer stemmimg from habits or activities that can be prevented is maddening. I am ex cigarette smoker who start smoking cigars thinking that cigars were safer cause you dont usually inhale. I developed lung Cancer anyway. To a non-tobacco user, quitting looks easy and for many it is. My cancer was linked to other things besides smoking. Mouth cancer is frightening as you can loose pieces and parts of your face!!!!!

posted by daddisamm at 10:41 AM on October 26

Ready for a little more nitpicking? The Cards are upset they got shitty hotel rooms (Quincy Marriot) during the Head of the Charles weekend in Boston.

posted by yerfatma at 12:11 PM on October 26

I chewed tobacco for 8 years, and started smoking cigarettes (for 4 years) to wean myself off of the dip. (Smart, huh?) Chew and snuff are deadly addictive. Even after 5 years of being completely tobacco free, I don't miss the cigarettes at all, but I still crave the Kodiak. I can sympathize.

posted by psmealey at 12:19 PM on October 26

If you're well enough to play, then you shouldn't even talk about your injury. Schilling would get more respect by just saying, 'I'm good enough to play, and that's all that matters.' Instead, he tries to make us all marvel at how much adversity he has overcome.

posted by mayerkyl at 01:43 PM on October 26

psmealy: To those that think the curse makes us Sox fans feel special about ourselves, and our team, you simply don't get it. We want to win this series more than anything, and when the curse ends, so fucking be it. If they never have another winning season, I will still be a Sox fan.... and if they win it every years, I won't take it for granted. That may well be the case for your regular, Joe Sixpack Bosox fan. But I don't think you can overlook the fact that there's a cottage industry that's sprung up among many of New England's media and literary types, built around the idea of Sox fans as nobly suffering Calvinists. Earlier this month--I think it was during the Sox/Angels series--one of the networks did a brief interview with Stephen King, and he pretty much admitted that if the Sox won it all, a lot of what makes them special for him would vanish. He mentioned the Phillies, and the fact that they became "just another team" after their 1980 WS win. If the Sox win it all, I suspect that people like King, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, and (it goes without saying) the CHB will be *extremely* bummed.

posted by Motown Mike at 02:10 PM on October 26

Instead, he tries to make us all marvel at how much adversity he has overcome. I'd whole-heartedly agree, except that his sock was filling up with blood. That's pretty hard to ignore. It's like when Kariya got knocked-the-f*ck-out in Game 6 of the 2003 Stanley Cup finals by Scott Stevens. Everyone saw him lying there on the ice, not moving at all. And yet, he comes back later that game to score a goal, get two assists, and help force the series to Game 7. I had no problem listening to how he had to overcome the dizzyness and headaches. Same as I have no problem listening to Schilling explain how he had to overcome the pain and discomfort of a previously-untested medical experiment. It's not really bragging in my books. He had to overcome adversity, and he's explaining it to the people who asked the question about it. If he's doesn't say anything about it, he gets the Barry-Bonds treatment: they call him "surly" and rip him apart for not giving a good interview. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. But I don't expect much else from the media...

posted by grum@work at 02:26 PM on October 26

I didn't know that Stephen King had said that. Oh, well. I guess I'll have to consider him just a foul weather, as they case may be, fan. Interesting perspective on that, though. He does write a lot about how every new spring brings new hope in New England for the Sox faithful. I share the sentiment, but I don't share his fatalism. I still want my boys to get the ring, even if it means triggering Armageddon, just as I did in 1976, 1986 and the handful of times they won the division or got to the playoffs between 1988 and last year. I wonder, if you were to go back in time and ask a Brooklyn Dodgers fan after in 1956 if they were depressed to finally have beaten the Yanks in the series, what would they have said?

posted by psmealey at 02:50 PM on October 26

(doh: 1975)

posted by psmealey at 02:51 PM on October 26

Sox fans as nobly suffering Calvinists. I realize the national media may suggest this, but Brahmin != Sox fan in my experience. If you're looking for a religious relationship with the Sox, go with Jansenism.

posted by yerfatma at 02:55 PM on October 26

Btw, meanwhile back on topic, I was watching ESPN this morning, and while I can't vouch for the truth of it, they reported that the doctors were saying that Schilling might not be able to go out for game 6 because there might not be enough skin left to do the souchering procedure. I don't know about you all, but if that's true, its difficult if not impossible for me to say that this story is being overhyped (to say nothing of disgusting).

posted by psmealey at 03:55 PM on October 26

You know, it may sound insignificant, but if the Red Sox can't convince a hotel to hold rooms for it, maybe they need a new goddamned traveling secretary. And it sure as hell can't take 20-30 fucking minutes to get to the hotel, Boston Herald, if you're sitting in the team bus for 20 minutes waiting to get out, can it? I can guarantee you where the Red Sox are staying -- either the Adam's Mark or the Radisson, which are a whopping block away from Busch or less. I also guarantee you they have late room service, and either hotel booking manager would have been found floating in the Mississippi if they had stiffed the Cards.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:41 PM on October 26

Room service? They couldn't find anyone in Massachusetts willing to deliver a pizza to a hotel full of multi-millionaires?

posted by Prince Valium at 12:18 AM on October 27

Well, Prince Valium, if I were a Cardinal I wouldn't trust any food given to me by someone just off the street, in the Boston metro area. :) I also don't buy the claim they couldn't get rooms any closer- these are millionaires as you say; unless there's some weird rule against it, I'd just grab a cab, go near the stadium, and try to find a hotel that was open. Why do they have to find a block of 25 rooms in the same hotel? Sheesh. If closeness were that important, you find someone in a nice hotel, and give them a few grand if they'll give up their room and go stay somewhere else. It'd cost you about as much money as you'll make in single at-bat...

posted by hincandenza at 12:46 AM on October 27

linked

posted by justgary at 01:52 AM on October 27

if the Red Sox can't convince a hotel to hold rooms for it, maybe they need a new goddamned traveling secretary Err, you call up next year a couple weeks before the Head of the Charles when many of the million or so colleges in Boston hold Parents' Weekend and see how many contiguous blocks of rooms are available in decent hotels, since they're probably all booked 6-12 months in advance for that weekend. I realize this is the Internet and that means you're a scholar and expert in Boston hotel room reservations and there's no chance this is just an unfortunate situation a good team might use as motivation, but there you go.

posted by yerfatma at 06:16 AM on October 27

If he's doesn't say anything about it, he gets the Barry-Bonds treatment: they call him "surly" and rip him apart for not giving a good interview. I disagree. If he doesn't say anything, he would be admired all the more, by everyone, including the press. Because of the fact that everyone already knows he is hurting, it would be to his benifit to not dramatize the whole story by telling the world how bad it hurts when he gets out of bed in the morning and how shocked his wife must have been to see him actually take the mound. That's soap opera crap. I admire the man. I admire his effort. However, it appears to me, as it does to many others, that he is deliberately seeking sympathy. It seems that Schill wants us all to gush over his heroism. I would simply find it more admirable if he would just shut up and let his pitching and the blood on his sock do the talking.

posted by mayerkyl at 10:13 AM on October 27

An email Q&A with Schilling courtesy of the Boston Dirt Dogs and the Boston Globe.

posted by usfbull at 03:48 PM on October 27

I can't believe it. People are actually saying that it's not a big deal that Schilling pitched through this injury? This injury could end his career. He should be in surgery TODAY. He should have been in surgery the day it happened. But he wanted to pitch. He wanted his team to advance, and he wanted to be one of the guys who pushed them forward. How is he not a hero? Yeah, Womack had back spasms, and I absolutely applaud him for playing. But he got taken out, he's benched for now. Schilling shouldn't be playing right now, but he is, because that's how badly he wants this. He's putting his health and his career on the line because right now this is more important to him. That's heroic.

posted by SaxumAstrum712 at 05:08 PM on October 27

That's heroic. Playing through pain and injury is something that's been done by multitudes of athletes in every sport at every level. Calling it heroic is silly.

posted by dusted at 05:29 PM on October 27

Agreed that many players do play through their injuries. But I really believe that there are precious few players who would be willing to risk ending their careers by playing just one more game, and then do it again a few days later, then again. I don't think there are many professional athletes who would say "You know, this injury is really bad, and could possibly debilitate me to the point that i couldn't play (my sport) anymore after today, but right now, THIS is what matters, this is more important than me, my injury, anything. My team is everything, and I want to do my part." Curt is doing that, and he will continue doing it until the Red Sox are finished in this Series.

posted by SaxumAstrum712 at 06:39 PM on October 27

If the doctor says your injury is "career-threatening" and "debilitating", and then you go out and pitch on it twice with little to no ill effect, was it really "career-threatening" and "debilitating"?

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:22 PM on October 27

I realize this is the Internet and that means you're a scholar and expert in Boston hotel room reservations Here is the response from my friend, who is a sales manager with a high-end hotel in St. Louis and is familiar with the situation -- the Hyatt screwed up big time, and the fact the traveling secretary didn't call them out on it is weak. The Red Sox guarantee them 81 nights of probably 30 rooms at a minimum, and at a pretty premium price. For them to dump those reservations is a huge mistake, and any sales manager would quickly move the group that took the rooms to another hotel, which is known as "walking" guests. In a choice between regatta guests and a major-league baseball team, the regatta loses. My friend has also been to the Quincy Marriott recently, and said the trip from there to the ballpark would take about 30 minutes, 20 if you drove the whole way in the breakdown lane. The Cardinals apparently arrived back around 2 a.m. and were able to get bar food. Do I blame the complete collapse of the Cardinals on a lousy hotel? Of course not, nor do I think McCormick did it on purpose. What he failed to do, however, was do his best to rectify the situation. Either he screwed up the reservations and he's a knob, he didn't push to get the Cardinals back into the hotel when the Hyatt screwed up, and he's a knob, or he doesn't have the clout to get the situation rectified ... and he's a knob. By the way, a couple other interesting tidbits: *My buddy said he shook hands with Pedro and Manny today and they were both great guys. Pedro signed autographs for everyone under the age of 10. *Derek Lowe and Theo Epstein chose to walk to Busch Stadium today instead of taking a cab for the block or so drive. *Biggest moneymaker for the hotels, on top of the room service, dry cleaning and all that? Phone calls to the Dominican Republic.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:53 PM on October 27

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