FanDuel - WFBC

December 05, 2007

In response to the kerfuffle over Curt Schilling's new contract incentive: that pays him $1 million for a single Cy Young vote, the BBWAA has resolved to ban all athletes with such incentives from consideration for related awards. Shockingly, Schilling responds.

posted by yerfatma to baseball at 07:58 PM - 41 comments

Personally, I love that a bunch of hacks whose walled garden is crumbling would respond by trying to assert control. The players most likely to have these kinds of incentives would be the ones most likely to be worthy of the awards. And if they seriously plan on ignoring players, why does this have to start in 2013? What do they need to activate to get this to happen? The 5 year lead time smacks of a warning shot rather than actual intent.

posted by yerfatma at 08:01 PM on December 05

Wait. Curt Schilling has a blog? Really? REALLY? That's a pretty ridiculous incentive.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:27 PM on December 05

I am upset that I added a hit to Schilling's blog. Somehow I've avoided it all these years but I blew it this time. Poor writer, poor speller, poor, poor, poor.....

posted by DudeDykstra at 08:32 PM on December 05

Wait. Curt Schilling has a blog? Really? REALLY? Oh, yes. And a mighty self-absorbed and entertaining one, even by bloggy standards. (OTOH, Posnanski's blog is pretty self-absorbed too- does he seriously think the BBWAA is what brings seriousness to the MVP awards? What crack is he on?)

posted by tieguy at 08:34 PM on December 05

My first visit to Schilling's blog....whoops Is this what he does all off season, he could just take his MILLIONS and turn a deaf ear to the writers. I've always known that incentives existed, but I sure don't need ol' bloody sock rubbin' it in, I'm jus a po folk. The incentives should remain between player and owner, with solid performance being the bargaining chip, or, as said, winning the Cy Young, not just the possibility of a single vote. I find it hard to believe that any other group (as mentioned in the article), could collectively and without controversy do a better job with these awards. Especially, if there are incentives like these hanging in the balance. Don't know about the rest of you but if I want sports news/info, I open the newspaper or flip on ESPN/FSN and the rest. I trust the writers because it's thier job or, wait, it's an incentive because of thier job. Sorry writers, no extra mil for you.

posted by BoKnows at 09:28 PM on December 05

Don't like sportwriters asserting control. Do something about it other than complain-become a sportwriter and show them guys some intregity. If you don't like Schilling blog. Don't read it. If he's to self absorbed, why bother. The guy can't spell, has lousy grammer-so what. Guy makes millions every year and I sure he waiting to hear all your criticisms. Go ahead and post on his site -if posting is available. He probably thank you for all the information you can relay about being arrogent and a bad speller with poor grammer.

posted by smdragon at 10:06 PM on December 05

Wow! You badder speller thin him is.

posted by firecop at 10:18 PM on December 05

Grammar was always my goodest subject.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:27 PM on December 05

I don't mind a text message on my cell phone that is badly worded, but that long of a poorly worded rant gets tiresome. As a free market kind of guy, I'm all for whatever someone can negotiate, however, a $mil for one vote seems out of line...he ought to have to get at least one out of state writer to vote for him! Maybe if the Sox get Santana, Schilling can spend more time working on his grammatical skills.

posted by dviking at 11:57 PM on December 05

Well, it fits nicely next to the Francona Rule. Poor writer, poor speller, poor, poor, poor His writing is better than most writing on the internet. Hell, his writing is better than much of this thread. Oh, yes. And a mighty self-absorbed and entertaining one, even by bloggy standards. Writing a blog is self-absorbing by definition. Which means millions of people are self-absorbed. Yes, he likes to hear himself talk. But he has his moments. No, he's not a professional writer. I'd still rather hear his breakdown of how he got through 7 innings than some announcer telling me what's going through schilling's mind as he pitches. I wish more athletes had blogs. A lot of fans get tired of hearing cliched answers. "We're taking it one game at a time". "Gonna give 110 percent". Yet when an athlete actually gives his opinion, right or wrong, we lambast him. Can't win.

posted by justgary at 02:37 AM on December 06

This is ridiculous, just as yerfatma said they will only be hurting the few players that have the talent to have these incentives put in their contracts. The only reason I can see for the 5 year lead in, is for a snowballs chance in hell that this deters any of those top teir players from having these incentives put in to new contracts in the comming years. A question for those that are bashing Schilling for his 1 milloin dollar incentive. By chance, did any of you read the part of his blog where he says what is done with that money? If so then why are you so opposed to a him setting his contract up so that incentive pay bonuses like that go to benefit charities like Shade and ALS?

posted by jojomfd1 at 05:30 AM on December 06

Maybe if the Sox get Santana, Schilling can spend more time working on his grammatical skills. If the Sox get Santana, Schilling would have to be the first bullpen setup-man to ever get a Cy Young vote, too. But as stupid and self-absorbed as some writers seem to be when it comes to voting, I would never put it past them. As for him donating any money he would receive from such an incentive, that doesn't change my opinion at all. Unless he has a near-dominating season as a starter, he should get no consideration from the "voters" at all.

posted by dyams at 05:40 AM on December 06

Schilling would have to be the first bullpen setup-man to ever get a Cy Young vote, too. Wakefield would go to the pen.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:21 AM on December 06

I think starting the rule in 2013 is meant to keep the change from affecting current contracts as much as possible. I love the fact that Schilling has strong opinions on a dozen different sportswriters and backs them up with specific things. I hope that when he's done, he writes an autobiography and doesn't pull any punches. It'd be the most interesting baseball book since Ball Four.

posted by rcade at 06:56 AM on December 06

justgary wrote (in re: Schilling's blog): His writing is better than most writing on the internet. Hell, his writing is better than much of this thread... Writing a blog is self-absorbing by definition. Which means millions of people are self-absorbed. Well, no, it isn't and it doesn't. Writing a blog is self-expression by definition, and while for many people, self-expression = "it's all about me, for the benefit of the millions who can't sleep not knowing what utterly derivative piece of series TV crap I watched last night," it isn't inherent or inevitable in a blog. The internet makes it ridiculously easy for people to express themselves in a medium where many others can view their words if they so choose. The bar is set at zero -- but that doesn't mean that blogs that barely clear that bar (like Schilling's) still don't suck. The proper comparison is not with all the blogs being "written" by lazy idiots, but with what a blog could be, coming from someone with many years' experience and an insider perspective into a major professional sport. The fact that Schilling isn't a Rhodes scholar doesn't let him off the hook either, IMO. My belief is that anyone can be a damn good writer, but you have to be willing to work at it. If you don't want to do the work, if you want to just be a hobbyist, that's fine too -- but if you then go seek a public forum, it's perfectly appropriate for whatever you put out there to be held to high standards.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:55 AM on December 06

I don't have any particular problem with this bonus for Schilling if he can negotiate it, but is it possible that this whole issue is the owners' doing? Now that Schill's contract made big enough news for all the other players/agents to hear, a lot more people might be asking for these type of incentives and perhaps now owners would have to look at paying out for every vote anyone receives for any reward. I wouldn't be happy about that, either. I'm not sure why the writers would have any reason to side with the owners, just throwing it out there.

posted by bender at 08:01 AM on December 06

it isn't inherent or inevitable in a blog You're picking nits. In the vast majority of cases, a blog is a person's diary. While there are any number of counter-examples, they don't disprove Gary's claim.

posted by yerfatma at 08:34 AM on December 06

Well, no, it isn't and it doesn't. Writing a blog is self-expression by definition Spoken like a blogger who feels tweaked. Blogs are self-absorption at their best: I'm so friggin' smart, so well-spoken, so important, that I deserve the bully pulpit, and everyone should read what I think! Look no further than this thread. In a discussion of an incentive clause in a player's contract, you feel the need to defend blogging, which is a peripheral part of the discussion. In most cases, and in most blogs, the writer actually isn't very interesting, which is why nobody's given a damn what they've been saying all these years in the first place. Present company excluded, of course

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:46 AM on December 06

Blogs are self-absorption at their best: I'm so friggin' smart, so well-spoken, so important, that I deserve the bully pulpit, and everyone should read what I think! How is that any different than commenting here? Expressing yourself is not a character flaw; it's a virtue. Personally, I think we're long past the point where you can stereotype bloggers as personal diarists. These days you're just as likely to see a blog from a bank as your nephew, and if he's under 30 he's more likely to be hanging out on social networks instead of running a blog.

posted by rcade at 08:54 AM on December 06

Meanwhile, on topic (my edit window timed out), Since 1997, Curt Schilling has recieved 282 points and 2 first-place votes in Cy Young balloting. Since he didn't win the award, that got him nothing at all. Maybe he looks at 2008 as the year he comes back, settles his health issues, wins 15-20 games with a 3-ish ERA, and picks up a couple of votes. Now, all of a sudden, it's not a useless vote. He scores a cool million bucks. Gotta be worth a shot, right?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:57 AM on December 06

How is that any different than commenting here? Because most people's blogs don't have 16,564 other members who contribute. This is a collaborative effort, not just one person and their opinions.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:09 AM on December 06

A question for those that are bashing Schilling for his 1 milloin dollar incentive. By chance, did any of you read the part of his blog where he says what is done with that money? If so then why are you so opposed to a him setting his contract up so that incentive pay bonuses like that go to benefit charities like Shade and ALS? No. Just that it's conceptually stupid. One Cy Young vote? One? For a million? Most cats get a few grand for making all-star games. This guy is going to get a million for one stinking Cy Young vote. And honestly, he probably will get it from a Beantown writer who thinks "it's the right thing to do for the kids and I'll get a column out of it." Just give the money straight to charity if it's that important. Write it right into the contract: "$1 million will be donated to Shade and ALS." Or pay him the million and let him do it. But now the owness is on the BBWAA to make sure that million gets into the hands of the charity. And that, my friends, is stupid. Unecessarily complicated. However, I'm sure as a bonus to charity both sides (team and player) likely are looking at some financial benefit from packaging it this way. (and I was being facestious about Schilling having a blog. It's well known.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:26 AM on December 06

I don't care whether Schilling's clause is idiotic or unnecessary - even if that were deemed factually true, there's only one entity that could be called the "idiot" - Red Sox management/ownership that agreed to it (and even then, you'd have to consider that in a vacuum, without regard to what ownership may have decided to be a "greater good" in getting a deal done). This stance by the BBWAA wreaks of laziness. Posnanski's pleas to understand the conflict of interest tells me one thing - the BBWAA has no desire to hold its members accountable for their decisions. If Schilling has a great year and is deserving to be among the serious contenders for the Cy Young, then this is a non-issue. If Schilling has a bad year and some writer pens him in (regardless of whether $1m is at stake, but especially so), then that writer needs to be taken to task. Stating, "what's to keep Schilling and me from exchanging $200,000 for a vote ...", he's admitted that not only can writers not be trusted but that their "governing body" has no inclination to police their own. Nice way of convincing people that "BBWAA is part of the reason ... these are still the most respected and talked-about honors in American sports." Thanks for the chuckle.

posted by littleLebowski at 11:03 AM on December 06

The bar is set at zero -- but that doesn't mean that blogs that barely clear that bar (like Schilling's) still don't suck. Well, we'll just disagree on whether it sucks or not. For most people schillings blog will suck simply because they think schilling sucks. That's fine. But there's not a whole lot of major league pitchers with blogs, so I'm not sure where the bar is. I don't care about his grammar or spelling. Is he getting his thoughts across? Sure he is. Again, I'll take it, because as much as I'd love to read what jeter really thinks it's never going to happen. He will always be, as are most players, PR statements tweaked to perfection and absolute blandness. The proper comparison is not with all the blogs being "written" by lazy idiots, but with what a blog could be, coming from someone with many years' experience and an insider perspective into a major professional sport. And his best writing has been when he's taken a game apart inning by inning, batter by batter. I don't care about his politics, or his religion, but when he writes about baseball I'll take it, warts and all.

posted by justgary at 11:17 AM on December 06

Chacun a son gout, justgary. You can say you find it plenty enjoyable and worthwhile to read, and that's fine. I have no disagreement with that, nor do I disagree that he's getting his thoughts across. However, when the thought in question is, "Add to that I seriously doubt anyone ever looked at this from a perception standpoint and thought wow, they are making this guy rich," I confess I have problems with both form and content. YMMV, as I said.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:37 PM on December 06

Dear Curt Schilling, If I convince the the local sportswriter who votes for the Cy Young to cast one for you, can I have a million dollars? You see, I'm trying to raise money for camp R-U-Mypaw for the destitute kids of musicians. Last year we got them a ski-boat but didn't have enough money to get the rope. Them little kids has been hangin' onto the sides of that boat for dear life. I think a million dollars should about cover it. Thanks for your consideration

posted by THX-1138 at 12:56 PM on December 06

Chacun a son gout At the very least I've learned a little french.

posted by justgary at 03:45 PM on December 06

Paul White's reaction to Joe Posnanski's blog is pretty close to bang on. Sportswriters already have a cosy relationship with players, and are in a position to make certain players look better than others (even though the players might have equivalent statistics) simply by the slant in their articles. One of the comments in the post also correctly shows Posnanski's error that a baseball writer will see "most of the games". They might see most of the games of the team they cover, but they certainly will not be able to see anything more than highlights of the rest of the games. The Cy Young clause in Schilling's contract was discussed in the Boston media shortly after it became public. The reaction was much more muted than Posnanski's. I agree with those who think the Cy Young vote clause is not the right thing to do, but I would hope that baseball writers would have enough integrity to vote for Schilling on his merits. One 10th place vote for Schilling after a season where he goes, let's say, 12 - 8, with 180 innings pitched, a 4.10 ERA, 125 strikeouts, and an OBA of .285 would have alarm bells ringing all over the media. The writer who voted for him would never see another award ballot, and very likely would be having a very long talk with his boss. If on the other hand Schilling has himself a monster year (say 18+ wins, over 200 IP, and an ERA in the low 3's or better, then any writer who won't at least give him some consideration should have to explain himself. It all comes down to a matter of integrity and how much you are willing to sell your soul for.

posted by Howard_T at 03:47 PM on December 06

My eyes, My eyes. Someone show Schilling's intern how to format posts properly. Oh wait? he maintains this blog himself. Huzzah. That said, Schilling seems remarkably aware of his critics and comrades in the game of sports reporting. Are all ballplayers like this? I thought they generally avoided reading the columnist. The way Schilling catches them in hypocritical statements is fun to read (more fun if they fixed the fonts). He's also a prolific writer.

posted by indigoskye at 04:34 PM on December 06

Regardless of Schillings comments, I find it kind of funny that sportswriters vote for any sports awards. Do all the players get together and cast their vote for the Pulitzer prize winner for sportswriting.

posted by dman1967 at 04:40 PM on December 06

This stance by the BBWAA wreaks of laziness. Posnanski's pleas to understand the conflict of interest tells me one thing - the BBWAA has no desire to hold its members accountable for their decisions. Thank you, littleLebowski, for cutting to the chase here. If the BBWAA is so concerned about these incentive clauses, between players & management - not BBWAA members - stop associating your organization with the awards. Don't attempt to dictate to other parties the terms of their contracts. But if the BBWAA starts to do this in 2013, it will just damage the BBWAA's credibility - not the players or owners. It's like the BBWAA can't police themselves, so all temptation must be removed.

posted by MrNix at 05:02 PM on December 06

I know this thread is about the Cy Young vote, but $2 million in bonuses for 6 separate weigh-ins? There's some easy clams. Just stay between Big Papi and Jacoby Ellsbury, Schill. Money in the bank.

posted by smithnyiu at 05:27 PM on December 06

On the one hand millions of people are more interested in what he has to say than what I have to say. I do think it is moderately intersting to get more in-depth comments from a player. On the other hand the way he switches fonts and size I kept waiting for him to ask me for a million dollars like he was writing some kind of damned ransom note.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 08:37 PM on December 06

I'll not criticise the man. Seen one of the gutsies performances in World Series history at 2nd game in 2004. Ole bloody socks (as somebody so casually refer) pitched a hell of a game against a very potent lineup and gave me a trilled to see ole time baseball again. I don't care if the guy grammer or spelling is so incorrect to dimished the pure joy of watching a skillfully pitched game, and that I thoughly enjoyed-albeit my team lost the game and the series.

posted by smdragon at 10:37 PM on December 06

"Schilling would have to be the first bullpen setup-man to ever get a Cy Young vote, too. Wakefield would go to the pen. posted by jerseygirl at 6:21 AM CST on December 6" That bit of logic escapes some. Wakefield would be sent to the pen before Schilling, assuming both are healthy.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:48 PM on December 06

Off Topic Warning: Kurt Schilling is a bigtime internet gaming participant. There was an article about his gaming skill written during 2007 spring training. It is reasonable to assume that internet gaming activity consumes a good part of his offseason. I think that the article mentioned that he also has business interests centered around internet game development.

posted by Cave_Man at 11:01 PM on December 06

That bit of logic escapes some. Wakefield would be sent to the pen before Schilling, assuming both are healthy. Watch this, because I think you'll like it: 1. You suggested if the Red Sox traded for Santana, Curt Schilling would be sent to the bullpen because there would be no room for him in the starting rotation. 2. jg responded by saying Tim Wakefield would be moved out of the rotation, not Schilling. 3. You then respond to her suggestion by saying you don't understand what she's saying because you think what she just said.

posted by yerfatma at 04:26 AM on December 07

That bit of logic escapes some. Wakefield would be sent to the pen before Schilling, assuming both are healthy. Watch this, because I think you'll like it: 1. You suggested if the Red Sox traded for Santana, Curt Schilling would be sent to the bullpen because there would be no room for him in the starting rotation. 2. jg responded by saying Tim Wakefield would be moved out of the rotation, not Schilling. 3. You then respond to her suggestion by saying you don't understand what she's saying because you think what she just said. For the record, I'm the one who made the initial comment about Schilling becoming the first setup man to garner a first place Cy Young vote. It was CaveMan who posted the comment Yerfatma was referring to. Also, my comment on Schilling going to the pen didn't have so much to do with him actually going there as it did my feeling Schilling is well past his prime, and his rotation spot should go to young arms. After facing a possible rotation of Santana, Beckett, Dice-K, and Bucholtz or Lester, seeing Schilling would be a welcome relief to most teams. I also don't believe Wakefield, regardless of roles he may have held in the past, is custom-made for relief. A knuckleballer trying to come in and hold a lead for the closer isn't generally the best scenario.

posted by dyams at 06:42 AM on December 07

My bad. Sorry Cave_Man. I also don't believe Wakefield, regardless of roles he may have held in the past, is custom-made for relief. I don't disagree, but there has been talk that Schilling has gotten to the point where he needs too much time to warm up to be a successful reliever. Having suffered through The Ramon Martinez Experiment*, if it's true, I would prefer they go with Wakefield. Assuming he comes back. * "Which, I believe, was some sort of hovercraft."

posted by yerfatma at 07:14 AM on December 07

Cave_Man: I don't know about his onling gaming activities, but Schilling's an avid wargamer who's part owner of a wargame publishing company, Multi-Man Publishing, that bought the rights to Advanced Squad Leader.

posted by rcade at 09:40 AM on December 07

Schilling's game company is linked off the blog as well, lest some poor soul go without enough Schilling in their diet.

posted by yerfatma at 11:09 AM on December 07

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