Last weekend, a monumental occasion happened for me. Curt Schilling decided to call it a career. With his announcement, there was only one natural response from me. Thank God.
Now before I go on a rant, I will give Schilling his due. He was a fantastic power pitcher in his prime and had a great career. He was one of the best big game pitchers I've seen in recent times. He retired with a career record of 216-146 not great numbers by any means. His ERA of 3.16 is very good, but what separated Schilling was his career 11-2 post-season mark. That is second best in MLB history behind Christy Matthewson. Schilling who was a member of five different team won four World Series titles in his career.
He was gutsy and turned in heroic performances, but is he a Hall of Famer? I have to say no. If you judge by the post season and his stints in Arizona and Boston, then the answer is yes. However, he struggled with Houston, Baltimore and Philadelphia. The 216 wins just isn't that big of a number to me. However in the steroid era, it doesn't hurt to give a gutsy warrior such as Schilling a pass.
I just can't stand the guy though. People that know me know hat there aren't many athletes I have despised, but Schilling tops the list. Where do I begin. Could it be the two performances against my yanks in the post-season that just crippled us. Well that has something to do with it. Could it be the ketchup filled sock performance. Yeah, we are getting a little warmer.
First that game. It wasn't that he beat the Yanks. The way he pitched, he would have beaten every team. It was the response from him and the media following. In his mind, you would have thought he was the only person in the history of the game that played hurt. Yes it was a gutsy performance, but other athletes have gutted it out before.
Next, it was Schilling's constant need for attention. I worked in Arizona when he and the Big Unit were together. If you weren't writing or talking about Schilling, he had to give you a reason to. It wasn't a story if it wasn't about Schilling.
That continues today. Every time there is a topic, Curt Schilling has to lend his opinion. It doesn't matter if it were steroids, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or Manny Ramirez, Schilling had to let you know his opinion. NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. Just pitch. That's it.
Hopefully, he will just go away like McGwire and we won't have to hear from him again. That, as we know will never happen.
I have been wanting to get that off my chest for a while now. Basically, everyone has that one athlete that just killed your team no matter what. Michael Jordan did it to my Knicks year after year. It's the same hate I have for Schilling. He just lived for the big moments. Everyone loves people like that. I hated when the Yankees had to face him. Now that he is retired I can give him the credit and respect he deserved. He was a bulldog, a leader and a winner. I just hated him. The ultimate compliment I can give Curt Schilling is that if he were a member of my team, I would have loved him.
The best part about Curt Schilling is that he was very knowledgeable about the game. That is very rare in today's game. Schilling knew and cared about the history of the game. He respected the guys who paved the way for him to play the game he loved. Ninety percent of today's players only respect the name on the back of the jersey, not the name on the front. The only real problem with Schilling to me was that he just wore the wrong colored uniform.
Looking back at the last quarter century, how many guys would you truly give the ball to in a game seven and know you were going to get an outstanding performance. Not many. Jack Morris, Dave Stewert and Orel Hershisher were all big game pitchers. Add Curt Schilling to that list.