Friday, June 20, 2008

So Long Curt

I live in New England and work in downtown Boston a couple of days each week. On those days I like to listen to sports talk radio while sitting in the cluster that is Boston traffic. While tuning in today, I was surprised to hear Curt Schilling's announcement that he's shutting it down for the season cause so much of a stir. The local talk show personalities were so ramped up I thought they were going to pyewp.
The prognosis was grim to begin this season. When the Red Sox stated that they anticipated Schilling pitching after the All-Star break, I thought it seemed unrealistic. It appeared as though the severity of the wear on his arm would combine with Schilling's age to spell the end of his season, and possibly career. Well, today Boston Red Sox fans got the bad news that they were somewhat expecting. Curt will be shutting it down for the year (and for good in my opinion) to undergo surgery. He claimed that he will not be ready to pitch again until after the 2009 All-Star break, a possibility that I would say is highly unlikely at best.
Curt is not the most popular player in the majors. He's got one of those personalities where he feels the need to chime in on every topic. He makes his political views (which I often disagree with) public, and I don't think he helped his reputation with fellow players when he chided steroid users in front of Congress a few years back. Some people accuse him of faking the "bloody" sock incident during the 2004 playoffs.
In the end, no matter how you feel about him or his sock on a personal level, Curt contributed significantly to the Boston Red Sox during his tenure here. He stated publicly upon arriving in Boston that he was here to help the team win a World Series, and that he did twice. He was marvelous in the post season with the Sox, a trend that continued from earlier in his career. When there was a pressure situation (like in last year's playoffs against Cleveland), you felt comfortable when Schilling took the mound.
Curt will now become one of the marginal players as far as hall of fame voting goes. Some will look at his 216 career wins and say that there is no way he should be admitted. Others will look at his 300 strikeout seasons, his strikeout to walk ratio (which he led his league in for a 5 year stretch earlier this decade), or his 10-2 postseason record and say he deserves to be elected. What do you think?

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