Schilling Will Not be a Ray
Curt Schilling had been known to toss a few baseballs in his long career. He has also not been shy when it comes to spiking controversy or even dabbling a bit in fantasy. So it was only fitting that he throw out the idea that he wants to play again maybe for the Chicago Cubs, or the Tampa Bay Rays when he again starts throwing in 2009. Fitting that Walt Disney World, where dreams come true, is the place where he made his plans known to the rest of the baseball world. The Cubs might be more of a team that needs to believe in a dream right now than the Rays. Chicago needs to believe that the past will not come up and bite the Cubs again in 2009. The Rays will be fine without the former Red Sox hurler.
The only problem with his logic is that he thinks he can make the Rays rotation after being out of the game for almost an entire year. First off, he is not even throwing yet, but is throwing out situations and even notions that he can even make either of these teams rosters. I under stand the competitive mindset of thinking positively, but shouldn’t you first get clearance to throw, then show you still have the right stuff before vocally auditioning for a job? He is not a 21-year old prospect, and even if the Rays listen, he might have to wait another 3 years in their system before they can slip him in….and even that is not concrete.
We all know about the urban legends that he applied Hunt’s tomato catsup or even red modelers’ paint to his white sock during the World Series with the Red Sox. I think the ankle really did have sutures put into it in 2004. I hope it is a just one of those legends that opponents throw out conjecture to hide the fact the guy has guts. Even if those legends are true or false, is this the kind of drama and actions we want out of one of the mentors for our current Rays starters? But with even that out of the way, do we need a guy who sometimes needs a muzzle to control his vocal lashings. We all know about his rants and raves on his website, http://www.38pitches.com in the past. And he has not been too timid on his weekly radio show when he was with the Red Sox. They can be both entertaining and also controversial at the same times. But do a team like the Rays really need a guy who has been out of the game for a few years when they have a few young pitchers who can throw as well, if not better than him right now.
The 42-year old Schilling missed the entire 2008 season with a shoulder injury discovered in February 2008. But with the bickering back and forth about treatment concerns between Schilling and the Red Sox, The Red Sox Team Doctor Thomas Gill diagnosed Schilling a tendon injury and recommended to him a course of action. But Schilling did not agree with the team’s approach and went for a second opinion by Doctor Craig Morgan, who recommended surgery for the ailment. But Schilling chose to follow the Red Sox non surgical method and had hopes of pitching by the All-Star break in 2008. On June 18, 2008, Schilling left the mound feeling pain and was again examined by Dr. Gill. Two days later he announced to WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan Show that he was going to have surgery and might have thrown the last pitch of his career.
On June 23, 2008 during the bicep tenodesis surgery on the effected area, a small under surface tear on the rotator cup was discovered and a separation of the labrum was also repaired. the prognosis was the he might be throwing within four months. During the American League Championship Series in 2008, Schilling again took the mound for the Red Sox. But this time it was as a ceremonial first pitch candidate, and during that throw he one-bounced a ball to the plate. He filed for free agency at the end of the 2008 season. Now where has Schilling been since he threw that pitch? Has he regained the velocity and the control of his pitches to even consider such a move, or is it just a premonition of his impending good fortune?
Schilling has basically come out and considers himself a blessing to both teams if they can get him on their roster. Is Schilling really a “curse-killer” or is he just a guy who was in the right place and the right time. I truly think he was a dominating pitcher years ago, to the point where in 2007 when he talked about joining the Rays, I listened to the babble. But now I think it is more commercial advertising than product. As Janet Jackson once said, “What have you done for me lately?” Schilling has been out of the limelight for a bit, and might just be wondering if the twilight of his career went by without him noticing.
But we do not want or need him on the Rays. Where would we put him? Should we sign him to a John Smoltz kind of incentive-based contract that will only give him riches if he preforms to his 2006 level, or give him nothing but dead air if he flounders by the foul lines. I like the guy’s moxy, but not in Tampa Bay. He used to curs
e and whine and smack talk about the Rays like they had the bubonic plague, but all is forgiven because he needs a job? Sorry, Rays pride runs deep in some of the faithful, and if he was signed it might not sit well.
Does anyone still remember his August 2005 comment about then Rays Manager Lou Pinella, calling him an “idiot”. If you need a reminder of the comments by Schilling, let me print them for you again: “The problem is when you’re playing a team with a manager who somehow forgot how the game is played, there’s problems,” Schilling said on a Boston radio station. “This should have been over a little bit ago. Lou’s trying to make his team be a bunch of tough guys, and the telling sign is when the players on that team are saying, ‘This is why we lose 100 games a year, because this idiot makes us do stuff like this.’ They [Rays players] said that on the field.”
Karma can be a mean woman. Pinella said back in 2005 days after the comments that he lost respect for Schilling because of his comments. Does he really think that Pinellas will have a short term memory and forget all about the incident, or even chalk it up to competitive nature? And what do you think Pinellas is saying now, as the Cub Manager about a possible Schilling and Pinellas reunion. I would not bank on that happening either. Lou has a great baseball mind, but even today, he still knows more baseball than Schilling could ever forget.