You’re Curt Schilling, the man who has promoted the Skin Cancer Awareness Center, the man whose start-up video game company is providing a living for 400 people in Rhode Island; the pitcher who had the courage to go to the mound with a severely wounded, bleeding ankle, and became an icon to Red Sox fans, and you deserve the honor of being inducted into the Red Sox franchise Hall of Fame.
So, tell us this: who was the Curt Schilling on WEEI; the one spreading gossip and sowing dissension between the current players and their manager?
Why does the same Curt Schilling, who is being honored by his former team, by induction into its Hall of Fame, intentionally cause it irreparable harm with claims that some players don’t like Bobby Valentine’s style? How much courage did it take to take a cheap shot at the current manager without providing proof of your innuendo that he hasn’t changed?
You say “when you talk to these guys — and I’m still talking to some of these guys — I don’t think this is going well. And I think it’s going bad quicker than I expected it to…Any time you introduce the wild card — the guy who’s going to flip over the spread or throw something against the wall or act and react in an unpredictable way – it’s not a positive thing.”
“It’s not a positive thing.” Really? Well, who are “these guys”? Or are you just making up this garbage? It makes the casual listener wonder if you are not implying that you would be doing a better job than Valentine. Whatever your motivation, one thing is clear, “It’s not a positive thing.”
Where is the Curt Schilling that the Red Sox fans idolized, the kind of stand-up guy, who would pick up the phone and call Bobby Valentine and say: “Just a head’s up, Bobby, some of the players are uncomfortable that you are bringing so much more media attention to the team. Just saying, maybe you could consider toning it down a bit…” Or contact a mutual acquaintance and have him pass the head’s-up to Valentine. But, what you did? “It’s not a positive thing.”
How does publicly trashing Bobby Valentine, implying that there are players on his team that think he does not know how to manage people, help your former franchise? It cannot, because: “It’s not a positive thing.”
You said that for all of Valentine’s wisdom, he isn’t very good at managing people, which was one of Terry Francona’s strengths.
“One of (Francona’s) strengths I think was understanding that to be a great big league manager, you don’t have to know when to hit and run, bunt and change pitchers as much as you need to manage people,” Schilling said. “I think the major league manager has so little to do with wins and losses, more so in baseball than just about in any sport.”
First, you are correct, a manager may only add less than a half dozen wins during a season. But implying that one of Francona’s strengths was managing people is questionable. His reputation was that he didn’t listen to the players, was aloof and not an effective communicator; it was a big deal when he finally listened to the players about the batting order, after he had painted himself and the team into a desperate corner at the end of September. Being aloof and distant: “It’s not a positive thing.”
It is unfortunate that Mr. Francona, a sensitive and decent person, will be remembered for managing a supremely talented team to the worst sudden collapse in baseball history; the Red Sox missed the playoffs despite holding a 9 game lead on September 4. The team finished with 7-20 record in September.
In eight seasons managing the Red Sox, Tito Francona led the team to a 744-552 regular season record and won two World Series (2004, 2007). The Red Sox made the playoffs five times under Tito, posting a 28-17 postseason record. Boston won 90+ games six times under Francona.
But, this isn’t about Tito Francona; this is about you, Curt Schilling, and your gratuitous undermining of the current Boston Red Sox team; just as this franchise is about to honor you with induction into its Hall of Fame, you are dishonoring yourself by stooping to gossip mongering, saying that un-named players don’t like their manager. “It’s not a positive thing.”
You have thrown a noxious, toxic stink bomb into the Red Sox clubhouse with your odious gossip and innuendos. Now the same Red Sox fans, who admired your courageous efforts on the field, are angry about your remarks and disappointed in you. They get it; what you said: “It’s not a positive thing.”
Now people will speculate about which players you are talking to. Now Valentine can wonder who are the back-stabbers in his clubhouse. “It’s not a positive thing.”
Some will assume, perhaps unfairly, that the it’s Texas Frat Boy Beckett or even John Lackey, who, to his credit, apologized for using the word “retarded,” when he said:
“Guys having a beer after their start has been going on for the last 100 years. This is retarded. It’s not like we were sitting up there doing it every night. It’s not even close to what people think.”
Perhaps a better choice of words in that meaning context would have been “stupid,” “ridiculous,” or “ignorant.” Those are three appropriate words to elegantly describe Mr. Lackey’s lack of comprehension about what he did that was so abhorrent to his fans.
Mr. Lackey is correct, many pitchers have had a beer after a game; Yaz usually had a Miller, before he would speak to the media. And, maybe the “Beer Pitchers” were not doing it every night; that is, drinking, eating and playing video games in the clubhouse during games.
When columnist Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe, asked Mr. Lackey about reports of Red Sox pitchers, including Lackey, drinking beer and eating chicken in the clubhouse during games as the Red Sox collapsed in September, Lackey apparently did not understand the question.
Mr. Lackey, Red Sox fans were shocked and annoyed to find out that you, Beckett and Lester thought that it was perfectly acceptable to be drinking, eating and playing games, while your team mates were playing a real game on the field.
And, you are correct, it really doesn’t matter if you did it a dozen times, or just once, because it is patently unprofessional and unacceptable; the fans, who make a lot less money, are not allowed to eat, drink, and play games during their work hours; they thought that, at least while the team was playing a game, that was your “work time” and expected you to be supporting your team mates by sitting down on your fat wallets in the dugout and at least pretending to care about the team nearly as much as they do.
Mr. Schilling, next time some of those millionaire crybabies complain about how their manager is bringing too much media attention to their fragile sensitivities, just suggest that they “man up” and show the courage that you did on the mound; tell them to have the balls to go to GM Cherington with their pathetic whining, so he can find a more understanding, “people person,” manager for them in say, Houston, or Baltimore. [What a shame that Billy Martin and Leo Durocher are not around to "manage" these delicate hothouse pansies.]
Unfortunately, Mr. Schilling, some people will assume that your motivation for sewing dissent and distrust on our 2012 Red Sox team is that you are shilling for yourself to become manager by assuring that the current manager cannot succeed. True or not, “It’s not a positive thing.”
And, if you ever decide to become a manager in MLB, we hope nobody poisons the atmosphere in your clubhouse, before the season has started, with a few thoughtless statements. Although, then, you would realize: “It’s not a positive thing.”
Mr. Schilling, we wish you great success with your Center for Skin Cancer Awareness [that is a positive thing], but, in the future, when it comes to our team, please, STFU.