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A second look at a few things

December 25, 2008

(Here are some more answers to questions sent along by Rob Bradford, mostly in regards to the Mark Teixeira situation … mostly.)

Bradford: What examples has he seen of an agent steering a client towards a negative outcome?

Me: Define negative? I’ve seen on rare occasion an agent gamble with a players future and cost them years and millions that never come around again, like Jody Reed. But more times than not you can’t blame the agents, post-draft anyway. We’re grown men who need to be accountable for all things happening to and around us. My biggest problem and one of the main reasons I did not want an agent was due to the fact that every time an agent opens his mouth the public hears the player, whether the player said it or not.

Bradford: How important is it for a free agent when the front office/ownership group to flies out to meet face to face?

Me: To me it’s HUGE, HUGE! The three day period of negotiation that went on
in 2003 would never have worked had I not been face to face with them. 

Bradford: Having faced Mark Teixeira (1 for 12), what are his strengths and
weaknesses?

Schilling: Tex never bothered me. I think the main reason was that he was, or I think he is, a guy that studies pitchers and numbers. At least I believe that because I had reports and watched video of a guy  that was patient and very strike zone aware. Against me he chased my split over 90 percent of the time. Very unlike him but I think he expected me, walking as few hitters as I did, to throw more balls in the strike zone than I did. I think he was more aggressive vs. me than normal and I threw some decent
splits to him as well. 

Bradford: How close is Teixeira to being the kind of middle of the order presence Manny was?

Me: I don’t think he is, I don’t think anyone really is. Locked in and wanting to play no one hits like Manny with that combo of patience, awareness and power.

Bradford: When referencing this potential move, some have cited the Yankees decision to go with high-priced talent in the early 2000’s instead of the “heart and soul” guys that were on the championship teams. Is that kind of chemistry/clubhouse influence overstated?

Me: No, no and a million more times no. The easiest way to figure that out is to play fantasy baseball right? Take the 2004 Yankees on paper, play them against ANY other 2004 team and play a 5×5 league. How do they fare? I’d expect REAL well and pretty dominating? There is so much that happens outside the 3-4 hours of games each day
that impact and influence teams in a way no statistician or ‘expert’ can ever hope to define or quantify. It affects wins and losses, it affects clubs state of mind, it affects everything.

Bradford: How awkward is it when a team goes into spring training with a positional overlap, knowing somebody has to be traded, as might be the case with the Red Sox?

Me: VERY awkward and in my opinion underappreciated by teams. It’s the ultimate exposure to this game as a business. I laugh that people continue to call baseball a ‘game’ that we play. As soon as some guy pulls in $15 million a year playing Monopoly I’ll conceded. Until then understand this is a $6+ billion a year business. Someone in spring training limbo is a tough thing to be around but like most other situations it really depends on the player and how he and his teammates handle it.

Oh and one more thing. I really loathe to even mention CHB in anything anymore, due to his irrelevance on the Boston sports scene but I suck at keeping my tongue in places like this. CHB wrote the other day (thanks to the person forwarding this as it’s the first thing I’ve read that he’s written in five months)

“Best part of Curt Schilling’s blog on the WEEI website? Schill claims, ‘I don’t get edited.’ Could he be more of a diva? Here’s a clue for the Big Lug – Ernest Hemingway had an editor. And Schill needs an editor more than I need a pitching coach.”

By edited I meant content Curly, because Lord knows I sure as hell need help with anything I write. But your last statement is laughable, because I think — and correct me if I am wrong — I am doing what you do for a living right?

I am pretty sure you’ve never stepped on a mound, well a field of any kind for that matter, and competed for something that truly mattered to people not on the field? So I am comfortable saying I am a lot closer to being able to do what you do, than you are able to do what I did …

Keep spewing the vitriol chief. It seems to be the only bite your writing has any more.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. CTballfan permalink
    December 25, 2008 3:01 pm

    Merry Christmas Curt, and thanks for the ongoing insights into the life and business of baseball!!
    An observation on Shaughnessy — geez you really have a hard time getting him out from under your skin — but the guy is a real writing talent WHEN — and it’s only occasionally, far less often than he’s published — when he really puts it to use. When he’s “ON” he’s probably as good a writer as anyone in the Boston press, in any capacity. And it’s clear that the Globe doesn’t edit him for content, at least as far as insisting he justify whatever he’s putting into print, maybe just cutting down the word count (which bloggers don’t have to do). I think we all know people who have great talent but who rarely put it to effective use. They can slide by hardly trying the rest of the time. I’m sure you’ve known athletes like that, both guys in the minors who never put it together, and veterans who lost the motivation somewhere in their last big contract.

  2. December 25, 2008 3:24 pm

    Thanks for the follow up Curt. Like it’s been said, losing out on Teixeira will have its impact, but I have no doubt that Lowell and Ortiz are still capable of huge numbers. And for what it’s worth, I would rather read something you write that I don’t agree with (which is few and far between) than anything the CHB writes.
    Merry Christmas, and hope you’re in a Sox uniform by midsummer!

  3. Chuck permalink
    December 25, 2008 11:07 pm

    Merry Christmas Curt! Hope to see you back on the mound in ’09

  4. Todd permalink
    December 26, 2008 7:42 am

    Once again we see the child in Curt “BIGMOUTH” Schilling. You aren’t a good writer Curt. The only reason your here is you’ve seen things from the inside. Please please please go away!!!!!

  5. December 26, 2008 3:27 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and the family, Curt. Agreed on your comments about “CHB”. Clearly, the intent of a blog is to get ideas across in a relatively quick and stream of consciousness format. I would think it quite vain for a person to have a blog edited, rather then the reverse, which is what that idiot is proposing.

    Also agreed about Manny v. Teixeira comparison – there is none. Which may make it a blessing that he did not end up in Boston. Cannot imagine the pressure of trying to fill those shoes.

  6. John permalink
    December 26, 2008 3:37 pm

    Mr. Schilling,

    Merry Christmas…If not on the mound at Fenway in ’09, maybe on another type of Hill (capitol) sometime soon!!

  7. Frank permalink
    December 26, 2008 6:23 pm

    Curt,
    MERRY CHRISTMAS and a BLESSED NEW YEAR to you and your family.
    Pay no mind to “Todd” he may be a frustrated Yankee fan or a loud mouth reporter that thinks he has a corner on illuminating people with his thoughts.
    Hope to see you chucking for the Sox again, YOUR THE MAN!

  8. Gaston permalink
    December 27, 2008 12:20 am

    Curt,

    After doing a lot of thinking, I am not any more scared of the Yankees than I was last year. Giambi and Mussina both had vintage years and it’s going to take a lot for CC and Tex to equal those numbers. It seems to me the Yankees just got younger but not necessarily any better. I am afraid of the Rays though…David Price is downright filthy. Kazmir, Shield, Garza, Sonnastine, and Price is as good a rotation as the Sox and Yanks.

    Also, take a quick look at Youk’s stats last years and Texeira’s. I’ll take Youkillis any day because the difference is minimal. Plus, I think Lowell will bounce back, it wouldn’t be the first time people forget about how productive he can be (When he was an afterthough in the Beckett deal)and he shines the next season.

    Hope you are well. Happy New Year.

  9. December 27, 2008 2:53 am

    Hey Curt,
    I’m a broadcast journalism major and I write for my school newspaper. I really respect you as a player and person but I kind of take exception to the fact that you belittle my major by saying that you can do what I aspire to do. You make it seem like any athlete who is popular in a city can write sports for a newspaper or website, etc.

    I don’t think it’s fair that you claim to be able to do what I do as well as I do it. It is clear you have the “in” because of who you are, but please don’t claim to be as experienced or educated in the field as much as other journalists.

    Thanks,
    Jimmy

  10. Eric permalink
    December 27, 2008 10:40 am

    I agree with Jimmy. I bet Bradford takes exception to the fact that you basically belittle him in your interview with him. Sometimes you might want to actually put on a filter.

  11. Eric permalink
    December 27, 2008 10:50 am

    Not to mention your answer on Tex… so you faced him very successfully for 13 plate appearances. What did you throw… like 50 pitches at absolute most? And of those 50 pitches MAYBE 10 of them were splits? So he chased the split 9 times? WOW! Don’t you think your percentages are a little ridiculous in that small a sample size?

    13 AB’s, 61 pitches, 27 splits/24 strikes (1 called)

  12. sam permalink
    December 27, 2008 11:51 am

    why are we listening to curt schilling..is he even active anymore??

  13. borty permalink
    December 27, 2008 1:23 pm

    @Jimmy: Curt didn’t say he could do what you “aspire to do” as well or better than you or CHB. He said “I am comfortable saying I am a lot closer to being able to do what you do, than you are able to do what I did …”. Sorry journalism-boy, but you and CHB can simply not dispute that in any way, so don’t waste your ink.

    CHB does occasionally write a good article. However, like many Boston sports journalists, he thinks HE is a part of the story (or perhaps even bigger than the story). Get off your high horse dude, and please, PLEASE get off my television. You are the definition of a face made for radio.

  14. Eric permalink
    December 27, 2008 2:19 pm

    So Curt had success in 13 plate appearances (12AB) against Tex. I’m glad a guy that never bothered you averaged just under 5 pitches per plate appearance (well above league average).

  15. Vinnie permalink
    December 27, 2008 5:53 pm

    Curt,

    I can see the Sox bringing you back at mid year if you are ready to go, and willing to do it at a fair price. They could use the veteran hand to help them along, and it would be great to see you against the Yankees….. And I must agree, team chemistry is a virtue not understood, and that is what is needed for a team to do well. This off season is like 2003…Look at http://www.survivinggrady.com and you’ll see Red talks some sense.

    Also, good on you for visiting our troops. There are a lot of us outside this great country doing great things for our nation. As much flak as you get from people about being one who is full of himself, you certainly are generous and giving. You’re definitely more of an American than those that just “say” they are. Thank You.

  16. Steven R permalink
    December 27, 2008 6:53 pm

    Dear Curt Schilling,

    Please pitch in the World Baseball Classic. They don’t have any good pitchers. Except for John Lackey and Roy Oswalt, I guess. And Joe Nathan’s still good. But nobody else. And they need more than three pitchers.

    So get to it!

    Thanks,

    Steven

  17. December 27, 2008 8:14 pm

    Not that my thoughts truly matter, but I definitely think you’re spot on regarding Tex v. Manny. As much as Manny has/had issues – he was a force to be reckoned with in the lineup. I loved, loved, loved watching his at bat. His patience was unreal. Who else did we feel comfortable with at 2 outs, with a 0-2 count?

    I don’t know that we’ll ever see a hitter like Manny in a Sox uniform again. So while we could use another big bat in the lineup – and Tex wouldn’t have hurt any — the constant comparison or search for “someone like Manny” needs to stop. Because I don’t think we’ll find anyone like that any time soon.

    And I’m glad the Sox held firm. I personally thought the money for Tex was insane, but hey – there’s no boundaries or limits to salary. And I’m no Boras fan (putting it mildly), so the way this all played out really disgusted me. But that aside – I am not at all sad to see Youk stay at first. 🙂

    Time to move on… we need to focus on catching — and you’re right – let’s see how Jason Bay does with a full season.

    JMHO

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas. 🙂

  18. Jeff Mills permalink
    December 28, 2008 2:10 am

    Curt,

    You’re absolutely right. Chemistry cannot be overstated. At a time when most Americans are struggling to make ends meet and pay the bills the Yankees are throwing money around like it’s nobody’s business. Having said that, the Red Sox would have loved to have Mark Texeira. Who wouldn’t? But I don’t see this as a cataclysmic event or a huge blow to the Red Sox organization. You guys still got Youk at first and Lowell at third. Not a bad combo IMHO.

    To me, the Red Sox need a catcher and I don’t know if Boston will re-sign Jason Varitek, but my suggestion would be to go get a young catcher and sign Henry Blanco to be the backup and mentor. I’m serious. Blanco is a great guy to have on your team and as a Cubs fan I have seen him mentor Geovany Soto for the couple of years with total selflessness.

  19. Bill Lord permalink
    December 28, 2008 10:03 am

    Merry Christmas Curt! And happy HOLYdays…..

    I have an absurd idea that while not feasible, would help solve the disparity among teams. I think weak teams should forfeit all away games with teams like New York and Boston – they are likely to lose anyway, it will not affect their place in the standings, and while they would lose some revenue, the revenue loss to the moneyed teams and MLB would be extremely irritating.

    Bill

  20. December 29, 2008 12:49 am

    curt,
    Curt you are awesome!!however, i am a lifelong redsox fan.i will never forget what you did for my team. i loved the way you would take the hill like there was no one but you on the field you were the best cluth pitcher i have ever seen even till this day(including beckett)and of course the Rocket who i might add even while with the sox he was not as cluth as you.Anyway i have relocated to tampa from mass. several years ago and i was thinking if you dont retire or go back to the sox would you try to go to hook up with the Rays and mentor the young staff they have there and of course you could continue to get out Tex!!!and a couple of other yankee stiffs? And, of course that way i can go to the trop when you pitch and cheer you on my man!!your the best man and good luck in what ever you do.( of course unless you put on a yankee jersey)but as your #1 fan something tells me there is not enough money in the world that would make you do that. We know you hate the Yankees as much as we all do.

  21. December 29, 2008 12:51 am

    clutch

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Curt Schilling's Official Blog

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