October 22, 2008

Schilling Blogs About Manny (Again...)

Why can't Curt Schilling put Manny Ramirez and the issues surrounding the slugger's last few months with the Red Sox in the past?

Most Red Sox fans have moved on. Indeed, most of us had moved on by August 3 or so. Yet Schilling, whose disdain for many national and Boston sportswriters is well-known, has more in common with these knights of the keyboard than he would probably care to admit. What can be gained by bashing Manny every few weeks?

Around 2 PM on Wednesday, Schilling posted an answer of sorts to the question "Could the Red Sox have gone deeper into the post-season with Manny?" to his blog. It was entitled "Just To Be Clear" and could be found here -- until he went back and deleted it later in the afternoon.

However, once you post something to the internet, it's impossible to pull it back. Evan at Fire Brand had the complete post in his RSS feed and posted sections of it at his blog. I found the entire post at Sawx Heads.

Schilling wants to be perceived as a "straight-shooter" who (like it or not) calls 'em like he sees 'em. He clearly worked for awhile on this 2,499-word post and I cannot imagine him not weighing the pros and cons of posting it before hitting the "publish" button. So why won't he stand behind these words?

Screen shots below -- text in the first comment.

32 comments:

redsock said...

http://38pitches.com/2008/10/22/just-to-be-clear/

Just to be clear..

No one wants to hear less about the ending of the season and the whys than fans that love the Sox. While I am officially no longer a member of this organization I have read and keep reading the “What if” stories as they relate to Manny and the team and the playoffs.

Enough has been said by anyone, and everyone, involved that it makes peoples ears bleed but it still appears a huge important piece to the puzzle is being missed.

First off anyone saying

Jason Bay is a nice player, but he’s not Manny

is just not a very smart baseball person. Putting up the numbers he did in Pittsburgh has been vastly downplayed in my opinion. Yes his last year was less than stellar but in the Major Leagues that happens. Bottom line is this guy is a 30/100 above average on base guy who plays his ass off in the field and runs the bases hard and right. Is he Manny? Hell no, who is? Who has ever been? But he’s far more than a ‘nice player’. Nice players are guys that play 140 games, hit 275 and drive in some runs, and are good guys. This guy is a very good, very good player. Not only that but he proved the October limelight is not something that will make him wilt. Oh and he had a hell of a nice run the last few months in a market that couldn’t be more opposite than Pittsburgh.

That’s beside the initial point though. People are going to say, and have been saying, what if Manny had stayed? What if Manny had done what he did in LA, in Boston? If TJ Siemers can crawl out of Manny’s butt long enough he’d objectively look at what happened and know he’s at the front of the ‘I’m going to look like an ass at some point’ line and wake up. I’ve made enough horses ass comments to know to at least be aware now, when I am headed down that path....

It was NEVER a question of Manny’s ability, ever. Hell I am not sure anyone had more run ins with him, as a teammate, than I did, but I’ll never say anything other than this guy studied and practiced the art of hitting, and executed, as well as anyone I’ve ever seen.

No, that wasn’t the issue, and no one argues that. What was the issue, and this is my opinion only, became very clear to anyone in or around the team at this point. The issue was not whether he would play ‘hard’ every day. He ALWAYS hit, but the game is so much more than swinging

the bat it’s laughable. No, the issue was whether he would actually PLAY. I don’t mean play hard, play tough, play lazy, no, PLAY.

He had in the past taken days off. Hell most guys do. He certainly had his own way of doing it and it was never ever with thought to anyone but himself but for the most part I always took it with the “Manny knows his body better than anyone”. We all knew there were times it was just ‘He didn’t feel like playing today” and by ‘playing’ that meant anything. Pinch hitting, pinch running, anything. His days off for the most part were totally off. That’s not common, not at all. You played that day, or series of days, with a 24 man roster, that was never a thing you doubted or that came unexpected after awhile. As a pitcher that is and always will be a factor in being a leader in the clubhouse. A starting pitcher has very little idea what these guys do to their bodies every day. But what I do know is I played 23 years of professional baseball and have played with guys that ran the spectrum. The guy who said “I’m good” while trying to catch with a broken collarbone, and the guy who literally HAD to feel 100% to take BP. So for a pitcher to question a position player, well in certain contexts that just didn’t happen, but you also knew your teammates and you got to see ‘behind the curtain’ when that ‘hurt’ guy took 5 days off and spent less than 10 minutes in the training room. A direct opposite to the guy who took one day off, made sure the manager knew he could Pinch Hit if needed, and spent the game running back and forth from the bench to the training room getting interval treatment as he could.

No, by saying PLAY I mean exactly that. The issue got to the point where everyone finally took him at his word, there was no choice. A guy refusing to get on a team plane, having to be literally coaxed on, by people with pride and people that love the game, because meeting the obligations of a 20 million dollar contract were not even close to enough to get him going???? If he did not get traded he was going to need “time off” to rest his injured knee, and it got to the point where he made it clear time off could mean the rest of the season. Few guys will admit to it and that’s cool, I get that, but no one, if in the right situation, would ever deny that was anything but true.

So it’s not ‘what could have been’, we knew what was to be, and what was to be was that if he did not get a contract extension he was going to take a seat, and in taking that seat he didn’t give a rats ass what anyone thought, including the 24 guys that wore the same uniform. So the ‘what could have been’ in the post season is not the question. The question is would there have been a post season if he had stayed, and that’s a question, and a gamble, that I think everyone felt they knew the answer too and in the end a gamble no one was willing to take, and rightly so.

People continue to try and assign logic to the thoughts and decisions made when we all knew so many illogical things were said and done that logic was far from a factor in 99% of the things happening at the end. I don’t think Scott Boras told many to ‘tank it’, Manny’s a grown man and any decisions or actions he made are all on him.

It is demeaning and disrespectful to the guys that did respect their teammates, the game and the fans by busting their asses through broken down hips, sore arms, strained abs and whatever, to grind it out for each other and the fans, their love of the game and anything else you can think of, the organization, to hear people question the hows and whys of this whole thing. That was why I said ‘he flipped you all off’ because if you heard ANYTHING he said after he left, he did.

Ya, remember this guy was at the forefront of bringing the first world championship to Boston in 2004 (but please also throw a cheer or three Foulkies way, that guy was the man in October of 04), remember this guy, along with David, made the most fearsome middle of the order of our lifetimes, remember when he was at the plate you better not THINK of not being able to watch what he might do. This guy, when he hit, changed games BEFORE he came to the plate.

But the thing that killed me in the end was this; he never gave a rats ass about any of us that suited up with him, not one iota. He was, and he said repeatedly, about going to the highest bidder and getting as much money as he possibly could, period. If that meant pissing on us in the interim, so be it.

Hey! That’s cool, that’s 100% your prerogative. But please don’t crap all over the guy, or guys that spent years as your ‘teammates’ covering your ass by saying “Aww that’s just Manny being Manny” and the hundreds of thousands of other things we needed to say to stop the stories from being more than they could. Please don’t piss all over the Manager and GM who pretty much swallowed every ounce of pride they possessed because they knew that it was ‘win above all else’ here to the fans and owners. Manny had a cult following because Manny could hit and act goofy, period. Hey that’s cool, that’s what some fans love an that’s fine, but that’s it.

Manny left because Manny wanted to get Manny the largest possible contract Manny could. That happens and that’s fine. But the Sox got a player that’s going to help them get back to October next year out of a situation they could have been left with a player not playing, and a patch work of guys filling in for the rest of the year.

That doesn’t mean, to me anyway, that the question should be “How much farther would we have gotten” but rather “Would we have gotten there?”

Why on earth would ANY situation be as good as it’s ever been? Why would things be so fun and nice and happy and exciting AFTER you lose a first ballot HALL OF FAME PLAYER? Is the rest of the baseball world that much smarter than a guy widely recognized as one of, if not the, best GMs in the game? Is a guy widely recognized as one of the best managers, and on top of that best human beings, in the game that dumb? Couldn’t it be that the opposite is true?

Don’t ask how far they could have gone. Let it be what it is. That team went from 7 runs down and 7 outs to the end of a season that had more turmoil and injuries than the Dallas Cowboys, to tying run on base in the 8th inning of game 7. One game from the World Series.

Is that good enough? Ask the players, they’ll all tell you hell no because it’s now different here. They now, and rightly so, expect to win the World Series every year. Anything short of that is disappointing and you can scream all you want but it’s realistic, and earned. Ya it’s not the Yankees of the late ’90s, but it’s getting there. This group has earned a place of respect in baseball that’s been earned and the onus is on them to maintain that level of expectation through performance, on and off the field. But for me, personally, the far cooler piece is that the composition of players on the team now, and the organization, is now setup to be held to a far higher standard personally and professionally, and with that comes good things. The fans deserve that, the game deserves that.

Joe Maddon benches his star young player twice and his team reaches the World Series. Hell Scioscia has to pretty much kick a star offensive player off his team during the playoffs, it might even have cost them a shot at getting to the World Series in 04. I’m ok with saying it because while you can scream all you want about things I’ve said in the past, I’ve never intentionally disrespected the game, or my teammates, never. I’ve said dumb things and done a few real stupid ones, never was anything said or done with the intent to disrespect either, anyone telling you otherwise is a liar.

I promise Tito, Jim Fregosi, maybe even Bob Brenly and Frank Robinson will tell you I was a pain in the butt at times because I talked too much though the GMs might say it a little more adamantly. But there isn’t a coach or GM I ever played for that will tell you I didn’t bust my ass every day I had the ball in my hand or that I was ever unprepared for the job at hand, or that I ever played the game with anything but respect. I am not a Hall of Famer, I’ve known that since suiting up with one. I played with guys that don’t and will never like me, hell that happens. But I cared about every teammate I ever had and I cared what my teammates thought of me when it was my day, and I cared what the guys in the other dugout thought of me when they had to compete against me. Beyond that what people ‘knew’ of me was/is far less than anyone ever will beyond my friends and family.

The Sox are poised to be a force in baseball for the next decade. The Left Fielder is a perennial All Star, the staff is littered with aces, the bullpen is anchored by a guy that will end the decade as the games most dominant closer, the first and second baseman should finish 1-2 in the MVP race (not sure what order), the team has a HUGE pool of young, homegrown, talent in the majors, and on the way, the manager, though bald with an enormous nose, is as good a manager as anyone in the game and manages people better than anyone I’ve been around, he cares, deeply, about his players and hsi staff and that matters to them all, the coaching staff has 2 future managers at least, one future GM, the fans got their 4th ALCS in 6 years. It’s a new time, a new team and the future is awesome. Remember the 2008 Red Sox as a team that persevered thorugh a lot more than 90% of the teams in the game and battled their asses off to within 2 runs of a World Series while authoring the greatest comeback ever for a team faced with elimination. Remember them for the 3rd baseman that played through what could only be described as a broken hip, an Ace that gutted out a game that will be horribly under appreciated forever, in a must win. Remember 2008 as the year Jon Lester, a cancer survivor, turned into one of the premier pitchers in the game, not the league, the game. Remember them as the team who’s closer extended a record post season scoreless streak even farther, remember them for their 2nd baseman, a five foot nothing guy who can fricking rake (though he knows he can’t hit me) a gold glove first baseman who cemented his place as a premier all around stud (though bald and a mullion). Those are the things to remember this team by, those are the things that matter.

No more ‘what could have beens’, they are good enough now to take responsibility for what is, and what will be, and there isn’t a player on this team that will shun accountability or responsibility for their actions or their teams. That’s a pretty cool thing.

phil said...

Curt campaigned for Bush in 2004. He's got zero credibility as a judge of character or organizational competence.

L-girl said...

Phil says it all right there.

Well, maybe not all. One could also say Schilling is petty, small-minded, arrogant, vindictive... and so much more.

redsock said...

Curt campaigned for Bush in 2004. He's got zero credibility as a judge of character or organizational competence.

And he loves McCain: "I will vote for him, and for her, of that there is no doubt"

redsock said...

Most of you should not read that post of his, at least not without a barf bag.

redsock said...

Me again!
I'd rather not get off topic right away with politics. Thanks.

***

I said I wanted the Rays to complete their amazing year by winning the WS. Well, it took me two innings of actual play to realize that I want the Effing Rays to lose! (though I don't care about the Phillies winning ...)

truth said...

You've got to love the arrogance and complete lack of self-awareness of Curt. A guy who collected millions for the last two years for NOT PLAYING bitching about a guy who PLAYED and brought us another World Series while Curt was home playing Halo and clipping his toenails.

I use the all caps because Curtsie did.

ish said...

Especially with Grand "I Will Fucking Rip Your Heart Out" Balfour.

phil said...

Well the bars here in Providence are showing the WS1 game. People are openly rooting for the phils, though not wholeheartedly.

fmb said...

With all due respect, I think this goes beyond "fair use". His participation at Sosh and his blogging were a boon to sox fans, you should IMHO respect his decision to pull his post.

9casey said...

I have said in the past we will never know what when on with Manny till one of those guys who shared the clubhouse with him talked about it.

Why he removed the post . I don't know, maybe he will explain.


I am sure someone else someday from this team will speak more about Manny, and his quirky somtimes selfish ways......But until then we only have Curt..


What his political beliefs are , I see as non-issue, the way on here when they are brought up people argue and sometimes feelings maybe hurt, but in the end we all share the same the passion, The Boston Red Sox...

Amy said...

I saw Schilling's post yesterday morning and was blown away. After I read it, I told Harvey about it and said, "Boy, is he buying himself a lawsuit for libel or what?"

Perhaps his lawyer suggested the same thing to him. I didn't realize that it had been pulled, but it sure sounds like he got some legal advice. Of course, once it's out there, it's too late in the Internet era to pull it back.

I hope Manny sues him. It may be that everything Curt says is true, but if I were Manny, I'd want the chance to defend my reputation.

Fenway West said...

During the ALCS I was on the live blog at WEEI and Curt joined the chat in the middle of game 7. One of the things he wrote is how happy he will be that people will stop talking about Manny soon...pretty strange that he brings it back up if he wants people to stop talking about it. Curt being Curt.

Jack said...

I’ve made enough horses ass comments to know to at least be aware now, when I am headed down that path....

And despite that awareness, entirely unable to stop himself from making them anyway.

L-girl said...

During the ALCS I was on the live blog at WEEI and Curt joined the chat in the middle of game 7. One of the things he wrote is how happy he will be that people will stop talking about Manny soon...pretty strange that he brings it back up if he wants people to stop talking about it. Curt being Curt.

Ha! Good point. Typical hypocrisy from a blowhard.

L-girl said...

What his political beliefs are , I see as non-issue,

Phil brought up a valid point, as for many of us, Curt's politics speak to his lack of credibility, and frankly, his lack of intelligence.

Joe Grav said...

Schilling is a blowhard.
Fire is hot.
Man lands on moon

Etc.

Zenslinger said...

He goes off the edge at times in this post. He also says some things of value about how to remember the 2008 Sox.

He sort of has a 15-year-old mentality, not to mention style of writing.

I agree that bringing it all up again is pretty worthless, and to say that Manny never "gave a rats [sic] ass" about any of his teammates is crap.

redsock said...

I am bothered by his ignorance of grammar, punctuation and spelling. And his inability to coherently express himself undercuts his argument. (I don't even want to discuss his use of the phrase "ya".) You may find all of this unfair.

And what is he so busy with that he can't read this screed over for clarity before posting? Did Obama come out in favour of "second drafts" or "editing" and this is his idea of a political protest?

phil said...

And he loves McCain: "I will vote for him, and for her, of that there is no doubt"

Schilling was born in Alaska.

9casey said...

truth said...
You've got to love the arrogance and complete lack of self-awareness of Curt. A guy who collected millions for the last two years for NOT PLAYING bitching about a guy who PLAYED and brought us another World Series while Curt was home playing Halo and clipping his toenails.



Is this comment serious , did you not watch the postseason in 2007.....

L-girl said...

Schilling was born in Alaska.

This is true, but lots of people born in Alaska will not be voting for McCain/Palin.

phil said...

And a lot of them were born in Anchorage like Schilling. Just saying.

Lord Lynch said...

I write my own stuff elsewhere on the blogosphere, and one of my main gripes is the sheer boring old cliche-ridden platitudes that come out of sports people's mouths (and probably mine). I'm riled to distraction when I get the ra-ra rubbish, or ridiculous excuses out of MEDIA TRAINING GUIDE - CHAPTER 1 (over here, in England, we get the same media-trained players blaming anyone but themselves, and losing managers blaming referees).

In Curt Schilling we had a player that went beyond that. I don't know him, but it seems people want it both ways. We (well at least I do) want the player who tells us what he thinks about things (and Curt lapses into the ra-ra world as well, which is annoying) but when he says something we don't like, he gets called a blowhard etc. etc. He is pretty much always interesting in what he says. And in a free world, he has a right to say it. I'm sad he pulled the post, to be honest, more than anything else.

I'm more positive in my attitude to this piece and blog. For once we have a sportsman telling it how he sees it in a non-platitudinal way. I relish it. I'd like to see more of it. However, in an age where the media treat its audience like spoon-fed children, pitching coverage at the lowest possible denominator, and at the same time brewing a frenzy out of any minor incident, this isn't seen as possible by many. I actually appluad Curt for trying. If he's an arse in what he says, at least, judging by reactions, its interesting "arse".

I always caveat my comments with the "I'm in England so I don't see or hear everything" get-out. I have also watched media narratives intently, and the clear message I get from blogs, other Sox sources and ESPN etc. is that Manny dogged it out of Boston, quit on his team, and then raised it to another level in LA once free - as if this is what he could have done if he'd tried in Boston. From London that looks exactly like the way it was. You folks are closer, and you may know more and can prove it wasn't. That's the high-level picture and given the need for controversy, who in the media cares if it is true

Look, from here, it looks like, ignoring the jibes, the comments etc., that Manny did jack it in in the last knockings, and once in LA, despite the poorer pitching etc., he turned up the heat. This site defended Manny, and I felt once gone maybe the past should remain where it was. Life's too short, I like Jason Bay a lot as a player and no-one can fault his contribution, and that is a nice place to let it lie.

But in a world where people are increasingly constrained in what they can say for fear of the consequences, I'm glad someone feels able to speak out, especially someone closer to it all than you or I.

I think the politics stuff is a red herring - I don't care how Schilling (or any of you) votes. I come on here to discuss Sox stuff because this is a really good site to do so, easily my favourite. I don't feel agreeing with the blogger's politics is a pre-requisite to post. So I don't see bringing up Bush / McCain in the context of Curt is relevant for a discussion on Manny. Sorry people.

Still, it beats being dull, which life with the Red Sox rarely is.

9casey said...

Lord Lynch said...
Sorry people.


You should never have to aplogize , for sharing your thoughts. Well said Lord...I am with you on the politics.. some say he followed Bush so he has no judge of character, thats the most ridiculous inane arguement I have ever seen, so more than half of the voting public, has no right to judge character because they made a choice, whether it was bad or not.......

Some people have always had a thing against Curt, and always loved Manny, Manny never spoke , Curt always did, maybe some want their athletes just to shut up. or just not disagree in how they feel.. Who knows...I don't get it. The hate for Curt that is..

L-girl said...

You should never have to aplogize , for sharing your thoughts.

He doesn't have to - and he didn't. To me it seems clear that Lord said "sorry people" in the sense of "sorry, you're wrong".

some say he followed Bush so he has no judge of character, thats the most ridiculous inane arguement I have ever seen, so more than half of the voting public, has no right to judge character because they made a choice, whether it was bad or not.......

No one said Curt had "no right" to say or do anything.

Phil wrote:

Curt campaigned for Bush in 2004. He's got zero credibility as a judge of character or organizational competence.

No right and no credibility are two completely different things.

9casey said...

L-girl said...
Phil wrote:

Curt campaigned for Bush in 2004. He's got zero credibility as a judge of character or organizational competence.

No right and no credibility are two completely different things.



Allright then to say someone has zero credibility because they voted for Bush is inane and ridiculous..

redsock said...

Allright then to say someone has zero credibility because they voted for Bush is inane and ridiculous..

We will have to agree to disagree.

ish said...

It's still exciting to see the drama slowly build at Fenway on the night of Lester's no-hitter, out after out after out. It really makes you appreciate more what you watched happen live.

It's so tempting to add my opinion to the current discussion. Sports. Sports. Sports.

L-girl said...

Allright then to say someone has zero credibility because they voted for Bush is inane and ridiculous..

It is? I think it's a perfectly logical and valid statement.

(And we're talking voting for Bush twice and now voting for McCain. No excuses there.)

9casey said...

L-girl said...
Allright then to say someone has zero credibility because they voted for Bush is inane and ridiculous..

It is? I think it's a perfectly logical and valid statement.




OK , then like I said half the population has zero credibility, at least the ones who took the time to vote....Thank God we don't just purely judge people on the way they vote in America, we would have civil war that lasts an entirinty, whew!

L-girl said...

OK , then like I said half the population has zero credibility,

And...?