Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 8, 2008
BASEBALL: Curtains?

Well, the plot continues to thicken around Curt Schilling's shoulder (David Pinto's been following the story here and here, which links to Schilling's own account). It certainly sounds like Schilling will not pitch this season, and few pitchers come back well from a full season on the shelf - let alone with a shoulder injury - past 40 (Bert Blyleven didn't come back so well).

In the short run, the question is the Red Sox rotation. It still looks fairly solid, with Beckett and Matsuzaka as the anchors, Wakefield eating innings and young Buchholz and Lester being asked to step up. But the loss of Schilling, a solid contributor the past two years, is a blow.

(UPDATE: WIll Carroll seems more optimistic about Schilling returning this season)

In the long run, will Schilling make the Hall of Fame? His career has been riddled with injury-driven inconsistency - he's won in double figures only half of the seasons of his 20-year career, and one of those was an 11-14 season. That said, he has 216 career wins, enough bulk to merit a look at the quality, and he has the highlights - a .597 winning percentage, three 20-win seasons, three 300-K seasons, 3000 strikeouts and the best K/BB ratio in modern (since they went to 4 balls/3 strikes) history, a crucial role in three World Championships and 4 pennants, 3-time runner up for the Cy Young, 6 All-Star teams, and an amazing 11-2 record and 2.23 ERA in five postseasons. His credentials are highly similar to those of his contemporary John Smoltz. I have to think if this is it, he makes it, and deservedly so.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:52 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Don't know yet about the HOF and I'm biased as a BoSox fan for 66 years. Curt's got more character than many of his contemporaries. Clemens is a lock for the HOF, deservedly so, but would you trust him?

Posted by: Jim Linnane at February 9, 2008 5:56 AM

Beyond the quantitative measures you write about, I always ask the qualitative question: was he one of the dominant pitchers of his era? I think you've got to answer that, yes, he was.

Posted by: A.S. at February 9, 2008 10:06 AM

Mighty early to declare Clemens a lock. A year from now he might be serving time for perjury with a decade's worth of PED use established. Things change...

Posted by: abe at February 9, 2008 1:08 PM

Clemens was already a no-doubt-about-it HOFer when he left the Red Sox. It's certainly possible that the writers will keep him out, because everyone will evaluate the PED issue differently. But without Bonds and Clemens, the Hall really will not be a credible picture of who the great players of this era were, and if it's not that, what is it?

Posted by: Jerry at February 9, 2008 4:38 PM

No argument there, but the history has yet to be written. No player facing the possibility of Federal time for PED usage is a lock. If events break badly for either player I expect they make it in on the forth or fifth ballot at best. And there's not a thing wrong with that.

Posted by: abe at February 9, 2008 5:33 PM

Schilling was to the Sox what Messier was to the Rangers. Granted Messier had a legit historic career even before that season but I have long believed that shit like that is part of the reasons guys get to be in the HOF. It's not just the Hall of Great Stats. Winning 20 in 2004, putting that team on his back emotionally and from a talent perspective and then pitching Game 6 against the Yankees and Game 2 against the Cardinals...that's what fame is all about.

As far as 2008. Boston papers seem to think that there might be some hope he pitches the second half. In any case no one expected this guy to go 200 innings. I remain sceptical about any kind of effective return but am optimistic still about their potential rotation (despite The Hardball Times' 12-8 projection for Josh Beckett).

Posted by: jim at February 9, 2008 9:07 PM

Oh, great, now Curt Schilling deserves to be in the HOF?

Posted by: DubiousD at February 10, 2008 2:50 PM

Schilling for his part claims that he d/not know about this injury when he signed the contract (implying no fraud or greed on his part) whereas the Red Sox are claiming that they DID know about the injury before signing the deal. If the Sox are right and both sides knew then Schilling is a fat greedy liar and needs to be called out as such, particularly as a self appointed morality police overseeing the likes of Bonds and Clemens. And moreover the Sox come out looking unusually stupid by signing the deal in the first place without insurance or incentives.

Posted by: frank at February 11, 2008 7:31 PM
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