Wednesday, September 23, 2009

(Still Life with Grittiness): Richard Justice, Plums, and Curt Schilling

I recently got myself into trouble over at Core Contrarian, in a post he did about Cecil Cooper's firing. Seems he read about the firing in an article by Richard Justice. This article opens with the line:

Cecil Cooper deserved to be fired. To argue otherwise is to refuse to deal in reality.

Coming from the man whom penned this mind bender justifying Curt Schilling's HOF induction, I'm not sure I want in on that reality, or that there are enough pyschotropics in Timothy Leary's medicine cabinet to bring me to the kind of enlightenment Justice possesses. Setting aside the Cooper firing, let's check out Justice's "reality," a place where grittiness is worth 78 wins, IP is a noteworthy statistical category regardless of quality, and all you have to do to merit a HOF vote is play hurt. (Apologies to FJM)

Schilling guts out a Hall of Fame-worthy career
Ummm....we're already off to a bad start. Did Curt Schilling play with one eye, like this guy? Or have one leg blown apart in WWII, only to come back and play ball at a high enough level to be an AS, like this guy? Because when I think of guys who "gutted out" careers, I think of those guys. OK, so now you have my interest: how did Schilling "gut out" a 20 year career while these other gentlemen only lasted a few years? That Schilling must be pretty damn gutty....

Curt Schilling said he'll remember the night forever. So will his teammates and a lot of the people who were in the ballpark or watching on television.

His body was battered, his arm dead. He was out there only because he thought he was supposed to be, only because he was too stubborn to admit he couldn't get the job done.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here, but I see nothing heroically gutty about this so far, and certainly nothing even pointing in the direction of an argument supporting Schilling for the HOF. What I do see is that "television" leads to a stupid Bret Favre add. F@ck the heck?

And what is this about Schilling only being out there "because he was too stubborn to admit he couldn't get the job done"? Apparently his manger thinks Schilling and his battered, dead arm (was he hit by a batted ball earlier or is this a "gritty war wound?) can get the job done, or else Schilling wouldn't be in the game! He's not out there "because he thought he was supposed to be," but because his manager set up something called a "pitching rotation" weeks earlier during a time called "spring training," and this game is obviously Schilling's "spot" in the "rotation." This has nothing to do with "stubbornness and everything to do with does the manager think Schilling should be out there? Answer: well, since he's out there, YES!

Years from now when he takes his World Series rings and playoff appearances and all the rest to the Hall of Fame, this single game will remain one all baseball fans will remember.

"Those are the games that define players," he told me a couple of springs ago. "Those are the games you take with you after you've retired. When you go out there with your 'A' stuff and you shut somebody out, that's nothing special. Anybody can do that. It's what you do those nights when everything goes wrong that are special."

"this single game..." which is link to more Bret Favre creepiness and the underage girls who've sold there sold their souls to the AXE body spray people. Are you referring to the "game" of the capitalist pigs who currently run the planet or an actual baseball game that is used as a way to pacify the desires of the proletariate?

And "all baseball fans will remember it forever"? Not being a baseball fan who runs a stupid blog about baseball cards and most of all the Devil Rays (oops) and Carl Crawford, I have NO IDEA what game you are referring to. It's obviously so super special readers of the Sporting News "get it," while morons like myself, on the outside of everything, just don't. :( I mean, "those games define players," but I have no clue what those games are, so I guess I'll never be able to tell the difference between Babe Ruth and Bob Horner. I do remember, though, the Horner once homered 4 times in one game, which I guess is a "defining game" and the best a hitter can do, so guess he's a TON better than that Ruth guy, by definition.

And Schilling, as for shutouts with your 'A' stuff being so easy, am I to infer that, over the course of a 20 year career, you brought your 'A' game to the park 20 times!?! Must be nice to have that kind of job.

Schilling announced his retirement Monday morning after 20 years and 216 career victories. He was a six-time All-Star and finished second in Cy Young Award voting three times.

Now, in case you're wondering, so ends the first section of this train wreck and with it the first act of our little drama here. I'll pick it up tomorrow, as my job requires my to be on, well, pretty much ALL THE TIME. But there are several things to notice: for an article that begins with a headline about "guts" and a "HOF" career, so far we've been given 182 words of nonsensical throat clearing. Kids I've seen edit each others' work in Comp classes would look at something like this and start sharpening their knives.

Guts? All we've been told about is some game where Schilling showed up without his 'A' game (drunk, hungover, troubled by global warming or the erosion of or civil rights under the Bush administration, who knows?) but nonetheless went up to his manger before the anthem right before game time and said "I'm taking the ball today, skip, and I'm not taking 'no' for an answer." To which the manager replied, "Sure, what the hell do I care? I'd rather be hustling pool, anyway," and handed him the ball.

Career? Sounds like he's a bit short of other dudes on the career numbers there. 216 wins in 20 years? Why, that's good enough for 77th on the All-Time list. If I were you I might downplay those numbers a bit, especially since guys like Charlie Hough and Wilbur Cooper also have 216 wins. Unless, of course, this argument will also state a case to include those guys in the HOF. Oh, you plan on downplaying the career numbers? But...the headline says Schilling had a HOF career, and a gutty one at that. Guts are good for 50+ wins? Guess we'll see, but I say Wilbur Cooper for the Hall in 2010.

And game? What game? We're 182 words in and the links only go to Brett Favre ads. I mean, what did your people who read the print version of the Chronicle do with this other than line their bird cages? Oh, I forgot. "No baseball fan can forget, THE GAME," and as a complete imbecile who doesn't follow (what the heck sport is this blog about again?) I have no idea what you're talking about.

In conclusion, cheese fries are good, and Schilling is obviously a shoo-in for the Rock'n'Roll HOF. I mean, his tour with the Stones back in the early '70's was legendary, who could ever forget that?

(Part II tomorrow)


  1. A Whammy Douglas reference. Classic.

    I agree about Schilling. Game Six was a classic performance, and he had moments, but his body of work was not Hall worthy.

  2. by this logic, kirk gibson would also be in the hall. no, and i am a big gibby fan.

  3. You convinced me (without even Part II) but mind-bender is a hyphenated word, you know. (wink)

  4. D'oh. I do this all day, man. In my private life I'm secretly anti-grammar.