I suppose it is hard to feel bad for a guy that stands to make $8 million this year for pitching a half season at most. Taking the money out of the equation, Curt Schilling is getting hosed by the Red Sox. However, being the team guy that he is, Schilling will go along with the team’s wishes and rehabilitate his shoulder instead of undergoing surgery, which is what he wanted to do.
Schilling is one of those guys that opponents love to hate. He even rubs a lot of Red Sox Nation the wrong way. Schilling knows when to shut up, he just chooses not to. But nobody can deny the guy is a gamer. He has been since he walked through the door at Fenway. He has been on every other team he has played for and that’s why so many fans admire him. Pesky’s Poll (PP) had Schilling over for dinner upon his arrival to Boston in 2004. We couldn’t wait for him to leave, but we love to watch him play. He is fierce, intense, and he only gets better when there is more on the line. Success doesn’t follow him around because he is lucky. Schilling creates winning situations with hard work and the drive to win. With this in mind, the man should go under the knife if that is what he wanted to do.
Schilling was given a mission in 2004: to help end an 86 year drought and relive the pain of Red Sox Nation. He took on this challenge, went 21-6 in the regular season, and we all know the rest. The man basically gave up an effective 2005 season and pitched through the pain of the 2004 post season to accomplish his mission. Then he went 3-0 in the 2007 post season just for emphasis.
It is very unclear if Schilling will pitch at all this season, even if he had undergone surgery. And of course the Red Sox suits have to try and field the best team they can to continue winning championships. Obviously a post season team with Curt Schilling is better than one without him. He is one of the best post season pitchers of all time (11-2, 2.23 ERA in 19 games). With all the young arms on the Red Sox staff, having the experience of Schilling in the playoffs would be invaluable. PP has no doubt the Red Sox think they are doing what is in the best interest of Schilling and the team, but with results from both courses of action (the rehabilitation route or surgery) being so uncertain, we think Schilling has earned the right to make his own decision on this one.
With consistent poor weather here in northern New England, PP didn’t have the opportunity to do extensive polling on this topic. However, with the polling we were able to do, we found that 7 out of 10 people felt that bloody hosiery and two World Series rings means you can get chopped up if you want. Hopefully the Red Sox going against Schilling’s wishes does not mess with the fate of the season. This could get very dramatic. Changing the course of these events may be out of our hands, but go to a quiet place, think good thoughts, and hope for the best.