Folks who’ve been reading this blog for some time have gotten to know a bit about me and Denton. He’s the straight-shooter. The guy who speaks from the heart and the brain and isn’t afraid to call bullshit. I, on the other hand, am the “comic relief” guy, busting with cockpunch jokes and those goofy picture cartoons with Ellsbury ‘n’ Elf. This partnership, this yin and yang if you will, has served us well since this blog’s inception in 2004, and very rarely do we cross each other.
But when Denton gets all up in my man Curt’s grill, as he did in the previous post… well, I gotta respectfully disagree.
I’ll be honest: I’m a Schilling buff. I love listening to the guy rage against the machine. Or call the local talk radio personalities to tell ‘em they don’t know shyte. Or bust Yankee balls, boasting about how he was there the night the dynasty was brought down crumbling to the ground. His politics? I could give a shit. What he says about Manny? Hell, I wasn’t there, in the clubhouse and buses and hotels with those guys. We like to think of the players as teammates, but in many ways, they’re co-workers. And there are plenty of people I’ve worked with in my day whose faces I’d have gladly pressed in a waffle iron if the opportunity presented itself. Regardless, Curt can ride up and down Comm Ave with a loudspeaker offering his views on everything from abortion to Gilligan’s Island for all I care. At then end of the day, all that matters to me is that he helped us win a goddam World Series on one f@#kdarn leg. Show a little respect.
Brash? Loud? Opinionated? Right on all counts. But he always uses his platforms to stump for things like stem cell research and ALS and skin cancer prevention for kids–not his latest rap album or sneaker deal or puppet show. While most athletes keep their distance from “the little people” (us, not Craig Grebeck and Dustin Pedroia), he’s chatting up fans on his blog and handing them beatdowns in World of Warcraft. And unlike many of his peers who spew soundbyte after soundbyte (becoming walking embodiments of the scene in Bull Durham when Crash was priming Nuke with lines like, “We just wanna win games” and “I’m just happy to be here”), Schilling says whatever the f@#k is on his mind, thank you very much. And I can only hope that some savvy executives at ESPN, NESN or–god help us–WEEI are lining up post-baseball options for Curt to keep him close to a microphone for years to come.
More importantly, and this may be the hopeless romantic in me talking, but the Schiller is one of us. A guy who understands Red Sox Nation. A product of our farm system who was traded away, but made an epic return to lead us to the promised land, not unlike Roddy McDowell spearheading the simian revolution in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. He recorded the world’s single most prescient TV commercial in that spot for Dunkin’ Donuts where he says he’s coming to Boston to break an age-old curse. He kissed Johnny Goddam Pesky full on the mouth — something Mrs. Pesky herself probably hadn’t done for years — right after the 2004 title was in pocket. And if he busted down my door, pissed on my rug and drank my last Pabst, I’d still shake his hand and cook the guy a steak. Because of this:
“Stealing eight million from the Sox”? If that’s a crime then someone better get Julio Lugo’s ass to Guantanamo Bay at once. I can’t speak ill of anyone who helped make 2004 a reality (with the possible exception of Johnny Damon). And in my mind, there ain’t no half-steppin’ to Curt Schilling.