Monday, March 23, 2009

The Bloody Sock Calls It Quits


Curt Schilling announced his retirement from baseball today. Schilling was an outstanding pitcher who had some great seasons and out-of-this-world postseasons. His victory in the Bloody Sock Game of the 2004 American League Championship Series became one of baseball's iconic moments -- for Red Sox fans one on a par with Babe Ruth's Called Shot. For it was the magical 2004 season in which the Red Sox exorcised the demons the demons of history once and for all: They came back from an 0-3 deficit to defeat the hated Yankees in the ALCS, then swept the St. Louis Cardinals to win their first World Series in 86 years. And they couldn't have done it without Schilling, who went 21-6 that season before winning the Bloody Sock game and game 2 of the World Series.

Is Curt Schilling a Hall of Famer? His lifetime statistics (216-146, 3.46 ERA) say no, but his postseason record (11-2, 2.23 ERA, three World Series rings, one bloody sock) argues for consideration. What no one can doubt is his commitment to the game and drive to win. Indeed, he wrote today on his blog of his wish that that be his legacy:
The only thing I hope I did was never put in question my love for the game, or my passion to be counted on when it mattered most. I did everything I could to win every time I was handed the ball.
Sleep soundly, Curt: You have no worries on that score...


Don't miss the Boston Globe's gallery of Schilling's years with the Red Sox...

Life In New Orleans: Play squiggles...

What's a blog if you can't write about whatever comes to mind? The gym's sound system today played Santana's hit "Smooth." I thought back to my high school days in South Texas and about how Santana was the top band then, the favorite of both Anglo and Latino kids. They were one of the few things that brought us together. The 1999 release of Supernatural exposed Santana to a new generation of fans: I distinctly remember the smile that crossed my face when I heard "Smooth" booming from a car driven by a teenager. I can't think of any other band that crossed over racial and generational lines, and it's a tribute to Carlos Santana's great humanity as well as his musical brilliance that he accomplished both. Here's Santana with a 1971 performance of "Toussaint L'Overture," which originally appeared on Santana III:

5 comments:

John Hayes said...

Nice write-up on Schilling. It seems like the H-O-F voting has gotten very caught up with "automatic numbers"-- part of the consternation about steroid use is how it invalidates numbers as an objective measure. FWIW, I've never thought they were that good as an objective measure across eras-- baseball in the 1910s was different from baseball in the 1960s, which is different from baseball now, & thus different stats are produced. I think Schilling might be a case of someone who qualifies despite the fact he doesn't have "automatic numbers"; & actually, his W-L record isn't much different from Whitey Ford's-- 236-106

Roy said...

Yeah, Schilling never really came back from that shoulder surgery. I've actually been waiting for this announcement since last Fall.

As for my man Carlos... Heh, heh! Yeah, Supernatural made a big impression with a whole new audience. My two nephews caught my sister singing and dancing to "Smooth" one day and asked, in that supercilious, condescending way Youth does when faced with the horrific possibility that their parents may actually like the same things they do: "Do you like Santana?" She told them of course, Santana was huge when she was a teenager. And then she added: "You should talk to your Uncle Roy; he thinks Carlos id God!" You got that right!

K. said...

That's the difference between you & me, Roy: You just th
think he's God. O ye I little faith...

John, when you get right down to it, what era of baseball shouldn't have an asterisk next to it? The game wasn't fully integrated until 1959 and rampant expansion began almost immediately thereafter. And although I believe the impact of steroids has been exagerrated, you can't ignore them.

I think Schilling's postseason record along with his clean game makes him HoF material. The postseason has become a real slog, and it takes a special player to raise his game through three series.

Michael Caroff said...

Great version of Santana's Toussaint L'Overture! And your comments are dead on. I've played in a Santana Tribute band for the last 6 years, and the age range of people that enjoy the show is very encouraging.

K. said...

Thanks, Michael! Playing in a Santana tribute band must be a complete blast.