Losing an Argument

Tracy Ringolsby shows exactly the wrong way to question whether a player has used performance-enhancing drugs:

In the midst of Curt Schilling’s holier-than-thou pronouncements about late-career booms, it would be interesting to have Schilling explain how he turned a lackluster career at the age of 30 into a dominating effort in the next decade.

At 30, having played with a Philadelphia Phillies team that included Lenny Dykstra and Pete Incaviglia, who were listed in the Mitchell Report, Schilling had a career record of 52-52.

Since he turned 30, Schilling is 164-94. What’s more, he was 34 before he won 20 games for the first time and has done it three times in the past seven years.

As comments to Ringolsby’s own story, comments on WasWatching’s seemingly approving citation of the story, and comments on Baseball Musing’s disapproving citation of the story all ask: Why is Ringolsby — who I’ve always considered to be one of the better baseball writers out there — using wins of all statistics to make his case?

3 comments… add one

  • Sometimes sports journalists find it slow, so they speculate to generate controversy. I expect that Schilling’s early w-l record has a lot to do with playing on BAD teams, but that would hardly be newsworthy.

    Andrew F (Sox Fan) January 4, 2008, 11:36 pm
  • Curt had a standout season at age 25 in 1992 in which is W/L doesn’t nearly express how good he was, but regressed to an average starter for the next couple years, despite his W/L looking much better in 93. He turned the corner in 1995 at age 28 and regained durability in the following two seasons, . I see no reason to not believe the medical explanation he provided for his rejuvination in 95.

    attackgerbil January 5, 2008, 5:20 pm
  • Pretty silly if you ask me. As a diehard Phillies fan, it’s very easy for me to remember that between 1994 and 2000, the Phils were consistently bad. Schill pitched some of his best seasons during that span, but never had more than fifteen wins a season to show for it. He easily could have won 20 games three times during that span if he had pitched for a good team.
    It’s a shame that this writer would try to drag Schill through the mud. If he really feels the need to make comments like this without the benefit of knowledge or proof, perhaps he should work for the Bush administration.

    Jonathan Scott January 7, 2008, 4:38 pm

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