Schilling: Should He Stay or Should He Go?

This seems like a discussion that warrants its own thread, so let’s continue what started after the Nice Clatch post here. SF, showing his typically soft backbone, argued first that CS should be demoted, and then that he should get just one more shot in the Show after last night’s performance. This YF, however, would be happy to see the Sox give up on their ace, whose 5ip, 5k, 1bb, 0hr line might actually be encouraging. So here’s the question: You’re Theo. Do you (a) Keep him in Boston; (b) Send him to Pawtucket; (c) Send him to Crawford, so he can harrass Cindy Sheehan; (d) Send him to Baghdad, so he can help get us out of the mess his favorite president created. You make the call!

20 comments… add one
  • Once again (for the 344th time), it would be really nice if YF would represent things honestly here. In my post last night, I suggest that the Sox send Schilling home to rehab himself, to get better so that he is useful to the team, so that he’s not rehabbing on the job. The long story is that YF clearly did not watch the game last night (and my guess is he’s seen maybe three pitches of Curt’s this entire year). If he did see the game, I would like him to correct me, but until he does he ought not to speak with any kind of authority about what Schilling brought to the mound. If he’d been watching the Sox the last three weeks (and by watching I don’t mean “watching the results on the ESPN ticker”) he’d realize that last night was a valiant effort, and clearly an extremely flawed one, one that has followed Schilling’s patterns since he returned: getting ahead in counts, but with an utter inability to close an out. I should have suggested, last week, that Schilling spend a couple of starts in Pawtucket “stretching himself out”, innings-wise, but I didn’t, and that was my mistake. Viewing the game last night, it’s clear that he’s not ready to be stretched out, particularly not in the middle of a pennant race.
    The bottom line is that it looks like the Red Sox front office has screwed this one up. I am not so blind that I cannot lay some of the blame on Theo et al. Schilling should have been in AAA two weeks ago, getting a couple of 5 inning starts under his belt; it’s a pennant race, for heck’s sake.
    As for sending him home for the winter, I guess it’s fair enough to see what he can do in another start, and that was certainly an overreaction, but there should be a short leash – last night it was clear that Schilling could have been down 9-0 in the fourth inning but the Sox were going to get him his innings, and I find that to be a tough tactic; effectively writing off a game in the middle of a race just to see how someone is pitching.
    On the other hand, maybe YF is right, and in his utterly insulting ignorance he’s nailed it. He’d make some scout, assessing only through a box score. Are the Yankees hiring, we hope?

    SF August 26, 2005, 2:30 pm
  • The sorry fact (from a Yanks point of view) is that Schill is most likely going to regain his form by the end of September. Sure, he’ll cost the Sox another couple of games, and will probably be somewhat diminished from the force he was last year, but I figure he’ll be healthy enough to lead the staff, and will have enough in the tank to pitch his guts out for about six starts in the playoffs. I just can’t see him pitching like this for the rest of the year.
    SF – do you seriously believe that his injury is so bad that he could need more than another 6 weeks of rehab? Whatever the rights and wrongs of Theo letting him rehab in the AL, you gotta believe he’ll be fine soon enough, don’t you?
    (This is all based on Shill’s reputation, since I haven’t seen him pitch since his first game back.)

    Sam August 26, 2005, 2:53 pm
  • No, Sam. What I am postulating is that Schill should have been rehabbing (as a starter)starting some time ago in the minors, perhaps one or two starts worth. Not six weeks, not even six starts. Just a couple of 4-5 inning outings in lieu of the 1-inning 3-run lead saves at the tail end of his relief role.

    SF August 26, 2005, 3:12 pm
  • One caveat: bear in mind I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv, so any issues that were dealt with from a medical standpoint regarding rehab are outside of my knowledge base. As they are for everyone at this site.

    SF August 26, 2005, 3:17 pm
  • SF, the problem was the utter failure of the relief staff. Foulke goes down. And it would follow that Timlin should take over the closer role. Except for how thin the bullpen has been this year. Timlin goes into the closer role. Then who becomes the set-up man? Theo and Co were trying to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. It was a dire problem that Foulke went down, and Schilling was the band-aid. I don’t think it was an unreasonable risk to take.

    Nick August 26, 2005, 3:21 pm
  • The Sox had Delcarmen in the minors that they could have used, and also Papelbon, at the time. I am not saying this was an utter failure, but it has been proven to be a questionable strategy.

    SF August 26, 2005, 3:29 pm
  • SF, and other SFs out there: do think that Schill be Schill come playoff time?
    That’s root of the argument, right? If he pitches as well as he can in October, then who cares how messy his rehab was?

    Sam August 26, 2005, 3:34 pm
  • Again, it’s this kind of impatience that had SF threatening a call for Francona’s head earlier this year. Sometimes you can be too close to a problem to see it clearly. “Unable to close an out”? He had 5ks in 5ip. That’s an awfully high rate for someone who can’t “close an out”. Especially with only one walk. And no homers. So, yeah, he got beat around a bit, by some balls that landed in play; but next time out those balls might be caught (cf: Al Leiter). He’s going to have to face ML batters sometime; it seems to me it might as well be now. But I’ll leave it the gear heads at SoSH to bandy that argument about. Though I’m guessing Bill James is discussing it with Mr. Epstein. And I’d trust him before SF. Seven days a week.

    YF August 26, 2005, 4:02 pm
  • Did you watch the game, YF? Have you watched Schilling for the past three weeks, YF?
    Judging from this latest weak-ass comment and the lack of disclosure to those two questions (which I posed, once before, in an earlier comment), I’ll assume it’s a” no”. Until you spend some time watching him pitch and not just staring at numbers in a box score, keep your (in this case) ignorant hands away from the keyboard.

    SF August 26, 2005, 4:08 pm
  • Beyond pointing out what I will, until further clarification, assume to be YF’s utter ignorance in knowing how Schilling has pitched lately, my point (and I am not sure why YF is disagreeing with this to the point of nastiness, since it’s not really a very daring or controversial statement on my part) is that Schilling might have benefited from being “stretched out” for two starts in Pawtucket. That’s it. I am not sure why this thought, that Schilling might have been better served with a very quick jaunt in Triple-A (and no “those Royals are basically a triple-a squad anyhow” jokes, either)leads YF to grandstand about his miniscule knowledge of how Schilling has pitched lately.
    As for the claim that I was threatening a call for Francona’s head? That’s nothing but an unadulterated lie.

    SF August 26, 2005, 4:20 pm
  • Sorry, SF, but that’s completely beneath even your sorry dignity. For the record, I saw a fairly lengthy highlight package of his performance last night. I have not seen him pitch a great deal this year. Nevertheless, statistics are statistics, and they are a legitimate tool of analysis. I didn’t see Ben Sheets throw one ball last year, but I still could have told you, correctly, that he had a phenomenal season. Are you turning into Joe Morgan?
    Schilling may not have his velocity back fully, and his breaking pitches may be hittable. But there are some positive signs in his performance, and those suggest it’s worth letting him continue to start at the ML level. Suggest. I’m not a stat guru. I’m sure the Sox have all kinds of performance analysis criteria (not to mention raw observation) that will help them to determine if this is true. But your knee-jerk demand to yank him out of the rotation is, I think, incredibly myopic, and not based on enough information to be taken seriously.

    YF August 26, 2005, 4:21 pm
  • Jeezus. Can you please read the comments? I have already acknowledged that my comment last night about getting Schilling out of the rotation immediately was an overreaction. Then I posited that perhaps Schilling should have been afforded a rehab start or two in Pawtucket, in hindsight. And I said, on further review, that he should be given at least another start to see what happens. And this start will have to happen in the majors at this point, which I find to be one of the problematic, if unavoidable, results of the way they have handled his return. And in putting the Sox in this tough position I blame Epstein et al, who I hold in incredibly high esteem but not such high esteem that I will not criticize them for what I think is an error. Nothing of what I am saying, beyond my admittedly knee-jerk comment of last night, is that outrageous.
    As opposed to your out-and-out lie about my threat about Francona. Which is completely undignified, if you want to get down to it.
    Regarding not watching an inning pitched by someone but “knowing” that they are good? Well, any rank amateur with a half-assed knowledge of baseball can open up the Encyclopedia and say that about a lot of guys, but I’d rather talk about players’ abilities with those who have actually seen them play.

    SF August 26, 2005, 4:38 pm
  • “SF threatening a call for Francona’s head earlier this year.” This is true. Unfortunately our search function doesn’t view comments, but I challenge any of my co-YFs to find SF from earlier this year with some quote, after a couple of losses, to the effect of, “any more of this and….” Because I can so remember it happening.

    YF August 26, 2005, 4:43 pm
  • Wow, now that’s a weak one, sending our readers on a fishing expedition for a comment where I might have said that “if” something happens then “something else might be possible”, and then presenting the fact that you think you remembered me saying something like that as if I bluntly and impatiently threatened a call for Francona’s head. The record is that I have expressed quite a bit of admiration for Francona’s effort this year, and have posted entire threads as such. Bad job on this one, YF. Shame on you.

    SF August 26, 2005, 4:52 pm
  • PUHLEEEZE. This is the man who writes “Bad Terry, Bad Terry” every other day, as if he were your poodle. You don’t fool us SF. You know what you wrote. Come clean. You can’t spell “CONFESS” without S and F.

    YF August 26, 2005, 5:13 pm
  • Now you’re getting desperate. I stand by the record, it’s there to review.
    YF is the Rick Santorum of this site.

    SF August 26, 2005, 6:05 pm
  • Yeah. Then SF is Pat Robertson.

    YF August 26, 2005, 10:35 pm
  • Look – I am as mercurial and reactionary as the next Sox fan, but my finger is mashing the panic button. Not a rapid, frenetic, stacatto mashing; rather, a slow, ‘God-here-it-comes-we’re-gonna-losse-it-all’, inexoriable depression (pun intended) of the panic button. I am going through so many scenarios and ‘What if’s’ in my head, that I am taking an OTC pain reliever for the first time in seven years. I look at the inconsistent offence and picthing of this team, and I need a swig of Pepto. I can only imagine what Theo is going through.
    I will say this: no matter the outcome of this season, NOTHING will compare to the choke of the playoffs last year by the Yankees. That gives me comfort in the small dark places in my heart …
    Go Red Sox!!

    sithkhan August 27, 2005, 2:49 am
  • Schilling’s fine, its his 1st start from the ‘pen. He said on friday he hasnt felt this good in two years. lets let him finetune his mechanics and see what he does his second time out before we all jump off the Toben Bridge.

    TonyC.25 August 27, 2005, 7:07 am
  • He said on friday he hasnt felt this good in two years
    Never trust pitchers’ own opinions of “how they are feeling”. Ever.
    Getting back to the main argument: why couldn’t Curt have made two warm-up starts in Pawtucket to stretch out? What would this have done to his first start in the bigs? Would it have helped? My opinion is that it would have. I am not sure why this is an earth-shatteringly controversial position to take.
    Last night was a show of how the Sox have to win games: mash away, keep their fingers crossed. Until Foulke returns, Hansen has an impact, and Schilling returns to form, we’re the Yankees, boys and girls.

    SF August 27, 2005, 7:26 am

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