Curt Schilling, blogger, painted-sock hero, over-the-hill and oft-injured pitcher has opened his gigantic trap, yet again (ahem, see picture at right). Here’s the link to the latest Schilling sputum. His thesis: because Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire aren’t suing people for saying they used steroids, or performance-enhancing drugs, they’re admitting guilt.
Blondie goes on to say that something should be done to Jose Canseco and Rafael Palmeiro as punishment for admitting they used/tested positive for steroids. He wants Canseco’s MVP taken away from him and given to the guy who finished second in voting. (Mike Greenwell whole-heartedly agrees.) He suggests voiding the final year of Palmeiro’s career, thus taking away his 3,000th hit.
Stupid, stupid ideas, but hey, to each his own. I don’t care what Schilling thinks about the guys who have failed tests and/or admitted to using roids. The thing that really gets my goat is how he acts like he’s beyond reproach. Here’s his quote:
"If someone wrote that stuff about me and I didn't sue their [butt] off, am I not admitting that there's some legitimacy to it?"
Well, Curt, here's the evidence that everyone is convicting Barry Bonds on:
Compelling? Yes. Definitive? No. Obviously, not the only evidence against Bonds, but it’s really the only evidence that can be verified by the general public.
We can do the same with McGwire:
I think McGwire's growth is less damning, because he always had the frame for adding the muscle, and he could've seen gains like that without roids. But that's neither here nor there.
The point of this entire post is that there is no way anyone can definitively say Curt Schilling did not use steroids, HGH or any other performance enhancing drug. In fact, the only reason his name hasn't come up is he's made such a spectacle of himself in speaking out against the offenders. He who smelt it, dealt it? You be the judge:
The picture on the right is from 2001, the height of the roid era. Notice how much larger Schilling’s head is? More circumstantial evidence: In 2000, with the Phillies and the Diamondbacks, Schilling pitched 210 innings, struck out 168 batters and finished with a 3.81 ERA. In 2001, at the tender age of 34, he threw 259 innings, striking out 293 and finishing with a 2.98 ERA. The following year was even better, 259 innings, 316 strike outs, 3.23 ERA. The best years of his career came in a hitter’s park at the ages of 34 and 35.
Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the bloody sock was legit. Let’s assume that he was in intense pain, and barely able to walk when he took the hill for that fateful ALCS game in 2004. How did he do it? Was there something “performance enhancing” coursing through his veins? Who knows. Would it surprise me? No.
It’s always struck me as ironic that Schilling blasts the “roid era” at every opportunity when he fits the profile of an enhancer to a tee:
- Durability and performance dramatically increases late in career
- Physical size
- Head size
- Erratic behavior
The list of players who meet some or all of these criteria is long, very long. To be honest, I think there’s a reason for that. I think roid use was widespread in the sport. No player is beyond reproach because no player can positively prove he never took steroids. When we hear about players being “clean” in this era, it’s an opinion, pure and simple. It means that player doesn’t fit any of the criteria listed above. You sure can’t say that about Schilling, can you?
So, Mr. Schilling, I’ve just said about you exactly what people have said about McGwire and Bonds. Are you going to sue me? If you don’t, I guess we should take that as an admission of guilt.