Of course, everyone is talking about where A-Rod will land, and rightfully so. But since that won’t be settled for quite some time, and since talking about A-Rod gets old after a while, let us today turn our attention to the second most arrogant free agent on the market: Curt Schilling.

Actually, I don’t know if that’s fair. Since Barry Bonds is a free agent, Schilling might only be the third most arrogant free agent. Let’s just agree that he’s up there among the arrogant elite.

Recently, the 700 Level instituted “Schilling Watch.” And today, the Philadelphia Inquirer tells us that the Phillies are interested in Schilling. And, I’ve got to admit, I’m a little conflicted. Schilling the pitcher would be a perfect fit for the Phillies. He’s only looking for a one-year contract, so he’s a low-risk investment. And he showed this season that he’s still got some gas left in his tank. Schilling could win 15 games next year behind the Phils’ high-powered offense and be a strong playoff pitcher, should the team make it that far.

On the other hand, it would take a real effort on my part to cheer for Schilling. Simply put, I find him supremely unlikeable.

And I’m not alone. There are lots of folks in Philly who don’t like Schilling. The guy didn’t exactly endear himself the first time around. Mitch Williams, who is currently one of the hosts of the Phils’ post-game show, is still pissed that Schilling put a towel over his head so he wouldn’t have to watch while Williams pitched in the 93 World Series.

Should the Phillies bring Schilling back? Probably. Do I want them to? I just can’t decide.

Somebody make me feel better about Schilling returning to Philly.

13 Responses to “Schilling on his way back to Philly?”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    Hmmm… How about all those souvenir baseballs that fans in the Citizens Bank bleachers will get when Schilling pitches?

    I’m kidding. Despite what I mentioned while commenting on Sarah’s post, he won’t be that bad. Especially in the NL.

  2. 15 wins. 1-year contract. Post-season experience.

  3. Paul Moro says:

    Rich, you have to remember that Schilling didn’t even reach the 10-win mark in 3 of the last 5 years.

    Besides, it’s such an unpredictable stat.

  4. Sarah Green says:

    The man does produce quality starts. I want him back in Beantown, where we have no problem cheering for him.

  5. As a Philly sports fan, I would go back to the mode I was in when the Eagles had Terrel Owens. I hated the guy, but if he can help my team win a championship, it’s worth it. And Schilling is no T.O. as far as obnoxiousness goes. Believe me, I would have no problem just focusing on the other 24 guys on the floats at the championship parade. (And just to be clear, I’m not saying Schilling makes the Phils champs, but he certainly helps)

  6. Coley Ward says:

    See, here’s the problem. The argument in favor of signing Schilling is, “You’ll love him when he’s winning 15 games.” But the reality is that the more Schilling wins, the more insufferable he gets!

  7. Sarah Green says:

    Coley, I don’t know why you find him insufferable. I would rather have a guy who occasionally puts his foot in his mouth—just like the rest of us—than someone who only spouts platitudes or, even worse, someone who never talks to the press at all.

  8. I just don’t like him. It’s a personal preference.

  9. Nick Kapur says:

    Well, Coley, Schilling *did* bring the Phillies some of their last positive World Series moments…

  10. Sarah Green says:

    I can see being concerned about clubhouse chemistry (A-Rod = clubhouse kryptonite, in my opinion) but I can’t see not wanting a good player on your team (especially a clutch, Mr. October-type) just because you don’t like him. I would never, EVER date Josh Beckett, but boy do I love watching him pitch.

  11. I’d love see him play in Philly for a year or two. Sure he wasn’t the most popular in that clubhouse, but he was no Scott Rolen to the fans. I think most have positive memories of Shilling. I’ll never forget the NLCS game against Atlanta where he struck out the 1st inning side. (Each fastball got faster and faster while the crowd got louder and louder, good times.) Certainly that Shilling wouldn’t be coming back, but I think the Phils can use all the pitching help they can find.

  12. Paul, I was simply reminding Coley of his own reasoning. I’d be the first to say that W’s are a terrible measure of a pitcher.

    Schilling made 14/24 starts in the regular season, including the no hitter he missed by one pitch. He had an additional 5 starts where he went 6 or more, but gave up more than 3 runs. 3 of those were against the Yankees, and the other two were against the Angels. Not exactly slouch clubs.

    I’d like to see Schilling come back to the Sox for another year, given his stated preference for a 1 year contract.

    Still, if I were his friend, I’d reccommend he retire now, at the top, coming off a solid October with a ring in hand.

  13. Coley Ward says:

    First of all, if we’re talking about guys who are distractions, I think the difference between Schilling and A-Rod is pretty minimal. We’re calling one guy a “clubhouse cancer” and the other guy outspoken. But really, it’s a fine line. The only reason Schilling isn’t a “cancer” is because his teams win.

    There’s no doubt that Schilling has had a great career. He was awesome in Philly and I loved watching him pitch. But Schilling talked his way out of town, badmouthing the front office and stopping just short of calling the organization incompetent. Later in his career, when an Arizona Republic columnist called Schilling a “con man”, it’s reported that more than a few of Curt’s teammates congratulated the writer for telling it like it was.

    But whatever. I’m not here to prosecute Schilling. I’m simply saying that he’s not my favorite player. In fact, he may be my least favorite player. I don’t have to defend that. It’s just my preference.

    And because I don’t enjoy rooting for Schilling, and because we are talking about signing the old, fat, oft-injured Schilling, rather than the 93 version, I have some reservations.

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