With the Phillies searching for a top-of-the-rotation guy in Free Agency this offseason — and considering the lack of top-of-the-rotation guys available — one name keeps popping up as the most obvious fit for the 2008 Fightins’.
Curtis Montague Schilling.
Not the same Curt Schilling that was traded to the D-Bags 7+ years ago, mind you. We’d be getting the new! and improved! Curt Schilling; equipped with 2 World Series rings, infinite wisdom and a blog. The kind of signing that immediately boosts a team’s status from “on the verge” to “legit contender.”
The perfect fit. A no-brainer. Right?
Well, not according to everyone. Most notably, one of Schill’s ex-teammates and current analyst for Comcast SportsNet Philly, Mitch Williams. When Mitch was asked by Philadelphia Magazine’s A.J. Daulerio whether or not he thought Curt would be a welcome addition to next year’s squad, he told The Balls:
“I know what kind of pitcher Curt is. And it would definitely be an upgrade. But how much are you going to get out of him, with the fact that he has been hurt? If I am the Phillies, I wouldnÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢t do it based on that alone. Then you add in the fact that he is a bad guy in the clubhouse, and there is no reason to add him. The one thing they donÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢t want to mess with is the the atmosphere of the clubhouse, and that would definitely mess with it.”
While I tend to agree with Mitch here, I must also point out that he has never really forgiven Schilling for the 1993 “towel incident” when CBS cameras caught Curt in the dugout during Game 4 of the World Series hiding his head under a towel with Williams on the mound trying to protect a lead. It didn’t go over well with his teammates at the time, and ol’ #99 obviously never forgot it. Need proof? Check this out:
Now while I don’t quite have the hatred of Curtis to “beat 9 kinds of shit out of him,” you really have to wonder how his outspokenness and clubhouse demeanor would go over with the current crop of Phils. When you have the potential to go out and win 20 games, it’s easy to overlook that kinda stuff. But if he happens to spend more time talking about the team than actually pitching for them — his antics could grow old. Quickly.
Even Schilling himself has his doubts, admitting to Paul Hagen of the Daily News:
“There are probably still some people in Philadelphia who would rather not have me back. So we’ll just have to see how it goes.”
Yeah, let’s see. Just remember Curt, if you do sign with the Philthies, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your team. Deal?
Williams: Keep Schilling Away From the Phillies [The Daily Examiner]