Categorized | Mark Timmons

Curt Schilling On Manny

From Diamond Leung:

“Just to be clear..

No one wants to hear less about the ending of the season and the whys than fans that love the Sox. While I am officially no longer a member of this organization I have read and keep reading the “What if” stories as they relate to Manny and the team and the playoffs.

Enough has been said by anyone, and everyone, involved that it makes peoples ears bleed but it still appears a huge important piece to the puzzle is being missed.

First off anyone saying

Jason Bay is a nice player, but he’s not Manny.

is just not a very smart baseball person. Putting up the numbers he did in Pittsburgh has been vastly downplayed in my opinion. Yes his last year was less than stellar but in the Major Leagues that happens. Bottom line is this guy is a 30/100 above average on base guy who plays his ass off in the field and runs the bases hard and right. Is he Manny? Hell no, who is? Who has ever been? But he’s far more than a ‘nice player’. Nice players are guys that play 140 games, hit 275 and drive in some runs, and are good guys. This guy is a very good, very good player. Not only that but he proved the October limelight is not something that will make him wilt. Oh and he had a hell of a nice run the last few months in a market that couldn’t be more opposite than Pittsburgh.

That’s beside the initial point though. People are going to say, and have been saying, what if Manny had stayed? What if Manny had done what he did in LA, in Boston? If TJ Siemers can crawl out of Manny’s butt long enough he’d objectively look at what happened and know he’s at the front of the ‘I’m going to look like an ass at some point’ line and wake up. I’ve made enough horses ass comments to know to at least be aware now, when I am headed down that path….

It was NEVER a question of Manny’s ability, ever. Hell I am not sure anyone had more run ins with him, as a teammate, than I did, but I’ll never say anything other than this guy studied and practiced the art of hitting, and executed, as well as anyone I’ve ever seen.

No, that wasn’t the issue, and no one argues that. What was the issue, and this is my opinion only, became very clear to anyone in or around the team at this point. The issue was not whether he would play ‘hard’ every day. He ALWAYS hit, but the game is so much more than swinging the bat it’s laughable. No, the issue was whether he would actually PLAY. I don’t mean play hard, play tough, play lazy, no, PLAY.

He had in the past taken days off. Hell most guys do. He certainly had his own way of doing it and it was never ever with thought to anyone but himself but for the most part I always took it with the “Manny knows his body better than anyone”. We all knew there were times it was just ‘He didn’t feel like playing today” and by ‘playing’ that meant anything. Pinch hitting, pinch running, anything. His days off for the most part were totally off. That’s not common, not at all. You played that day, or series of days, with a 24 man roster, that was never a thing you doubted or that came unexpected after awhile. As a pitcher that is and always will be a factor in being a leader in the clubhouse. A starting pitcher has very little idea what these guys do to their bodies every day. But what I do know is I played 23 years of professional baseball and have played with guys that ran the spectrum. The guy who said “I’m good” while trying to catch with a broken collarbone, and the guy who literally HAD to feel 100% to take BP. So for a pitcher to question a position player, well in certain contexts that just didn’t happen, but you also knew your teammates and you got to see ‘behind the curtain’ when that ‘hurt’ guy took 5 days off and spent less than 10 minutes in the training room. A direct opposite to the guy who took one day off, made sure the manager knew he could Pinch Hit if needed, and spent the game running back and forth from the bench to the training room getting interval treatment as he could.

No, by saying PLAY I mean exactly that. The issue got to the point where everyone finally took him at his word, there was no choice. A guy refusing to get on a team plane, having to be literally coaxed on, by people with pride and people that love the game, because meeting the obligations of a 20 million dollar contract were not even close to enough to get him going???? If he did not get traded he was going to need “time off” to rest his injured knee, and it got to the point where he made it clear time off could mean the rest of the season. Few guys will admit to it and that’s cool, I get that, but no one, if in the right situation, would ever deny that was anything but true.

So it’s not ‘what could have been’, we knew what was to be, and what was to be was that if he did not get a contract extension he was going to take a seat, and in taking that seat he didn’t give a rats ass what anyone thought, including the 24 guys that wore the same uniform. So the ‘what could have been’ in the post season is not the question. The question is would there have been a post season if he had stayed, and that’s a question, and a gamble, that I think everyone felt they knew the answer too and in the end a gamble no one was willing to take, and rightly so.

People continue to try and assign logic to the thoughts and decisions made when we all knew so many illogical things were said and done that logic was far from a factor in 99% of the things happening at the end. I don’t think Scott Boras told many to ‘tank it’, Manny’s a grown man and any decisions or actions he made are all on him.

It is demeaning and disrespectful to the guys that did respect their teammates, the game and the fans by busting their asses through broken down hips, sore arms, strained abs and whatever, to grind it out for each other and the fans, their love of the game and anything else you can think of, the organization, to hear people question the hows and whys of this whole thing. That was why I said ‘he flipped you all off’ because if you heard ANYTHING he said after he left, he did.

Ya, remember this guy was at the forefront of bringing the first world championship to Boston in 2004 (but please also throw a cheer or three Foulkies way, that guy was the man in October of 04), remember this guy, along with David, made the most fearsome middle of the order of our lifetimes, remember when he was at the plate you better not THINK of not being able to watch what he might do. This guy, when he hit, changed games BEFORE he came to the plate.

But the thing that killed me in the end was this; he never gave a rats ass about any of us that suited up with him, not one iota. He was, and he said repeatedly, about going to the highest bidder and getting as much money as he possibly could, period. If that meant pissing on us in the interim, so be it.

Hey! That’s cool, that’s 100% your prerogative. But please don’t crap all over the guy, or guys that spent years as your ‘teammates’ covering your ass by saying “Aww that’s just Manny being Manny” and the hundreds of thousands of other things we needed to say to stop the stories from being more than they could. Please don’t piss all over the Manager and GM who pretty much swallowed every ounce of pride they possessed because they knew that it was ‘win above all else’ here to the fans and owners. Manny had a cult following because Manny could hit and act goofy, period. Hey that’s cool, that’s what some fans love an that’s fine, but that’s it.

Manny left because Manny wanted to get Manny the largest possible contract Manny could. That happens and that’s fine. But the Sox got a player that’s going to help them get back to October next year out of a situation they could have been left with a player not playing, and a patch work of guys filling in for the rest of the year.

That doesn’t mean, to me anyway, that the question should be “How much farther would we have gotten” but rather “Would we have gotten there?”

Why on earth would ANY situation be as good as it’s ever been? Why would things be so fun and nice and happy and exciting AFTER you lose a first ballot HALL OF FAME PLAYER? Is the rest of the baseball world that much smarter than a guy widely recognized as one of, if not the, best GMs in the game? Is a guy widely recognized as one of the best managers, and on top of that best human beings, in the game that dumb? Couldn’t it be that the opposite is true?

Don’t ask how far they could have gone. Let it be what it is. That team went from 7 runs down and 7 outs to the end of a season that had more turmoil and injuries than the Dallas Cowboys, to tying run on base in the 8th inning of game 7. One game from the World Series.

Is that good enough? Ask the players, they’ll all tell you hell no because it’s now different here. They now, and rightly so, expect to win the World Series every year. Anything short of that is disappointing and you can scream all you want but it’s realistic, and earned. Ya it’s not the Yankees of the late ’90s, but it’s getting there. This group has earned a place of respect in baseball that’s been earned and the onus is on them to maintain that level of expectation through performance, on and off the field. But for me, personally, the far cooler piece is that the composition of players on the team now, and the organization, is now setup to be held to a far higher standard personally and professionally, and with that comes good things. The fans deserve that, the game deserves that.

Joe Maddon benches his star young player twice and his team reaches the World Series. Hell Scioscia has to pretty much kick a star offensive player off his team during the playoffs, it might even have cost them a shot at getting to the World Series in 04. I’m ok with saying it because while you can scream all you want about things I’ve said in the past, I’ve never intentionally disrespected the game, or my teammates, never. I’ve said dumb things and done a few real stupid ones, never was anything said or done with the intent to disrespect either, anyone telling you otherwise is a liar.

I promise Tito, Jim Fregosi, maybe even Bob Brenly and Frank Robinson will tell you I was a pain in the butt at times because I talked too much though the GMs might say it a little more adamantly. But there isn’t a coach or GM I ever played for that will tell you I didn’t bust my ass every day I had the ball in my hand or that I was ever unprepared for the job at hand, or that I ever played the game with anything but respect. I am not a Hall of Famer, I’ve known that since suiting up with one. I played with guys that don’t and will never like me, hell that happens. But I cared about every teammate I ever had and I cared what my teammates thought of me when it was my day, and I cared what the guys in the other dugout thought of me when they had to compete against me. Beyond that what people ‘knew’ of me was/is far less than anyone ever will beyond my friends and family.

The Sox are poised to be a force in baseball for the next decade. The Left Fielder is a perennial All Star, the staff is littered with aces, the bullpen is anchored by a guy that will end the decade as the games most dominant closer, the first and second baseman should finish 1-2 in the MVP race (not sure what order), the team has a HUGE pool of young, homegrown, talent in the majors, and on the way, the manager, though bald with an enormous nose, is as good a manager as anyone in the game and manages people better than anyone I’ve been around, he cares, deeply, about his players and hsi staff and that matters to them all, the coaching staff has 2 future managers at least, one future GM, the fans got their 4th ALCS in 6 years. It’s a new time, a new team and the future is awesome. Remember the 2008 Red Sox as a team that persevered thorugh a lot more than 90% of the teams in the game and battled their asses off to within 2 runs of a World Series while authoring the greatest comeback ever for a team faced with elimination. Remember them for the 3rd baseman that played through what could only be described as a broken hip, an Ace that gutted out a game that will be horribly under appreciated forever, in a must win. Remember 2008 as the year Jon Lester, a cancer survivor, turned into one of the premier pitchers in the game, not the league, the game. Remember them as the team who’s closer extended a record post season scoreless streak even farther, remember them for their 2nd baseman, a five foot nothing guy who can fricking rake (though he knows he can’t hit me) a gold glove first baseman who cemented his place as a premier all around stud (though bald and a mullion). Those are the things to remember this team by, those are the things that matter.

No more ‘what could have beens’, they are good enough now to take responsibility for what is, and what will be, and there isn’t a player on this team that will shun accountability or responsibility for their actions or their teams. That’s a pretty cool thing.”

That’s Curt Schilling’s take.  Make of it what you will…

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

16 Responses to “Curt Schilling On Manny”

  1. DRomo says:

    Curt Schilling is the guy whose girlfriend left him 2 years ago and still bitches and complains about her.
    Dude its over. How many times can you re-hash this issue?

    It is amazing to me how even Dodger fans are ready to throw Manny under the bus if he doesn’t come back. Manny wants to go for the money! We know that now and we knew it when he came here. If he leaves don’t be mad. How could we be? We got exactly what we thought we were getting.

    If we lock up Manny for 4 years at $25 mil or even $30 mil for 2yrs (whatever the rumor you heard lately) and he breaks down or prevents us from locking up the likes of Martin , Kemp,Bills, Loney, & Ethier then was it worth it to put all the eggs in this basket?
    I know the kids are not eligable for FA yet but if we sign Manny are all our problems solved? What about the holes we have in the rotation and the left side of the infield? Assuming we plug in rookies and we are back playing in October is ridiculous.

    I guess what I am saying is we need to relax. Let Ned , Joe & the McCourts do their thing. I want Manny back as much as all of you but it has to make sense for the team now and for the future. For all the complaining we did about them (and I did as much as anyone). I have to say they did a great job last year. Say what you will about the contracts to Pierre, Schmidt and Jones they were trying weren’t they? They gambled and lost. What about adding Joe Torre,Kuroda (who was clutch in the postseason),Manny, and Blake while not giving up one member of the core of youth on the team. Tell me that is not worthy of some praise?

  2. Badger says:

    Schilling never has had a shortage of words. I didn’t really find anything new in that long winded speech.

    I still don’t think Jed is a very good GM. Average at best. He got Manny handed to him, and obviously it worked out. Blake hit .250 with a .313 OBP, so, no big deal there. Kuroda was a good pick-up, though he lost more than he won during the season, he did win 2 in post season. I am still waiting for something that puts this team on top to stay. Haven’t seen it yet.

    I maintain my position on Manny. We don’t have the DH, and that is where he belongs, if not right away, then soon.

    I think we will once again focus on pitching. It is what we know. CC or Peavy? CC threw 253 innings during the year, and got hammered in one play-off appearance. He would cost gazillions, and a pick if I am not mistaken. Peavy? He is a couple years younger, is a bulldog, did spend some time on the DL with elbow issues, but has been consistent. He would cost us plenty of both money and talent. I just don’t know.

    Without Manny in our line-up, we immediately go to the middle of the pack in the NL. So, we get more pitching to nuetralize those teams that can hit a whole lot better than we do.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If Ned has about 50 million to spend this off season on a SS, 3B/2B and a starting pitcher, how will he fill all these holes by giving Manny 3/5 of the pie? 30 million per year is crazy money for a guy that’s a below average defender. I would like to have Manny on the team but 20 million per year for 3 years should be the limit. If that doesn’t get it done then OH WELL we tried. I think we’re starting to lose our ability to think logicly if we spend all our available money on one guy. If I want entainment, I’ll go to the show. If I want a winning team, I am hoping for better position players then HU, forcing DeJesus to play before he’s ready and putting McDonald and Stults in the rotation. We just saw what happens with weak starters in the playoffs. A rotation of Billingsley, Kershaw, Kuroda, McDonald and Stults could be good but not great. I was going to put Schmidt in there but thought any readers would laugh.

    We have already witnessed what the other teams do when Manny comes up to bat with no legit hitter behind him. Are we going to pay Manny 30 million per year to walk and play below average defense? I want Manny as much as the next person but not at the expense of filling the holes with below average guys. I would sign CC Sabathia, resign Furcal and trade for Beltre. Pierre in LF, Kemp in CF and Ethier in RF. I have always wanted Manny to return but after thinking it through it doesn’t make sense. I spent last night on another site saying that it doesn’t make sense for Beltre to return but if we don’t sign Manny, I’m all for it. The Dodgers need to act fast on Manny and then turn the page and move on. If Boras drags the negotiations out, the Dodgers will become big losers either way, if they get him and lose out on everyone else or don’t get him and lose out on everyone else. I don’t know, that’s my take for now and it may change tomorrow.

    8)

  4. Bill Russell says:

    That was me.

  5. Blue Haze says:

    You are correct Dromo, Kuroda was nails in the post season. He may have even found a new confidence level in the MLB, he looked damn consistent in the big time games, down the stretch and in all his post-season appearances. That said, make sure and get him locked up with some of the money you guys are throwing around.

    Speaking of sizzles and fizzles: C-Bills fizzle, Furcal sizzle then fizzle, Loney sizzle, Ethier Fizzle (will the soft tag be invoked?) , Martin – got laid, but few hits, fizzle, DeWitt – Ouch!, Kemp fizzle… When you go down the list, player by player, we had a heavy dose of players that fizzled and very few that sizzled in the post season, I don’t think this went unnoticed by the brass and should shape the immediate future of the club. But hey, the important thing is RussTin got laid in the post season.

  6. Bill Russell says:

    It’s hard to see Loney’s bobblehead collection in the top right corner of todays posted picture. 8)

  7. pete says:

    This comment is in regards to what anonymous wrote. I kind of agree with what you say, the part where you say about rushing the kids. All i know is that for the first time in 20 years it fealt really good to be at the stadium and fealt that the Dodgers had the right to be viewd as one of the top teams in mlb. Knowing that it was a team effort,but playing a huge part in it was Manny Ramirez, that with just one legitimit superstar. The stadium was filled with excitement and most important filled with fans,all because of one guy named Manny. Could you just imagine Manny and CC in Dodger blue.

  8. Badger says:

    I think anonymous Bill is spot on. I believe we all want Manny, but realistically, because of how he nearly single handedly carried this team to the LCS, his value is extrememly high. With Bora$ as his agent, seems logical to me the A.L. teams have a better shot because of, well, because of the obvious.

    I would like to see us get more guys like Jason Bay. I think the Red Sox were the real winners in that trade by getting a team player that hits, runs, throws and is still young enough to be around a while. It’s players like him that we need to go after. They are there. We pay Andruw Jones what Utley and Howard make combined. We have paid Jason Schimdt (in two years) more than Manny makes, and we will pay him again next year. We have made some really bad decisions with our payroll and it’s biting us in the ass right now, and will continue to bite for another year.

    We need athletes of solid moral fiber. If Kemp and Martin are butterheads then maybe we should consider moving them for stand up guys who love to play baseball. If the reports are overblown, then build a solid team around them.

    Big decisions this year. We are close, but so are a dozen other teams in the National League.

    Come on Fred, show us some of that G.M. stuff.

  9. DRomo says:

    i would not throw Manny under the bus, but make him an offer a strong offer ( We just limit the years) and then we move on.

    I would love to add Peavy but he would cost us a lot and do we want to give the farm to the Madres..err. Padres?

    CC is scary good but wilts in the playoffs. A nice 2 year streak of nothing in the playoffs. I would take him though. Again the length of contract is the only thing that should matter to us. We have plenty of money.

  10. lawdog says:

    Anonymous Bill is right.

    If we add Beltre, Furcal and CC Sabath to our core of players we’d be in good stead without Manny. We’d still need to find a Jason Bay type utfielder who is a geniune 30/100 guy to go with Ethier, Kemp and Beltre.

    Who’s available.

  11. Bill Russell says:

    I’m hearing rumbling about Matt Holliday on the trading block. He would cost us one of our young starting pitchers (Kershaw)+ another player (Loney). Loney rakes in Colorado. We could sign Dunn to play 1st or Have Colorado include Atkins in the deal. Hell even Jeff Kent would come back to play 1st.
    Romo, I’m not throwing Manny under the bus, Boras is. I think you know I would love to have Manny if it makes sense. Remember when A Rod first signed with Texas? It ruined their team. I want players that want to play for the Dodgers. If Manny falls in that category, then I want Manny.
    Holliday would be a great player to build around.

  12. mark says:

    Look at Holiday’s splits outside of Colorado and you have

    James Loney!

    NO TO HOLIDAY!

    Kemp will put up better numbers in LA!

  13. mark says:

    … and what have I told you about Kershaw?

    He will be the best pitcher in baseball within 2 years!

  14. Badger says:

    I wouldn’t give Kershaw for Holliday, but I would sure want Holliday on my team.

    .296 .366 .459 .825 – Holliday’s 3 year splits in Dodger Stadium – so it depends on what they want, and what he wants to be paid. Those numbers work for me, but not for Kershaw.

    Martin, Loney, Holliday, Dunn, Kemp, Ethier – those are pretty good mix and match left right combos.

  15. Mark says:

    Holliday would be nice, but he would cost us way too much.

  16. Badger says:

    Yeah, maybe. I just read that the Rockies may be willing to offer 4 years and $60 million. I think that is a reasonable offer for both parties, but his agent is Scott Bora$$. He does hit well in Arizona and L.A., but is from Oklahoma, and if he goes FA, in 2010, maybe Houston would be interested. I would think he would tear that park up if it was his home field. If we couldn’t get him to commit to L.A., forget it.

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