Having missed the last few days of baseball, I watched NESN's SportsDesk OnDemand today and looked on in abject horror at the replays of Schilling's drilling of Pirates center fielder Chris Duffy. The sound it made. It makes me sick to watch it.
I watched the rest of SportsDesk for Remy and Orsillo's analysis, hoping they might say something that could make me feel a little better. Clearly Schilling is throwing at people on purpose--he has said as much repeatedly. After pasting the kid upside the head, he did suffer controlwise in the next few innings, but I don't really think the two are related. That pitch to Duffy was obviously deliberate.
Remy and Orsillo glossed right over it. They said nothing about the fact that this 25-year-old kid was sent to the hospital, or that he had a concussion, and but for the grace of God and batting helmets, it could be worse. I was bewildered.
I called my Dad, the final arbiter of morality in baseball. My Dad will throw his own guys under the bus, no problem, if what they're doing is wrong.
"He didn't exactly cover himself in glory after the game either," he said. "He was saying stuff about how you need to be able to get out of the way of a pitch like that--Christ, that pitch was on top of the kid before he knew what was happening."
I shook my head.
Maybe people don't realize this, but every time I've defended Schilling, every time I've argued on his behalf, I have truly meant what I'm saying. I have not been disingenuous or dishonest. Up to this point, I have been sincere in calling him my favorite and debating with those who think he's a schmuck.
So it's causing me some serious cognitive dissonance today, but right now even *I* think he's a schmuck.
There's no reason to use some kid for target practice during the first spring training game. There's no reason to hit the kid right in the head--and he can't claim he didn't know what he was doing or lost control of the ball. There's just no reason for it, there's no defending it, and for once I am not even going to try.