|Curt Schilling on M&M: Roger Clemens ‘could have done everybody a favor’ by confessing||07.06.11 at 1:37 pm ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher and current ESPN analyst Curt Schilling checked in with the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday to offer his opinions on the state of the team. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
The big topic of discussion this week has been the struggles of John Lackey. Schilling had plenty to say about the former Angels hurler who has yet to live up to his big free agent contract in Boston.
“I don’t know that you’ve gotten much different than what was [in Anaheim],” Schilling said. “This was a guy who always pitched to contact, a guy who didn’t have — with maybe the exception of a year – was never a high strikeout guy, coming to the biggest and best and most potent offensive division in baseball.
“I know he’s someone who has always hated pitching in Fenway. He made multiple comments after multiple series — especially in the postseason — about pitching here. I was surprised to see him sign here, actually. I don’t know what the competitive money was, but I didn’t think that this was a place he wanted to pitch.
“Having said that, I think that there’s a lot of stuff going on off the field, as would there be with anybody whose wife is undergoing chemo and the cancer scare that his wife is. Once you start to enter that into the equation — and I know fans don’t want to hear that — I don’t discount that. I don’t discount the impact and the effect that that can have on someone.
“Where they’re at? Jeez, they don’t have options. You’re not going to send him down. You’re not going to release him. Can you put him in the bullpen? Will he go to the bullpen? There’s a lot of things. If you listen to the guys in that clubhouse talk, they swear by the guy, which, for me, is a huge indicator of what kind of player he is.
“My biggest challenge has been a lot of his postgame stuff has been, not lack of accountability, but I just feel like life would be a lot easier if he just sat down after these games and said, ‘You now what? I sucked.’ If he did the Josh Beckett, I think life would be a little bit easier for him. But you know what? They’re going to keep running him out there, and hopefully he gets the ship righted.”
Schilling said he doubts Lackey has physical problems. “You don’t throw the ball over 90 miles an hour consistently if you have structural damage in your arm,” he said.
Asked why the Red Sox would invest so much in Lackey, Schilling said it was because of the timing and the Red Sox-Yankees offseason battles.
“They always are goading each other on,” he said of the Sox and Yanks. “And I thought that they got caught up in the Lackey deal. He was the ‘premier guy’ that winter. I didn’t see anything that warranted an $18 million contract. And I’m not talking about [only] John Lackey; I didn’t think any of the pitchers on the market were $18 million pitchers that winter. But when that’s the cream of the crop — you saw it with Jayson Werth last year — sometimes teams will pay money they wouldn’t otherwise pay a guy, because the market pushes them there.”
Touching on the Roger Clemens trial that started Wednesday with jury selection, Schilling said he’s embarrassed to have been a part of the steroid era.
“The personal attachment for me is one of, probably apologetic, in the fact that I played in that generation,” he said. “We made our bed. We didn’t do nearly enough to right the ship. Most of us had an idea something was going on, very much the same way the media did. We were the only people in a position to do something about it, and we didn’t. And that’s our fault.
“He is a symbol. The greatest pitcher next to [Greg] Maddux and the greatest hitter of my generation [Barry Bonds] in the big leagues were cheaters. That sucks that that’s the era that I pitched in. But I pitched in that era, I didn’t do steroids. I didn’t do HGH. And I still had the privilege and honor of being on three World Series champions. And I can look my kids in the face with my hand on the Bible and say that and go to bed at night. I can sleep.”
Asked how ugly this trial will get for the game, Schilling said: “He could have done everybody a favor, including himself, by just doing what Andy [Pettitte] did: ‘I got caught and I screwed up.’ But clearly, Roger’s legacy is more important to him than anything.
“It’s unfortunate, especially given where we are as a country, that we’re committing tax dollars to this. I mean, this guy’s not a threat to society. But you don’t lie. You don’t lie to a grand jury. You don’t lie in a court of law. And nobody’s above the law. And I think this is just another case, another place where the government’s set to prove that — or at least enforce that.”
Schilling also discussed how he has donated more than 200 items of baseball memorabilia from his personal collection to an auction that will benefit a trio of his favorite charities. Get more information at www.huntauctions.com.
- Cup of Coffee: Morales sharp in rehab outing as Sea Dogs roll
- Red Sox ink veteran lefty Rafael Perez to minor league deal
- Cup of Coffee: Vazquez nearly hits for cycle in Portland’s walk-off win
- Players of the Week, May 13-19: Mookie Betts and Matt Price
- Cup of Coffee: Montas strikes out eight in Greenville loss
- SoxProspects.com Podcast #34
- ESPNBoston: De La Rosa finding his way in Pawtucket
- Cup of Coffee: Bradley, Holt shine in PawSox loss
- Xander Bogaerts, Portland to headline Futures at Fenway
- SoxProspects Video of the Week: Matt Barnes