Put Up Or Shut Up

The last hurrah.  Game 2 of the '07 World Series

The last hurrah. Game 2 of the '07 World Series

Curt Schilling never had to shut up because he always put up.

The guy played four years in Boston and helped win two World Series.  Ted?  Yaz?  They went O-for-forever.

Read his retirement post on his blog.  Then peruse some of the comments.  There are a lot of haters.  A lot of people…fans, sportswriters, teammates…just wanted him to put a sock in it.  But he’ll be remembered for a sock that symbolized his talent, toughness and tenacity. 

It seems athletes who talk and say nothing are the “good guys.”  I enjoy Dustin Pedroia, but the next interesting thing I hear him say will be the first.  Ditto Tom Brady.  They have no obligation whatsoever to give any more than their best on the field.  But long ago, I decided I would rather root for guys like them than cover them. 

russellgoupEven longer ago, I had decided I would like to cover them.  Bill Russell taught me more about dignity and civil rights than he did basketball in his 1966 autobiography “Go Up For Glory.”   Jim Bouton humanized the major league baseball player for me in his 1970 classic “Ball Four.” 

I met many good and some interesting people on the sports beat.  But for every Russell and Bouton, there were too many Pedroia and Brady types.  Nice enough guys who said nothing.

Curt Schilling said and wrote what was on his mind, and so many dismissed him as a windbag, a loudmouth who didn’t know his place.

Had there been more Curt Schillings, I might still be a sports reporter.  He made it infinitely more interesting.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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4 Responses to Put Up Or Shut Up

  1. joan says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Schill’s impact will be forever positively felt, no matter what the chb writes…
    definitely HOF material.

  2. Doug says:

    Yes, he is interesting and that DOES matter.

    Other than his Republican politics, I really admire the guy for a number of reasons. I’m too much of a loudmouth to criticize him for his blog or anything he’s said over the years … but the bottom line for me is that he knew the surgery on his foot could have ended his career — and absolutely would have a significant impact on the way he would pitch forever after — and he did it anyway. He had to get himself out there to throw the 38 most important pitches in Red Sox history.

    That the bloody sock game rankles people is bizarre to me. Did they miss an opportunity to make a sacrifice at some point? Can’t they understand what that means? I don’t get it. Maybe they think he enjoyed it and they begrudge him that?

    Look these people — obviously bitter Yankee fans — should just enjoy that performance for what it was … the single most dramatic baseball moment of our generation.

  3. amyparmenter says:

    Ger:

    How about both? Can’t you be interesting and a good guy? I don’t know Curt Schilling, but the general consensus about him from people who DID know him when he was in Phila. was that he was one person when the cameras were rolling…and another when they weren’t. (insert comment here…) Interesting is good, especially from a reporter’s perspective…but you don’t have to be a jerk to be interesting.

    aparm

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