Curt Schilling has been called a lot of things over the years. Arrogant, blowhard, and egomaniac, just to name a few. But after Tuesday’s announcement it’s time to add one more: loyal.
It was announced that Schilling signed a one-year, $8 million deal (plus incentives) to remain a member of the World Champion Boston Red Sox.
Even at the ripe old age of 41, Schilling was the cream of the crop for free agent starting pitchers. From day one of the free agent signing period Schilling was being heavily recruited by several teams. His name seemed to come up in every rumor, with teams like the Phillies and the Astros being the most vocal. It was a no-brainer that Schilling could have guaranteed himself a 2-year deal in the range of $25-30 million in guaranteed money to go play for another team. In this day and age of athletes holding out to squeeze out every dime from team owners, and players more concerned with the name on the back of the jersey instead of the name on the front, it’s refreshing when someone puts the team first and wants to play for a winner.
One more year of Schilling in the clubhouse will provide a huge boost in the development of Boston’s young pitchers. Now Clay Buchholz won’t be forced into the starting rotation, and can continue to mature as a pitcher.
What I especially like about this contract is that Schilling was the one to insert a weight clause. After coming in to Spring Training in 2007 like he was on a tour of New England all-you-can-eat buffets during the winter, Schilling was embarrassed about the scrutiny about his weight and the fact that he broke down early in the season. With this new deal, Schilling is going to show baseball fans why he is one of the games great competitors and will end his career on his terms.
Curt Schilling will continue to be a top-of-the-rotation starter, mentor to the young staff, and unofficial Red Sox press secretary this year, all this for the low, low price of $8 million.
Maybe it’s time to throw away the old list used to describe Schilling and start a new one.
I think this one can start with “Winner.”