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Curt Schilling, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, has started a blog called “38 Pitches.” (Schilling wears number 38.) He answers fans’ questions and gives exhaustive breakdowns of his starts, pitch by pitch, win or loss. It’s interesting for a baseball fan to hear what the pitcher and catcher were discussing on the mound, or what a pitcher was thinking when he served up that gopher ball. Only the Boston Globe doesn’t like it.
Here’s Dan Shaughnessy snarking irrelevantly about the blog while writing about Schilling’s opening day start (a loss):
Blogmaster Schilling threw like a man suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, yielding five runs on eight hits and two walks in just four innings. 38pitches? [sic] That’s almost how many Schill needed to get out of the first inning, when he threw 33 and walked home a run.
Well, on this day, Meche was a far better pitcher than his counterpart (no blog updates from Schill during the game, darn it).
And here’s Shaughnessy again, this time tickling our funny bones with a parody of a question-and-answer session on 38 Pitches. I couldn’t decide which question and answer were the nastiest, so here are two:
Loser38: I used to go to Star Trek conventions and comic book trade shows. No more. Now this blog is my life. My girlfriend says I’m spending too much time on this site. I say she’s being ridiculous. I mean, what’s six hours a day when you have a chance to communicate — cyberspace to cyberspace — with a legitimate Hall of Famer? Do you think I’m being reasonable, Schill?
38 Pitches: I’ve learned that greatness comes with a price. Only you can decide if you’re willing to pay that price. Personally, I’m spending about eight hours a day with this site and that’s not easy when you have as many responsibilities as I have. Whenever I begin to question things I just ask myself, “What would Gandhi do?” I mean, I never met the man, but I heard he was a really good guy. I think he would have been into 38 Studios.
CHB38: What do you say to those media morons who contend that you are a self-important blowhard with an ill-informed opinion about everything and an insatiable need to be worshipped by sheep-like fans and late-night blog boys who live in Ma’s basement?
38 Pitches: I say bring ’em on. You think it’s easy being player-manager/staff ace/media go-to guy/entrepreneur/candidate-in-waiting/savior of the universe? Walk a mile in my shoes, big guy.
If you take the time to check out his site, and read some of the Q&As, you’ll see that this doesn’t catch the tone at all. Yes, the questioners are polite, and many of them are–get this!–fans. Why would people who hate Curt Schilling go to his website? To insult him anonymously? Wouldn’t people like that be even more pathetic than the fake questioners Shaughnessy conjures up?
Anyway, this is starting to sound personal. Maybe it’s just that Dan Shaughnessy has a problem with Curt Schilling. Just doesn’t like him. But no, because here’s the Globe’s Charles P. Pierce, who also decided to use humor to criticize Schilling, this time in an open letter. It begins with:
At first, I believed all that stuff from the other cities about how you were 10 pounds of hot air in a 5-pound balloon. All those “Red Light Curt” cracks about how the people who’d made the mistake of getting between you and a TV camera ended up in the hospital with nasty cases of whiplash.
And closes with this:
Sign a new deal, big guy. You can’t leave now. You haven’t live-blogged a game from the dugout yet.
Again, a lot of anger over what seems to be something innocuous. So maybe sportswriters don’t like the idea of technologically-minded athletes speaking directly to their fans. If this catches on, the sportswriters might find themselves out of work, right? But it’s not just the sportswriters. The editors have also weighed in! From a Boston Globe editorial on the upcoming baseball season:
Anyone who has taken the time to browse pitcher Curt Schilling’s blog will realize that the loquacious right-hander aspires to be both Don Quixote and Cervantes at the same time, Raskolnikov and Dostoyevsky, Hamlet and Shakespeare.
I don’t know what that means, but that doesn’t bother me any. Neither did the writer, or he would have explained it. (What’s with Raskolnikov and Dostoyevsky, anyway? Someone’s showing off. How about Huck Finn and Mark Twain? How many people see “Raskolnikov” and think “Ah! Crime and Punishment!”) Anyway, a little more from the editorial and we’ll see what the problem really is:
Flying back from Texas Sunday night after hurling seven dominant innings against the flummoxed Rangers, the erstwhile cheerleader for President Bush typed out a pitch-by-pitch analysis of his performance.
Oh! I see! Curt Schilling supported President Bush in the last election. And he might use his blog to actually express his opinions. Well, the Globe can’t have that, so they’re “flooding the zone,” as the New York Times under Howell Raines did when covering the “controversy” over the Masters being held at the Augusta National Golf Club, which does not admit women.
You see, Boston is a baseball town and the Red Sox are the kings of the city. When Curt Schilling helped them win the World Series in 2004, he earned the admiration of a lot of people in true-blue New England, but his red-state opinions are not viewed kindly by the Boston media. That’s why Dan Shaughnessy, Charles P. Pierce, and the entire editorial staff of the Boston Globe mocks Schilling, his fans, and his blog. You may wonder why I’m making a big deal out of this. I’m not. The Globe is. Because God forbid you read something by a conservative you’re predisposed to like. Something like this (from the latest Q&A session):
Q-That being said, I have a bone to pick with you. I remember distinctly after the great ‘04 World Series win that you used the national publicity to campaign for George W. Bush’s presidential re-election bid.
[Q-] We were told by the Bush Administration that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
[Q-]We were told by the Bush Administration that Iraq had connections to Al Quaeda [sic] and was partly responsible for 9-11.
[Q-]We were told by the Bush Administration that Iraq was attempting to build nuclear weapons.
[Q-]We were told by the Bush Administration that Iraq posed an immediate threat to the safety of the United States.
[Q-]We were told that we would be greeted as liberators.
A-I don’t remember this one but ok.
[Q-]All of the reasons used to justify invasion were untruths. As a result of the US-led invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq, it is estimated that 600,000 Iraqis have been killed and over 3,200 Americans have been killed.
A-I was always of the opinion that any country harboring terrorists, and backing the murder of innocent men, women and children as well as having a government that imposed it’s will on people who chose to freely speak anti-government or differing religous viewpoints could not claim themselves a sovereign nation.
[Q-] As a Christian, do you regret your enthusiastic support for a man responsible for unjustified murder and bearing false witness? If you could go back in time, would you once again campaign for Bush?
A-No I don’t. I regret that thousands of Americans, and many other men and women from the NATO countries, as well as the hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children of Iraq have died as a result of the war. That I regret for anyone that’s had to pay that price. I also am proud as hell to know I live in a country that produces men and women who will travel around the world, because their government says so, to protect the freedoms and lives of people they don’t know. What other country on this planet has answered the call every single time since 1945?
For this he gets mocked? The Boston Globe is pathetic, not the fans.