Monday, March 23, 2009

Curt Schilling is officially retired

As posted on his blog, Curt Schilling is "calling it quits."
"The game always gave me far more than I ever gave it. All of those things, every single one of those memories is enveloped with fan sights and sounds for me. Without the fans they would still be great memories, but none would be enduring and unforgettable because they infused the energy, rage, passion and ‘feel’ of all of those times. The game was here long before I was, and will be here long after I am gone. The only thing I hope I did was never put in question my love for the game, or my passion to be counted on when it mattered most. I did everything I could to win every time I was handed the ball."

"I am and always will be more grateful than any of you could ever possibly know."
Despite being a Yankees fan, what I respected most about Schilling was his passion for the game and his appreciation of its history. Unlike many younger players in baseball (and other sports), they don't have an appreciation for what those before them have done. (But, of course, I still think Schilling is a loud-mouth.)

Schilling retires with a career record of 216-146, 3116 strikeouts (14th all-time) and an ERA of 3.46. Schilling was a part of three World Championship teams (2001 D'Backs as well as the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox).

Let the Hall of Fame debate begin...

BJ Upton to miss first week of season?

Tampa Bay Rays CF B.J. Upton, who was recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, was hit by a pitch on his left hand on Saturday. While the X-rays were negative, Upton has a bruised bone and swelling near his pinkie finger.

Upton is expected to miss the first week of the season when the Rays head north to face division rivals Boston and Baltimore.

The Rays will use Gabe Kapler, Gabe Gross, Ben Zobrist and Justin Ruggiano in center and right field depending on whether the opposing pitcher is right- or left-handed.
"I like the fact we are that versatile," [Rays manager Joe] Maddon said. "We're versatile, but we don't make ourselves weaker."
In 2007, Upton hit 24 HRs in the regular season. But he only hit 9 HRs during the regular season in 2008.

With the post-season power surge that Upton had (7 HRs and 16 RBIs in 16 games), I expect him to have a huge season.

Maddon is doing the right thing by not rushing Upton back and jeopardize having him healthy later in the season.