Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Schilling? Why?

You have to love baseball fans - and Cub fans are no exception.  I think that if Hank Aaron announced tomorrow a desire to play for the Cubs, there would be fans out there who'd get excited and start talking about the possibility.  It's just our nature.  We like our players who have big names, be they 30 or 40, should they play a position of need or one of excess.  And believe me -- the Cubs do not need Curt Schilling.

This isn't 1999, or 2002, or even 2006.  The Cubs aren't a poorly assembled baseball team.  Right now there are three extremely capable, undeniably qualified pitchers competing for the 5th spot in the rotation.  One is a 1st round draft pick, one is a 25-year-old grizzly man with starting credibility, and the other is a lefty who's done everything the team has asked of him - and he's done it well. 

But suddenly, a 42-year-old guy who hasn't pitched since 2007 rolls around, saying he's "20% committed to playing in 2009" - on March 1st! - and he lists the Cubs as one of two potential destinations, and next thing you know Cub fans are beside themselves.  After all, this guy has 216 career wins.  And a bloody sock!  And multiple World Championship rings!  Wowee!

Hey, do you know who else is available?  There's this guy with 10 World Series wins and a World Series ERA of 2.71.  He's got multiple rings and he's currently without a team.  Granted, he hasn't played in a while and he's pretty old, but Whitey Ford has done it before, right?  Surely he could do it again!  Of course I'm being sarcastic, but Curt Schilling honestly isn't much better at this point.

But hey - if he wants to "consider it," I'd offer him this kind of deal: I'd let him train in the Arizona facilities into the season.  I'd let him work his way back with the intent that he might be ready come late May or early June.  And if June rolls around and the Cubs are doing fine - and all evidence points to this happening - then I'd release him and let him sign on with some other team elsewhere.  But if June rolls around and the Cubs are battling injuries, or if one of their five starters is just not cutting it, then I'd work something out to allow Schilling to pitch.  But the only way he makes any sense is if there are no obligations and no expectations.  The guy is 42 years old, coming off an arm injury that he may or may not have kept hidden when signing his last contract, and he's a bit of a dick.  Just because we also know his name does not mean we should want him to pitch in Chicago.

Schilling isn't much better

Schilling isn't much better if it weren't for the fact that he is, well, better. Let's check out a couple of facts*. His FIP over each of his last 4 seasons: 3.11, 3.63, 3.95, and 4.21. Granted, he missed all of 2008 and you can't expect him to be that good consider that and his age, but let's look at Carlos Zambrano over each of the last 4 years: 3.70, 4.14, 4.58, and 4.23. Sean Marshall's FIP's: 5.57, 4.62 and 4.39. The last 2 were primarily out of the bullpen too, which is easier to do. Ted Lilly: 5.32, 4.79, 4.16, and 4.41. Ryan Dempster: 3.38, 3.79, 3.54, and 3.41. The first 3 years for him were in relief. Harden: 2.90, 4.18, 3.94, and 2.95.

Let's check out some of the projections. Marcels has Schilling at 4.26 ERA. Carlos Zambrano 3.78 ERA. CAIRO is 4.42 ERA for Schilling and 4.26 for Zambrano. CHONE if 4.11 ERA for Schilling and 4.14 for Zambrano. All these projections are for Zambrano pitching in the easier NL and Schilling pitching in the much more difficult AL East too.

I don't want him to pitch in Chicago because I know his name. I want him to pitch in Chicago if he's healthy because he's still good and the facts back that up.

*It took me 7 minutes to find these numbers and write this comment. You could have spent 7 minutes and avoided writing something as wrong as this is.

In the words of Nate Silver,

In the words of Nate Silver, past performance does not promise future returns. Schilling is 42 years old, coming back from an arm injury, and hasn't thrown in a major league game since 2007.

If you want to compare the last 4 active seasons of a guy his age with his injury history, that's fine and good, but I'm afraid I have absolutely no interest in sharing from the crack pipe you're smoking this time.

Is it really that hard for

Is it really that hard for you to admit when you are wrong, Kurt? The intention of your post here was to argue that those who want Schilling are full of shit and have no idea how bad he is. You're wrong. Just plain wrong! Of course past performance doesn't guarantee future performance, but neither does an opinion of some blogger who won't even look up the numbers. Sorry, but if it's the numbers or an uninformed opinion, I'm sticking with the numbers and I'll be right more often.

i don't know what Schilling does in 2009. I don't care either. All I know is that in this instance it's you who is full of shit. Not the Cubs fans who would like to see the Cubs sign Schilling. We are talking about a low risk kind of deal so I don't even see the issue here, but your intention was very clear: to mock Cubs fans. And unfortunately for you, the only one deserving of being mocked is you.

I suppose we could stop looking at past performances altogether since they are no guarantee. I think that would be a good idea. I think we should put names in a hat and select the players like that. What do you think? Or maybe the Cubs could select 25 random fans each day?

The only fact that matters here is that Curt Schilling is likely to be around league average in 2009 if he is in fact healthy. Probably a little better than league average in the National League. It's fine to believe otherwise. it's ridiculous to think the ones who do believe what is most likely are full of shit.

For crying out loud, Kurt, this information is freely available to you. Why on earth would you ignore it?

I'll never understand why

I'll never understand why somebody who has his own blog would essentially play the role of a troll on another blog, and I am also entirely convinced that you have serious reading comprehension problems.

Anyway, if you really want to have another ridiculous debate with me or others from GROTA, why not start up another thread about it on ACB? You can feel free to post a link to it in our comments thread and if I feel so inclined I'll head on over to your blog to pick up the debate. That would also give the regular readers here an easily accessible opportunity to get further clarification on what a wrong-headed dick I am while giving you the chance to put yourself over a little more. Okay?

I play the roll of a troll

I play the roll of a troll after you refuse to acknowledge the facts. This has happened many times unfortunately. My reading comprehension is fine, but perhaps you need a reminder of what you wrote:

But suddenly, a 42-year-old guy who hasn't pitched since 2007 rolls around, saying he's "20% committed to playing in 2009" - on March 1st! - and he lists the Cubs as one of two potential destinations, and next thing you know Cub fans are beside themselves. After all, this guy has 216 career wins. And a bloody sock! And multiple World Championship rings! Wowee!

Hey, do you know who else is available? There's this guy with 10 World Series wins and a World Series ERA of 2.71. He's got multiple rings and he's currently without a team. Granted, he hasn't played in a while and he's pretty old, but Whitey Ford has done it before, right? Surely he could do it again! Of course I'm being sarcastic, but Curt Schilling honestly isn't much better at this point.

Yes, you're saying that the fans who wouldn't mind the Cubs signing Schilling are as dumb as the ones who would actually want them to sign Whitey Ford. You said it. I didn't make it up. I think it's a good idea to sign Schilling because the facts support that opinion. I said as much in my first comment. You then proceeded to say that i was smoking crack, which clever and classy of you given my history. Apparently you do not read what you write. I've thought this for some time and now you've confirmed it.

If you're going to slam a bunch of people you'd best be prepared for a response. You seem to think that you can say whatever you want without any negative response from anyone. If that's what you want, ban me. You've threatened your mighty powers over me many times. If you want a site where you and Rob can say foolish things without any person responding negatively then do not allow comments. If you want to respond to a well-reasoned comment with the remarks you did, what are you expecting in return?

You get what you deserve, Kurt. You're an asshole and I'll treat you like one. Every time we have an issue it's somehow my fault. Read your article again, read my comment and then read your response. This is 1st grade stuff, Kurt. If you're going to run a blog then learn to accept criticism. Learn to admit when you are wrong. Just learn!

At least I'm now aware that this site cannot have an opinion that contradicts something the almighty has written. God forbid a rational response to irrational remarks.

I'm sorry, Maddog, but I'm

I'm sorry, Maddog, but I'm certainly not squelching your opinion. Nor am I flipping out because somebody "refuses to see the facts." I'm just entirely over talking with you about, well, *anything.* I can't even get upset by you anymore, it's just the same note over and over again.

Yes, Maddog, and you can quote me on this ... you are smarter than me. You know more about baseball than I do. Any time I voice an opinion that contradicts one of yours, you can be sure I'm wrong. Okay? Do you feel better now? Are you satisfied in your superiority to me and anybody else?

No, that doesn't make me

No, that doesn't make me feel better. That is not at all what I am interested in. I am wrong a lot. More than I am right when it comes to baseball. I just want to be able to argue something before you pull the same trick each time. More importantly, I want other people to be able to do that before you respond to them as you have me. I want people to be able to point out contradictory facts to what you or others write here without responses like this:

If you want to compare the last 4 active seasons of a guy his age with his injury history, that's fine and good, but I'm afraid I have absolutely no interest in sharing from the crack pipe you're smoking this time.

What do you want, Kurt? Because as far as I can tell you have no interest whatsoever in arguing a point you actually write about. To be completely honest, I struggle to comprehend why you even allow comments. I can't count the number of times I've seen you dismiss others arguments in the comments. What is the point?

I am a complete asshole, but even I am not as disrespectful to the people who read my site as you are to yours. You obviously don't see it and you don't take criticism very well.

I'm not saying I'm blameless here. Far from it. You are also far from blameless even though you seem to think you're without fault.

I'm not smarter than you. I don't know more about baseball than you. That's just ridiculous.

I am sorry for being an asshole, Kurt. I really am. I'm sorry I come off the way I do. I truly am. I'm sorry for some of the things I've said. I am not sorry for disagreeing with you and backing my comments up with information that contradicts your opinions. That's what this is about. That's what life is about. None of us know everything, but if we pay attention to convincing arguments rather than poorly constructed opinions we can move forward. This is true in every facet of life. I assumed because comments are allowed that you too were seeking the same thing. I am sorry I made that assumption.

I assume things too often and i shouldn't have done that here. For that I sincerely apologize. There are places to argue and debate baseball and this is not one of them. There is nothing at all wrong with that. ACB isn't better because it sometimes has decent discussion. I am not better or smarter because I enjoy having that kind of debate. You enjoy having your "voice" heard. That's fine. There is obviously no right or wrong when it comes to something like this. I think I misunderstood what this site was and I apologize (that doesn't mean it's good or bad...it means I made an error). It won't happen again.

The way I read Kurt's post,

The way I read Kurt's post, the last paragraph said it would make sense for the Cubs to sign Schilling, warm him up and get him ready for June-time. But not to expect anything great.

And the way I read your response, you basically agree with him. It's a low-cost, low-risk signing that might end up benefitting the Cubs. You say he'd perhaps be right at league average, while Kurt is effectively suggesting the Cubs have at least five other candidates to start that would be better than league average.

I think you're letting personal vendettas cloud your vision. I really don't see the gargantuan difference of opinions here.

You're right. Kurt did add

You're right. Kurt did add one little paragraph at the end saying it's not a bad idea. That's about like me calling you stupid for 4 paragraphs and then saying what you just said may not be a bad idea.

Incidentally, "one little

Incidentally, "one little paragraph" = 182 words. Rest of post = 290 words. Second largest paragraph in the entire post = 82 words.

And to help you out with the "intent" of the rest of the post - because you truly do have reading comprehension problems, I'm not lying - Paragraph one's topic: "the Cubs do not need Curt Schilling."

Paragraph two's topic: The Cubs are already well-built and do not need to add on any other arms.

Paragraph three's topic: Fairly late into Spring, Schilling voices an interest in playing for the Cubs although he says he's only barely committed to playing in 2009. Cubs fans are interested nevertheless, because he's a "big game pitcher" with lots of wins.

Paragraph four's topic: Past performance is not indicative of future success.

Paragraph five's topic: If Schilling is willing to sign a contract which makes no promise of actual play time and which may in fact end in his release, then that's okay with me. But giving him a guaranteed roster spot is not okay with me.

Does that clear things up for you a little?

Once again...

if computer projections were all that mattered, they could just play the games on the computer, and we wouldn't need to show up at the park.

I'm not sure how in God's name these projections could possibly project these kind of statistics for a 42 year old man who hasn't pitched in a year, but I am not here to question projections. I am here to urge you all, to take a step away from the computer, and look at the real world, as it truly exists, outside in the fresh air.

In the fresh air you will see that Curt Schilling is as subtle as a jackhammer when it comes to how he relates to his teammates. Which is OK when you're the ace of the staff. If, say, Jake Peavy or Roy Halladay wanted to come in here and spout his right-wing bullshit all over the place, that would be a fair trade for the on-field contribution.

In his best days, Schilling was never a staff ace. In 2001 he toiled behind the Big Unit. In 2004 he toiled behind Pedro. In 2007, behind Beckett. These aren't his best days. And even if they were, we don't need another guy who compares favorably to Zambrano. We need a Staff Ace. We don't need to bring in any other type of starter to this staff. We have a '2', we have a '3', we have a '4', we have several '5's.

We need an Ace. Schilling ain't it, and what he CAN bring isn't worth the baggage he brings in trade.

"I am here to urge you all,

"I am here to urge you all, to take a step away from the computer, and look at the real world, as it truly exists, outside in the fresh air."

It's way too late for that, Rob. I get the feeling that some people would take a flying leap off a skyscraper if the computer projections told them it'd be okay.

Yeah, and i get the feeling

Yeah, and i get the feeling some of you'd jump off a building if you saw a guy do it in a movie. So jump off of it for sound reasons or jump off because you saw it in a movie? Pretty easy choice.

Let's see: computer or

Let's see: computer or opinions like Rob? Yeah, that's easy. Sorry, Rob, but I'll keep my head in the computer while you sit on your Cubs couch in front of all of your Cubs merchandise that you've spent thousands of dollars on and then sit here an complain about them not putting a good team on the field in your life. I wonder why. When they can sell all that crap to people like you, why even bother signing a good player? You're the problem. Not the solution. Deal with it.

Thank you again for telling

Thank you again for telling us what kind of fans we should be and which kinds are not allowed. I wish you the best of luck in your quest to cleanse the world of all the wrong-thinking people out there who are passionate to the point of being "the problem." Hopefully it doesn't carry into Canada because I also would be a victim to your final solution, but I do appreciate your consistent reminders that we are doing it wrong.


I'd love to see Schilling in Cubbie blue IF he can contribute. I think your suggestion to bring him along to be ready in June (or later) if needed is a great one. Though, Schilling appears to have quite an ego and may not go for such a plan.

Circle Jerk

First off, Kurt and Maddog, nobody wants to read either of your blogs when all you guys do is bitch like little school girls. Kurt you have your blog write whatever the f*** you want to. Maddog you have your blog write whatever the f*** you want to. People write on blogs because they have OPINIONS, everybody is entitled to their own. As a reader of both blogs, I do not read the comments becuase of crap like this. I want to hear the opinions of cubs fans regarding the post, not a "piss off" "no, you piss off" "no, you piss off". This is first grade, grow up both of you.

Regarding Curt Schilling, I do not EVER want him in a Cubs uni, heres why, and it has nothing to do with stats, FIP, ERA+ or any other statistical analysis. He is a jerk, loudmouthed, self rightous (sp) jerk. He spouts off on his blog or to anyone with a mic and he throws his crap around like he is the sheeet. I do not want him as a CUB for that reason alone.

I absolutely agree with you.

I absolutely agree with you. I have zero interest in a pissing match with Maddog - or anybody - but I can't stop him from continuing to act the way he is. It's not fun nor is it funny, but it's an unfortunate part of communicating on the internet.

Ignore him!

Why not just ignore the guy? If you don't respond, where does the pissing match go to?
Once again, I feel inclined to write a reader post describing the differences between opinion and analysis. Problem is, the people who need the message the most won't heed it. Oh, well.

No worries there. I

No worries there. I honestly can't even bring myself to read his responses. I skimmed the last one ... seems like more self-righteous patter.


This post is hilarious. I'm exactly the guy to read this. I heard Schilling, thought "H3ll yeah!", bloody sock is just what we need! And then read Kurts post (and with some humor) was reminded, he's old. The Maddog (he really is mad) reasoned with me numberically (I had to look up FIP, also found out about Feline Infectious Peritonitis!) And I was back to bloody sock. But yes you guys are arguing over a roster spot or not, and not understanding all the numbers, I'd say no to the roster spot, but yes to a minor league contract.

As a new member to the site, I find this post hilarious. I don't know who any of you are, but here's my analysis:

Kurt: The big brother who can beat you up
Maddog: The little brother who can smarts you up
ajwalsh: Middle child
Rob: Nice guy
Logethan: The elementary school psychologist
SWAGer: Big brother's level headed friend
cgalik: some guy on the playground about to get punched for cracking up

I bet Kurt can piss farther, but Maddog can piss wider. Settled.

Please continue the arguing, as that is the best part of blogs!

nice work

The pissing match analysis was quite amusing. Thanks.
Funny thing is, I think Kurt is spot on regarding Schilling. There's no place for him on this team. And there's no tool for projecting his value given his recent past. The most amusing part of the whole debate is that the guy won't be playing this year. (By the way, that's a prediction based upon my opinion and is NOT based upon any analysis.) Mark my words.

I don't know what FIPs is, I don't know who CAIRO and CHONE are

What I do know is Curt Schilling is a 42 year old douchebag with a bad arm. I'm not a betting man, but I am willing to bet that (should he catch on somewhere and actually pitch) Schilling won't out-perform our 5th starter, whomever it may be.

So whaddya say, Maddog? Put your money where your mouth is...or did Schilling's junk beat me to it?

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