Curt Schilling, August 21, 2012:
Schilling tweeted that “if the state loses money it’s because the Governor is a dunce of epic proportions, nothing I can do about that.” In follow-up tweets on Monday, Schilling also called the governor a “buffoon” and called the prospect of him getting re-elected in 2014 “terrifying.”
Lincoln Chafee, November 1, 2012:
Governor Lincoln Chafee used a video message today to announce litigation by the state over the failure of 38 Studios. The defendants named in the state’s action include Curt Schilling and former EDC director Keith Stokes.
Curt Schilling, November 2, 2012:
Schilling says he believes he’s being sued in part because of critical comments he made about Gov. Lincoln Chafee. He also says he might file his own lawsuit.
I actually kinda doubt that the lawsuit decision had anything to do with Schilling’s August comments. I did litigation for the State of Ohio for close to a year, and it just doesn’t work like that. Filing suit against anyone is a big pain in the butt, no one really wants to do it unless they have to and, if anything, it’s a decision made by 30 people below the governor who wouldn’t pay a lick of attention to dumb comments like Schilling’s in order to pull the lawsuit trigger in the first place.
But part of me does want to believe that those comments brought it all down. Because that would be too awesome for words.
To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.
So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”
When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.
Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.