Craig Calcaterra

Former MLB player Curt Schilling talks with a reporter at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles, California June 9, 2011. REUTERS/David McNew

Curt Schilling is making up for lost time


A day after getting fired it appears that Curt Schilling is making up for lost time on social media. I don’t follow the guy on any platform, but the Daily News has been playing close attention and describe his “social media bender.” 

He’s been posting right wing memes and railing against political correctness and, in the usual ironic twist guys like Schilling often exhibit, is being highly, highly sensitive to criticism in that “me, mad? hahaha, no, I think this is funny, I’m actually laughing at this right now” kind of way which, in reality, masks some pretty decent outrage.

Best bit: he’s been mixing it up with Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy has been intellectual and respectful and is holding an actual debate. Schilling decided that he’d insult McCarthy by claiming that McCarthy’s “life goes on” stance was some sort of failure on par with his having “only” nine career complete games:

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So yeah, that’s all going well. Glad Schilling is keeping busy. And mature.

(Thanks to Josh for the heads up. Schilling blocks me so I didn’t see any of this)

Tyson Ross doesn’t need shoulder surgery

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Tyson Ross works against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of an interleague baseball game, Sunday, July 12, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Padres starter Tyson Ross will not require surgery on his right shoulder after an MRI revealed no structural damage.

There is not a public diagnosis yet, but Padres manager Andy Green said that Ross will be shut down for a couple weeks. Green referred to it as “non-surgical.”

Ross has made only one start this year and got shelled. Last year he was 10-12 with a 3.26 ERA in a league-leading 33 starts, striking out 212 but walking 84 in 196 innings.

Psychoanalyzing Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey

That stuff I wrote in the Tiger Woods post? About the folly of playing armchair psychologist to athletes? Don’t think for a moment that, just because it’s pointless, writers will stop doing it. They’ve always done it and always will.

One place where they do it all the time is New York. There are reasons for this. One is that there are a lot more reporters covering New York teams and they’re looking for fresh angles. The “he’s a winner” or “he’s a true Yankee” or “he’s a leader” or “he has feet of clay” angles are not always the first choice when it comes to writing about a player, but they’re often the fourth, seventh or tenth, and with so many column inches to fill guys who cover the Yankees and Mets have been doing this for years.

The latest to do it is Bob Klapisch and he does it for Matt Harvey today. He does so with reference to Noah Syndergaard who, at the moment, is a better pitcher. Syndergaard’s rising star is undeniable, but it’s hilarious how Klapisch uses that as a basis for not only praising Syndergaard but for burying Harvey and drawing all kinds of conclusions about his mindset and ego and insecurities. It’s ridiculous.

It takes a trained psychologist multiple intense sessions with a patient to draw even the most basic conclusions about what makes them tick, what bothers them what drives them and what causes them to fail or succeed. A sports columnist in New Jersey thinks he can get to the bottom of that kind of thing based on some radar gun readings, some line scores, some superficial clubhouse interactions and his hunches. Sure. That’s not idiotic or anything.

Video: this is why the Royals re-signed Alex Gordon

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Will the Royals get as much value out of their new contract with Alex Gordon than their last one? Kind of doubtful. Players age and they are often paid for their accomplishments than for their future, especially on winning teams.

But that’s not to say that they aren’t happy to have him around. Their pitchers are particularly happy, because Gordon is still the best left fielder in the game and he showed why on this play against the Tigers yesterday:

A Tiger Woods story shows us that we do not know athletes. At all.

FILE - In this April 10, 2005, file photo, Tiger Woods, right, gets help with his green jacket from Phil Mickelson, left, after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. The first tee on the opening day of the Masters might be the closest thing to a living, breathing interactive Hall of Fame exhibit in sports. Past Masters champions are invited to strike a ceremonial opening tee shot each year. Don't worry about a drop-off in quality anytime soon, either. Still in the pipeline are Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Mickelson and Woods.(AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)
Associated Press

I don’t watch golf. I don’t play golf. I don’t care about golf. When I’m being less mindful of the importance of the “don’t hate that other people like things you don’t” mindset, I have some less-than-great opinions about PEOPLE who are super into golf (I’m working on it; apologies). But yesterday Wright Thompson’s epic deep dive into the psyche of Tiger Woods was published at ESPN and it is the best story about a sports figure I’ve read in a long while.

The extraordinarily short version is that Tiger Woods is a messed up dude with issues about his late father and a fixation on all things military — specifically Navy SEALS — which shoved golf and everything else out of his head for years and may very well have caused the physical breakdown of his body which effectively ended his dominance as a golfer. Though, of course, the mental stuff may have ended it before that. Hard to say. Either way, it’s fascinating, not only for that, but because Thompson got Michael Jordan of all people to sit for an interview about Woods. Woods may have faded from the spotlight in recent years, but you’re a big deal when someone of Michael Jordan’s stature gives an interview that isn’t about him, but about YOU.

Though this isn’t a baseball story, I link it here because it informs a topic I talk about here a lot, and that’s the armchair psychology of athletes fans and reporters like to pursue. The stuff in which, the night of a game or the day after, fans and the media weigh-in on so-and-so’s character or makeup and try to draw conclusions about their mental state and drive and all of that because the guy hit a big homer or sank a key putt or thew a touchdown pass.

I’ve always hated that, but a story like Thompson’s shows us just how silly such a thing truly is. We have NO IDEA what makes these guys tick. The notion that we can tell anything significant about a guy’s character based on a game or match is comical. They have lives. WEIRD lives, as the Woods story shows. We attribute character to athletes based on their performance but a lot of the time — most of the time? — their performance is what happens despite their character or mental state, not because of it. They’re human beings, not repositories of our need to engage in hero-creation.

To be clear, Thompson is no psychologist himself and I’m not suggesting that he necessarily nails Woods here any better than a next-day column about him winning the Masters might’ve (Woods and his people didn’t talk to him). But his extensive reporting does reveal how totally blind those who wrote those next-day columns were to what was really going in in Woods’ life and in his head. All we knew when he was winning majors was what he was doing on the links and whatever else we could get from the tabloids. We didn’t know he was jumping out of airplanes, running miles in combat boots and having Navy SEALS literally shoot at him.

We love our athletes. We love what they do on the field, on the court, on the ice or on the links. But we don’t know them and can’t know them based on that alone. We should stop even bothering to try to do so in such a reflexive manner and, rather, presume that there is far more that we don’t know than that which we know.