Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Curt Schilling has had an unhinged 24 hours


Donald Trump is in hot water for any number of things this week, but one of those things are comments he made about girls back in the day. Once, in the early 1990s, he attended a youth choir concert and asked two of the girls in the choir how old they were. When they said they were 14, Trump said, “Wow! Just think — in a couple of years, I’ll be dating you.” Around that same time, CBS News reports, he was recorded in an “Entertainment Tonight” segment talking about a 10-year-old girl, saying “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?” The dirty old man schtick may not have raised too many eyebrows back in the day but it’s obviously not going over too well now that Trump is a presidential candidate.

For reasons known only to them, yesterday Fox Business Network brought on Curt Schilling to comment on all of this. Schilling, not surprisingly, defended Trump, going all-in with the notion that it’s totally normal to see underage girls and to form opinions about their sexual attractiveness:

Here’s the video of his appearance:

The key passage: “I’ve seen my daughters friends, I’m a man, ‘Wow, she’s a beautiful young lady.’ I don’t immediately jump to molesting her.” Then he tweeted this:


It’s probably worth noting at this point that last year Schilling went after a couple of guys who said crude and threatening things about his daughter on social media, leading to them getting fired from their jobs. Those guys went way beyond anything Trump or Schilling said, of course, but in light of Schilling’s vehement (and righteous) response to that, it’s somewhat surprising to see him finding all kinds of nuance on the topic of what is or what is not OK to say about another person’s underage daughter.

But wait, there’s more!

This morning Schilling was on WEEI radio and got into it with Boston Herald columnist John Tomase, who was on the show and who was critical of Schilling and Trump’s comments. Schilling called Tomase a “f***ing coward” and “a piece of garbage.” When Tomase called Schilling “unhinged,” Schilling replied, “When people like you think I’m unhinged, I’m doing something right because you’re what’s wrong with this country.” You can hear all of that here.

In other news, Schilling still says he’s running for office in 2018 or 2020. So we have that to look forward to.


Keith Law: Tim Tebow’s presence in the Arizona Fall League is “a farce”

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Tim Tebow is playing in the Arizona Fall League. ESPN’s Keith Law is in Arizona and focused his scouting eye on Tebow this week. The results are not pretty.

In his ESPN Insider column today Law eviscerates Tebow-the-baseball player, calling him “an imposter pretending to have talent he does not possess.” Law says that Tebow’s bat speed is terrible, his foot speed is terrible and his routes to baseballs in the outfield are terrible. Law says “there’s absolutely no baseball justification for Tebow to be here.” He then lays into the Mets and Major League Baseball for craven opportunism for Tebow’s presence when, absent his fame, he’d be nowhere near the AFL, which normally caters to top prospects and organizational talent which at least has the pretense of a baseball future.

I’ve noted that, in many respects, ESPN has itself been craven in the promotion of Tebow’s baseball aspirations. He’s an ESPN employee, after all, and the further he goes in baseball the better chance there is for ESPN to promote its talent and, perhaps, turn this whole baseball business into some shoulder programing in the form of a documentary or extended feature of some type. It’s good to see that at least one ESPN employee — one who knows a thing or three about prospects — isn’t having any of it.

Playoff Reset: Blue Jays vs. Indians ALCS Game 1


The Game: Toronto Blue Jays @ Cleveland Indians, ALCS Game 1
The Time: 8:00 PM EDT
The Place: Progressive Field, Cleveland
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: Marco Estrada (Blue Jays) vs. Corey Kluber (Indians)

The Upshot:

Neither of these teams are supposed to even be here, right? The Red Sox and Rangers were favored in each of the Division Series, after all, yet they were swept home in three games a piece. That’ll show you what being favored in the postseason is worth. A five-game series defies prediction. A seven-game series is not much better in that regard. We’re all just watching.

Tonight we’ll be watching Indians ace Corey Kluber (18-9 3.14 ERA) and coming off of a three-hit, seven shutout inning performance against the Red Sox on Game 2. His early season was uneven but he put himself in Cy Young contention in the second half and seems to be hitting on all cylinders now. He’ll have to be against the Blue Jays, against whom he has struggled in his career. He faced them once this year and gave up five runs in less than four innings. The Jays won that game 17-1. In five career starts against the Blue Jays Kluber is 1-3 with a 5.34 ERA.

The Jays will start Marco Estrada (9-9, 3.48 ERA) who is coming off of a Game 1 in the Division Series against the Rangers having allowed one run on four hits in eight and a third. In one start against Cleveland this year Estrada pitched five innings, allowing three runs on four hits but picking up the win all the same.

As for the generalities of the series: I’ve seen a lot of casual mention of this being a battle of the pitching-first Indians against the bashing Blue Jays, but that’s . . . not really accurate. Toronto allowed the fewest runs per game in the American League this year: 4.11. That was better than the Indians 4.20. Meanwhile, the Indians scored 4.83 runs per game this year, second in the AL. The Jays were fifth at 4.69 runs per game. The Jays can pitch and pick it just as much as they can bash. The Indians can score runs. Beyond that, the Indians have the home field advantage and they played very well at home this year. The teams faced off a convenient seven times this year — four times in Toronto, three times in Cleveland — and the Indians won four of seven.

This series is as evenly-matched as it comes and it defies the stereotypes these two teams earned over the course of the past couple of seasons. Moreover, as we’ve seen in the past week, the usual matchup calculus won’t necessarily matter, as Terry Francona has gone completely nuts (in a good way!) with his bullpen management. Andrew Miller may pitch one or three innings, at basically any time in the game. The save, the setup man and the closer are amusing concepts to Francona this postseason. As such, each game promises to hold surprises. It wouldn’t shock me a bit if this thing goes seven games and if, along the way, three guys’ arms fall off.

Buckle up.