Author: Craig Calcaterra

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Must-click link: Curt Schilling says “I brought all of this on myself”


Curt Schilling could’ve died from cancer and all of the attendant complications. He lost $50 million of his own money, cost the State of Rhode Island even more and messed up the lives of all of the employees of his video game company. And he doesn’t want an ounce of sympathy from anyone:

“I brought this on myself,” Schilling said in a lengthy interview in Kansas City earlier this week. “For the last two years I’ve had to stand in front of my wife and kids and explain to them, ‘I lost $50 million and my company went bankrupt, and it was all my fault.’

“Then I had to stand in front of them and tell them, ‘I have cancer because I dipped.’

Those comments come in the course of this article from Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston, which explains just how bad Schilling’s cancer diagnosis and treatment was. Many aspects of it, including the cancer itself, infections, and depression which required hospitalization, could’ve killed him. It’s amazingly harrowing stuff, involving excruciating pain, feeding tubes and hallucinations. To this day, even though he’s on the mend, he can’t eat in public because he can’t swallow properly. He mostly consumes Ensure and Boost because he can ingest it quickly.

Maybe the craziest part is what Schilling says about smokeless tobacco, which is what caused his cancer:

He does not plan to canvass the country serving as a cautionary tale of the dangers of smokeless tobacco. That, he feels, would be hypocritical.

“I still want the stuff,” Schilling said. “Right now. But the beautiful thing for me is my salivary glands have been destroyed by the radiation, so I can’t. I’ve wanted to dip a couple of times, but I literally can’t.”

Take some time out and read this story today.


Friedman: Mattingly will manage the Dodgers in 2015

Joe Maddon Getty

Andrew Friedman looks to put the kibosh any silly speculation immediately:

Of course, my silly speculation allows for Mattingly to manage the Dodgers in 2015, so . . .

OK, fine. It’s kind of crazy. And people who know more about such things than me, like Ken Rosenthal, say that Chicago is a more likely destination. Which would be sort of awkward too given that their manager, Rick Renteria, has only had the job for a year and experienced what I think most people would say is progress and success, given the circumstances.

Maddon’s agent said he’ll manage in 2015. So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. And maybe speculate and spitball a bit.

UPDATE: Friedman has expanded on his comments, issuing an official statement:

Tweet of the Day: Chris Archer channels Chris Rock regarding Joe Maddon’s opt-out

Chris Archer

Chris Rock once said this about marital infidelity. Chris Archer says it about Joe Maddon:


And he’s not wrong. We talk about loyalty in sports, but it’s a pretty silly concept when everyone is getting paid to do this stuff and can be fired or released on a moment’s notice. It’s a business. And to be clear, Archer is not bitter. He said this afterwards:

Crazy theory: Joe Maddon as the Dodgers general manager?

Joe Maddon

This is all just me messing around in my own head, not anything that is based on rumors, reports or anything real. But it just occurred to me that Joe Maddon becoming the Dodgers next general manager might make a lot of sense.

Many people have speculated that Maddon would follow Andrew Friedman from Tampa Bay to Los Angeles and become the Dodgers next manager. But just recently Friedman said he was committed to Don Mattingly. Maddon, for his part, is saying he has no interest in the Dodgers job. Now, sure, take that with a grain of salt because a week ago he said he had no interest in leaving Tampa Bay, but what if he’s being honest and he has bigger things in mind?

If Friedman were to name Maddon his GM, he accomplishes a couple of things. First, he has a trusted lieutenant in the organization. Second, he has a ready replacement for Don Mattingly waiting in the wings if the Dodgers falter in 2015. Heck, it’s a pretty convenient setup, actually, in that it gives Friedman cover to mess with and re-tool the Dodgers over the next year with the focus remaining on Mattingly. If and when the Dodgers struggle in 2015, Mattingly is canned and Maddon takes over amid talk about how a change in tone was needed.

As for the mechanics, no, Maddon is not exactly like the modern general managers in the game, especially those in more analytically-minded organizations. He’s a baseball guy, not an MBA or numbers guy. But he has played well with Friedman, obviously, and it’s not like Friedman and his staff won’t be hands-on when it comes to the baseball operations things with which Maddon has less experience. Maddon can be the general “change the philosophy of the organization” guy. That’s pretty much his jam anyway. He’s like Phil Jackson in that way, for better or worse.

The wrinkle, of course, is that it’s a pretty crummy way to treat Don Mattingly. Who, if such a thing came to pass, may not stand for it anyway and might just quit. Alternatively, the 2015 Dodgers may win a lot of games anyway, in which case moving Mattingly may be a tough trick. But then again, winning is the whole point, and Maddon would be a pretty well-paid GM who, if he missed managing, could always go someplace else to do it again eventually.

Call it a Bobby Cox move. Call it a Greg Poppovich. But way weirder and unexpected things have happened in the past. Heck, Maddon opting out of his deal with the Rays is one of them.