Yesterday we heard Curt Schilling say that Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail somewhere,” and then we learned that ESPN was “addressing” the matter. What that means is unclear. In the past ESPN has looked the other way at some of Schilling’s controversial comments while punishing him for others.
Schilling himself, however, suspects that if ESPN does take any action over this that it will be his firing.
This is from his Facebook interaction with someone late last night, commenting on the story that ESPN was addressing the matter. I’ve not screen-capped the people with whom he was speaking because they’re not public people and their comments aren’t necessary to understand Schilling’s comments, but as of this moment you can see the entire conversation on Schilling’s public Facebook page:
The person to whom he was speaking then suggests that ESPN may suspend him for a period of perhaps 90 days. Schilling counters:
Schilling knows the dynamic between he and his employer better than anyone, it should be assumed. Maybe he’s being dramatic. Maybe he knows he’s on a short leash. I suppose we’ll soon know.
Either way, Schilling has said far worse things than offering his opinion that a leading presidential candidate should be dead and buried. One would assume, however, that at some point the issue with ESPN is not the specific thing that Schilling says but the cumulative nature of his controversial statements. No straw weighs particularly much, after all, but at some point one additional one breaks the camel’s back.
Former big league pitcher Jason Isringhausen was on MLB Network radio today and said that, in the minors if he and his teammates didn’t pitch nine innings, they “got a talking to.” He added that they didn’t watch pitch counts as much as they do today.
I haven’t heard the audio of it yet — that bit was tweeted out by the radio people — so I’m going to assume that it was a matter-of-fact statement rather than the cliched, judgmental “back in my day we were tougher” thing for which ex-ballplayers are notorious. I mean, we have to assume it was simply a statement of fact and, if anything, he was lamenting the way things were back in his day, right? Because if there is one single thing that defines Isringhausen’s experience coming up as a young pitcher it was devastating arm injuries to him and his Generation K brothers, Bill Pulsipher and Paul Wilson, who presumably had to go nine as well.
Pulsipher pitched 200 innings as a 21-year-old minor leaguer in 1994 and over 200 innings between the minors and the bigs in 1995. Then he tore his elbow ligaments to pieces. Paul Wilson pitched 186 in his last full year in the minors and then quickly succumbed to injuries. Isringhausen likewise had heavy usage in his last two years in the minors and broke down not too long after his big league debut. Unlike the other two he managed to have fairly lengthy big league career, but he ended up having two or three Tommy John surgeries too and his promise, like his fellow members of Generation K, was unfulfilled due to physical damage which may very well have been a product of overwork.
Bill James’s Historical Abstract had a running feature called “Old Ballplayers Never Die” in which he chronicled how, going all the way back to the 19th century, retired players lamented how the new generation was comprised of a bunch of coddled weaklings. It’s been 15 years since he updated it, but if he wanted to do I presume he’ll still have a lot of material with which to work.
Most of us first heard about Yoenis Cespedes‘ golf game last October when, to the chagrin of some in the media and some fans the media riled up, Cespedes decided to take in a round before a playoff game against the Cubs. The controversy, to the extent it even qualified as one, basically ended when the Mets got past the Cubs and moved on to the World Series.
Since then we’ve learned that Cespedes has a passion for golf and spends all of his free time on the links. Yesterday, as part of a video shoot for SNY, a couple of members of the media joined Yo on the course as he played nine holes with Jeff Wilpon. Marc Carig of Newsday was one of them and his story is a great read.
Warning: If you’re a long-struggling golfer, you may wish to skip it because it will only make your blood boil. See, Cespedes never picked up a club until 2014 and now regularly shoots no worse than the low 80s, often breaking that (he shot a 79 yesterday). Indeed, his first-ever round was the only time he shot over 100. Ballplayers probably get less credit for freakish athleticism than football or basketball players, but make no mistake: they’re not like you and me. Cespedes certainly isn’t.
Bonus fun: Cespedes’ 79 came despite the fact that he didn’t have his cigarettes with him. He smokes Marlboro reds out on the course and says they help him to relax. Because they were taping his first nine, however, he had to go without. His reaction to that: “Ay yai yai!”
But he soldiered on and played through it. Because he’s a ballplayer.