Indians starter Trevor Bauer‘s stitched-up pinky began bleeding profusely in the first inning of ALCS Game 3 on Monday evening, forcing him out of the game much earlier than anticipated. The bloody hand naturally made people recall Curt Schilling, who famously pitched with a “bloody sock” in the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees.
Schilling, however, urged his Twitter followers not to make such a comparison. He wrote, “Please don’t tweet at me about Bauer. He cost himself a start, likely more, AND his teammates, and fans, [messing] around with a drone. #stupid”
Schilling, who had a torn tendon sheath when he pitched in the ’04 ALCS, is most remembered for his performance in Game 6 against the Yankees as he tossed seven high-quality innings to help the Red Sox force a Game 7 which they would eventually win to advance to the World Series.
Schilling also started Game 1 and he got torched for six runs over three innings in a game the Red Sox lost 10-7. All things considered, Schilling cost his team a game trying to pitch through an injury.
Of course, that wasn’t Schilling’s only complaint. The six-time All-Star blamed Bauer’s injury on stupidity because he was repairing his drone. Schilling suffered his injury playing the game, not pursuing a hobby. The argument that players should be castigated for getting injured doing something as a hobby is a slippery slope because we start making arbitrary judgments about what’s an acceptable hobby and what’s not. Riding motorcycles? Playing with your kids? Playing recreational basketball? Athletes have gotten injured doing all of these off-the-clock activities but some we view as more legitimate than others for only subjective reasons.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Schilling’s criticism is unfounded. At best it’s unfair to Bauer, and at worst it’s hypocritical.