Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Sleeping with the Enemy
2007-03-22 10:22
by Alex Belth

I interviewed Curt Schilling last weekend. Our conversation is now up at We spoke about his new blog, 38 Pitches, which I think is particularly interesting when Schilling breaks down his pitching performances. Check it out.

2007-03-22 11:23:10
1.   williamnyy23
Great interview. I've been reading Schilling's blog and have enjoyed a lot of it. The only problem with it is Schilling comes across as a pretty cool guy, which doesn't help me with the general dislike I prefer to have for Red Sox players.
2007-03-22 11:38:28
2.   thelarmis
1 ditto. i just read the whole interview - great job, as always, alex - and was upset that there was no real reason to shake fists and curse Scurt. he really did come across as a cool guy...
2007-03-22 11:44:29
3.   Jim Dean
Great stuff, Alex.
2007-03-22 11:44:39
4.   joejoejoe
I want to see Schilling him post on Bronx Banter after a start against the Yankees this summer. Hopefully something like 'I couldn't locate today and paid a stiff price when Cairo took me deep. Hughes looked like a skinny me back in the day. He deserved the win.'
2007-03-22 11:50:13
5.   rbj
4 You forgot "And yeah, I was kinda rooting for one of our guys to bunt his way on and break up the perfect game -- just like it happened to me."
2007-03-22 12:05:15
6.   vockins
Good interview. Interesting blog.

I still hate him.

2007-03-22 12:14:58
7.   Knuckles
The proprietor of my favorite website interviewing one of my least favorite athletes ever?!?!

"Worlds collide Jerry! The worlds are colliding!"

2007-03-22 12:21:14
8.   Schteeve
We'd love that guy if he was a Yankee.
2007-03-22 12:28:21
9.   Alex Belth
Schilling just put up a post...evidentally, the Sox have decided to return Paplebon to the closer role.
2007-03-22 12:50:10
10.   Dimelo
I wouldn't love Curt if he were a Yankee, the guy is a big shill (no pun) for the republican party and the right wing religious nut jobs. No thanks!!!

Alex should have asked him why the lord was with him and not the Yankees in game 6 of the '04 ALCS, I thought that was one of the many dumb ass comments made by him. It obviously had nothing to do with the doctor. Ugh...religion, sports, and politics don't mix. I'll shut-up now.

Curt has a way of getting me all fired up.

2007-03-22 12:51:23
11.   Shaun P
Great interview, Alex! I don't much care for Schilling, but I respect his abilities as a ballplayer, and I do admire the work he's done in terms of ALS charities and skin cancer awareness as well. I haven't read his blog, but I bet its a very good read.
2007-03-22 13:02:29
12.   thelarmis
alex, i know it wasn't in the interview, but did you mention you run Bronx Banter to Scurt? i wonder if he knows about us here.

reds just tied us at 7 in the 8th...

2007-03-22 13:10:57
13.   yankz
Schilling deleted the comment I left on his blog. I may or may not have mentioned my skepticism for his "bloody" sock.
2007-03-22 13:18:56
14.   thelarmis
nice work yankz! yeah, i'm not convinced about the bloody sock incident myself.

8 no, i would not want him on the yankees. ever.

yanks lose 8-7 in the last of the 9th...

2007-03-22 13:20:05
15.   thelarmis
btw, it's 80 and beautiful here in hotlanta. but i head to NYC tomorrow. no time to talk to my fam - is it still icy/snowy/cold up there, or is it warming up? thanks guys...
2007-03-22 13:20:10
16.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Ugh Villone. Please don't break camp with this guy on the major league team. Torre's abuse the first half of last season has turned his arm into a Damon-esque noodle. He sucked at the end of last season; he sux now.

Poor Colter Bean. If only he had the belly full of guts that Villone has. If only he was one of Joe's guys then he too could have 4 months of glory before Torre blows his arm out.

2007-03-22 13:27:48
17.   Jim Rice
"We'd love that guy if he was a Yankee."

I can only speak for myself, of course, but as a Sox fan, I definitely have a love/hate attitude toward Schilling-- well, not "hate," that's too strong. But obviously he's got a pretty big mouth, plus he campaigned for Bush, which I didn't love. On the other hand, though, in addition to what he's done for my favorite team, what he does in terms of speaking directly to the fans-- and not just Bull Durham-type material, but actually breaking down his starts and such, as Alex points out-- is pretty amazing, and, as far as I know, unprecedented. And then there's the ALS stuff as well, which someone else mentioned.

2007-03-22 13:28:10
18.   yankz
15 It's warming up. Almost 60 today I believe, in Lower Manhattan. I was walking around in a t-shirt.

I will forever love hotlanta. The weather is amazing down south.

2007-03-22 13:31:08
19.   pistolpete
17 "And then there's the ALS stuff as well, which someone else mentioned."

Damn I hope they cure ALS before he retires, just so I can go back to hating him the full 100% and not just 99.8%.


2007-03-22 13:40:08
20.   thelarmis
nice, thanking you, yankz! it'll be good to be 'home' again, at least for a long weekend...

atlanta really is a wonderful city. i've lived here for over a decade now...

2007-03-22 13:53:14
21.   Alex Belth
I did tell Schilling about Bronx Banter but I don't think he's ever been round these parts...
2007-03-22 13:59:13
22.   yankz
Steve Lombardi has a link to a video interview with Jeter over at WasWatching. Does anyone handle an interview better than this guy?
2007-03-22 14:04:16
23.   nemecizer
The Sawx announced the Papelbon is gonig to convert to closer. Papsmear said his goal is to close for the rest of his career and "be like Mariano Rivera".

Leaving the quote aside, does this filling a big hold in the Sox worry anyone besides me?

2007-03-22 14:05:22
24.   nemecizer
I raellly kneed to wurk on my typping andd spilling.
2007-03-22 14:05:36
25.   Dimelo
22 Yeah. Have you heard of a guy named Alex Rodriguez? He's a magician when the mic is in front of his face.
2007-03-22 14:14:40
26.   Start Spreading the News
Alex or the other powers that be,

You should consider adding Shilling's blog to the sidebar with the other Sox bloggers.

2007-03-22 14:19:18
27.   Shaun P
23 I'm not worried. Like I said in the last thread, for 6 months, it was "Papelbon needs to start to make his shoulder issues go away". Guess the Sox decided to toss that out the window. And, it opens a hole in their rotation. Lester is not ready to come back, and I for one would welcome Matt Clement back with open arms.

22 Speaking of Steve L., Rob Neyer's blog linked to WasWatching today, in a very nice post about Colter Bean. If you're reading this Steve - congrats!

2007-03-22 14:42:03
28.   Zack
I'm not worried about papelbon either. Starters are more important than closers. They are going to have to baby Papelbon all season, but even if he converts 40 of 40 save chances without giving up a run all season long, it won't make a difference if the guy who takes his rotation spot stinks...
2007-03-22 14:49:33
29.   rabid stan
28 It won't solve their problems in middle relief either, since considering his shoulder he'll be strictly for one-inning use.
2007-03-22 14:53:42
30.   Peter
21 I'm sure he'll check in soon enough if he hasn't done so already. Hello, Curt.
2007-03-22 15:34:31
31.   mikeplugh
Great interview Alex.

I must admit, when I clicked the link to SI I was ready to roll my eyes and mouth a few profanities, but Schill was a good interview. I agree with just about everything he said, and it's amazing the degree to which he gets it.

The moment I knew he was "one of us" was when he started to talk about BP and Murray Chass. Only "one of us" would remotely understand that reference, I think. It's easy to forget in this little cyber-world that there are millions and millions of people that know absolutely nothing about blogs. They know and maybe and whatever their Google or Yahoo home pages spit out at them in the morning.

I've been over to his blog and I think it's typically self-indulgent Schilling sometimes, but then again so are all the other blogs in the world. In one way we provide angles and news that cuts through the world of tabloid journalism and sound bytes. In another way blogs are incredibly narcissistic. Either way most blogs make compelling reading when written thoughtfully, and I suppose his fits that category in many ways.

Nice job bro.

2007-03-22 15:36:56
32.   mikeplugh
By the way, I'll be running a blog for the SABR Asian Baseball Committee in the near future. (Yes, for the love of God another one.) If I can do it well, it will be the best place for one stop shopping on baseball in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China. It will depend heavily on the other SIG members and their willingness to contribute material, but it could be great. More soon....
2007-03-22 15:50:24
33.   vockins
This isn't really on topic at all, but does anyone have any suggestions for my fantasy draft tomorrow? More specifically, if the minimum IP/week is 7 innings, should I change my draft order at all to reflect that or leave it? Pitching stats are W, SV, ERA, AVG, SB, and WHIP.

I ran the league parameters through the BP Player Forecast Manager, and I got a crapload of starters back. When I say crap load, I mean it looks like I'll be getting my first position player around round five if I follow their suggestions.

2007-03-22 16:43:28
34.   OldYanksFan
Shrill is a bit of a big mouth and attention monger, but these are not horrible traits. Its fun and easy to pick on him, but I dont think he's a bad guy (but I don't want him on our team.

I've been to his site. I felt like I was sneaking into enemy camp. It was pretty cool, and there were a few RSN fans begging him to shut his trap.

From the:
It's been Slow and I Want to Start a Good Argument Dept: (from BP)

"Pedroia/Clippard Award: Named after Red Sox infielder Dustin and Yankees righthander Tyler, this is the one player who fans of that team tend to overrate by going on statistics alone."

(oh, now stats are bad)
Many of us Yanks fans think Clippard is UNDERrated. Do we have rose-colored glasses on?

2007-03-22 18:33:25
35.   e double trouble
Yo Alex
Great interview
As always
E dub
2007-03-22 18:47:08
36.   Shaun P
33 I think the PFM is a good tool. But, because its based on PECOTA, and PECOTA is very conservative on pitcher stats, the PFM tends to treat the best of the best starters as way too valuable.

I tweak the settings (say by playing with the budget, even though I don't do auction drafts), so that the top 10 guys are the best 9 hitters and Santana. Then I do what it says. =)

My feeling in fantasy is that you can always cobble together a good pitching staff, so I'd focus more on hitters.

2007-03-22 18:58:53
37.   brockdc
Nice work Alex, para siempre.

8 Wrong. I root for most of the pinstriped laundry but draw the line at guys like Mondesi and Schilling. Also, rooting for Clemens was never easy for me.

I admit that most of my personality assessments of these guys are highly subjective and almost completely based on newspaper articles and media sound bytes, but it's tough to give a mulligan to a guy who campaigned for Bush's second term AND plays for the Sox AND talks smack about the Yankees.

2007-03-22 19:00:45
38.   Knuckles
You have SB against as a pitching stat? Wow.
Do you have the same # of pitching and hitting stats? If you inadvertently had less batting categories that could screw things up.

I agree w/ Shaun P- up the $ allocated to hitters until you're more comfortable w the outcome.

My draft was last night with the following:
Pitchers: w, sv, k, era, whip. k:bb
Hitters: r, hr, rbi, sb, avg, ops

And Johan came in #1 on my PFM, Sheets 5, Peavy 14, BJ Ryan at 20.
I drafted first (of 12) and took Pujols, then got Peavy and Sheets, then BJ and K-Rod before I took another hitter. Risky, I know, but then I focused on value bats and waited a long while to take another hurler, content in having two good starters and 2 good save guys.

I'll stop boring people now...

2007-03-22 19:07:02
39.   yankz
38 That's a very unique strategy, especially given the injury history of your pitchers. Personally, I love taking as many 5x5 position players before pitchers. I took Soriano and Sizemore as my first two picks.

I'm not bored. I love talking fantasy strategy, etc. Personally, I trust kids a lot, and it pays off (Size and Howard last year were as money as it gets). I'm hoping Conor Jackson approaches the 1.010 OPS he put up in AAA.

2007-03-22 19:14:06
40.   Knuckles
I had Howard, Reyes, and Wright last year and watched them all go very high last night.

I'm an investment analyst, so playing w/ Excel comes naturally to me. After I DL'd the PFM, I put in a series of filters and calcs to determine relative weight/value at each position and overall. Choosing at #24/25 then at #48/49, the gaps to the position players I felt were worthwhile vs the pitchers was pretty great, so I stuck with the arms, then able to grab my (hopefully) 2007 versions of the above in Prince/Stephen Drew/Zimmerman & Gordon.

We'll see how things shake out, but having Pujols way up there helps bigtime.

2007-03-22 19:24:45
41.   yankz
40 Damn, your method is way more scientific than my "Read prospect sites + I just have a feeling" Although, it worked last year!

What exactly is the PFM, and can I DL it for free somewhere? I don't visit BP's site alot. I use alot, they have multiple projection systems organized for each player.

2007-03-22 19:54:05
42.   ChuckM
No, you can't download it for free anywhere, and it would be a disservice to the work those guys do if someone did put it up for free. I got the premium subscription last year and it was one of the best baseball investments I ever made. If you're just looking for fantasy stuff, go the cheaper route and get that subscription, but IMO, you'd be losing out. I enjoy everything about baseball, the fantasy leagues I do are just an extension of that...
2007-03-22 20:29:01
43.   yankz
42 I wasn't looking for anything illegal. They've had free articles, and I was hoping to get lucky.
2007-03-22 20:38:36
44.   ChuckM
I hear ya. Didn't mean to come down so harsh. But if you're in any $$ fantasy leagues, it's well worth the $40 for the premium sub. Hell, it's less than a 1/4 of what you'd pay for the paper every day for a year. The bonus is that it gives you a different perspective on the game itself. Some of which you may agree with, some of which you may not-but that's part of the beauty of baseball, no?
2007-03-22 20:47:40
45.   yankz
44 No problemo. I try to keep my baseball fandom as cheap as possible. Yankee tickets are expensive enough.
2007-03-22 21:45:37
46.   Zack
All this fantasy baseball talk reminded me that I was thinking it would be cool to do a BB fantasy league, wouldn't it? I mean, with the amount of time many of us spend reading and commenting here, it seems only natural...
2007-03-22 22:37:06
47.   brockdc
46 Count me in.
2007-03-22 22:38:18
48.   yankz
I'd be down, but man, that's a ton of smart fans for one league.
2007-03-23 04:08:40
49.   Shaun P
46 Oh sure, after I reveal my draft technique, then you mention we ought to do a league! =)

I'm just kidding. I'd take part, too.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.