Tony Massarotti of the Herald acts as though before yesterday, Curt Schilling had been unbeatable in every start of his long career. But now he may be an ace in name only and we will likely be suffering through the inevitable slide into mediocrity, and worse.
Schilling looked like a man who is 40 years old ... Schilling is at a crossroads and he knows it. ... Faced with the prospect of pitching for a contract [for 2008], we know how the Curt Schilling of old would have performed. Here's hoping that he is still that man.Over at the Globe, Nick Cafardo writes
there always will be panic when the ace, the World Series hero, pitches as though he doesn't have a clue.And can you guess which columnist typed the following?
The jokes began early ... Schilling had a finger cramp from blogging too much or his vision was off after hours on the laptop. ...
It's funny how Schilling drew rave reviews for his spring training work ... yet when the bell rang he laid an egg. It's one game and no biggie. Right?
... Worse than Arsenio Hall's first shot at late-night television. ... Blogmaster Schilling threw like a man suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome ... Meanwhile, Bill James-mandated shortstop Julio Lugo started his Red Sox reign in Renteria-esque fashion ... the Red Sox lineup was hardly the relentless run-producing machine that Theo and the Minions envisioned when they hovered over their computers during the wild-spending winter. ... no blog updates from Schill during the game, darn it ...I don't know about you, but I can hear the squeals of delight coming right off the page.
The Curly Haired One - oops! gave it away -- also wrote: "A few years ago, our print brethren over at Herald Square bannered a 'Wait 'Til Next Year' headline after an opener like this."
A few years ago? It was actually 30 years ago -- April 7, 1977, when relief pitcher Bill Campbell (who had signed a big free agent contract) blew the save in the 9th and the game in the 11th. (I guess Dan isn't so good at that new-fangled math; perhaps a Minion can tutor him in simple subtraction.)
Then he twists himself into knots, admitting that "one game in April means nothing in the scheme of a season" but it was still "somewhat shocking to see" the mighty Red Sox drop one game to the lowly Royals. (Because in baseball, the good teams beat the bad teams every. single. time. If you don't know that, you must be some basement-living geek paying rent to his mom.))
G38 himself did not have much good to say: "Inconsistent command and horrific execution cost us the game."
I am not worried. I'll bet you aren't either. And no matter how many times the media insists that we should panic, that a day off today allegedly "makes for another 24 hours of nonstop pummeling from Nation members on the edge", it doesn't make it true.
Gil Meche was glad it took Curt 33 pitches to get through the bottom of the first:
I came out in the first inning with too much adrenaline ... After Schilling had that long inning, it gave me time to relax. Then things seemed to go really well. If I had to go right back out there, who knows what would have happened in the second inning?Hideki Okajima became the seventh pitcher in big league history to allow a home run on his very first pitch. "I'm happy to join that team," he joked. "I was surprised ... Because he's never seen me as a pitcher, the first pitch, I thought he would take."