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Schilling's Hall Pursuit, Jason Taylor's Fat Wallet, and Here Come the Jets

By Patriots Blog Writer Doug Cutler Jr.
3/26/09


First, one final word about Curt Schilling

As soon as the sports world heard the news that Curt Schilling was retiring from baseball, the inevitable debate over his Hall of Fame credentials was put into play. It seems as though there is a 50/50 split on whether he has the statistical moxie to pull off this one last pursuit.

The two most popular arguments against Curt’s enshrinement are that his 216 wins are far fewer than many pitchers already overlooked for the Hall, and that he was never a singularly dominant pitcher for any stretch of time during his career. There’s no denying that Schilling’s 216 regular season wins are a couple sock lengths away from what anyone would call “immortal,” however there is much more to a career than regular season win totals. As far as the second point is concerned, what authority ever proclaimed that only regular season dominance could be considered for entrance into the Hall?

Let’s compare Schilling’s post season accomplishments with three of his most competitive contemporaries. The first is disgraced flamethrower Roger Clemens, the second is enigmatic hurler Pedro Martinez, and the third is The Keeper of the Mullet Mr. Randy Johnson.

Below are six post season statistical categories. Examine and chew on them for a few minutes.

Record:

Schilling 11-2 (.846) Clemens 12-8 (.600) Martinez 6-2 (.750) Johnson 7-9 (.438)

SO per inning:

Schilling (.90) Clemens (.87) Martinez (.99) Johnson (1.09)

Hits per inning:

Schilling (.86) Clemens (1.0) Martinez (.80) Johnson (.88)

ERA:

Schilling (2.23) Clemens (3.75) Martinez (3.40) Johnson (3.50)

Team winning percentage per appearance:

Schilling (.579) Clemens (.343) Martinez (.462) Johnson (.368)

Complete games:

Schilling (4) Clemens (1) Martinez (0) Johnson (3)

Championships won:

Schilling (3) Clemens (2) Martinez (1) Johnson (1)

After compiling this list of post season accomplishments, I was surprised by the disparity between Schilling and the other three pitchers, particularly Roger Clemens. For all the pre-steroid hoopla surrounding him, Clemens wasn’t anything more than a “good” pitcher when it counted most. For his part, Martinez bested Schilling in a couple categories, but not in the most important ones. Johnson, on the other hand, tended to either be astonishingly good or unbelievably awful during his post season performances.

What this comparison suggests is this: Schilling was a giant amongst giants when the stakes were the highest.

Shouldn’t that be a huge part of the debate?



More “Old Guy Seeks to Join Patriots” News

If you haven’t heard, scuttlebutt is that Jason Taylor, who will be 35 on opening day in September, might join the New England Patriots this off season. Should he sign, he will add to the average age of the already long in the tooth Patriot defense. This is a move that desperately needs to be politely shown the door due to it being about three or four years too late.

NFL players like Taylor need to get their priorities straight before they go looking for opportunities to win titles in the twilights of their careers. All too often, they make their decision early on to chase the big dollars instead of the big rings. Only when it dawns on them that their cash cow can’t quite produce the same amount of milk anymore do they seek to sign with contenders in one last ditch attempt to pad something other than their checkbooks.

Sorry, Mr. Taylor. Perhaps you’d have a championship by now if you had made that a priority a few years ago instead of just settling for the money.

Enjoy your wealth in retirement, sir.



Don’t Look Now, But I Think We Are Being Followed

A few months ago I wrote that the New York Jets had too many holes to fill to be serious contenders for the division title. My, my, my, how things can change in just a short amount of time. Not only did the Jets bolster their defense with key pickups such as CB Lito Sheppard and LB Bart Scott, but they appear to be in the driver’s seat to win the Jay Cutler Sweepstakes this spring. If they manage to land him, the Jets will unquestionably be the most dangerous and formidable team in the rear view mirror of the Patriots in 2009.

Funny how the AFC East has turned into a destination spot for talent these days, no?



My Draft Prediction

I am going to stick with this prediction right up until I am proven wrong. I still say Bill Belichick & Co. will trade two of their second round picks for a mid’ to late first round selection. That would give them two first round picks and one second. Still not a bad haul.



Answer to Last Week’s Question:

As a reader answered already, the answer is indeed Bill Parcells and Chris Slade.

Question of the Week:

On his way to registering three sacks in Super Bowl XXXI, the late great Reggie White ravaged a certain Patriots offensive lineman. Who was that lineman and what position did he play on the line?

(Answer will be provided next week)

1 comment:

  1. Max Lane............? So I think I here that Jayson Taylor wants to be a dolphin again...Hmm, we'll see though. Curt....He came, he did, and he conquered!!! The Jet's should be alright without Cutler now that he's a Bear, but I'm sure he would have helped.

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