Schilling lashes out at La Russa on Rentgate
Schilling Lashes Out at La Russa
and Talks About Renteria's Struggles
"Edgar Renteria would be getting hit by batteries in Philadelphia by now, no question."
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis (Schilling) AP Photo (La Russa)
"Tony put Edgar in a very bad situation...
I thought he stuck him in a corner there."
On the fans getting on Edgar Renteria
Curt Schilling: I thought that a lot of this stems from the comments that Tony (La Russa) made last week that I think were absolutely totally inappropriate. I think Tony put Edgar in a very bad situation. …I love Tony La Russa, but I thought that he put Edgar in a very bad situation. For a player that he talks about caring about so much, I thought he stuck him in a corner there. I’m sure that could play a part of it (Glenn Ordway’s assertion that La Russa was still hurt that Renteria elected to go play in Boston). I would bet that he would probably say ‘no it didn’t’ but I would imagine that there was some of that there but I just thought it was a really bad situation to put Edgar in coming from a guy who talked about caring about the guy so much. You know, I laugh, I listen to Kevin (Millar), and that’s what makes Kevin such a beautiful guy and in a nutshell kind of describes what you have in this clubhouse. He lay in front of a train for his teammates and we would do the same for each other. It’s one of the things that make the dynamics of our clubhouse so great is that you care so much about what your teammates think about you that you push yourself to do some things or get through some things that maybe you normally wouldn’t in another market or in another or area with another group of guys. Edgar knows that every one of us… he’s gonna be that guy at the end of the year. He’s gonna hit .275. He’s gonna hit between 15 and 25 homers. He’s a gold glove, silver slugging All-Star shortstop. …I don’t either, I don’t either (agreeing with Glenn Ordway that people haven’t been harsh on Renteria).
Sean McAdam: Curt can you think of a guy either that you played with in Philadelphia or in Arizona who re-signed with a team or moved to that franchise as a free-agent who had the same problem out of the box, trying to justify the contract?
CS: There was a lot of times in Philadelphia uhh… Edgar Renteria would be getting hit by batteries in Philadelphia by now, no question. We get offended when our teammates get booed much more so than I think we get offended when we get booed because we can kind of deal with it ourselves but you’re never sure how your teammates are going to act and react from being booed. I promise you that nobody knows the situation more so than Edgar. And no one is trying harder to get out of that situation and it’s, I think a first probably real time that he’s struggled and the struggle, given what’s happened, it’s natural, it’s human. Again, I played against the guy for almost a decade in the national league, all the time that he was over there, 6-7 years. He is what he is. He’s a cream of the crop shortstop who’s had a bad 40 game stretch. …And add to the fact that there was a lot of magnification of the situation from the media and everybody in general coming in. He’s struggling, no question. Now all eyes are on him, every at-bat, every pitch. Everybody’s got an answer, everybody’s got a solution. Unfortunately for the most part none of those are going to work until Edgar gets over the hump himself. He knows that and we know that and we’re all okay with hit. The great thing about this though is that Theo has built a team to overcome one, two, three, four, five guys hurt or not meeting expectations, and we’ve done that.
Schilling needs a new pair of shoes
CS: (On his recovery and timetable for return) I don’t know. I don’t know, I’m out of the boot, so that’s a positive step. We’re taking it day by day. I’m in a situation now where my foot is weaker than it was when it got hurt because I’ve been in a boot for three weeks so we’re trying to strengthen it up and get function back into it and at the same time working our butts off to find a way to get somebody out there to build me a shoe that I can actually pitch in because there are issues now, and there have been since spring training, with some of the fine points of my mechanics and one of them is balance which I just cannot seem to get a grasp on right now and I don’t think that I will be able to unless I have a shoe that fits and works. We’ve been spending a lot of time, a lot of hours working with different people to have a shoe built that I’m going to be able to throw in… (This is a) drastically different (situation). Last October was about stabilizing that joint and the shoe kind of wraps itself. It didn’t work, the shoe that Reebok had built, the only reason it didn’t work was because of the stitches we put in the ankle. Right now, I’m looking for something, some sort of shoe that can almost artificially balance my foot and balance my body on it almost like a platform type thing. So we’re working on that and that’s kind of coinciding with the work that Chris (Correnti) and I are doing to get the ankle strong again.
On not speaking to the print the media lately
Larry Johnson: Curt can you explain why you are no longer talking to the print media?
CS: Not in a brief period of time, no, but I just haven’t really felt that there was a need. I really didn’t have anything to offer. I’m as tired of talking as I’m sure people are hearing about it, and about me. There’s some things that had happened over the last couple of weeks, months and the hard part is as a player you can’t pick and choose who you talk to because that becomes a story unto itself and I know guys like Sean… Sean’s a stand up guy and a guy who’s always been accountable for what he’s done but it’s just become a situation where there are fewer and fewer people like that… When you can’t get something as simple as a quote right (regarding the Lou Piniella situation), the amazing thing that I found out through all this is I find it just ironic that when a newspaper totally butchers a story (Herald notebook said Schilling called Lou Piniella an idiot) the writer tells me personally that it’s the editor’s fault (Notebook had correction the following day). But that same writer (Michael Silverman) will be the first guy to tell me or another player ‘hey listen, I’ve been writing nice things about you for years.’ So when they screw up, it’s the editor’s fault but when they write nice stuff, it’s not the editor’s fault. …Here’s the thing, the radio is really the only chance you have to give-and-take and to not be taken out of context because there is a Q&A session here and this is not something Sean doesn’t know, the print media, I don’t give short quotes, but you only have so much space in the newspaper so they pick and choose what they want to put. And that comes across wrong. And a lot of times it’s taken out of context. If I was pitching now it would be different because I have an obligation to speak with the print media after I pitch and after I do what I get paid to do, but I’m not pitching. And the only thing that was going to happen by talking to the print media over the last couple of weeks was to either A. stick my foot in my mouth or B. get into issues that had nothing to do with what we were doing on the field, so I just felt that it would be best to back off and it seems like the world’s kind of still spinning the same way it was when I stopped talking a few weeks ago so nothing’s been hurt.
Larry Johnson: You made about four references in this conversation about the media over exaggerating or making a big deal. Are you unhappy with the way we do our job?
CS: Unhappy? No. I accept it. I accept what you guys do. I understand that talk radio is about ratings. It’s not necessarily about being truthful or getting the exact facts straight. You are what you are, it doesn’t make you bad guys. You have a job to do for a living. I think as players, for me anyway, I am always looking for people to be more accountable for what they do as some people are. And as an athlete it gets frustrating, but it is what it is.
Regarding Butch Stearns inference that there were problems between Curt and Pedro last season
CS: Unfortunately, the comments that Pedro made made it look like Butch Stearns was right on the money and nothing could have been farther from the truth at the time they were made. Now I had no idea Pedro felt the way he felt about some of the things that came out but when the comment was made, it was a lie. It was wrong. And Pedro and I actually spoke about it that day and both of us were upset about the fact that it was even made. Our relationship came to be what it was in Pedro’s mind on his own. It had nothing to do with me and anybody, Sean (McAdam) you were in the clubhouse, I defended the guy every chance I could. He was a teammate, I liked him, I respected him. I had no problems with him. If he had beefs with me or with what you guys portrayed our relationship to be, that was his beef, not mine.
Glenn Ordway: Could it possibly be that Pedro had different feelings about it and maybe he didn’t express them honestly to you at the time? (CS: Absolutely. Absolutely.) It could have been that one of the two of you were in some way jealous of the other, and that there were some feelings there, because clearly when you heard what he said in New York, because those weren’t questions being peppered at him, he volunteered that stuff.
CS: Absolutely. Absolutely. But you know what? What it means is Butch Stearns took a stab in the dark and he hit the bull’s-eye. He wasn’t making the statement based on something he knew, he was guessing. He was right. He guessed right.
GO: Unless he was hearing it from Pedro?
CS: Right. Right. Which is a possibility. I doubt it. But it’s certainly possible.
On the media approaching players after the game
CS: Here’s the thing. As a player, if you don’t look at this situation, players, media and print media now as it truly is, and the fact of the matter is for the most part, the only factual thing in the newspaper after every single game is the box score. Everything else written has a human element and a point of view added to it. Now that element might be written by a guy who can’t stand the player he’s writing about. A guy who loves the player he’s writing… I mean there’s so many things and we’re in a situation now where guys take cheap shots. They say things off the cuff and they joke at our expense and their justification is ‘hey, you get paid $10 million a year, suck it up.’ And, you know what? We don’t look at it like that. We take that stuff a little bit more personally sometimes than maybe they intend it to be. Having Sean (McAdam), I would tell you that Sean, in the 15 years that I’ve been around the game, Sean gets it like a lot of the good ones do, the Jayson Starks of the world to me, get it. He shoots to put the game first and the human interest stories got some factual basis to it. You know what it is? The problem I have is, I’ll give you an example, a guy like Dan Shaughnessy who is probably an all-pro cheap shot guy. I think Dan’s a good writer. I think Dan takes unnecessary shots all the time. Dan knows that. Dan knows I feel that way about him. And that’s okay to him (taking cheap shots at everyone). It’s not okay to me. I don’t like it. I think it’s stupid. I think it’s childish but that’s his gig, that’s what people know him for. …Players don’t have a problem being ridiculed for poor performance. You’re gonna have the player, when you’re young, that will take the vantage point of ‘who the hell is this guy to criticize me? He never played the game.’ At some point you understand that’s his job. I don’t have a problem when I don’t pitch well and I get called on the carpet for it, it’s just all the other crap. What they do, a lot of the writers make the fans believe that that writer has insight and expertise on a subject that he doesn’t. These guys don’t know us for the most part any more than the fans do. They talk to us more but that doesn’t mean they know anything more about us than the fans who are watching the games do. ...Well here’s the thing, if some writer at USA Today can go almost a year filing stories that he never, ever, ever actually researched and studied, and you look at what happened with the Newsweek article, there’s no reason to believe that that doesn’t happen in sports either. …The competition here from the media aspect is enormous, but at the same time, we’re on the front page of the newspaper 364 days a year. It is absolutely a phenomenal place to play. You take the good with the bad. But that’s something you have to learn coming here. And sometimes it takes guys longer to adjust to it. And they adjust by either being quiet or talking more, whatever, but it is what it is. I guess my main point was there’s 24 guys in that clubhouse that know Edgar Renteria’s gonna finish the season being the player he’s always been and if you’re a fan, you wanna boo, that’s fine, you know boo, but you doubted this team right up to Game 4 of the ALCS last year when we showed you what we were made of and this team’s made up of every bit of that character if not more this year so, we’ll get there. We’re gonna go through the bumps and we’re gonna ride the roller coaster like we did last year and like it happens every year.