So exactly what is it about Curt Schilling that generates such contempt from his teammates? Having left few friends behind in Philadelphia and Arizona, an unattributed quote has Schilling wondering about his place in Boston writes the Globe’s Bob Hohler.
Less than a year after Schilling risked his career to help the Red Sox capture their first world championship in 86 years, he is plagued by the guilt and despair of failing to fulfill the expectations of his fans and teammates. It also hurts that at least one teammate has suggested that Schilling has unfairly escaped the public wrath that other Sox players have endured for their disappointing performances.
In his bleakest hour, Schilling indicated, he has imagined a better life after baseball. That moment came after a teammate, whom he declined to identify, complained that Schilling should have received more grief than he has from fans for underachieving. Schilling was stung.
”Somebody on this team wants me to get booed to make them feel better, and that really bothers me a lot,” said Schilling, 38, who hopes to pitch two more years. ”Those are the kinds of things that really make me look at this game and understand that when I’m done in the game, I’ll be done with the game.”
Schilling said he suspected the same teammate gave an anonymous quote to the Herald last week in which he aired a similar gripe. Citing the lack of a public backlash against Schilling for his subpar season — the Sox ace is 7-8 with a 5.89 ERA — the player was quoted as saying, ”When he comes into the game, people cheer him like he’s the Pope? You think they’d let Pedro [Martinez] get away with this? Why does he get a free pass?”
Schilling made no secret of his anger at the criticism, even if it came, as he suggested, from ”somebody who’s not wired right.”
”As much time as we spend together, you think you know someone,” he said. ”But more times than not you find you really don’t.”