From the AP, via USA Today, back on November 4, 2001:
Convinced that a promising pitcher was throwing away his talent, the veteran dressed him down, calling him every name he could. It worked. The young guy listened, began making better choices and blossomed into one of baseball’s top aces. A decade after that discussion in the weight room at the Astrodome, the two were to face each other on the mound for the first time: Roger Clemens vs. Curt Schilling in Game 7 of the World Series on Sunday night. ”I could not have come up with this,” Schilling said Saturday night after his Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees 15-2. ”What Roger did for me and has done for me throughout my career, I could not have dreamt this. I’m not that big of a dreamer.”
Clemens was already on his way to a glorious career in the winter of 1991 when he went to work out at the Astrodome, near his home in Katy, Texas.
While there, the Boston star noticed Schilling in an adjacent weight room. Clemens, then 28, said he wanted to talk to the 24-year-old Houston pitcher.
Schilling, a former Red Sox minor leaguer who looked up to Clemens, figured it would be fun.
“What I thought was going to be kind of a sit-down talk about pitching experience turned out to be an hour-and-half half butt-chewing,” Schilling said.
“He felt at the time that I was someone who was not taking advantage of the gifts God had given me, that I didn’t respect the game the way I should, that I didn’t respect my teammates the way I should. He hit every nail on the head as far as I’m concerned.”
Said Clemens: “I was hoping that I was not going to waste my time. It got pretty heated. We hashed it out a little bit.”
At this year’s All-Star Game, with both players sharing the podium, Clemens smiled as he recalled the talk.
“It was a pretty good conversation,” he said.
That’s not exactly how Schilling remembered it.
“There wasn’t much of a conversation,” he said. “It was one of those conversations your father has with you when you are going down a stage in life and you need to make a right turn.”
Schilling said Clemens’ words made an immediate impact.
“I walked away saying to myself, ‘You know, No. 1, why would he care as much as he did? And, No. 2, if he did care, there must be something there,’ ” he said. “I began to turn a corner at that point in my career, both on and off the field.”
From MLB.com, today:
Curt Schilling put his fingers to the keyboard on Wednesday, pounding out a 3,676-word blog entry in which he essentially challenged Roger Clemens to fight for his innocence with regards to the findings of the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.
If Clemens doesn’t put up a convincing case — legal or otherwise — to dispute the allegations in the report, Schilling thinks the Rocket should be stripped of four of the record-setting seven Cy Young Awards he’s won in his career.
Schilling’s mammoth post appeared on www.38pitches.com, which is the Boston right-hander’s personal sounding board for thoughts on all matters.
The Mitchell report fingered Clemens for using PEDs. Clemens has strongly denied that it’s true. Personally, I suspect that the Mitchell report is true. But, regardless of what you believe – and even regardless of what is true (about Clemens) – the 2001 report from the Associated Press and Schilling’s entry from yesterday, tell you all you need to know about Curt Schilling.
If Schilling is, indeed, grateful for what Clemens did for him in 1991, then why not (if you’re Schilling) just keep your mouth shut about Roger now – despite how you feel about the use of PEDs – and not bring any more attention to his situation today? Would have that been so hard?
Don’t mistake this as me supporting Clemens in some fashion. I’m not saying that Clemens is clean here – and, if he is not, I’m not saying that I agree with his actions.
This is all about a guy, Schilling, who owes Clemens (big time) for helping him (Curt) get his career (and, to an extent, his life) on a positive track. Curt openly admits to this as truth. And, then, when he (Schilling) gets a chance to grab the spotlight at the expense of the man who did him this huge favor, he grabs it without hesitation – and ignores the high-road of just not saying anything on the matter (regardless of his beliefs).
Stay classy Red Light.