Schilling to the bullpen; it's a "good thing"Written by John Onan
Perhaps Johnny Damon’s in a panic (Why are you guys still petrified of Yankees??) with news of Curt Schilling’s return to Red Sox in a bullpen role. But, this latest move by Boston, in wake of Keith Foulke’s injury and ineffectiveness (4 blown saves and a 6.23 ERA), makes perfect sense. Granted, Yankee will put together a run at Boston after All Star break, regardless if Schilling is in bullpen, rotation, or rehab. But, this bullpen is what is keeping Yankees in race, and I give Francona props for wanting to do something about it.
It’s apparent that Schilling’s ankle is not strong enough to pitch 6 or 7 innings at this time (see his last outing for Pawtucket), but he can be very valuable coming out of pen, and giving team a strong inning or two. The gutsy Schilling actually began his career as a reliever, before becoming one of premier Starting Pitchers in baseball in past decade. John Smoltz is living proof you can make a successful transformation from staff ace to closer. It doesn’t hurt that Schilling is a well respected veteran, and could provide a calming influence over a not-so-calm state of affairs.
Now, back to Damon’s comments before Wednesday’s game at Texas. “I don't think he's ready to be our closer,I think Bronson (Arroyo) would be our best choice as a closer. That's if Mike Timlin's not it.”. Okay Johnny, if Arroyo heads down to bullpen, who takes his place in rotation? Certainly not Schilling, he’d have to remain on sidelines. Unless Boston goes exclusively to a four man rotation, they have to insert Jeremi Gonzalez (or another mediocre hurler) back into “spot starter” role. That would be my idea of “panic”. If Timlin takes over for Foulke as team Fireman, then entire bullpen will be forced to move up one spot. Like Rocket J Squirrel would say to Bullwinkle “Not again!! That trick never works!!!” Chances are, Theo Epstein will acquire an established middle reliever to help plug up leaks in bullpen boat.
MLB notebook for July 13thWritten by John Onan
Don’t look now, but here comes old reliables’ (The Yankees and The Braves). In New York, after all talk of Torre and coaching staff being on hot seat, and team needing to makes this move or that one (this is an all star lineup already, right?), it is now becoming a two team race again in AL East. It’ll come down to Yankees and Boston Red Sox, like it always does. In Atlanta, Braves limped into break, losing their last two vs. Milwaukee. But, help is on way. Look for Tim Hudson and Mike Hampton to be back in fold by end of month. I’ve gotta favor Braves if they get into a “heads up” with Washington in September.
Well, in case you guys didn’t know before, David Wells is STILL a jerk. Anyone who compares a guy holding a TV camera within a ten foot vicinity of a Major League ballplayer to sexual assault of a woman is badly out of bounds. Kenny Rogers was no victim in this case, glad he decided to apologize. Hopefully, he will get anger management help he needs.