Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Somebody Special

Sometimes things are just meant to be. During the winter of 2003, Curt Schilling was destined to join the Red Sox. People from above sent Theo to that Thanksgiving dinner. He was meant to help deliver their first World Championship in 86 years, and do it in a heroic, gut-wrenching fashion. The 2004 team was meant to be, and Curt Schilling was meant to be a key part in that cause for a ring. In that quest, Schill had to give up a few starts the following season. Big whoop…


Tonight, Curt Schilling will take the mound in pursuit of beating the Yankees one more time, a team he’s had excellent success against in his career. Tonight, the Yankees are looking for revenge after a Game 6 disaster in which the hurting Curtis The Great blew fastball after fastball by the disgruntled Yanks. I remember saying to myself after that game, “even if we lose Game 7, I will vow never to forget his unbelievable performance tonight.” It was that remarkable.

Now you might be saying to yourself, “it’s a new season, FORGET ABOUT IT!” I can’t. Everytime Schilling steps onto the mound for his warmup pitches, I’ll remember that performance in Yankee Stadium, with the team’s back to the wall and all the pressure in the world focused on him. The guy was about to collapse on the mound. And he wasn’t doing it just for him, he was doing it for all those fans that never saw the Red Sox win the big dance.

Will he be effective tonight? Who knows. This is an experimental game, to see whether he can mix up his pitches, have some command and maybe even strike out Ruben Sierra another four times. If Schill struggles mightily, no doubt the media will jump over this with sayings like “last year was the last straw” and “this guy has jumped the shark.” Real Red Sox fans know this guy isn’t even close to being done. If he gives up eight tonight, then five his next start, then two the next start, there’s an obvious improvement there.

But, the Red Sox staff does need a boost. They need something to build off of. And what better motivational builder than watching a 39-year old guy coming off ankle surgery throw an absolute gem? You’re telling me David Wells wouldn’t take notice?

If you thought his ovation on Monday was loud, just wait till tonight. He's ready, the fans are ready, and the Yankees are ready. Curt Schilling was meant to pitch for the Red Sox, and tonight he’ll show you why.


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