Here's what the local columnist had to say about Curt Schilling: "During the past few days, the country ... has discovered Schilling's little...

Share story

Here’s what the local columnist had to say about Curt Schilling:

“During the past few days, the country … has discovered Schilling’s little secret, the one baseball insiders have known for years but has rarely surfaced into the mainstream. Schilling is something of a con man, someone more intent on polishing his personal image through whatever means possible.”

This little dagger was fired not last week, but on Nov. 4, 2001 — the day that Schilling was to start Game 7 of the World Series for Arizona against the Yankees.

The author, Arizona Republic columnist Pedro Gomez (now with ESPN), is said to have been privately congratulated by many Diamondbacks players and staffers for taking on Schilling.

The point is, Schilling is not universally loved by his peers, many of whom regard him as a shameless self-promoter who can’t keep his mouth shut.

Of course, Red Sox fans don’t want to hear any of that, having canonized Schilling for his World Series heroics. But he didn’t help his image by calling out Lou Piniella after Boston’s beanball war with Tampa Bay last Tuesday.

On his weekly radio show, Schilling said, “Lou’s trying to make his team be a bunch of tough guys, and the telling sign is when the players on that team are saying, ‘This is why we lose 100 games a year, because this idiot makes us do stuff like this.’ ”

Piniella, who would probably plead guilty to trying to make his team a bunch of tough guys, was wounded by the inference his players were bad-mouthing him.

He sat in the hotel lobby until late at night talking about it, and the next day wrote the blistering, three-paragraph statement that began, “I have forgotten more baseball than this guy knows.”

Piniella also said, “I had a meeting with my team and to a man they denied it.” What player would have the courage to admit to his face calling him an idiot?

But considering Schilling’s body of work, I tend to embrace the version of Devil Rays reliever Trever Miller:

“You couldn’t hear anybody else over Schilling. He was berating our manager, our ownership, all the way to our water boys. He was kind of contradicting himself, yelling at us and telling us how to play the game when he’s going out there stirring the pot and being immature about it.”