Curt Schilling's latest entry on his blog, 38pitches.com, was very, very interesting. It has been removed from 38pitches.com (unsurprisingly), but the text still comes through on my RSS reader. I have quoted a few relevant excerpts...
"No, by saying PLAY I mean exactly that. The issue got to the point where everyone finally took him at his word, there was no choice. A guy refusing to get on a team plane, having to be literally coaxed on, by people with pride and people that love the game, because meeting the obligations of a 20 million dollar contract were not even close to enough to get him going????
If he did not get traded he was going to need "time off" to rest his injured knee, and it got to the point where he made it clear time off could mean the rest of the season.
So it's not 'what could have been', we knew what was to be, and what was to be was that if he did not get a contract extension he was going to take a seat, and in taking that seat he didn't give a rats ass what anyone thought, including the 24 guys that wore the same uniform.
So the 'what could have been' in the post season is not the question. The question is would there have been a post season if he had stayed, and that's a question, and a gamble, that I think everyone felt they knew the answer too and in the end a gamble no one was willing to take, and rightly so.
It is demeaning and disrespectful to the guys that did respect their teammates, the game and the fans by busting their asses through broken down hips, sore arms, strained abs and whatever, to grind it out for each other and the fans, their love of the game and anything else you can think of, the organization, to hear people question the hows and whys of this whole thing. That was why I said 'he flipped you all off' because if you heard ANYTHING he said after he left, he did.
But the thing that killed me in the end was this; he never gave a rats ass about any of us that suited up with him, not one iota. He was, and he said repeatedly, about going to the highest bidder and getting as much money as he possibly could, period. If that meant pissing on us in the interim, so be it.
Schilling went on to discuss how the team was disappointed not to make the World Series and glowingly runs through the Sox roster saying that "the Sox are poised to be a force in baseball for the next decade."