By Glenn Giangrande
Pedro Martinez is long gone. The Orioles haven’t been a threat in close to a decade. It’s been more than twice as long for Kansas City. The A’s continue to perpetually rebuild. Now Curt Schilling has called it quits.
I’m not saying it’s a sad day, but Yankee supporters are running out of people to bring the venom out in them.
What fun are sports without opponents to hate? Schilling gave Yankees fans enough fodder through the years, starting with his legendary comments about “Mystique” and “Aura” back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks and running right up through his growing presence on the ‘net during his time in Boston. As a man who earned two of his three World Series rings at the direct expense of the Yankees, Schilling grew to be a pretty loathed figure in the Bronx, and justifiably so. After all, the lasting memory of Schill’s career will be the bloody sock game that came at the expense of the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS.
I think it’s a career that should take him to Cooperstown, but I can understand the feelings of dissenters. Sure, the Red Sox will always draw ire in general, but some Yankee fans I know will tell you that they can’t hate someone as “loveable” as David Ortiz. Maybe Kevin Youkilis fills the role one day, but they certainly don’t make public enemies like they used to, if at all.
Had Schilling’s retirement announcement come in Yankee Stadium, I’m not sure he would’ve gotten a standing ovation like the Pacers’ Reggie Miller did at Madison Square Garden in his final game there against the Knicks before hanging up his sneakers. But the vitriol level among the pinstriped faithful definitely dropped a few levels today.