July 07, 2010
The Bottom Line
Curt Schilling, 1999 Stadium Club
It is 1999. The world is about to end. Computers are bound to go haywire, compromising the future possibilities of posting old baseball cards to the Internet. None of this bothers you however, because you have just arrived to this land called America. You love baseball. You attend your first baseball game –- a Philadelphia Phillies game -– and you are loudly booed when a foul ball hits you in the teeth. In your country, booing means, “Are you okay?” and so you immediately take to the fans of Philadelphia. Furthermore, you have just watched Curt Schilling work seven scoreless innings. He is your new favorite player.
You want to know everything about him. What’s he like? you wonder. Is he outspoken? Will he ever win a championship because of his socks? If the computers stave off disaster, will he ever become a contributing member of the blogosphere? Also: What are his grass/turf splits? So many questions you have. So many weird questions. Because you are from another country, and you are so freakin’ weird.
You read up on everything about Curt Schilling. You discover he is from Alaska and you’re like, “Wtf?!!!” Even you make fun of Alaska. You marvel at his 300-strikeout 1998 season, which is the second time in his career he reached that mark. You wonder what could have been had he made the commitment to tap into his vast potential earlier in his career. They haven’t even come out yet, but you buy his fathead.
You have absorbed every possible bit of Curt Schilling information. Your mind races with data, and you are going insane. You race out of your house grabbing your hair and screaming –- your mind overflowing with largely useless Curt Schilling-related facts. You need immediate relief, something to override and replace all of the information you have gathered. You need a brief and concise summary of Curt Schilling up until that point in his career –- something that encapsulates what he means. In essence, with regards to Curt Schilling, you need the bottom line.
You run into me in the street. You grab me and scream, ”What is the bottom line on Curt Schilling?!” I think you are so weird, but you are also oddly endearing and have no teeth and so I sympathize. Also, I think that I may be on some type of hidden camera show, and want to act appropriately should this air on television. Now, I have an idea of the bottom line on Curt Schilling, but considering your plight, I want to be certain. Luckily, and completely randomly, I remember that I have his 1999 Stadium Club baseball card in my wallet. I take it out and flip it over. You scream again, “What is the bottom line on Curt Schilling?!” I say, “Calm down, dude!” and squint again at the back of the card.
“Okay,” I say. “You want the bottom line on Curt Schilling?”
You are shivering.
“That’s easy,” I say. “He holds the sixth-best strikeout-per-nine-innings rate –- which is 8.45 –- since World War II, with a minimum of 1,500 innings pitched.”
You look at me quizzically, panicked. “World War II?” you ask.
I look back at you.
You spontaneously combust.