Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

What if Schilling had stayed?

What if Curt Schilling had remained with the Phillies?

What if Schilling had stayed?

Curt Schilling retired.

On his blog.

Perfect.

I used to wonder a lot what it might have been like if Schilling had stayed with the Phillies, of if he had come back that time when it seemed a possibility. Because there is no denying the big-game excellence of the guy, or the big mouth. I can argue that it would have been the kick they needed. I can just as easily argue that it would have been an annual firestorm that would have held them back. It is the beauty of you-never-know, and about arguing. Facts don't matter because there are no facts. With these kinds of arguments, as long as you have lungs you can stay in the game.

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The man is a fascinating character. The man owned October. Given the chance to pitch in the post-season, again and again and again, Schilling came through for teams, again and again and again.  It is impossible to demonstrate greatness without the opportunity, and Schilling was given tons of opportunity -- and he delivered. I don't vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame and I don't want to, but he will be a fascinating case -- because if the post-season can deliver a player to Cooperstown, it will deliver Curt Schilling.

And, like I said, I used to wonder about what might have happened if Schilling had stayed -- if the Phillies had had the money to spend, if Ed Wade hadn't been the general manager. But I really don't wonder anymore. I mean, they won, and winning provides the great absolution. Winning does not answer all questions but it renders a lot of them meaningless. So it is with this one.

Besides, Schilling and a television career seem predestined, no? My guess is that we'll be seeing him more than ever, and soon.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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