Schilling calls out Clemens in blog
Writes if Rocket is guilty of using steroids, take away Cys
BOSTON -- Curt Schilling put his fingers to the keyboard on Wednesday, pounding out a 3,676-word blog entry in which he essentially challenged Roger Clemens to fight for his innocence with regards to the findings of the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.
If Clemens doesn't put up a convincing case -- legal or otherwise -- to dispute the allegations in the report, Schilling thinks the Rocket should be stripped of four of the record-setting seven Cy Young Awards he's won in his career.
"If he doesn't do that then there aren't many options for me as a fan other than to believe his career 192 wins and three Cy Youngs he won prior to 1997 were the end," Schilling wrote Wednesday in his blog. "From that point on the numbers were attained through using (performance-enhancing drugs). Just like I stated about Jose (Canseco), if that is the case with Roger, the four Cy Youngs should go to the rightful winners, and the numbers should go away if he cannot refute the accusations."
The runners-up in Clemens' last four Cy Young-winning years were Randy Johnson (1997 and 2004), Pedro Martinez (1998) and Mark Mulder (2001).Thus far, Clemens has maintained his innocence through statements released by his representatives.
Schilling's mammoth post appeared on www.38pitches.com, which is the Boston right-hander's personal sounding board for thoughts on all matters.
For many years, Schilling has been outspoken on the topic of steroids and the Report released last week by former Sen. George Mitchell has only increased his interest.
The matter of "Rocket" is one that tugs close to Schilling's heart. Schilling often credits Clemens for turning his career around during an animated pep talk in Houston in 1991. In fact, Schilling long believed that Clemens was the best pitcher of all-time.
But Schilling will only keep that belief if Clemens provides reason to believe that he's never dabbled in steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.
Schilling praised players such as Andy Pettitte and Brian Roberts, who have come out and apologized for past indiscretions with performance-enhancing drugs.
"Andy has admitted he did [take human growth hormone], and that it was a mistake and he never did it again," Schilling wrote. "Roger has denied every allegation brought to the table. So as a fan, my thought is that Roger will find a way in short order to organize a legal team to guarantee a retraction of the allegations made, a public apology is made, and his name is completely cleared."
If Clemens doesn't attack the matter with such vigor, Schilling will take a seat right along with the other skeptics.
While Schilling has long criticized Canseco, he conceded that the former slugger likely had many accurate points in his book on rampant steroid use in baseball. Otherwise, why wouldn't many of the players named in the book taken action against Canseco? Schilling also credits Canseco with forcing the steroid issue to be dealt with.
"So regardless of what you might think about him he has broken the flood gates on a topic that went unspoken on for far too long," said Schilling. "The view I have on that is maybe a bit too simplistic but I look at it like this. If Jose had named me in his book, it would have taken about 20 minutes for me to issue a press release vehemently denying the allegations, which would have been as closely followed as possible by as large a legal action as I could have possibly taken to sue for slander, libel, defamation of character and anything else I'd have been able to legally do.
"It's either that, or I'm guilty. There is no gray area here, you either did, or you didn't and Jose, up through today, hasn't called out anyone that's sued [him] ... for false representation, slander, libel or whatever you would do if someone said something like this about you, that you didn't do."
As he did last week on the radio, Schilling noted what a horrible message it is for young people to see Barry Bonds and Clemens both linked with steroids.
"Can you separate what Barry is accused of from what Roger is accused of?" Schilling said. "If ... both of these men end up being caught, what does that say about this game, us as athletes and the future of the sport and our place in it? The greatest pitcher and greatest hitter of all time are currently both being implicated, one is being prosecuted, for events surrounding and involving the use of performance enhancing drugs. That (stinks). ... The sport needs fixing."
Schilling thinks that all players named in the report should respond to the public in some fashion.
"I am hoping that every person that was named and did use admits to it, admits it was a mistake (where applicable), and asks for forgiveness (if they want it) and moves on," Schilling said. "At the same time I pray that ANYONE in this report that is innocent, steps up and clears their names, now, today. No one has, and through today no one has done anything but issue a crafted statement in someone else's words denying their guilt or association in any of this."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.