Curt Schilling announced his official retirement this morning on his blog, and I don't really know how I feel about that.
The three-time World Series champion pitched for the Phillies from 1992 until 2000, and was really the lone bright spot on some terrible Phillies teams in the late '90s.
After he was traded to Arizona for assorted spare parts shortly before the '00 trade deadline, the Phils didn't have a true ace until Cole Hamels emerged in his first full season in 2007.
In 1993, he was the ace of the staff for the best pre-2008 Phillies team of my lifetime. He won 16 games that year, pitched a five-hit shutout in Game 5 of the World Series, and sat with a towel over his head as Mitch Williams pitched the ninth inning and eventually gave up the infamous home run to Joe Carter in Game 6.
Those two games perfectly exemplify why I have always had mixed feelings about Schilling.
He was a great pitcher, and probably deserves to be in the Hall of Fame with 216 wins and 3,116 strikeouts to go with his World Series titles.
But he was personally annoying and immature for most of his career, rubbed a lot of his teammates the wrong way, and was definitely an attention hog.
His blog is unreadable, and I hope he stops writing it now that he's retiring, even though I'm sure he won't.
I did like to watch Schilling pitch, though, and loved the way he attacked the strike zone and challenged every hitter. I admired the way his repertoire evolved as he got older.
Yet I hated that he pitched for the Red Sox, and often hoped that he would lose.
So now that he's in retirement, I have serious mixed feelings.
I'm glad he won't be pitching for the Sox anymore, even though they have at least five solid starters anyway and possibly six if John Smoltz is healthy, but I'm disappointed I won't get to watch him pitch anymore. I always secretly hoped he'd pitch one more year in Philadelphia before he retired.
I'm perturbed the only time he'll be in the public eye from now on is if he is saying something annoying when it isn't his place to do so.
And I'm bitter that if he does get voted into Cooperstown in five years, he probably isn't going to choose to go in as a Phillie.
I don't really know what I'm trying to get at here, other than Schilling was a great pitcher but an obnoxious person as far I could tell.
I wish him well in retirement, and mainly I just hope he doesn't become a part of the Phils' broadcast team.