Sports Outside the Beltway

Todd Helton tries to force a Red Sox trade

Who pays attention to baseball on Superbowl Sunday? Guys whose team lost to Peyton friggin’ Manning last week, that’s who.

Todd Helton is trying to force a trade to the Red Sox:

Todd Helton has told the Rockies he is prepared to veto all future trades for the next five years. O’Dowd said he was “never overly optimistic that the Red Sox deal was going to get done” because neither side could find a match on a young prospect.

The crossroads with the Rockies and Helton could come at this time next year, when Triple-A corner fielders Joe Koshansky and Ian Stewart should be ready for big-league jobs.

Helton’s trying to play hardball here; the Rockies have to move his money and everyone knows it. They’re either gonna have to call his bluff, or call the Sox back and eat mid-level prospect. If I were them, I would guess that he’s bluffing. Helton clearly wants to play for a winning team. I doubt he’d shoot himself in the foot for the next five years just to make a point.

If they rekindle talks to with the Red Sox, assume that it starts with the players previously on the table: Mike Lowell and Julian Tavarez. In lieu of Manny Delcarmen, around whom talks broke down last week, the Sox could throw in a lesser arm – hello, Justin Masterson – or take on more of his salary than the half (~$45 mil) they were hoping to get away with.

As a Red Sox fan, of course I’m in favor of getting a player like Todd Helton without giving up top prospects. Much though I love Mike Lowell, Helton’s obviously an upgrade; we can live without Tavarez, although we will miss his startling late-season spot starts; and it’s not my money. Helton had a terrible last year, at least by his standards, but the word is pretty consistent that he’s back to full health now.

Here’s hoping. And go Bears. (Yeah, I know, fat chance.)


Curt Schilling vs. Dan Shaughnessy, Round Whatever

It’s hard to know what to think about this article, in which two nimrods make hate with each other:

Schill and [Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy]…Like Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump.

[Schilling:] “I think there’s things that you write that are absolutely and totally unequivocally uncalled for. I think you take personal vendettas to the paper. I think you rip people in the paper because you don’t like them whether they’re good people or not. As an athlete, that bothers me, but as a teammate of these people, it bothers me even more.”

It’s like if Peyton Manning and Alex Rodriguez got in a fight. Who would you root for? Well, you’d root for a piano to fall out of the sky, right? I feel similarly about Curt Schilling and Dan Shaughnessy.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Curt Schilling, the athlete. The athlete is gritty, determined and accountable. The athlete is a fantastic mentor for our younger pitchers, which shows a selflessness that I admire. The athlete did that thing a couple of years ago with tendons and staples, and I’ll never forget it. But Curt Schilling, the guy…can’t keep his mouth shut. If he was a supervillain, he’d be the guy in the League of Evil who was always yelling “Wait until you step on that pressure plate and unleash our secret cyborg laser owl counterattack!” If he was in your circle of friends, he’d be the guy who blew the surprise party. If he was your coworker, he’d be the guy who brings up politics at inappropriate times and then gets really huffy about it. I love Curt Schilling as an athlete. As a guy, he’s kindof a tool.

Dan Shaughnessy, of course, looks and acts like Lindsay Lohan’s crotch. He’s the most universally loathed sportswriter, perhaps, in Boston history, and this column is the latest in a long string in which Shaughnessy breaks a core rule of journalism by making himself the story. The piece could be summarized thusly: “Holy crap I’m so awesome, Curt Schilling totally knows who I am.” If the mark that you’ve made it is that Curt Schilling thinks you’re a goon, New York City has several million success stories who’d like to talk about Derek Jeter’s batting average.

This is not the first time Shaughnessy’s tried to portray himself as Boston’s “villainous” writer. He’s nurturing some kind of delusion that he’s the Ice Cube of journalists – the writer we love to hate. Unfortunately, we don’t love to hate him. We just hate to read him. I only read him once every couple of months when my brother-in-law emails me to alert me to a particularly inane column, like this one or his utterly execrable “Welcome Matsuzaka” piece that ended with some kind of lunacy about letting Boston wash over him like, if I’m remembering correctly, pee. No, all of Boston would be thrilled to see him go.

So in the end, the round goes to Schilling, because he’s got several redeeming features. Actually, all his features are redeeming except for his mouth.

Maybe next time Shaughnessy will try to interview Julian Tavarez, who might give him more than a verbal beatdown.


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.