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Legendary Hall of Famer Rod Carew and OutKick’s Curt Schilling have some problems with modern baseball players.
Carew had a remarkable career in Major League Baseball, with a .328 career batting average, over 3,000 hits, seven batting titles and a remarkable 18 All-Star Game selections.
Schilling interviewed Carew for the “Curt Schilling Baseball Show,” where the two discussed the issues they have with how current players treat the game and how it differs from how previous generations acted and treated each other.
Schilling explained that he believes that there’s a significant lack of respect for the sport among the younger generation.
“But the respect thing to me is tragic,” Schilling said. “The lack of respect for the game, and listen, I don’t know all the goofy stuff that they do after they hit home runs that just stupid, whatever.” Carew agreed, saying that the excessive celebrations do indicate a lack of respect that wouldn’t previously have been tolerated.
“But to me Curt that’s a lack of respect,” Carew explained. “I agree. Because if they played when we played, they would understand that they can’t get away with that stuff.”
Curt Schilling And Rod Carew On Old School Baseball
Schilling brought up how former pitchers wouldn’t have tolerated the level of showmanship often seen in today’s game.
“Can you imagine standing in a box and watching a home run off Bob Gibson?” he asked.
Carew responded by telling a story about Gibson and his intensity on the mound.
“I’ll tell you a story about Bob Gibson real quick,” Carew said. “Being a rookie, I was playing the game against him in spring training in St. Petersburg. Tim McCarver is catching and I’m trying to cover up this hole over where my left foot goes. And Gibby is yelling at me real loud from the mound.”
“And then McCarver looks at me and I says look at this big hole. I can’t stand here. He says we need to do better change it, the man wants to pitch. Gibby threw 4 pitches at me and missed me. And then as I walked to first base he walked over, and he says don’t even try and steal second.”
Schilling interjected, “And you didn’t.”
“I didn’t because I knew what was going to happen right?” Carew concluded.
Bob Gibson was famously intense and intimidating on the mound, and his presence was enough to let hitters know what would and wouldn’t be tolerated.
By contrast, in today’s game, opposing hitters often feel comfortable with extreme, excessive celebrations.
There’s an argument to be made that injecting celebratory fun into the game isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But at the same time, some of what made the game great in the past has disappeared.
Despite being a team sport, baseball is fundamentally an individual competition between hitter and pitcher. Influenced by other factors, yes, but essentially each game comes down to a series of one-on-one battles.
Gibson, Carew, Schilling and others represent a different era, where those battles were given a sense of respect by the participants. While “letting the kids play” has had some positive impacts, a bit of that hard nosed edge has disappeared.
The full episode of the The Curt Schilling Baseball Show with the Carew interview is out today.