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Pirates

Pirates pitcher Bo Schultz knows a stupid question when he hears one

Jerry DiPaola
| Thursday, March 15, 2018, 6:48 a.m.
Pirates pitcher Bo Schultz throws in the bullpen, as pitching coach Ray Searage looks on at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Bo Schultz throws in the bullpen, as pitching coach Ray Searage looks on at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Note to media covering the Pirates:

Don't be leery of interviewing pitcher Bo Schultz just because he studied journalism at Northwestern. He might laugh silently at your stupid questions, but he'll give you a thoughtful answer, anyway.

Schultz is in what he hopes will be the final weeks of his rehab from Tommy John surgery. The recovery from the March 29, 2017, procedure has gone well, and he said he may pitch in a game within the next two weeks.

“I've faced batters four times. I've been throwing sides since the first of January (when he signed a minor-league contract with the Pirates),” he said. “As far as I know, the schedule has me in spring training games in the next 10 days or so.”

Baseball is his first love, but someday he wouldn't mind being on the other end of the digital recorder, interviewing players and putting their stories into his prose.

“I would have loved to been in sports journalism,” he said.

But he understands the changing face of media.

“In 2004, when I was in J school, it was a different world,” said Schultz, 32. “Facebook didn't exist. Blogs were kind of a thing. Twitter, Instagram, none of that stuff was around.

“It was still long-form journalism, bigger sports desks.

“Ideally, I would have been a Frank Deford-type guy,” he said of the novelist/sportswriter who died last year. “Where you have some traditional coverage, but at the same time you're able to infuse a little bit of personal flair. Not going all the way to a sports column, but a nice mesh of the two.

“I'd love to get back into writing. I let it slip a little bit more than I'd like to. It's a muscle that, hopefully, after having trained it and gone to school for it comes back quickly.”

He laughed when it was suggested he would recognize reporters' stupid questions.

“Maybe,” he said. “I try to prepare as best as possible (for interviews) and at least think ahead to where the questions may be going so I have a little bit of pre-thought going in.

“To have, not scripted, but to have an idea where we're going.”

He didn't write for Northwestern's student newspaper — “I was caught up in baseball,” he said — but he did write an article for a former affiliate of the Chicago Tribune about being a non-roster invitee to major league spring training.

Which is how he joined the Pirates after brief stays with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays.

He has no plans to write a book about his career, at least not while he's playing.

“The reputations of guys who have written books is not good,” he said. “Most guys are not guys, so to say.

“They pick stories that they overhear in the locker room as opposed to what their experience was as an actual player. They end up painting themselves into corners.

“Some guy who was around a future all-star tells some bad story from when he was in the minor leagues and now that guy says, ‘I don't even know who that guy was who wrote that book about me.'

“Those are definitely pitfalls to avoid.

“Who knows? Maybe someday. It's definitely too dangerous of an enterprise to undertake while still playing, I think.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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