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"B" Game in Fort Myers?

March 9, 2007

Any game Joe Mauer plays in can’t be labeled a “B” game on any planet.

Today was start #3 of the spring and start #3 against the Twins. Needless to say the feedback their lineup would give me was going to be useful.

Perk #1 was feeling even better than I did before the last game here, 4 days ago. My legs and arm seem to be catching up to one another as Dave Page (our strength coach) and Paul Lessard and Mike Reinholt (our head and assistant trainers) have devised a revamped program to fix some things that will hopefully allow me to stay strong the entire year.

One of the main goals for me in spring training outside of actually pitching, is getting back into the groove of my game day routine. Every game day for me, from start one in spring training, to game 7 of the World Series, is planned to go off the same way. That starts with leaving for the ballpark at the same exact time on game day, 5 hours before the first pitch, through walking out to the mound. Everything I do on game day is done at the same time for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is keeping that comfort level that a routine gives me.

One of the major changes this year has been the need to change some things I do in warming up. My pre-game warm up begins 2:20 minutes before first pitch. That’s a drastic change from years past and it’s mainly due to some of the physical changes I’d always heard happen at 34-40, but never knew until this year.

So one of my goals has been to get this new routine down and get comfortable with it, and the last two starts have done just that. I think that’s a major factor in how much better I’ve felt each time out.

I felt much better warming up today, in the pen. My fastball felt like it had a lot more life and my command was sharper.

Santana does his thing in the first, punching out two. He looks like he’s primed for another great season. What’s not to love about this kid? Dominating fastball, hard breaking slider to go with the games best power change. He’s a joy to watch, unless it happens to be a game your team is playing.

First inning and I start Castillo off ball one, 1-0 change up and he pops out to shallow right. One change up in and I have an out, holy crap! Bartlett gets behind in the count and we go to an unconventional pitch choice which I hang in the middle of the plate, kick save and we have out #2. I can tell my fastball has more life but in every one I threw in the first inning was more guided than thrown and the bats are spelling it out for me. Mauer gets a curve ball for strike one, then I throw a split, plate wise it’s in a great spot, height wise it isn’t. He proves, once again, why he’s so damn good. The ball’s too high, coming in around his thighs, and instead of making the mistake most big league hitters make and trying to pull that pitch, he stays back and punches it into left center, just missing a double. I get Tori down 0-1 by horribly hanging a first pitch slider that he fouls off, then I go fastball away 0-2. Tori can hit fastballs poorly located. He crushes a high fastball on the outer half to deep right center and it’s a 1-0 game. The next kid, playing 1st base, big left handed hitter, hits an 0-0 fastball in to deep right center. This pitch alone tells me I am not getting ‘after it’ when throwing my fastball. Starting someone off on the inner half with a good fastball is a pitch that rarely, if ever, gets hit well if there’s something on it. I know as I am walking off the mound that I need to start throwing my fastball and stop aiming it.

The second through fourth innings I start throwing my fastball with some effort. The two seamer is starting to be another great pitch for me as I am confident in getting it in on RHH and with movement there is less need to be as precise with it. I break two bats with it and get a called strike three on a full count 2 seamer in to Lecroy. I get two more outs on the change up, one a pop up and the other is a hard hit GB by Mauer in his second at bat.

Overall I felt great physically. The change up got results but I felt like crap throwing it. I threw 14 of them today, out of 60 pitches. Right now My split is in between horrific and terrible, so that’s something else to work on. Next start is Tuesday and it looks like it will be a night game against minor leaguers as some of us will be attending John Vukovichs service in Philadelphia on Tuesday morning.

79 Comments leave one →
  1. flashg permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:24 am

    Curt, thanks for the great read! How do you find time to be as diligent in game prep as you are and still write this much this well? You are really making Borges look bad…

  2. phillyfan permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:25 am

    Curt…

    As a life long Phils fan remembering your glory days as the Phils ace, remembering your gem in Game 5 of the ’93 World Series, and those seasons of 300+ Ks, this article that your wrote in tribute to Vuk was just the tip of the iceberg to what he meant to our city. You of course know what he meant, however the average fan around baseball doesn’t know the real man who was Vuk. He was Philly baseball. For all the MVPs, HR champs, CY Young Winners, and Hall of Famers that have come through this city…Vuk is still just as beloved. This article showed it. Way to go. Great tribute Curt. Great tribute.

  3. March 9, 2007 7:25 am

    Sorry to hear about Mr. Vukovich. My prayers go out to his family

  4. wfloyd permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:31 am

    This is great. Rather than having to get the story through the mouths of some reporter, we can get it straight from #38. Curt, I have always loved reading your posts on SoSH and look forward to reading about the 2007 Red Sox season from your perspective on this blog. And by the way, thanks again for helping bring a World Series to Boston.

  5. bosox28 permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:33 am

    Hey Curt,

    Thanks for answering my question about Tito’s tobacco bet. Was Vuk the guy that we can see on old baseball replays doing that chest pump thing…I think it might be the one that Nolan Ryan did the immitation of. Thanks.

  6. March 9, 2007 7:33 am

    Curt, great job today, pitching as well as writing. I think writing this blog is going to help you this season. Just promise us you won’t get carpal tunnel.

    Sorry to hear about Mr. V. I got a 1980 World Series program today, and saw his pic as part of the ’80 Phillies. I think it was some kind of sign from baseball heaven.

  7. falzo25 permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:42 am

    awesome curt! youve looked pretty awesome so far in spring training! I have always wondered when you would do something like this as you are a very outspoken person and I think its amazing! Your a great writer, maybe a book after the baseball career? Keep it up Schill!

  8. jestari permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:44 am

    Its refreshing to hear it straight out of the players mouth than reading a article on how you performed in the game. Your a very strong individual for your family and friends and you i nspire alot of people. do you feel you will be using your split more exclusively for outs, even though how bad it feels now. How hard is it for a pitcher to pick up a new pitch wether its in the beginning of his career or midway through. Or could it be seen as something interesting to try to pick up. Thanks Jeremy

  9. soxoct27 permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:46 am

    curt, i may be mistaken but would your split not be considered your best pitch, or maybe your out pitch. if so my question would be, right now you say its horrific. is that normal. to the avg joe who doesnt know 1% as much as a player would, i would have thought having a pitch like the split that has been so successful for you would be “easy” to throw when needed. maybe a better question is when a pitch is “horrific” what goes behind it being so horrific. is it a mechanic thing, a grip, confidence in it or prob more likely all of the above.

    thanks, best wishes

  10. seaair09 permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:57 am

    Hey Curt – Why do you ‘lose’ some pitches in the offseason and not others? Is it physical, mental or both? Does it change every year? Thanks, J.

  11. schillingfan38 permalink
    March 9, 2007 8:00 am

    hey Curt. Today was a great game. I couldnt take my eyes away from the tv screen when you were pitching. Today is my birthday, so i had to run to the store for a few things, i sprinted to my car to turn on the game on the radio. You pitched great, and I hope the ownership sees this and sees what a mistake it will be to let you walk to another team if they dont resign you. I really do hope you pitch next yr in a red sox uniform..

    Good Luck this season.

  12. March 9, 2007 8:02 am

    I enjoy this kind of pitch breakdown like you did in the first inning. Good insight that you dont really get elsewhere. keep on keeping on

  13. bosox28 permalink
    March 9, 2007 8:07 am

    answered my own question….he was a hitter

  14. acefox1 permalink
    March 8, 2007 10:24 pm

    Fantastic job today Curt! With the intensity of your normal pitching day routine as well as writing a tribute to Vuk and then taking the time to share your experiences from today’s game is just astonishing. A few morre years of this and perhhaps the BBWAA will give you a ballot for your own H.O.F. nomination. :)

    Seriously Curt, your writing style is insightful and gripping. You can’t imagine what it means to us to get the straight dope from you.

    Glad to hear the Changeup has been so effective despite it being so far out of your comfort zone. What adjustments do you have to make mentally to adjust to committing to that pitch when you are normally a power-pitcher? I can’t wait to see that changeup in person.

    It might bee a silly question or just an uninformed one, but do you feel like your fastball will be a good setup for your changeup or vice-versa?

    Best wishes to you Curt and keep the progress going!

    Deane

  15. March 8, 2007 10:31 pm

    I continue to be fascinated by your writing, and by the inside look at a pitcher’s thought process on the mound. Keep it up! I think that the change-up is going to be a great weapon for you this season — I look forward to watching some batters in pinstripes looking absolutely silly wailing at it.

  16. March 8, 2007 10:32 pm

    must be nice to be down in florida! its freezing up in boston!

  17. redsoxfan permalink
    March 8, 2007 10:32 pm

    Great game today Curt. I will enjoy watching you pitch this year and reading your articles instead of hearing it from the media. Good luck this year.

    PS: I heard a rumor that you played Everquest. Is this true?

  18. gurldawg permalink
    March 8, 2007 10:46 pm

    Hi Curt – I think you looked great out there today. I like that you are pretty much giving a pitch by pitch analysis, it helps to better understand what is going on out there.

    If you have time to answer….Do you think you split just needs some minor tweeking, and do you think because it is spring training that you just need to find your groove with that pitch?

    Do you think the two seamer is something you would save until you are fatigued because you do not have to be as precise with it or would you prefer to fire it in there when you are fresh?

    Thanks again for thinking of all of your devoted fans.

    I am sorry to hear about your loss with Vuk.

  19. jeff7168 permalink
    March 8, 2007 10:48 pm

    Curt, I saw the start last Sunday in Ft. Myers. Nothing like a Schilling and Santana match-up in spring training. You’re right, Santana looks like he is in top form already. You do as well. Glad to see you’ve added a change-up. Hopefully, it results in an even lower ERA than 2006.

    Jeff

    Sox and Pinstripes

    http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

  20. jgulko permalink
    March 8, 2007 10:50 pm

    Curt, congrats on a good outing. Wanted to ask you what you thought about the proposed deal between MLB and DirectTV which would give DirectTV exclusive rights to the Extra Innings Package. Many folks with either cable, or that live in an area where they cannot have a dish, will be essentially shut out of baseball. Didn’t know if this plan, if it goes through, would affect any members of your family, or friends, that enjoy watching you pitch from wherever they reside. Love the blog. Keep it up.

  21. March 8, 2007 10:50 pm

    Hey Curt, first off I would like to send my condolences on Vuk’s passing. I honestly never heard his name until you wrote about him in your last post, but it sounds like he had a profound effect on your life and sounds like he was quite a person.

    I can tell right now that this is going to be a must read blog this season. I find it quite fascinating to read your explanations of your outings and what you were thinking during a particular match up. Keep up the good work!

  22. love37 permalink
    March 8, 2007 10:53 pm

    I’ve been trying to think of something to say to express my appreciation and respect for this blog that hasn’t already been taken by the other commenters, but I’m drawing a blank. I think it’s great that you’re taking the time to give us an inside view and deal with criticism head on. People can say what they want about your style, but I don’t know anybody who could find any fault in a guy who refuses to run away and hide.

    Best of luck the rest of this season! I look forward to reading your blog.

  23. plaidseason permalink
    March 8, 2007 11:03 pm

    For the record . . .

    I am a crazy liberal. You are a crazy conservative. But I love you just the same. Thanks for being a real person in a world of full of people putting up a front.

    -chris

  24. March 8, 2007 11:03 pm

    acefox1-The fastball and changeup always compliment each other. That’s why someone like Santana is so overpowering. It’s rare that true power pitchers, fastball guys (Clemens, RJ) can compliment that with a devastating change. The two guys, power guys, that come to mind are Petey and Santana. Petey put up what I think are the two best back to back seasons in the games history. The change is such a feel pitch, and imo, guys that don’t power you with the fastball develop feel much sooner in their careers than guys that ‘muscle their way to the big leagues.

    I always wanted it when I was younger, and even though I had someone who threw one of the best change ups in the games history as a pitching coach (Johnny Podres) it was something I never felt good doing. Now I think it’s time and I think it has the ability to eliminate concerns of not being able to throw it 97 anymore.

    seaair09-The thing you have to realize is just how much ‘feel’ is involved in having command of the baseball. Now imagine not doing it even one time in a 5 month period and then trying to get it back. It’s the hardest part of every season. That’s why a few years ago I started to keep a season ending list of ‘notes’ on things like mechanics and grips and throwing thoughts. I would find something in each of those areas that worked great, and I’d write down the exact thought or grip, even to the point one time of taking a picture of how I was gripping my split, to make sure that when I picked a ball up again the next year I didn’t start off with bad habits.

    In 1998 I spent an entire year with a cutter I had never had, and never wanted, because I started spring training out doing something vastly different, something as little as warming up with my catcher on the wrong side of the plate. That made me reach across my body to warm up, and I started cutting the ball. That is a bad thing when you are trying to throw a STRAIGHT 4 seam fastball. I didn’t realize it until August of that year when Johnny Podres came to see me in Philly, started to watch me warm up and said “What the hell are you doing with the catcher on that side of the plate to start warming up?”. It’s always in the little details that the most important things happen, or get missed.

  25. tymmyramone permalink
    March 8, 2007 11:06 pm

    14 changeups? Out of 60 pitches? Yikes!

    When you talked about using it more, I figured it was gonna be like….1 out of every 8-10 pitches, not 1 out of every 4.

    Is this part of the adjustment to stop feeling like you’re throwing it left-handed? Or is it really gonna be an “every hitter probably will see it once” type of pitch?

    I’m kindof anxious to see it as a self-styled pitching geek.

  26. bullroy17 permalink
    March 8, 2007 11:09 pm

    Hey thanks for the update on your workday….Here’s how mine went. Woke up at 6:45 feeling particularly cold and tired, not much of a change from previous day starts. Hit the shower got dressed and quickly ran out to start my car and my wifes car. My hair froze instantly as I stepped out into the sub zero temps in our lovely state. I collected myself and sped off to work actually I idled down the over crowded road wasting most of my $2.50 per gallon tank of gas that also cost me two fingers from frostbite when I filled up. Did I mention the temps. Finally got to work and realized crap today is another 10 hour work day. But I got through it. Hit the gym pumped some weights ran 4 miles and limped home to a warm house with my beautiful wife, who is pregnant with our first, cooking a delicious meal. How could anyone complain about my life I sure can’t. After dinner I watched some college hoops then the news. Then I told a guy that plays for a team I will always root against, a guy that probably doesn’t give a crap about .0001 % of the state or part of the country he pitches in, a guy that I hope the Yankees pound every time out, about my day……Anyway keep me updated on life as a baseball player and I’ll keep you updated on being a middle class Yankee fan living in Massachusetts.

  27. soxfan38 permalink
    March 8, 2007 11:10 pm

    CURT YOU ARE THE BEST ! I HOPE YOU RETIRE A RED SOX AND THEY RETIRE YOUR NUMBER.

  28. March 8, 2007 11:18 pm

    Haha, I’m getting a little worried so far watching you and Matsuzaka out there in Spring Training for the Red Sox. Are you going to give a rundown on him one day?

  29. pjd22 permalink
    March 8, 2007 11:30 pm

    Just thinking about playing the Twins so many times in Spring Training, when was the last time a team went into a season with the defending MVP, batting champion, and Cy Young award winner? Not bad for a small market team, and a great test for you guys going into the 2007 season.

  30. March 8, 2007 11:33 pm

    Yeah, if Schilling vs. Santana is the “B” game I’d hate to think of the pitching you’d have to face in the “A” one. Two guys set to start their respective teams’ opening games seems like the marquee match-up to me.

    I have to say, I love the idea of this blog. Not too many other sports stars are willing to put this sort of effort into reaching out and interacting with fans like this. Kudos.

    This might turn out being even more intersting than Rich Garces’ effort, the Guapoblog.

    Rock on.

  31. tapadance permalink
    March 8, 2007 11:34 pm

    Wow, reading your blog is like getting a education in baseball pitching. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Some day, your going to be an amazing coach. I can not read your book on pitching some day.

  32. acefox1 permalink
    March 8, 2007 11:37 pm

    Off topic but I thought this headline at fark.com was amazing:

    “Bob Feller, 88, in a car crash, walks away unhurt. Cubs immediately offer him $12 million a year for their fifth starter spot”

    My Dad was a huge fan of Bob Feller from growing up in Ohio and he told me a million stories about Feller before my Dad passed away in 1987. I’m really glad to hear that Bob is okay.

    Thanks for the response Curt and I suspect your change-up is really going to have a huge impacton your year. I’m sure you don’t want to hear it or think about it but I’ll cross my fingers that you get that long-overdue Cy Young this year.

    Bless you Curt and pass along best wishes to the team from all of us in RSN.

    Deane

  33. mrbundles permalink
    March 8, 2007 11:39 pm

    Curt,

    I’m worried that you are giving your opponents too much insight into your mental approach to pitching. Also, the initimidation factor is a great asset for you, but I fear your self aggonizing(e.g.,”I felt like crap on the mound”) only helps lesser hitters when they step up to the plate against you. Good luck this year.

  34. jmannin6 permalink
    March 8, 2007 11:43 pm

    Yesterday you mentioned that when you shake off Tek he is usually right. I hadn’t noticed that much with you, but all last year I thought that was Beckett’s undoing.

    Keep up the great blog, but don’t post too often or I won’t get any work done : )

  35. skinnyman2007 permalink
    March 9, 2007 12:09 am

    Hi Curt I like you blog. You are a great writer Curt. Curt during games why do you step over the chalk lines when you are going to the mound. Curt when I got see the RedSox play the Braves on June 20TH in Atlanta Ga could I get your autograph and one from David Ortiz. Could you email me back at riley101hot2000@yahoo.com and let me know. Curt keep up the great writing in you blog and send me an answer about steping over the chalk lines. Take care.

    From, Jeff

  36. jeffcardin permalink
    March 9, 2007 1:18 am

    Hey Curt,

    I was excited as a fan to see that you were opening up a blog to the public, and allowing yourself to be heard a bit more outside the confines of WEEI.

    It’s always interesting to hear the perspective of the guy on the other side of the fence, and to put a personality to the faces we see at the ballpark and on our TV screens.

    As a fan, I’d like to say (And likely, you’re tired of hearing this), Thanks for 2004 and all the memories. It means a lot to us to finally be able to celebrate a World Series championship in Boston. It’s not often that people make good on their promises.

    My condolences for your loss, and again, thanks again for opening up to us fans.

    – Jeff Cardin

  37. margalitc permalink
    March 9, 2007 1:30 am

    Curt, I too would like to know what you think about the MLB/Direct TV partnership. I wish I knew just who to complain to, because this is going to completely freeze my family out of watching any baseball. Ever. We rent and can’t get Direct TV, and we can’t afford cable, which is outrageously overpriced in our city. I wonder what the players think of this move, knowing that it will freeze out a huge segment of fans, fans that can’t get into Fenway and will have virtually no way of seeing the games. I’m old, and I listened on the radio as a kid, but heck, I want to WATCH the games.

    I love reading your insightful descriptions of your day. I hope you do this often, as it gives us readers a look into your world that otherwise we would never get. Now, are there ever going to be photos? (hint hint!)

  38. joyofsox permalink
    March 9, 2007 1:48 am

    I agree Curt…any game featuring santana and mauer are in is def. not a “B” game…i live in michigan and unforunatly do not get to see spring training games (but you can bet your ass i’ll be getting the mlb package through my cable company to see every game) but sounds like you pitched well…although these games dont matter it would have been nice to see the “O” get us some runs!!! like i said earlier i brought up that i live in michigan and i have a bet with my boss at work that says the sox finish better this season then the over achiving detroit tigers!!! and when that happens my boss shaves his head (bic style!!) and leaves his sideburns!!! nice to read your thoughts through the spring and i hope it continues through the season!!!

    God bless

    phil

  39. illd permalink
    March 9, 2007 2:11 am

    Curt,

    Love the Blog.I always do my best to catch you on WEEI and consider you a down to earth, honest guy. I hope I don’t piss you off here by going way off topic here but i’m wicked curious about something and i don’t have any other way to ask you.So here goes:

    I’m a collector of Jersey/Bat/and or Autographed cards and i happen to have about ten of yours (my largest run for any player,although i still need the auto!).I’m dying to know the origin of these cards and how involved the player is with the card companies as well as any processes as how these items are aquired(You know…the “full scoop”).

    I don’t want to get sappy on you knowing that i’ll post here again (and often), but i’d regret not telling you how much i appreciate what you’ve done for every Red Sox fan and otherwise.From the legendary bloody sock to the contributions that you and your family make the the community, your someone that deserves the utmost respect.Screw the talk of contract negotiations that flood the media.My family and I will always love ya because your a stand up guy and a rolemodel in a world gone screwball.So thanks Schill….you da bomb! Just PLEASE never wear pinstripes. The Fam could never bear to boo ya so we’d have to relocate to a bomb shelter.

    ‘Nuff Said

    illd

  40. tomafield permalink
    March 9, 2007 4:13 am

    Curt:

    Thanks for bringing us onto the mound with you.

    Sometime this season you ought to invite one of your opposing hitters to log in and add his perspective to an at-bat against you. Be interesting to see what he’s seeing vs. what you’re throwing.

    I remember maybe 20 years ago SPORT magazine ran a memorable feature, “Anatomy of an At-Bat,” that dissected every pitch in a tough, key at-bat in a game. But that was a writer interviewing & filtering the pitcher & hitter. Let’s cut out the middleman and hear directly from the principals.

    best,

    Tom

  41. sto61 permalink
    March 9, 2007 4:40 am

    I like how you go through each choice of pitches and agree that it gives the fan a better perspective of a pitcher’s mindset. I do wonder if you plan still posting on Son of Sam Horn’s site. Either way, it is good to have a Sox player’s view, especially a pitcher’s. Keep at it and good luck for the season.

  42. ayaanomar permalink
    March 9, 2007 4:46 am

    Schill you are a heck of a work horse. I m a big yankees fan but wish you luck for the year and might see you in yankees camp next year.lol

  43. redsoxnorth permalink
    March 9, 2007 6:43 am

    Congratulations on your outing and your blog. It’s refreshing to read your insights without the spin pleaced on your words by the media. I’ve followed your career since you started with the Orioles (still have your rookie card), and as an avid Red Sox fan, I was thrilled when you signed with Boston. I hope you will work something out with them for next year – you deserve to retire in a Red Sox uniform.

    That brings me to my question. How do you deal with the loss of players like Trot Nixon, Bronson Arroyo, Mark Loretta, and so on, every year? I’m sure each new season brings excitement with the changes, but it must be difficult to watch the transitions taking place that mean your co-workers and friends no longer play for your team. Trot’s departure especially leaves such a gaping hole in the fabric of the team – how do you adjust?

  44. love33 permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:16 am

    Hey Curt,

    Great to hear what you’ve got going on in your mind, and thanks for it. Keep up the great job, and maybe, if you get a sec, tell us why you settled on the circle change instead of any of the others. I don’t know why I thought you’d go with something more like what Gagne throws than Petey.

  45. aimcifer permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:24 am

    It’s great to see you’re feeling so good physically… It’s going to be a great season. Love your blog, too, BTW :) God bless.

  46. madjackblack permalink
    March 9, 2007 8:37 am

    Late year you had talked about being more aggressive with your inside pitches much like you are working on your changeup this year. Have you given up on being an inside pitcher and making batters respect your space.

    You’ve looked really good so far, good luck this year, and bring another championship.

  47. jimedriceinhof permalink
    March 9, 2007 8:41 am

    This is the reason I’ll keep coming back here – the insight into the pitch sequence, what pitches are getting hit, etc. We can all hear you on D&C answering generic questions but as a baseball fan, this is a heck of a lot better.

    I’m somewhat surprised that your warm up routine is changing now. The fact that it took you until age 40 to hit that wall is pretty impressive. Do you think if you were built with a bit more lower body size that it would drastically alter the way you approached pitching?

  48. cdntrot permalink
    March 9, 2007 8:59 am

    ” This pitch alone tells me I am not getting ‘after it’ when throwing my fastball. ”

    If I read this correct, you get as much info from out pitches as you do from hits. I guess I never really thought about it before.

    It’s great to get the insight from a real pro.

  49. ryanpma permalink
    March 9, 2007 9:00 am

    Curt,

    Nice job yesterday. What a relief that you’re feeling stronger than previous years. Keep up the work with the change up, it’ll payoff.

    You mention you felt like crap throwing the change…after watching the highlights on NESN it was obvious you weren’t comfortable. Once you get comfortable and throw that pitch naturally you’ll dominate your opponents even more than you do now. 20 wins is looking good!

    I love this blog, as a huge Sox fan what could be better!

    Have a great season.

  50. spitball permalink
    March 9, 2007 9:30 am

    Curt, why is it that Dale Arnold on WEEI #$$#@%%#@ so much on the radio? You will be hard pressed to find him to disagree with anything you say or do. Would this be bcause he knows you listen to the show and doesn’t want to cross you?

    I know this town and probrably many other towns are all about the, “what have you done for me lately”, but with the story book season of 2004 (the commecial and the ankle problems) you have earned and deserve all of the respect of every fan from Maine to Conneticut. I think if the average sports fan realized just how much work ethic goes behind every picth you throw, there would be hardly any critcism toward your contract situation.

    With the starting rotation looking the best it has looked in years or even ever, and the batting lineup looking pretty good. How do you think the bullpen will hold up. It doesn’t (on paper) look very strong. Good teams will try to be patient against the starters to try and get to the bullpen. Do see this as being a major weakness on the team?

  51. fenwaynationchief permalink
    March 9, 2007 9:31 am

    Curt-

    Excellent and informative entry. Is the new change-up going to mean less reliance on the splitter this year (especially if it’s not working as it is now)?

  52. educatedcheese permalink
    March 9, 2007 9:33 am

    Hi Curt — LOVE the blog. If you can keep this up all season, it will be an absolutely fascinating insider’s guide to pitching in the major leagues. Just to have the chance to see the game through a pitcher’s eyes is fantastic… When you have a chance, could you maybe comment on the impact that changes in pitching coaches has on a staff. Last year there were mid-season changes in pitching coaches, and this year Farrell is new. What sorts of impacts do those changes have on veterans like yourself, guys transitioning teams (like Beckett last year), and kids coming up (like Lester last season)? The role of the pitching coach, in its specific impact on the pitchers, is something of a mystery… Have a great season, thanks for the blog, and thanks for 2004 (you have no idea). See you in KC on opening day!

  53. monalisa5 permalink
    March 9, 2007 9:48 am

    Props to you for opening the mind of an ace MLB pitcher up to baseball fans. I’m really enjoying your performance self-assessments, particularly your willingness to see things that are less than perfect. I feel like I’ve been given the opportunity to begin to ‘know’ a professional baseball player as a person. It’s exciting and insightful.

    My question is, at what age did you first notice that you stand-out baseball talent, and what did that knowledge feel like?

    The best to you, Curt. Have a tremendous season!

  54. speedyg permalink
    March 9, 2007 9:51 am

    Hi Curt,

    I have been trying to find a way to personally thank you for blasting the curse to kingdom come and bringing home the world series! It was a tremendous event. My friends and I thank you.

    We share a mutual “old friend.” Walter Mconnell. Do you remember playing D&D with his rambunctious younger neighbor that lived across the street on Shangi- La Rd? We also played ball many times in his front yard. I was the worst baseball player ever! I remember the both of us arguing about my “non” talent at the game. Now that I think about it I am ashamed, what was I fighting about? I STUNK… Aw sweet youth.

    I can’t wait to see the games that your company releases in the future. You have some great talent with you in that department. Games have come a long way from the antiquated TEXT version of ADVENTURE that we used to play in Walters back room on the Apple Two!

    I have lived in Framingahm, Mass for since 1982 and my aunt would always give me updates from the Mconnels about your career from the start.

    Sincerly

    Michael Gonzalez

    look4me92@hotmail.com

    In case you ever have time to get a beer.

  55. jan27 permalink
    March 9, 2007 10:09 am

    Curt, very interesting and informative post on your performance. But your seemingly very forthcoming posts have left me wondering: What does the Red Sox organization think? Do they have any reservations about your seemingly revealing posts? Have they cautioned you at all? Do you care what they think, anyway? And do you think that opposing teams, players and/or management, may be able to glean too much specific information from your posts? Of course, as an interested baseball fan and observer, I relish your seeming openness. But would I feel the same way if I were Theo or Tito? Just wondering … Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this more general topic, Curt.

  56. oldgandydancer permalink
    March 9, 2007 10:12 am

    Hey Curt,

    I don’t know how you find time with 4 beautiful children and a beautiful wife to be able to write and read in this blog. We are truly blessed.

    Later

  57. maineiac permalink
    March 9, 2007 10:41 am

    Love the blog Curt. First timer here…but you can be assured I’ll be checking daily going forward. I am a “born in to it” Sox fan from coastal Maine, where the Sox are more than just a sports team…more like the very fabric of our lives. From my perspective 07 promises to be a very special season indeed. I am looking forward to watching the games in HD this season as I finally upgraded to a new HDTV. The “old” 36″ RCA sits about 5 feet in front of my desk in my office…so it’s wall to wall Sox this summer.

    If you have never been to Maine, let me suggest you bring your family for a visit at some point. I believe you would like the people, love the landscape and beauty, and enjoy the Maine traditions. Food aint bad either.

    Once again, the blog is great….nice to have such a personal glimpse in the daily life of one of our sports heroes.

  58. locklandworth permalink
    March 9, 2007 11:14 am

    Curt, When you get a chance, please tell us your thoughts about the evil deal between MLB and Direct TV. Do the players know about it? Any of you talking about it? If you guys could make a stink, well, I don’t know if it would do anything, but the fans could use all the help they can get on this. This is a BIG BIG DEAL, a huge problem for thousands of Red Sox fans, if not hundreds of thousands.

  59. milmascaras permalink
    March 9, 2007 11:18 am

    Great job Curt! You can celebrate by having a few extra milk shakes post workout, and don’t forget the obligatory calls to WEEI.

  60. sportsnut72 permalink
    March 9, 2007 11:22 am

    Curt,

    You take this game very seriously and thank you for being on my favorite team and caring about yourself. You take your job seriously unlike some players and wonder the same on how the Red Sox think of this? I am sure they see a player that is working hard and sees so much effort into their “job”. I realized back in Philly you did player stats, but see more and more how much studying you do. I am also wondering if you will pass anything that you do onto Dice K for his experience in the Majors will progress and his preparation of the game.

    Thank you

  61. coasterbill permalink
    March 9, 2007 11:34 am

    Hey Curt! I love the blog. It’s always an exciting point in our lives when you find yet another outlet to hear yourself talk. Please keep it up because we are all extremely interested in what you have to say. Sometimes late at night I sit at home and hit refresh over and over again on your blog. I thought you threw 15 change ups, I’m just glad you were here to set me straight on that. What would I do without you Curt.

    XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  62. lydia69 permalink
    March 9, 2007 11:39 am

    I do love this blog. I also enjoy reading the comments. It is so amazing that the comments are open and read by Curt!

    Also: Thank you Curt for reporting that Santana is looking good. I was able to grab him in my Baseball Fantasy league.

  63. roguesbeer permalink
    March 9, 2007 11:52 am

    My 2nd son was born in April of 2005. My wife (ex now) told me she was pregnant with him during inning 4 of game 4 of the 2004 WS – Red Sox vs Cardinals. I’m a lifelong and diehard Red Sox fan. After seeing Curt’s dedication during the 2004 playoffs/WS, I realized that what he did is what I want my children to embody during their lives. Dedication, team before self, compassion for others, high morals and values. I named my son Liam Schilling Cherry – and I hope that Curt is able to read this and know what an impact his behavior has had on the fans of the sport – well, this fan in particular. My son will hopefully be able to meet Curt one day – but maybe if Curt reads these responses, he will at least know what a huge impact his actions have had on some of us fans.

    Thank you Curt! And in particular, thank you for what you did for all of Red Sox nation in 2004 – it will NEVER be forgotten.

  64. mortgageguy71 permalink
    March 9, 2007 11:54 am

    Curt,

    Was at your 200th win last season – what a great Fenway memory to hear everyone chant for you to come out and tip your hat.

    Looking foward to getting the ticket stub autographed and adding it to the wall in the “man room”!

    Good luck in 2007!

  65. iiiiceman permalink
    March 9, 2007 12:05 pm

    Hello Curt congats on new blog,sorry for your loss of Vucovich.I have so much respect for you as a person you don’t even know.The time and money you donate makes you the great human being you are even more than what you accomplish on the diamond.I truely hope you kick butt this year and pray for health above all (then theo and sox will have to step up to keep you here where you belong).You mentioned that your pre-game warm up starts 2:20 before first pitch i’m curious does that mean you start earlier to get more warmed up because of the 34-40 year old thing than before or start later to keep energy in reserve for game.Also it must be extremely hard for you as a popular public figure in certain times of your life I say that because I witnessed it first hand with you and you didn’t look comfortable and I felt awful.My son Cam has downsyndrome and have spent countless trips to B.C.H. and he was having his ears worked on the same day as your son and by the same doctor by the way(that was comforting). We were in the next stall from you and I saw you walk by with glasses,hat and steelers coat(what’s up with that)in full cognito and the first thing in my mind was,here he is concerned for his sons health and trying to care for him and you have to sneak around so nobody recognizes you because people wouldn’t take the time to think of where they are and I’m sure you had to be nice and hand out autographs or something,Im not sure I could handle that if I were in you shoes. Thanks for the time,thanks for the True Curt Commentary not Curt media spin crap this will be awesome. CURT GET ANOTHER RING AND COME BACK NEXT YEAR FOR 250 AND H.O.F. IN SOX UNIFORM.

    allardgckw@hotmail.com

  66. schilling4senatemyewebnet permalink
    March 9, 2007 12:10 pm

    Hey Curt,Great Post.I still think you should run for Senate and kick John Kerrys $#@.Check out Schilling4senate.myeweb.net

  67. tapadance permalink
    March 9, 2007 12:25 pm

    Ok, so on the silly side, has anyone taken a look at surviving grady lately. This proves once again Curt has all the brains in the organization. Take this blog with a big grain of salt.

    http://www.survivinggrady.com/2007/03/big-man-on-paper.html

  68. callidus permalink
    March 9, 2007 1:13 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Love the continued blogging effort! It’s awesome to read about the thought that goes into each pitch selection and the interplay between you and Tek. As a former catcher, that sort of thing is a wonderful read.

    Thanks for taking the time for us!

    Scott

  69. melanie11 permalink
    March 9, 2007 1:14 pm

    From your first pitch in Little League to now…..how many pitches do you think you have thrown? What do you think the long term damage may end up being from pitching?? My 6 year old is deciding which position he wants to play in his first T-ball league……he’s inclined to pitch. Now, I don’t imagine he’ll go on to play in the “bigs”………..but I wonder about the strain on his arm if he does go on to pitch for several years.

    Mel

  70. March 9, 2007 1:22 pm

    Curt

    You really can’t imagine the joy you give to fans by creating this blog. I recall when you posted on the Red Sox Fan Forum and how it created much excitement. Reading your insights on your pitching and games really lets the readers know what your feeling without having to read the crap CHB and others put out there. I want to ask the same question that poster here “skinnyman2007″ asked as I’ve noticed it too.

    “Curt during games why do you step over the chalk lines when you are going to the mound.”

    I was at this past Sunday’s game at Hammond Stadium as well and it was such an awesome game watching such talented players as Santana, Mauer, Cuddyer, and Morneau against our boys.

    Good Luck this year and I’m sorry for your loss in the passing of Vukovich. The “hanging curveball” story made me smile. And that is what we like to do when we remember those who pass on….is smile about the memories.

  71. danshaughnessy permalink
    March 9, 2007 1:45 pm

    Hey, this is no fair. I don’t get to pitch for the Red Sox, so why do you get to write. AND MORE PEOPLE ARE READING YOUR STUFF THAN MINE!

    That’s it. I’m writing a new column, and the cheap shots will fly!

  72. March 9, 2007 2:22 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Though I think it’s great to get this insight into your pitching, is there any chance your opponents could use this information against you at the plate? I’m guessing the answer is most likely not, but it was something that came to mind. Just wondering…

  73. lowandawy permalink
    March 9, 2007 2:23 pm

    Curt, Great idea to communicate directly with RSN. As usual, at this time of the year I am lost in the sweet anticipation of another season where all things look possible. It’s great to see you pitching without concern for any nagging physical injury. If the pitching staff stays healthy, a big if, the skies the limit for this team.

    24 days and 47 minutes till first pitch! :)

  74. kevma permalink
    March 9, 2007 2:39 pm

    Curt, when are you going to learn to throw the gyroball? lol

  75. truckah permalink
    March 9, 2007 3:40 pm

    curt,

    is warming up 2:20 before game time giving you more or less warm-up time? does it take more pitches for you to get loose ( than in years past)? i’ve wondered if “mature” pitchers threw fewer warm up tosses to save more for the game, or required more of them as a rule to loosen up.

    btw, very nice work here for the fans. you posess several admirable qualities which compliment each other. it’s uncommon today for a man to hold uncompromising beliefs, much less be articulate in their expression. thanks.

  76. freddie152 permalink
    March 10, 2007 11:20 am

    One of the major changes this year has been the need to change some things I do in warming up. My pre-game warm up begins 2:20 minutes before first pitch. That’s a drastic change from years past and it’s mainly due to some of the physical changes I’d always heard happen at 34-40, but never knew until this year.

    Curt,

    Understanding and excepting the fact that at age 40+ the body cannot and will not respond as it did in in our younger years is key to being able to adjust and adapt. Its all about adjusting and adapting. Mr. Clemens is not competing at his level by accident. Anyhow, if things don’t work out for you, we would have a spot for you on the Manchester Eagles in the NHBL 40+ league here in NH. The only drawback for you would be is that we all have to pay to play, and our fan base consists of players wifes and kids. But a cold beer and rehash of the game afterwards is always in order. In my opinion playing the game at any level at our age is ….PRICELESS. Good luck!!!

  77. jade4953 permalink
    March 10, 2007 2:26 pm

    Curt,

    I am aware of the 2005 tendon injury that you bravely played through, my question is: What process is involved in healing from the surgeries and recovering to the point where you can exert the pressure you accomplished on that tendon prior to the injury?

  78. indyo permalink
    March 22, 2007 3:14 pm

    ummm will you tell me how you get more things on my blog?

  79. mattlenny permalink
    December 20, 2007 1:04 am

    Don’t know if you take questions at all, but I have coached a variety of high school sports over the past decade and I was wondering:

    Although I understand the importance of a pre-game routine, what happens when that routine gets thrown out of wack? Does that have a negative effect on your game that night?

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