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Q & A IX

March 27, 2007

Q & A IX

Q-How did you make the majors?

A-God given talent, incredible parents and a HUGE amount of luck.

Q-What was your path as a kid? My son is 9 (just turned 9) years old and works hard everyday to be good at baseball. He’s always getting training…he’s signed up for Frozen Ropes, Extra Innings, many towns Baseball Academy and so on, he practices most days…

Q-How much is too much for a 9 year old?

A-They’ll let you know in my opinion. I think you have to push a little bit because their attention spans are shorter and shorter as more things are available to keep them interested but in the end if they don’t love it, no amount of ‘coaching’ is going to change that.

Q-How do you know when a kid has enough talent go far with Baseball?

A-I think that falls on the ‘kid’ as much as it does the parents. Parents view their childrens athletic ability through very rosy glasses. I’ve been around kids, coached kids and worked with kids who’s parents would tell me that their son is a surefire major leaguer if he ‘keeps it up’ and I’m sitting there watching a kid who isn’t going to make his high school team. The numbers are staggering, it used to be 1 in every 100,000 kids who plays organized baseball gets drafted. Then you look at the volume of kids drafted and how few of them make it to the major leagues and it can be daunting. If you’re working with your kids in sports for them to become ‘pro’s’ then I think you’re making a huge mistake. You won’t get them there, they will. However if you have your kids playing sports to learn the real lessons they teach, sportsmanship, camaraderie, respect, how to count on teammates and be counted on, how to handle winning and losing, all the truly important life lessons then I think you’re doing the right thing. I could care less if any of my kids become ‘pro’s’, I just want them to have a passion for whatever it is they do, and be as good as they can be, trying to be the best.

Q-In regards to the upcoming season, and where we were starting in 04′, how good do you think the 07′ team looks? And do you think we will win the world series in 4 games or 7? Just a little confident, but realistically the Division, post-season, what are your thoughts??

A-I think, like about 10-12 other teams, we have a legitimate shot at winning it all. But unlike other sports seasons we’ve got 162 games to play before we can figure it all out. I think we are better positioned to handle an injury or two this year, if we have to, but I said it before and I think it’s true, the AL East team whose starting rotation spends the fewest days on the DL will win this division. Once you get into October it’s about the ‘hot hand’, and which 2-3 starting pitchers are throwing the best, or will throw the best. If Burnett and Halladay stay healthy Toronto is going to be good because they are going to hit again. I think, in addition to Wells and Glaus, Rios is going to continue getting better and it wouldn’t surprise me if he puts up a huge year giving how much he adjusted from ’05 to ’06 and how much better he was off of those adjustments. The Yanks are just flat out going to hit. Having Wang on the DL to start the season doesn’t help but they’ll find a way to overcome that, they always do. I think our offense is going to be relentless as well. This division is going to be a dog fight again, as is the Central. Beyond the regular season I’ll let you spew the optimism and confidence, because we need to get there first.

Q-Have you ever been on a Starting Rotation comparable to this one, and the endless potential it may have?

A-That’s a tough one because to live up to ‘endless potential’ everything needs to fall perfectly right. In 1993 and 2004 the rotations we started the season with stayed intact for pretty much the entire year, which was huge. We competed against each other in an advantageous way for the team. This rotation absolutely has that potential.

Q-Thanks for the shout out Curt. It was an amazing trip. I went to Spring Training with the Jimmy Fund two years ago so it was great to see others experience it for the first time. I think I can speak for all the kids when I say trips like that make going through treatment a little more bearable. A huge thanks to you and all the people that made it possible. You’re as amazing off the field as you are on and a prime example of why the Red Sox organization is so great. Best of luck this season. Hope to see you too!

A-HOLLY! Thanks for coming down and it was great to see you as well. If you could, please check in from time to time and let me, and the people that come around here, know how things are going.

Q-why was Crazy Carl’s name deleted? Did he threaten to kill you or something?

A-It was deleted because I made a mistake. CHB was given the nickname by Carl but it was in reference to “Gordon Edes Curly Haired Boyfriend”. Something the astute fans at SOSH were quick to pounce on.

Q-I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD PLEASE TALK MORE ABOUT BECOMING A CHRISTIAN AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOU ON A DAILY BASIS. ARE THERE OTHER RED SOX PLAYERS THAT ARE CHRISTIANS AS WELL?

A-There are many of us on the team. As far as how it affects me on a daily basis I am not sure there’s any way to put it other than it affects everything about me, everyday. It doesn’t imply what people that are not Christians seem to think it does. Which is to say it doesn’t preclude me from saying dumb things, making stupid mistakes, thinking bad things, to me it’s the foundation on which I am trying to build something lasting and meaningful to the people I know, and that know me.

Q- Re: the Changeup – I know that with a change, you aim to duplicate your motion and arm angle to that of a fastball, that said, what have you found to be harder about adding this pitch, the mechanics, or the mental aspect?

A-You try and duplicate your arm angle and motion with all your pitches. For me, by far, the hardest part of the change up has been getting my brain around it. Physically I felt like I had a good one years ago, but when I’d get on the mound I could never translate those thoughts into a game. Mentally, for me anyway, the brain always tried to make the body do things it wasn’t supposed to do when you throw a change up and that’s been the hardest thing to ‘unlearn’.

Q-Daisuke, it says on the TV that he can throw 100. The ESPN radar gun says 90-92. How long into the season does it take you to get your top velocity?

A-Not that long. Velocity has been one of the ‘victims’ of modern day media and television coverage. I am as guilty of it as some guys. There was a time I’d look up at the gun because what it said ‘mattered’ to me, and I am not sure why. I am guessing it’s the same thing as having weight room muscles and a mirror. You look because you think the bigger numbers mean something positive. I don’t know if they still use both guns, but there are two different types of radar, the jugs and the ray guns. The jugs gun is usually faster, and the ray is usually slower, sometimes by a lot. I am concerned about velocity now only as it pertains to consistency. The hardest thrower on this staff is Josh, by far. He’s consistently at 94-96. Daisuke seems to me to be a guy that will work best around 92 or so, and dial up to 96-97 to put guys away, or in big spots. That’s huge, when you can add 5mph to an already hard to hit FB, you can beat FB hitters with FB, in FB counts. I don’t know what the ESPN gun is but I watched some games last year and I knew the guy on the mound was a 92-94 guy and the gun was showing 86-87, they are often off by that much. Also remember that the gun will misread balls in parts of the strike zone. I can’t remember which gun it was but one of them reads ‘truer’ or harder when the ball is at the bottom of the zone as opposed to the top. The main thing, as a fan, I think to look for is velocity change between pitches. Guys like Glavine, Maddux, Rogers, Oswalt, Halladay, can have extreme swings in velocity when they want to.

Q-How much does having a “good” or a “bad” catcher behind the plate affect the pitcher? Why?

A-Not sure I can quantify it. I’d liken a good and bad catcher to a QB. A good catcher is the QB who barks the plays in the huddle, and everyone in the huddle breaks to the line absolutely sure of what’s about to happen. The bad catcher would be the guy who is timid, sort of calls the play and wanders to the line of scrimmage, with the whole team wondering just what the hell is about to happen. They instill confidence, even when you might not have the stuff to HAVE confidence, and you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the fingers he’s putting down he’s putting down because he KNOWS when you make this pitch, the hitter is out. The bad catcher is sitting behind the plate, tying run on 2nd, thinking, “damn, if I can just keep my hands back I can hit the slider in my next AB”.

Q-what pitcher you think throws the best of each pitch being these days. we hear about Santana’s change-up or Rivera’s cutter. who do you think throws the best 2 seam fastball? 4 seamer? changeup? curveball? knuckleball? cutter? splitter? slider? forkball?

A-Sinker? D Lowe and B Webb and then the rest of the world. These two guys are in a totally different league when it comes to throwing a 2 seamer. It’s so hard, and breaks so much it looks, sometimes, like a left handed slider. The best I ever ‘saw’ was Kevin Browns in 2001. We pitched a 2-0 1:50 minute game in Az and I had three AB’s, I felt like Rob Deer, without the power. I don’t believe I came close to contact. Ball was sinking about a foot, at 96.

4 Seamer? Lot of good ones but Oswalts stands out to me. He throws his ball on a completely unique and different plane than most guys. A knee high FB that looks ‘flat’, and about the last 10 feet goes from 95 to 200mph. It explodes at the plate. Pete Harnish had the same kind of FB. Papelbon has that same thing. Guys were blown away last year facing him. They’d be talking about “It’s not 100, it’s a 95mph fastball, but I can’t catch up with it.” That’s because unlike most 4 seam fastballers his ball travels on a lower plane, and is ‘level’, which is weird as hell to see. I haven’t see a lot of him yet because he’s been hurt, but Harden is the other guy. His 4 seamer is unhittable because it belies his soft easy delivery. He winds up and next thing you know it’s at the plate.

Changeup? Santana. It may not be the ‘best’ change up, but it’s the most effective because of how great his FB is. You cannot look for something else when you hit off him because he throws so hard, but you also know he’s got this fantastic change up. If, even for a second, you are not committed to one or the other, you end up a highlight on ESPN. Cole Hamels has an incredible change up as well. The few times I’ve been able to see him throw he’s dominated with it. Few guys can ring up huge K numbers due to a great change up, because you have to have the FB to compliment it, like Pedro does. Pedro had the best combo I’ve ever seen. When he had both, you were losing.

Curveball? Oswalt, Halladay have fantastic curveballs. Oswalt broke out the eephus one a few years back and that one is almost unfair on nights he’s got his A FB and location. Docs is so good because hitters know he’ll throw it anytime. Burnett, in my mind, has the best power curve in the game. If he does consistently throw it on the plate this year he’s going to be sick. Josh’s CB is getting to that point as well. This spring I thought he elevated the effectiveness of that pitch by leaps and bounds.

Knuckleball? Wake owns this one. In addition to being just about the ONLY one in the game, people can’t fathom just how hard it is to not only throw the pitch, but to ‘control’ it like he does. It’s truly an art form and ZERO fun to play catch with (which I’ve done just once since I have been here)

Cutter? Mo. 7 days a week and twice on Sunday. There are a lot of guys with very good cutters, John Lester has a great one, but no one touches Riveras cutter, literally. Given the praise people have for him I still would argue that he’s incredibly underrated when thinking all time best. This guy has constructed a first ballot HOF career on ONE PITCH. He knows he’s throwing it, the hitter knows he’s throwing it, the fans know he’s throwing it, and you still can’t hit it. He’s pitched the highest leverage innings his ENTIRE career, and dominated, with one pitch. No one else has ever done that, ever.
Splitter? Clemens, period. And I get to speak from experience on this one. Game 7 of the 2001 World Series and he’s throwing 94-95mph. I almost think I can deal with it after I see the first one. Then he breaks out a 92mph split, that drops off the table. 0-3 with 3k’s, no foul balls. It was so intimidating it was humorous. I think the best in the game, active pitcher, right now would be a toss up between Rich Harden and Papelbon. I can’t think of many others I see much but those two guys throw it incredibly hard with a ton of movement.

Forkball? I don’t know anyone throwing a true fork ball right now. The best one I have seen was Bryan Harvey, in Florida. His started about waist high and had to be blocked in the dirt 9 times out of 10. He threw gas and could locate.

Q-1. It’s the top of the 6th and you’re up by a run. You’ve been through the lineup twice. What are you doing differently to keep the hitters on their toes? What did you do in earlier innings to set yourself up for success in the later innings?

A-Can’t really talk in depth, but on the mound there would be a few things that I’d use to figure it out. I take into account the history I have with the hitter, his previous 2 AB’s, what I have done to the 2-3 hitters prior to this AB, what feels best in my mind from a command standpoint, if I will see him again this game, how is the umpire calling the inside and outside corners.

Q-As soon as the ball up the middle deflected off you, I was composing my next blog post in my head: Especially after witnessing what happens to teammates like Matt Clement, how difficult is it to immediately remain poised when a ball ricochets off you like that?

A-I think that’s player dependant. I’ve been hit 20-30 times in my career. Broken finger, broken elbow but nothing life threatening. I have been fortunate that it’s not something that’s ever been on my mind. The worst I was ever hit was in the 9th inning of a game in Philadelphia, up a run, 2 outs. Eddie Taubensee hit a ball I still haven’t seen, that hit me below the kneecap. Ball went into left field for a single. I am one out away from a CG, and I can’t stand up. There’s some pain, not as much as I thought I might have, but I can’t stand up. I don’t know why but my leg will not straighten, and I have to come out of the game. That sucked. We all react as fans, when you see someone hit in the head, it makes your stomach turn.

Q-You already mentioned that you threw three consecutive bad changeups after that. Does almost being hit have anything to do with that, especially when your change up was so effective during the rest of your outing?

A-Not at all.
Q-Regarding the Sox organization and player development, without stepping on any toes can you provide me with an assessment? Overall, I feel they have found a good balance. However, sometimes it seems the organization is very willing to gamble on a veteran whose production or market value has slipped in hopes that the trend will reverse and it will be a value-buy. But they seem less willing to gamble on a rookie, who does not have a track record, in hopes that they can breakout. I feel this sometimes detracts from building long-term viability and a cohesive team.

A-I think the major problem that fans have is their insistence to not look at things in the right frame of mind sometimes. Fans, many, start threads, call into radio, whatever, talking about player moves and how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ they think a move is and they do so with an argument that sounds as if they truly believe the team, any team, does things ‘on a whim’. Every team has like 95 assistants to the assistant to the assistant GM. These guys have meetings about meetings, as a preliminary to having an actual meeting. You have the luxury of being able to watch moves after they are made, and judge it on the statistics, both individual and team wise. These guys have to make their moves, their drafts, their trades, with NONE of that, they have to do it before anyone knows. They do that based on advice from just about everyone that’s anyone in player development. I know that here, player moves are the end result of about a billion events. This team is far and away the most cognizant of ‘player makeup’ when it comes to players and moving them up, down, trading, drafting. That’s not to say they are always right, they’ll be the first to admit they aren’t, but it’s a huge part of the decision making process around here. They will come to us as players and ask us about guys we know and have played with when it comes to bringing in new guys, or younger guys, and most times the conversation revolves around makeup. This is a different market, same as NY, you have to be a different sort of person to thrive here. They get that. They know you need to be wired a little differently to be able to handle all the ‘extras’ that come with playing in Boston.

Q-If you were buying the groceries, how would you shop?

A-Well first off I’d like to be shopping with the Sox or Yanks budget. As far as the actual shopping goes that depends on where the franchise is. There’s a million different ways to build a winning team. I talked with Buck Showalter about this when I was in Arizona in 2000. I was asking him about the expansion draft and what their thoughts were going into it and he said some stuff I’d never heard before but found fascinating. They knew that the expansion draft was not going to net them World Series talent. They thought they might find 2-3 players that would still be around when they got good, but that their philosophy was to find the players in the draft that they knew the other teams thought had value. They felt they could turn the players they drafted into better talent by trading the ones other teams saw value in for younger and better talent.

Q-do you believe the way the rotation is now You, Josh, Timmy, Dice-K and Julian is sufficient given that it is only APRIL and you all are healthy?

A-Absolutely.

Q-if you had to start a baseball team tomorrow- and you had two picks- kind of like the old strat-o-matic- game (remmeber that?) who would be your one pitcher and who would be your everyday player

A-To win now? Or building a franchise?
To win now I’d take Santana and Pujols.
If you could guarantee me 5 years of health, and I was building a franchise I’d take Harden and Sizemore. Without the guarantee I’d take Webb and Sizemore. The others that might be a great choice for me would be Verlander, Bonderman, Reyes, Wright, Rios, Sabathia, Howard, Utley, Fielder. I think there is an immense amount of great young talent in the game right now and even better is that the ones I’ve had a chance to meet are all fantastic guys as well.

Q-I have a question that has always bugged me. Why aren’t NL pitchers better hitters? It would seem to me that they should be. Typically, those who pitched growing up were among the better all-around players and the best hitters. Obviously, this gets lost along the way. But, with free time between starts and throwing sessions, isn’t there time to take extra BP or work on hitting mechanics? I would have to think that a pitcher who could hit even .250 would win himself another 2-3 games over the course of a season.

A-Mainly because you’ve never had to stand at the plate and face a major league pitcher. Hitting a baseball is, in my opinion, the single hardest thing to do in sports. I thought I could rake in high school. I graduated in 1985 and my next at bat came in 1991, and I felt like I’d never held a bat before. The speed of the game is so far beyond anything you can comprehend it’s laughable.

Q-I know it is early, besides the Yankees, who is strong in our division? Is that something that the team thinks about at this point in the season or is it more about preparing yourselves?

A-The Blue Jays, if they stay healthy, are going to be better than people think. Two legit aces, all star closer, underrated lineup. The thing about teams people don’t consider ‘good’ is that they are different teams, vastly different teams, on certain days. The Devil Rays are a legitimate winning team when Kazmir pitches, no question. The O’s become a very good team when Bedard is on the mound, and if Cabrera is on you better hope he throws a lot of pitches early because he’s as unhittable as anyone in the game when he’s throwing the ball in the strike zone. I have heard Loewen is throwing very well too.
Q-I have a question about Game 7 against the Yankees when you were in AZ. Watching that game, I thought the first pitcher that makes a mistake is going to lose the game. Ironically, it was Mariano Rivera that made the LAST mistake that ended up costing NY the series. But what was your thought process when Soriano hit the HR off you? You made a good pitch and he still hit it out.

A-I knew, or thought I did, that the first pitcher to give up a run was going to lose. I remember that next spring, when I got to watch the game again for the first time, and Bautista hit the triple off of Roger, if you watch it, he turns to the outfield and puts his hand on his waist, and sort of shrugs. I was thinking as I was watching this that in his mind he’s thinking “We just lost this game”. My thoughts when Soriano hit the HR were pretty simple. I knew I’d just lost Game 7 of the World Series. I knew that because I watched the ball for about a half second, turned to right field and saw Rivera taking his jacket off. On the mound, at that second were two thoughts “I just cost us the World Series” and “How in the hell did he hit that pitch THAT FAR?”. That was one of the few pitchs I would argue to this day was a ‘great pitch’. He crushed that ball, that wasn’t just a well hit HR, he crushed that pitch.
Q-Curt, I wanted to add that I am a liberal and not Christian, so we disagree on certain issues, but I certainly respect your views, as I’m sure you’d respect mine.

A-I’d really like to address these two topics one time, and not have us do it again. I honest to God could care less what your political affiliation is. I also think you should care less what mine is. I don’t and haven’t ever voted ‘party lines’. I vote for the person I believe is the best candidate. If you vote for someone because someone told you to or someone you like voted for them, you’re an idiot. We’re in a quagmire right now politically. From local elections on up it seems to me that we vote for the person we DISLIKE the least, instead of the best candidate, and that sucks. But because you disagree with my political views is totally irrelevant to me unless you and I are discussing politics, and this isn’t a forum to do that. I will also add that my profession, like yours, has nothing to do with my political insight or opinions. If you think I’d vote for a president because his policy is going to lower my taxes you’re stupid.

As far as being a Christian goes, I’ll just tell you that it’s been the single biggest life changing thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m not going to tell you how to or why to, or even that you should. I’ll answer questions from people, regardless of their religious beliefs, when they ask me about my Faith.

And as far as CHBs column that ran roughshod over me and the people coming here let me say this. Obviously, like anyone, I sincerely appreciate the well wishes, the thank you’s and the support. I didn’t start doing this to get an outpouring of back pats and hand shakes. Life has been more than great to me to this point and there are a lot more deserving people than me in this world that could be living my dream. If that bothers you then I would tell you that the problems you have are yours and yours alone. If someone wishing someone else well, or thanking them, is something that gives you problems, or makes you mad, then you’ve got a lot bigger problems than this one.

If that’s not acceptable or a problem then as I stated very early on, don’t come here. You come here by choice and it’s appreciated when it leads to you learning something about the game, ALS, Shade or whatever, and I appreciate the Q&A when it comes to 38 Studios, Baseball, whatever. I started doing this because of the unfiltered and open forum it provides to talk about the things I like to do. I don’t go out of my way to talk to people I don’t respect or like, why would you? I don’t moderate the comments here, other than to delete the vulgar sophmoric posts that have nothing to add. I don’t delete posts that are rants and what not, about me or what people think of me. To date the site has had almost 900,000 viewers, and almost 2000 posted comments. I’ve had to delete 23 posts for content, the rest are there for everyone to see.

110 Comments leave one →
  1. bkoron permalink
    March 27, 2007 2:26 pm

    Say Curt,

    I heard once that you play some Strat-O-Matic on-line. Do you still have time for that? There’s a reason I’m asking this, which I’ll get to.

    ~BK

  2. menuhub permalink
    March 27, 2007 2:28 pm

    Curt: Have you seen the Film about the Irish National Baseball team. The Emerald Diamond Great Stuff! one of the players is a big fan of yours, He talks about yourself and the Sox in his blog his name is Cormac Eklof. Tim http://www.menuhub.com

  3. goldsteingonewild permalink
    March 27, 2007 2:32 pm

    Things I’ve learned from 38 Pitches

    1. Difference b/w command and control

    2. Pitching insiderism, like why to start a hitter with a fastball inside; “throwing against the front side” and the resulting shoulder strain; thought process between innings; who throws best 4-seamer and why

    3. Detailed recount of the contract issue

    Things I’ve learned from Shaughnessy’s Notebook

    1. “I’m just trying to relax and throw my pitches,” said Beckett.

    2. Wily Mo Peña and Doug Mirabelli will stay back and hit in a minor league game today.

    3. The Sox dedicated Field 5 at the minor league complex to player development consultant Felix Maldonado

    Um, yeah, thanks Dan. Quite enlightening.

  4. mikede permalink
    March 27, 2007 2:46 pm

    Hi Curt: While checking out a financial website I came across a name of a columnist that took me by surprise, Lenny Dykstra. Having not heard his name in years in any capacity, I was surprised to see him in this context. Nothing against Lenny, I would feel that way seeing any ex-pro athlete’s name on such a random site. But I thought to myself, good for him he found life after and outside of baseball. Obviously, with 38studios, you have set yourself up for life after baseball. So my question is this, what kind of help does MLB or the union give to players to prepare for life after the game? On EEI, Smerlas and Deossie have often talked about how hard it is for some guys after they leave the NFL, citing stats like a 75% divorce rate in the first year post football and another large percentage blowing through their money in 3 years or so…And they claim that the NFL union is really of little help. Obviously, it’s different in the NFL with 20-22 year old kids getting huge sums of money and attention immediately. A baseball draftee can spend years on buses in the minors before ever getting a chance in the majors. So it’s possible that some life lessons are learned by the younger baseball kids that the NFL kids don’t experience so maybe the stats would be different for ex- major leaguers. Also NFL contracts are not guaranteed the way MLB’s are..so there may be a difference there too. What kinds of things does MLB or the union do to prepare guys for life after baseball?

  5. rpknfn14 permalink
    March 27, 2007 2:52 pm

    Curt,
    I am a huge Phillies fan and let me just say thank you for the memories of 1993! We miss you! I know its a long season, but looking into the future since Ed Wade is now gone is there any chance we could see you in a Phillies uniform again?

  6. March 27, 2007 2:53 pm

    Curt, you may like this game:

    http://www.csfbl.com/

    Think of it as fantasy baseball, but a lot more addicting and closer to real life (minus real life players).

  7. March 27, 2007 2:53 pm

    Hey Curt … said it before and I’ll say it again, love this blog and thanks for taking the time to do this.

    Question: What, exactly, is the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessey’s problem with you? I can understand not being your best friend (we can’t like everyone we meet), but this is ridiculous. He seems to go out of his way to needle you and take some kind of pot shot. His column in the Globe the other day poking fun at your blog site was ridiculous and will be the last of his columns that I ever read.

    Follow up question: How do you deal with members of the media like that? Do you even read the newspaper columns written about you (good or bad)?

  8. March 27, 2007 3:16 pm

    “If you vote for someone because someone told you to or someone you like voted for them, you’re an idiot. We’re in a quagmire right now politically. From local elections on up it seems to me that we vote for the person we DISLIKE the least, instead of the best candidate, and that sucks.”

    Hear, hear.

    Related to various of your comments on the division:

    Are there times when it becomes disgruntling for a pitcher to ply his trade in the AL East? Has the spending and concentration on real “grindey” lineups becoming deflating, particularly on the younger guys getting called up into The Gauntlet? As much as I love Bronson Arroyo, the dude’s not angling for Cy Young contention if he stays in the AL East, you know? I often wonder if he and Pedro didn’t look back on their first seasons in the NL after their AL runs, and breathe a sigh of relief.

    Also:

    Do teams do a disservice to their prospects when they begin “branding” them with expectations (Hansen is being groomed for closer of the future, Ellsbury comparisons to Johnny Damon, etc)? Do you feel this negatively affects a callup more often than not, or are these sorts of connotations necessary to keep these younger talents in a “successful” mindset? And does any of this ever actually come form the team, or just constructs of the media?

  9. miked714 permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:16 pm

    What drives me nuts is that the CHB and his editors do not seem to care about the reader. They just want to be vindictive. I read the globe for Mike Reiss and Gordon Edes. They are both excellent and are not out to prove anything to anyone. They get their story, have good interviews and print them. Dannyboy just seems to be in the business of ripping people. I’m sure now that Dice-K did not want to speak to the media yesterday that Dan will now have an issue with him over the life of his contract.

    Curt, keep up the good work. Between the work you do on the field and the joy you bring to kids and young adults with Cancer, ALS as well as other diseases, you are truely an inspiration to many!

    CHB….well, you have a lot to learn in life.

  10. tymmyramone permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:23 pm

    With hitters, it is very possible to be “doing everything right” and still be in a slump. Is this true for pitchers too? Where you’re following the scouting reports to the best of your ability, hitting your spots, and mechanically sound but still getting lit up like a Christmas tree?

  11. tymmyramone permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:26 pm

    Also another Q, I wondered about. What types of gaming do you like beyond MMORPG? Is 38 Studios going to stick closer to that market or be more broad eventually?

  12. johnnyjaha permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:28 pm

    Curt,

    Just as an FYI, the 1:50 minute game against Kevin Brown was on April 10, 2001 and you only got two ABs, not three, since the Snakes didn’t bat in the bottom of the ninth.

    Regards,
    JJ

  13. ovechkin permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:32 pm

    Curt
    Your buddy down here in B-More (Nestor) has said repeatedly that you would have gladly come back to play if we had a different owner. True? And how sad were you and Shonda when Roland called and broke the news of the trade? And any 89 memories you care to share? And do you still curse the name Jamie Quirk like the rest of us?

  14. cross9 permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:35 pm

    Hey Curt I was just wondering how I could go about suggesting a song for Papelbon to enter to when closing. Me and my buddy were sitting around the other day and thought he needs something original, I mean Wild Thing was good but if hes going to do this for his career he needs his own song. So we started kicking around some ideas and my buddy threw out the idea of “I’m shipping up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphy’s. We gave it a listen and envisioned Pap coming out of the pen and really it would be perfect for him at Fenway. I have no idea if he even cares what his song is or anything about this but I wanted to pass this along to him somehow so I figured I’d throw it out to you. Also how much do you guys care about songs that are played, I know starters don’t have songs but you are in the business. Thanks curt I appreciate you taking time to talk about this.

  15. mgville permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:41 pm

    Hi Curt-

    Love the blog. Coming from a lifelong baseball fan, the ability to learn all about Major League baseball is amazing, considering my dream ended my senior year of high school.

    With that being said, I always wanted to know if you have roomates on the road? Do the Red Sox provide housing in Spring Training considering some of the minor leaguers do not make the big bucks yet? What is your favorite baseball city in terms of restaurants/attractions that you still look at the schedule and are eager to visit.

    Thank you again and good luck on Monday against the Royals.

  16. acefox1 permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:43 pm

    Great insight into so many topics. Thanks so much for the great Q&A! I didn’t know that you had practiced a changeup earlier in your career. I “think” I can understand what you mean about your brain trying to get your body to do things it isn’t supposed to do. Seems like there is a ton more to that pitch other than simply “trying to take something off the fastball” and anything more you can share in general about that for us non-pitchers would be great. eg straight change, circle change, etc

    Also thanks for writing about Game 7 of the 2001 WS. I remember trying to explain to two friends of mine watching that game with my wife and I that this was absolutely one of the most exciting and unbelievable games ever played! Glad to know I wasn’t the only person trying to figure out how Soriano hit that pitch. Wish I had my tape of it so I could make a screen capture to share how well that pitch was located. (Though Bud, FOX and DirecTV would probably come after me if I did. LOL)

    I can’t imagine how drained you must have been the next day after so much pitching on short rest, the level of competition you faced and having your mood swing from the lowest low to the highest high in about 30 minutes.

    Your pitching breakdown was astonishing. Of course it led me to this question: How much general consensus is there on pitching nomenclature between MLB players?

    I think the Rob Neyer/Bill James book goes in depth about the development of most pitches but it’s funny to see hitters using video replays trying to figure out if they saw a funky change-up or some strange slurve or cutter. And of course analysts in the booth do their best trying to tell pitches apart from the booth it’s got to be ahrd to guess.

    Radar guns as you discussed (Thank you again BTW!) can give a clue on what kind of velocity a pitch has and a guess on the type of pitch can be made based on that, but as a pitcher watching opposing pitchers in the dugout, can you easily say “There’s the 2-Seamer, there’s the cutter, there’s the slider”?

    Your earlier discussion on the depth of certain pitches tells me that you see the game in a totally different way from the rest of us fans. And as you said and know better than I ever will, the speed of the game is totally ridiculous and can’t be guessed at by people outside the game.

    Thanks again for a HUGELY informative Q&A! Best wishes against Santana and the Twins tomorrow!

    Deane

  17. March 27, 2007 3:44 pm

    You seem like a stand up person, and very generous with your time. I have enjoyed reading this.

  18. denisemass permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:47 pm

    Hi Curt! Love your blog! Just wondering…is there something specific that, to you, is your absolute favorite moment in baseball so far?
    Thanks!
    Denise

  19. tinisoli permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:50 pm

    Curt,
    I’m glad you’ve joined the blogosphere, if only to fire a shot across Shaughnessy’s bow in warning of his coming obsolescence.
    When’s Tavarez gonna start blogging?
    I have a suggestion for you, though. Don’t enable comments. People will be content to read your posts and have you occasionally post a reader’s well-written email. As it is right now, there’s simply too much garbage to read through in the comments, and too many advertisements for other people’s blogs and businesses and whatnot. Obviously this is your decision, but I think some of the best blogs out there are good because the blogger doesn’t allow his site to be a bulletin board for the whole world. If we all open up our blogs to whatever spew people wish to put forth, then the whole thing becomes redundant. Anyhow, people can email you with comments or whatever, and you can decide to feature the worthwhile parts of those missives on the blog. A good model of this is Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic Monthly, who, BTW, referenced your blog today.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/03/an_athlete_blog.html

  20. beatnyy permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:50 pm

    Curt,
    Great blog, I love how you don’t hold anything back, both here and on the field. I have the most respect for you out of any player I can think of in Major League Baseball… Those nights in 2004 were legendary, possibly the greatest nights of my young life…

    My request for you and the ‘07 Red Sox: Help bring another championship to Fenway!

    My next question/comment for you is about CHB… I understand that he has a right to write and say whatever he wants, but I feel as though his column/article mocking this Q&A crosses the line. Why does he think that he can just bash you, the Red Sox, and Red Sox Nation (who, ironically, make up most of his readers…)

    I have lost all respect for Shaunnesy, as I think many others would agree.

    That being said, I was wondering what the possibility is of having you or Jon Lester make an appearance at a charity event? I’m participating in an event to help raise money to fight cancer (American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Needham, Dedham and Wellesley) and it’d be absolutely amazing if one of you would be able to make an appearance, it would raise so much money to help fight a difficult disease… Last year I raffled off an autographed ball, signed by YOU and it raised $800!! If you are unable to make an appearance, is there even the chance you’d be able to donate a ball? I know that ALS is your major charity, but it’d be amazing if you could donate a ball saying “K Cancer – Curt Schilling” or something like that.

    Go Sox!

  21. March 27, 2007 3:54 pm

    Curt,

    Saw someone asking about getting hit by a liner while pitching, so I have to ask about Matt Clement. I know he was injured last year, causing some of his problems, but do you think that line drive to the head really messed with him, maybe more than he’d admit? I know I’d be hesitant to get back out there after that, and with the shoulder injury on top, I gotta figure that’d be in the back of his mind while pitching, even if he tried to ignore it.

    I know Matt got a lot of flak for his downturn in productivity, from fans and the press, but considering what he went through (before anyone really knew he had a shoulder issue) I couldn’t bring myself to rag on him because of that liner…scary thing that. Anyway, just wanted to ask if you’d heard how he’s doing, do you expect him back in the rotation this year, and how huge could he be if someone else gets injured?

    Oh, another question (about another pitcher yet) but have you ever seen Wakefield pitch a better game than that complete game 1-0 loss to the Yankees…I think he had 13 K’s in that one, and against that lineup you can’t ask for much more. Would you be satisfied with an all around spectacular game that just happens to be an ‘L’ or would that just irritate you that the rest of the team couldn’t score 2 runs?

    Thanks
    Seth Kerin

    http://rev-co.net

  22. oldelvis permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:54 pm

    I love the site. Quick question, do you think that the Salary of a player makes a difference in the way he is perceived by the press? Obviously A-Rod gets lot of grief because of his play, but I wonder if Alex Cora would have gotten as good press as he did this Sunday in the Globe if he had a bigger paycheck.

  23. redsox9 permalink
    March 27, 2007 3:54 pm

    Hey Curt. Thanks so much for doing this blog. It’s great to get news, info, stories from the “horses mouth” as opposed to having to rely on the numbskull reporters to pass along “correct” information. On a side note, you have only been doing this blog for a short time and it is apparent you are already a better writer than most of the so-called “professional writers” that cover the sox. Side note #2, i will be taking my 18 month old son to this Saturday’s final preseason game in Philly. We have diamond club seats so we will be near the screen/sox dugout during BP. It would be an honor to shake your hand and introduce you to my boy. Hope you have a great season and most importantly i hope you stay healthy! one quickie question – i know you are not discussing contract negotians or lack thereof, but i was wondering if you had a discussion with your family about possibly finishing your career in Philadelphia?

  24. redsoxfan permalink
    March 27, 2007 4:03 pm

    Hey Curt,

    I got another question for you.

    What lvl are you in WoW? Horde or Alliance? Favorite race? Favorite Class?

  25. natei33 permalink
    March 27, 2007 4:10 pm

    Curt,

    I was wondering if you could speak to the troubles Craig Hansen is having with his career, based on what you’ve seen of him over the last year and a half or so.

    I can understand it may be a sensitive thing to talk openly about a player who is struggling as mightily as he appears to be, but some insight from a veteran pitcher into the problems he has experienced both last season and so far in spring training would be very interesting.

    While yesterday’s game was just one game in the grand scheme of things, it is undeniable that he has regressed a bit from the optimistic projections we heard a few years ago.

    Thanks for your candidness and insight into the MLB world,
    ~Nathan

  26. crowlebb permalink
    March 27, 2007 4:21 pm

    I’m having trouble keeping up with all the blogs, so I apologize if you have already addressed this….anyway, I’m a high school teacher and I was wondering if you had any words of advice/wisdom to high school players as they prepare for the upcoming season. If so, I am sure it will be appreciated by many. Thanks. Love the site.

  27. ajdoubleu permalink
    March 27, 2007 4:26 pm

    Curt,
    I’ve always been curious about this…do you and/or other players play fantasy baseball? Obviously I would assume you can’t play the leagues for money but there are plenty of “for fun” ones out there.

    If so, do you have any sleepers?

    Along the same lines, do you pay close attention to all of your stats (and other players) throughout the year i.e. ERA, WHIP, Ks or do you only pay attention to the W’s?

  28. hvflash permalink
    March 27, 2007 4:41 pm

    Curt I enjoy reading your blog. It’s a perpective on things that we never get close enough to hear from you so it’s refreshing. I find it amusing but not surprizing that you and Dan Shag don’t get along. He has to be the most irritating wind bags that I have ever read. I have read his books and find them interesting to read but his column in the globe is mean spirited and balantly antagonistic most times. I don’t understand how he can justify saying the things he says and then expects to be greeted with respect from the players he has to face when he enters the clubhouse. I truly believe dealing with scribes like him is the one thng that young players and even some vets would rather avoid and that includes playing in Boston if you have to deal with him along with a few others. I was reading what you said about if a child is good enough to play pro baseball and it reminded me of an article in a magazine which I will try and find. The story plainly stated that a child had a better chance of owning a Professional Hockey team than he did of playing for one. I think this could also be said of any professional sport and parents should remember why they played sports as kids, it wasn’t for the money and it shouldn’t be why their kids play now.

    Keith Good
    Niagara Falls, Canada

  29. keysersose permalink
    March 27, 2007 4:44 pm

    Curt,

    I’m curious… in football, no matter who the Pats are playing, Belichick is always giving the other team credit, and calling them a threat… whether its the colts, or the Raiders… what about in baseball… I mean, if the game coming up against the Royals werent opening day, would it be as easy to “get psyched” as it would be in a game against the Yanks… basically, are you as pumped up pitching against the Royals as you are the Yanks, and if not, how do you still perform at a high level…

    thanks

    D

  30. papaglovins permalink
    March 27, 2007 4:51 pm

    Not necessarily the place to ask this, but I can’t find any other place to ask an open question. Back in 2004, you had the “Why not us?” shirts. On BostonDirtDogs.com, I found a link selling them for the SHADE Foundation to raise a little money for them. I was more than happy to pick one up. My question to you is that I saw on some online photo gallery that you made up a new red version that asks “Why not us again?” Any links you can give out that can get us where we can buy one? It’ll go great with the red “Strikeout ALS” rubber bracelet thing I got from your wife while I was working at the US Capitol a few years back.

  31. bobwal permalink
    March 27, 2007 4:58 pm

    Curt,

    Do you watch “The Sopranos” or “Entourage”? What is the best movie that you have seen recently?

  32. dixieredsox permalink
    March 27, 2007 5:24 pm

    Hey Curt,

    I wanted to thank you for answering my question about you being a Christian, it really makes me happy to know you feel the way that you do. You are a great inspiration to me and I will always look up to you for your walk with the Lord. On a daily basis, you must face great trials being in the news media’s aim and being able to shun off their criticisms takes a great deal of courage.

    My family and I are continuing to pray for you and your decisions. Thank you and have a wonderful first week of Major League Baseball my friend!

    Your Red Sox Nation Friend from Alabama,
    Galen L. Garner
    http://www.galengarner.com

  33. March 27, 2007 5:34 pm

    I wanted to comment about the comment No.2 from Menuhub about the Irish Baseball Movie. It is such a great film that words don’t describe it. Anyone who loves baseball should watch it. It really depicts how baseball can bring us all together even under the worst of circumstances. Yankees fan, Red Sox fan, Orioles fan, it doesn’t matter.

    If you love the purity of the game, that movie is an absolute must see. It’ll remind anyone who loves baseball what’s really important.

    http://mvn.com/mlb-orioles/2007/03/17/baseballin-ireland/

  34. miller73 permalink
    March 27, 2007 5:56 pm

    Curt,

    Great blog! I enjoyed your comments on the pitchers with the best stuff. I really miss the Derek Lowe of old, hopefully he gets on or stays on the right track.

    Any news you care to give us on the Rocket?

    I am an 8th grade teacher and our school uses blogs and “wiki’s” everyday. I have a few students in my class that love baseball and our tech mentor is a world class softball umpire, would you be interested in “blogging” with my students? Time permitting?

  35. dsp217 permalink
    March 27, 2007 5:57 pm

    Curt, without sounding too much like a fanboy, I was thrilled when the Sox picked you up and my opinion of you only improves the more we get to hear about you. The opportunity to hear your opinions straight from you instead of from the media is very refreshing, and I, like so many in Red Sox Nation, am thrilled that you’re blogging – illegitimis non carbodundum.

    Question: In your MLB experience, you’ve undoubtedly met some true characters. Without asking you to breach locker room confidentiality, can you shed some light on which guys always had a knack for keeping the mood light in the locker room? Who are some of the funniest guys and what are some of the funniest stories you’ve encountered in the majors and in Boston?

    Thanks again, Curt!

  36. billydee38 permalink
    March 27, 2007 6:24 pm

    billydee38
    March 27th, 2007 by billydee38
    Curt, my first time in the blog. Let me tell you I’m 37 and I pitched in college for The University of Rhode Island I was drafted in the 17th round by Pittsburgh, in 1989. I have a true appreciation of how difficult it is to play minor league baseball let alone make it to the big leagues it was my dream and I take solace now in knowing that i got a lot closer than most people that were in my position, but anyway the way you conduct yourself on and off the field, there just aren’t enough positive adjectives to describe it. You’ve shown that not only are you one of the best pitchers in the game but one of the best people as well. Curt you refer a lot to your God given talent, which is obvious in terms of the tremendous success you’ve had at this level, but from me watching as a fan and observer, I don’t know how many pitchers are as studious as you are, in terms of utilization of charts, analyzing each hitter (strenghts and weaknesses) watching tons of video i’m sure, would you say this has been as instrumental in what you’ve accomplished, if not more than your obvious physical ability? I mean as you well know it’s great to be blessed and be able to throw mid 90’s and have a splitter that drops off a table, but youc an see and remember so many pitches that had all of this but still never realized their potential and you can only think that the only reason(s) these guys never achieved the level say that you have is lack of preparation in many cases and willingness to hone these skills. Your thoughts Curt and I’m looking forward to a great 2007 for the Red Sox and I’ve got you penciled in for 20 in 07.

  37. acefox1 permalink
    March 27, 2007 6:33 pm

    Quick one Curt…

    When you were growing up what players did you idolize or want to be like? Either pitchers or position players.

    I think I remember that your Pittsburgh connection through your Dad made you a big Roberto Clemente fan. Were you also a big Pops Stargell fan? Anyone else from the 60′s, 70′s and early 80′s on your list? Bob Gibson? Yaz? Fisk? Schmidt?

    Thanks!

    Deane

    I’ll take a break from posting here for the next week or so but I look forward to your upcoming posts. :)

  38. ego221 permalink
    March 27, 2007 7:22 pm

    Schill,

    I don’t believe this question has been asked (seeing as I’ve read every word that’s been posted thus far on this blog), and I think you’ll agree it’s a good one; If you could start your career all over again, being 23 y.o. and making the major league team for the first time, what things would you have done differently? Is their much regret that you didn’t appreciate your time in the “Bigs” as much as you could have?

    I can’t help thinking that many of today’s athletes don’t fully appreciate their time in the spotlight until late in their careers when they can see the end of the road coming into view. Maybe it’s because it all happens so quickly that there’s never time to appreciate everything to its fullest. The pressures of producing and living-up to expectations must at times be unbearable. True enough?

    I’d really like to get your thoughts on this one….Thanks.

    To Deane,

    Apology accepted. Please just try to remember that Mr. Schilling is a big boy and doesn’t need you or anyone else to defend him. As we can see from this blog, he’s more than capable in doing this on his own. Thanks.

    Eric Davenport – Meriden, CT

  39. ipkiss permalink
    March 27, 2007 7:26 pm

    how crucial is team chemistry to a winning team? i ask because this is one of the things that cannot be objectively enumerated/evaluated and many writers seem to make a big deal out of it. the ’04 sox were touted by the media as a “tightly knit unit” and many credited that for the win. is it really that important?

    also, how is your relationship with jd drew? again, the media says all kinds of stuff about your relationship with him from the phillies days. and there’s manny who isn’t exactly portayed as a team guy but helps the team win like few others.

  40. chillyme permalink
    March 27, 2007 7:27 pm

    Excellent Q&A. Thanks so much. I hope your comments regarding parenting a ballplayer results in more kids enjoying their childhood athletics without the pressure of living out their parents’ dreams.

    Questions:
    What do you see yourself (and Shonda) doing 10-15 years from now?
    and
    Best/Worst ballparks for you, and why?

  41. fivekatz permalink
    March 27, 2007 7:39 pm

    A few of questions if I could.

    First, you have been dilligent in tracking your own starts for years now. How and how much has the PC changed your data collection and analysis? And what are your thoughts regarding baseball banning technology from the dugout?

    Second, baseball right now is in an unusual period of labor harmony (for baseball). Revenue sharing and luxury tax have added some firewood to the salary furnance. In your opinion as a guy who is comfortable enough on the biz end to be your own agent, how long can baseball sustain this inflation given the marketing ceiling in key areas like national TV revenue? And if you could comment on why owners historically have taken the curious tact of trying to turn public opinion against their product (players) when looking to create a more “disciplined” and less “free” market and to players care about that or not?

    Last, Mac or Win-Tel PC for G38?

  42. frodo1962 permalink
    March 27, 2007 7:45 pm

    Curt, I’ve been disappointed in the past when the Red Sox bring in a fast player, and immediately the players stolen base production drops drastically. Some have argued that the team doesn’t like these players to steal because if they get caught, they take the bat out of the hands of guys like Ortiz and Rameriz. My thinking is having a guy on base who is a base stealing threat actually helps the batter because the pitcher is distracted, and that he is more likely to throw more fastballs to get the ball to the plate faster. If he steals the base, it is that much easier to bring in the run. What is your thinking on this, as a pitcher does a runner at first who’s a threat to steal make you change your pitch selection?

  43. pirahna432 permalink
    March 27, 2007 7:46 pm

    Hey Curt,
    I was just wondering, if you had to pick an all century team, who would you pick? IF, OF, SP, RP, Manager.

  44. cjaphillips permalink
    March 27, 2007 8:24 pm

    Hi Curt,
    Would you mind stopping by the website of a brave little boy named Mattie? He lost his battle with pediatric cancer last night and his family would appreciate any support. His website is http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mattie I know his family would truly appreciate it. If you are able, The Lowell Sun wrote an wonderful tribute to an amazing kid, and they posted a picture of him throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in September of 05. I know you are a busy guy, but if you get a chance to stop by his site, I know it would be very appreciated! He was a TRUE fighter.
    Thanks for your time.
    Sincerely,
    Janice Phillips
    North Andover MA

  45. marcomarco permalink
    March 27, 2007 8:30 pm

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Marc
    To: dshaughnessy@globe.com
    Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 9:27 PM
    Subject: Excellent article

    Mr. Shaughnessy,

    I enjoyed reading your article about 38Pitches. Fantastic work. You’ve just alienated about 75% of your readers and increased http://38pitches.com/ traffic by 100%.

    Sincerely, I hope that more players follow Curt’s lead, and put hacks like you out of a job.

    -Marc

  46. soxfaninin permalink
    March 27, 2007 8:33 pm

    Curt:
    What a wonderful blog! What I like most is how you integrate your faith. When I get back to Boston each year, I go to my sister’s and watch on her flat screen HDTV (In Indiana we don’t see many of the games!). To see you start by dedicating your work to God is awesome! Thanks for all you do!

  47. bscknight permalink
    March 27, 2007 9:35 pm

    You’re the Sox GM in ’88. Do you trade for Boddicker?

  48. vicksp permalink
    March 27, 2007 9:51 pm

    Curt,

    I have great respect for the open and dignified way you and your wife conduct yourselves and use your celebrity for the good of the greater community. Well done.

    Just a quick observation, with all this recent talk about pitcher’s “arm slots”, wouldn’t Luis Tiant, who threw the ball from eight different angles, have given a modern pitching coach fits? It seems a little strange to have major league pitchers learning something so fundamental to pitching. I think the main problem is that their are so many teams and so many pitchers being brought to the majors before their time, that they are learning to pitch in the majors as opposed to the minors. When I was a kid (late 60′s early 70′s), a lot of successful major league pitchers spent considerably more time in the minors and didn’t hit their stride (or even make their major league debuts) until their late 20′s. Any thoughts on that?

    Continued success and good health. You are a credit to the game.

  49. sdsd232 permalink
    March 27, 2007 9:58 pm

    hey curt,

    is it well understood in the clubhouse that the boston sports media has their own unique agenda, and most certainly does not in any way represent the views of fans? i guess i’m thinking largely of guys like manny who take far more bs from the media than they should. i’d like to think that manny understands that the fans don’t care about 95% of the bs that the media tries to spin into a ‘controversy’.

    nothing pisses me off more than when the boston sports media pretends that their pursuit of trivial personal vendettas (which amount to little more than gossip most of the time) is somehow representing the interest of the fans. as if they are bob woodward and manny ramirez is richard nixon, and their job is to take him down.

  50. adamonfirst permalink
    March 27, 2007 10:15 pm

    Hey Curt, my neighbor is the chaplain for the Minnesota Twins. I was wondering what kind of thing that Chaplin does. I figured you might know pretty well as you are a religious man. Do they lead pre-game prayer sessions (Notre-Dame style) or are they just available to talk to anyone or what?

  51. kmorin54 permalink
    March 27, 2007 10:22 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Great Blog. A couple questions I had: When a catcher comes out to the mound during an inning, what exactly do you guys talk about? What was the best conversation that you and a catcher had?

    The second question is what exercises/conditioning work would you recommend for a younger pitcher?

    Thanks and best of luck this year!

  52. yankeeguy60 permalink
    March 27, 2007 10:25 pm

    Curt;

    Your blog excels on many levels. Thanks for the insight into the game.

    Q; You are the ace of the Bosox staff. Daisuke may be the real deal and challenge you. Can you speak in general terms of what you believe the “ace’ is? Yankee fan for over 50 years and looking forward to another
    great season of perhaps the best rivalry in professional sports. Have a great year.

  53. thebluesman permalink
    March 27, 2007 10:49 pm

    I’ve always wondered what the good MLB hitters look for at the plate. Do they generally guess at the location and/or pitch selection before it is thrown or are they ready for anything. It seems to me the speed of the game is so fast that they must guess to react quickly enough. I know they’re situations to look for a certain pitch but I mean in general, what are they thinking.

  54. alteriago permalink
    March 27, 2007 10:50 pm

    Hey Curt:

    On a lighter note…. I have always wondered do you or have you ever played fantasy baseball? I remember reading that GMG would not create a baseball game as it was to complicated to make the game as difficult as real life. Are you allowed to play fantasy baseball by MLB or would that be considerd gambling? Do other player play and do they pay attention to stats and injuries of other players to modify thier teams or is it more likely that players don’t want to live the game off the field as well and would prefer a different diversion?

    Brad

  55. bostondirtdog34 permalink
    March 27, 2007 11:02 pm

    Truly amazing to read your insights to the best game ever created.

    I am a life long Red Sox fan (almost 40 years). I want to wish you and the rest of the team a great season!

    God Bless

  56. jeff7168 permalink
    March 27, 2007 11:14 pm

    Interesting insight about the radar gun. I think the velocity is not a true measure of a pitcher’s effectiveness. Mixing speeds, as you mentioned, is, and “pitching” instead of “throwing.” Perhaps this is why some pitchers become better during their 30s compared to when they were in their 20s? It seems that some pitchers just get better when they mature and learn how to pitch instead of just trying to blow hitters away with fastballs. Do you think you have been a better “pitcher” in your 30s compared to earlier in your career. If so, perhaps you can explain why.

    Jeff

    http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

  57. Rain Delay permalink
    March 27, 2007 11:18 pm

    Curt,

    My question is one that I’m sure may have been asked before. But I’ll go ahead anyways.

    When should kids learn to throw a breaking ball? When is too soon?

    As it sits my son is 11 and I wont let him throw it. I showed him the 2 seam fastball a couple of summers ago. He uses that and a 4 seam.

    Thanks,

    Timm

  58. Tom Field permalink
    March 28, 2007 2:36 am

    Curt:

    Read your initial response to Shaughnessy while waiting for a plane in Philly on Monday, and it was a huge smile in anotherwise bleak travel experience. “Toolishness,” indeed!

    Suggestion: Remember when another poster suggested you put the best of your Q&A into a FAQs file? Not a bad idea. Now that you’re getting up toward triple Roman numerals, you’d probably be doing yourself a favor & saving time down the road to collect some of the “best of” in one easily accessible place.

    Question: What do you look for in a baseball game? Say you’re sitting in the stands at Fenway, not in the dugout; what are the specific things you’re watching as a game unfolds? Just wondering how different — or not — a pro’s perspective is from a fan’s.

    best,

    Tom

  59. madjackblack permalink
    March 28, 2007 5:47 am

    Question: Who is your favorite Boston reporter. Who is your favorite national reporter. And one final question, how does Peter Gammons get his inside info. He always seems to be right on.

  60. rogievachon permalink
    March 28, 2007 5:51 am

    Hi Curt,
    Obviously you and the CHB don’t see eye-to-eye. From my perspective, you are staying above the fray (frey?).

    What do you think about Kason Gabbard? I’m intrigued by his abilities: doesn’t throw hard, always around the plate, battles well. While not at the same level, he reminds me of Tom Glavine.

    Here’s hoping for another parade in October!

  61. pudge27 permalink
    March 28, 2007 7:07 am

    Curt: The blog is excellent. Simple question, but probably involves a complicated answer. I just became the manager of my son’s little league team. The kids will range from age 8 to age 12 and this is considered a developmental league. Do you have any suggestions about being successful as a manager of children of this age and varied skill levels? Also, any suggestions for dealing with the parents of these children? Any thoughts would be helpful.

  62. cjaphillips permalink
    March 28, 2007 7:35 am

    I realize that I gave the wrong website for matty. If you have a second, and could visit his site and leave a comment for his family, I know they would appreciate it. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/matty
    Thanks,
    Janice

  63. chinmuzik permalink
    March 28, 2007 7:44 am

    Curt –

    “Amor est vitae essentia”.

    Q. You are in an elevator, it gets stuck between floors – there are three other people in there also. You pass the time, for 8 minutes. Who would they be?

    mine: Gen. Geo. S. Patton Jr., Mozart, Bill Murray.

    Good Luck this year.

  64. tapadance permalink
    March 28, 2007 7:59 am

    Once again you have given me a major education in baseball. I just printed out my first ticket for this year. If I can stay out of the hospital, I will be at the park on 4/12. I do hope I get a chance to say hello.

    If not, then I will just look forward to watching a great game, having just a little bit more insight in how the game is played than I did in the past.

    Thanks for your comments on kids and baseball. I printed those out and gave them to my neighbor. Hopefully she will understand that her son, who did not even try out for little league or the school team last year needs to get serious about baseball if he really wants to play. Or he needs to start paying attention to his school work.

    Best wishes, and lets play ball! – J

  65. hjalcantara permalink
    March 28, 2007 8:28 am

    First of all congratulations on your blog . Now with my question , you have said before here that they are some good and bad eggs on the media considering that would you mind to share with us your toughts on Petter Gammons . Thank your in advance for your response.

  66. mannyhitz500 permalink
    March 28, 2007 8:30 am

    WOW!! good morning Curt and fellow bloggers
    I read all the Q&A’s and wow very inter-essting.
    I didn’t read Shau-messy’s article but heard about it to no end.
    I am not a big fan the of guy.
    Walk the Walk instead of “talking the talk” is what CS38 does and does well.
    I have a few comments for the day.
    I also agree that toronto should they stay healthy have a shot, as my friends here in H.P and Dorchester both Boston and New York fans think I’m nuts. I tell them look, Boston has an excellent rotation the best in a long time, and we have defense to protect the pitcher and his count, as well as a run producing line up.
    I told look the yankees? they have a HUGE monkey on their back and for the life of me they will be there but like ants in honey they see glory but cannot reach it
    Already their rotation has holes, they will be ok but they have holes.
    I am not worried about the line up of ny I tell them, they can produce runs but in the end their pitching especially their bullpen will be worn out. I feel bad for the manager that has no bullpen in September…..
    I also think that the AL West will be a thorn of some kind, they always are but with Dice-K and Beckett in the middle of the rotation Boston should always have an arsenal of defense ( pitching is defense)
    I am concerned though that Wakefield will either not get run support or sill give up too many runs I like Timmy but wins are more important than personality ( re:randy johnson) I feel that Julian should be at #5 all year I mean I am concerned about Lester, and for the Life of all of my Tony Gwynn cards DO NOT WANT TO SEE matt clement on the mound I do not care if MLB came up with a 10 man rotation I do not want to see matt clement-al
    I will miss A-Gonzo but Julio better prove me wrong
    I think Coco doesn’t need any media attention at all
    I will not comment on JD Drew until the mid-summer classic
    oh and Pedroia.. well …Lowell I have more in for
    ( Dirt Dogs cleat marks are still in RF at Fenway)
    Manny will hit #500 at Home
    and Big Papi will hit 52/159
    I cannot wait I love Baseball and I love Boston
    Oh Milwaukee? the Brewers I think will race for the NL WC this year
    shaming the Pirates and the red and the phillies
    ( I have some old Petey cards I’ll bet on it)
    Well as it goes this is my Am coffee shot
    only what 4 more days? AAAAARRRGH!!!!
    LETS go RED SOX

  67. mannyhitz500 permalink
    March 28, 2007 8:33 am

    Woops wrong blog page

  68. gridcomptony permalink
    March 28, 2007 8:39 am

    Question related to 38 studios.
    I was at a conference with gaming publishers, investors and interested people. The one thing that ressounded the most was how developers depended on publishers for revenues, and that “symbiotic” relationship affected developers accrueing in so little of the revenue games generate. Plus the development curve, its cost, market inteligence, etc.

    My question:
    Have you envisioned was to generate alternative stream revenues for your game publishing enterprise that might not conflict with publisher’s interest in controlling copyright/franchise/royalty revenues?

    Thank you from Tony

  69. theghostofstevenfoster permalink
    March 28, 2007 8:59 am

    Curt,

    I love when you rip the Curly Haired Boyfriend, who has a face made for print journalism. In fact, I’d wager his mug is the source of the other thing on his shoulder next to his neck—that humongous chip—either that, or as a kid, he was picked last one too many times for dodge ball in gym class. BDD posted an interesting blurb from your blog this morning—a blurb praising Shaughnessy for his objectiveness, which is total bravo sierra, because Shaughnessy’s a sports columnist, not a sports reporter. As such, Shaughnessy is paid to express his opinion, however lame or untarnished by fact that opinion is. By definition, columnists are not objective. Neither are reporters, but that’s a story for another time.

    Shaughnessy is a student of Mike Barnacle’s “F1″ School of Journalism. If you followed Mike Barnacle’s career on the front page of the Pravda’s City and Region section (that is, before Mike was canned for plagiarism), you’d notice that his columns all followed a particular thematic pattern. For example, some pop scandal would be all over the pages, demanding all sorts of media attention, and Barnacle would pen a hand-wringer about wee Mother Maggie Malone, 97, of Dorchester, who had to walk up three flights of stairs with her groceries, and no one was there to help her—yet we all pay so much attention to the trials and tribulations of pop stars, etc. Now, this became such a recognizable, predictable pattern I figured Barnacle’s computer at the Pravda was set up with a macro for spitting out the bones of a column like this. Hit the F1 key to bang out the “hand-wringer” macro, supply a few details here and there to make the piece seem current, and bingo, a finished column. Time to hit the bar.

    Pay attention, if you can stomach it, to Shaughnessey’s columns—his columns are just like Barnacle’s in that they fallow the same thematic pattern year after year, season after season, and only the names and the dates change. He is as predictably dull and didactic as he is physically repugnant—even the Editorial page’s Derrick “Z” Jackson doesn’t mail it in as frequently as Shaughnessy does. And Shaughnessy, since you’re probably reading this, I’ll come right out and say it: you’re terrible. You’re one of the reasons print journalism is dying in this town.

    Keep on needling him, Curt.

    Peace & Love,
    The Ghost of Steven Foster
    Hotel Paradise

  70. michaelostlund permalink
    March 28, 2007 9:06 am

    Hey Curt,

    Thanks so much for writing this blog. It’s unfortunate that people go out of their way to come here and give you a hard time. Don’t let people like Gordon Edes’ Curly Haired Boyfriend get you down.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  71. davissnow permalink
    March 28, 2007 9:26 am

    Curt,
    Have you ever apologized to Butch Stearns for tearing him a new one on WEEI about his comments regarding your relationship with Pedro? It appears that Butch was not that far off from the truth based on Pedro’s comments while leaving town.

  72. andrewmendillo permalink
    March 28, 2007 9:28 am

    HEY!
    Thanks for answering my mechanics question. I will be coaching 7 year olds again this year. I don’t plan on getting to in depth with form, but I do plan on preventing kids from developing bad habits. My job is to give these guys a good summer, and stress the importance of wearing a cup… I’ll let their high school coaches take all the fun out of the game! (mine did)

  73. plus1handicap permalink
    March 28, 2007 9:37 am

    Mr. Schilling.

    First let me thank you for conducting these posts. Very enjoyable.

    If I may ask a question – on nights like tonight when you are facing arguably THE best pitcher in baseball in Johan Santana – do you prepare any differently? Obviously you can not control what he does or what your team is able to produce against him. However, you can expect the scoring to be low.

    Also, do you have any recommended readings on teaching pitching mechanics? More importantly, do you have any recommended readings on the mental aspect of pitching?

    Thank you for your time,

    Brian

  74. iluvctek permalink
    March 28, 2007 9:39 am

    Hey Schill
    As much as I like the Q and As, I wanted to know if you were planning on writing out of your own mind as much. Answering questions is good, but I like hearing what you are thinking and what your take on the State of the Sox is.
    - Arielle

  75. terry312 permalink
    March 28, 2007 10:11 am

    Hey Curt – I just wanted to say, I thought I knew a lot about baseball and how it’s played at the major league level, but I learn so much from your posts (especially the Q&As) that I’m starting to realize how little I know. Thanks for showing us a bit about what it’s like to be a top-notch major league player.

  76. bloodysock permalink
    March 28, 2007 10:39 am

    I had the same question regarding your thoughts as Soriano hit the homer in 2001 so I’ll follow that up by asking how pitchers deal with the mental challenge after giving up a playoff series ending hit/homer and walking off the mound?

    I would imagine there is a personal let down but how to you weigh the disappointment of your teammates and the fans over something like that with the fact that it is still a game and you have your family, etc. I think back to the ’86 playoffs and Donnie Moore and what happened and then wonder how a guy like Wake was able to bounce back after the 2003 ALCS and then get his redemption with a ring the following year.

  77. ih8nyy permalink
    March 28, 2007 11:17 am

    Hey Curt, About the Origin of the Name CHB, The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons is claiming ownership of that one.

  78. jonathonrhynd permalink
    March 28, 2007 11:43 am

    Hi Curt,

    I’d just like to start this off by saying I absolutely love the fact that you are doing this blog. It humanizes one of Red Sox nation’s “Superheroes”. I have a few questions for you…

    Will there be more postings on here by other players like the one Kevin and yourself posted? (I thought that was pretty cool to hear from someone else as well as yourself on here)

    Do you think that 38studios will have any console releases? Which consoles you’d like to aim for?

    Can you name off some of the pros and cons for each of the five starters right now, including yourself?

    And finally, can you convince other professional athletes to do this? This blogging thing is “wicked pissah”!!!

  79. ih8nyy permalink
    March 28, 2007 12:32 pm

    Just and FYI, but the NY Post is already planning the Ticker Tape Parade for the Stankees.

    Curt lets get out there and stick your bloody sock were the sun don’t shine in the Bronx!

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03282007/sports/yankees/strike_up_the_band_for_yankee_parade_yankees_george_king.htm

  80. gbottenhorn permalink
    March 28, 2007 12:42 pm

    Hi Curt,

    I really enjoy your blog and appreciate the things you stand for. If Shaughnessy is bothered by that, then he has some pretty serious issues. My question is, how much do you read what is written about you? Is it hard to not read articles like Dan’s yesterday, even though you know they will tick you off? Are there any writers that are must read for you? For example, I hate the NBA, but will spend an hour reading a Bill Simmons NBA article. He is must read for me…as is anything Caple or Gammons. Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    Greg

  81. driscollkp permalink
    March 28, 2007 1:21 pm

    Curt –

    First, let me add my thanks for your blog and the invaluable insight into all things Red Sox…….love it. I have a question and a comment:

    1. It seems as though you value proper mechanics in teaching young children to play the game, in particular the throwing motion. Can you suggest any specific teacher/book/DVD, etc. that I could refer to in order to properly learn and communicate effective throwing motions to my son so as to avoid injury down the road?

    2. I must react to Mr. Shaughnessy’s recent column. Obviously, he takes a good poke at both you and your readers and in my opinon comes across as both immature and jealous of your success and our love of your posts. Does he not realize that Red Sox Nation is starved for true insight into the team? While he certainly is an adept journalist, he is not, nor ever has been, a professional baseball player – thus there are insights and thoughts that he just cannot bring to the table. He is quite clear in his distaste for our “blind love” of Gehrig38, but I’m not sure he realizes that we would be just as enthusiastic about reading 33catches.com, 34mashes.com or, god forbid, 24being24.com — no offense to you at all, we love 38pitches, but we would equally love to hear what all the guys think and feel about the season. If, however, my passion was journalism, I would spend my spare time at ShaughnessyIsASoreLoser.com — but it’s not. We love all things Red Sox and there is no purer insight into the team then 38pitches.com.

    Again, thank you and keep it up — good luck this season.

    driscollkp

  82. bosoxn1 permalink
    March 28, 2007 1:56 pm

    Hey Curt,

    What do you think about having Willy Mo out there in center rather than Coco. He plays a decent CF plus he’s got huge offensive potential, he could also provide protection for Drew in the 6 hole.
    We can have at least 4 guys with 30-plus homers easily.

    Oh and Thanks for these blogs, i believe it maks us feel like part of the team.

  83. gbottenhorn permalink
    March 28, 2007 2:33 pm

    Hi Curt,
    I really enjoy your blog and appreciate the things you stand for. If Shaughnessy is bothered by that, then he has some pretty serious issues. My question is, how much do you read what is written about you? Is it hard to not read articles like Dan’s yesterday, even though you know they will tick you off? Are there any writers that are must read for you? For example, I hate the NBA, but will spend an hour reading a Bill Simmons NBA article. He is must read for me…as is anything Caple or Gammons. Thoughts?
    Thanks!
    Greg

  84. brady2004 permalink
    March 28, 2007 3:04 pm

    Curt,

    Seriously…

    Who do you despise more.. Shaughnessy or Jon Heyman

    To me, its like kissing your sister…

  85. irnbru permalink
    March 28, 2007 3:05 pm

    Hello, Curt.

    Rob Bradford, in his blog, has made no secret about his fascination with the Japanese Tabi socks. Have you seen these? Any interest in trying wearing them? :)

  86. drc500free permalink
    March 28, 2007 3:16 pm

    Curt,

    Sorry for the double post, wanted to get this in the most recent one.

    In terms of MMO development, you may want to take a look at puzzlepirates.com. It’s worth a few hours of play just to get a feel for the mechanics, which differ greatly from sword-and-sorcery levelers.

    For one, there’s no leveling per se – performance is determined by your skills at little yahoo games. This allows people to instantly play with their RL friends, without the “come see us in 60 levels” issue you get with pure levelers.

    Another thing to check out is their doubloon micropayment model, which has been quite succesful for them. Rather than buy items for RL money, you buy game tokens for RL money. Your in game purchases are then taxed in those tokens (doubloons), so items cost a combination of in-game cash and real-life equivalent.

    What makes this system interesting is that there is an in game free market exchange between the in-game cash and these tokens – so some people can play for free, some people can just use their credit card, and an increase in either changes the price point and makes the other option more attractive. Most people do a combination of the two. The result is an efficient payment system, where people pay to the level that they’re comfortable, and the money goes to the development company rather than farming companies. And the existance of this system helps prevent the influx of gold farmers (although the skill requirement makes the game somewhat less grindable).

    Anyway, I’ve always found Puzzle Pirates to be a great counterpoint to WoW (If I’m sick of grinding I play PP, if I want to get immersive and bash orcs I play WoW), and I’d highly recommend that 38studios designers take a gander just to see a completely fresh perspective on MMO design.

  87. drtooth permalink
    March 28, 2007 3:25 pm

    Curt, I have seen many comments from you on how much you like working with Jason Varitek. How does he compare/contrast to three other catchers that you would have worked with extensively during your career—Darren Daulton, Mike Lieberthal and Damien Miller?

  88. iluvctek permalink
    March 28, 2007 3:52 pm

    I was just reading through the comments and noticed someone posted the website of a little boy who was a Jimmy Fund patient that lost his battle against cancer Sunday night. Not sure if they corrected this yet, but his website is

    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/matty

    Matty was a brave kid who lost an arm in October due to the cancer he fought for over 2 1/2 years. His visitation is today and his funeral is tomorrow. Matty leaves behind two heartbroken parents, a nine year old brother and a two year old brother.

    If you could pay them a visit during this difficult time, I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

  89. benhalleck permalink
    March 28, 2007 4:32 pm

    I posted this question before, but since I don’t know how your Q&A works, I’ll ask again. When you’re starting out spring training and you know you’re going to pitch only two innings, do you treat it like you’re starting, and you have five/six innings you’re preserving yourself for, or like you’re just pitching two innings? Do most pitchers approach these spring training appearances the same?

    Thanks,

    Ben

  90. paulri permalink
    March 28, 2007 4:44 pm

    Curt, how does the team view the Mayor’s Cup? Granted, it’s only Spring Training but all athletes enjoy winning and having some sort of bragging rights.

  91. flea3133 permalink
    March 28, 2007 5:17 pm

    Curt-

    Do you still support Bush after all that has happened (Katrina, Iraq, etc.)?

  92. bleacherbum permalink
    March 28, 2007 6:19 pm

    ih8nyy, I think Simmons is taking credit for the initials CHB — in the past he has written about Carl Everett’s comment to Gordon Edes (which might be Everett’s lasting legacy in Boston, actually).

    Speaking of Shaugnessy, I think his biggest problem is that he stopped having fun doing his job a long, long time ago. When that happens, the only thing left to do is try to create controversy and make yourself part of the story.

    Now, I understand Curt’s been burned by the press before, but I don’t think blogs will ever fully circumvent the news media as a means of communication. Sure, there are plenty of insightful and popular blogs out there, but they’re not breaking news. The vast, vast majority of original reporting is still done by newspapers. Having an impartial fourth estate is absolutely vital to our democracy, and blogs can never provide that.

    Imagine if the White House just started a blog instead of answering to the press corps. Think they would ever answer any tough questions?

  93. bsox25 permalink
    March 28, 2007 6:43 pm

    You’ve spoken about trying to get quicker outs this year with the introduction of your changeup. In your start tonight it seemed as though you had much more confidence in it (throwing a nice one on a 3-1 pitch to Morneau). Are you trying to adjust this season from a power strikeout pitcher to more of a finesse guy, changing speeds and allowing you to keep your pitch count down?

  94. BosFanInNY permalink
    March 28, 2007 7:21 pm

    Hi Curt,

    APBA or Strat-O-Matic?

  95. evildonut permalink
    March 28, 2007 8:40 pm

    Nice work today Curt.

    You were really utilizing the change well.

    Great expectations this year.

  96. gamermp101 permalink
    March 28, 2007 8:52 pm

    Curt,

    Quick question. How true is this recent rumour that the Sox will be trading Manny for Ichiro. What do you of this trade if it happens and the impact it will have on the Sox? Or is is this just another rumour?

  97. bobfather permalink
    March 28, 2007 9:29 pm

    Hi Curt great game today, can’t wait for the opener. @ more questions for you, hopefully you will find them interesting enough to answer.
    1. If Tito came to you and said “Curt you are the ace of the staff and our number one pitcher, but for all his loyalty and service to the team we would like to honer Wake, with the opening day start” how do you think you would react?
    Also last year at the trade deadline their was a lot of speculation that the players on the team felt let down that Theo did not make a trade, was this true, or did you guys think you were good enough without a big trade? Remember this was before all the injuries.
    Thanks, hope you have a great season.
    PS I think the only goal a team should have is to win the last game played for that season:)

  98. soxsweepagain permalink
    March 28, 2007 10:45 pm

    I’ve read all the posts and responses and simply wish that I could post pictures.

    I’ve got a great pic of a full-body shot of a standing Shaughnessy juxtaposed next to a close-up of a dirty Q-Tip.

    There’s a great resemblance.

  99. jpow22 permalink
    March 29, 2007 7:09 am

    @Bleacherbum – “Imagine if the White House just started a blog instead of answering to the press corps. Think they would ever answer any tough questions?”

    With all do respect, the dont now anyway, and if you think they answer them honestly, you need to rethink your view on the world.

    On another note, one of the best uses of this blog, one of the things CHB fails to realize, is how great this stuff is for communication. Have you seen that kid Pete’s Web site (http://peterdespain.com/blog/?cat=7) since Curt posted his link, its littered with people from here wishing him well.

    If this site stops today, that alone was worth it. Imagine being that kid, going throught what he is going through and then having an outlet where people around the nation are wishing him well. Amazing.

    I love Fenway but I wouldn’t mind a new stadium, with a replica field, more seats with more room. Fenway’s great but they will never take out seats to make more room in the old sections.

    Curt, what is the worst thing about playing at Fenway for the players or more specifically you? On or off the field.

  100. March 29, 2007 8:18 am

    Curt,

    Hi,

    2 things:

    1. I like Varitek but have always felt that the media has glommed onto this idea of him just being the best game caller ever without really understanding it. I mean, if you toss a 9 inning shutout, the media will talk about what a great game you pitched and what a great game Varitek called. But if you go out and get bombed, I never hear about how Varitek called an awful game, just how you didnt have your stuff or whatever. Or why Varitek isn’t partly to blame for say Beckett’s high ERA last year or Clement not being able to pull through (before his injuries). No disrespect to Varitek, but how often are the catchers, even good ones like him, to blame when a team gives up a lot of runs?

    2. If you’re ever doing charity or other activities in Wellesley, feel free to touch base and we can call attention to them on our Wellesley blog.

    Regards, Swell

  101. ndarrell28 permalink
    March 29, 2007 11:00 am

    Hi Curt,
    Looking forward to this season! My name is Nicole and I work at Walker in Needham, MA. Walker (www.walkerschool.org) is an organization serving troubled children and families through a residential and school program, a high school and programs in schools throughout Massachusetts and we need YOUR help.

    The highlight of our annual gala on May 5th, is our live auction. Lunch or a pitching lesson with you would be an incredible centerpiece of this auction and would raise considerable money to help our kids.

    I understand you must receive numerous request for these types of things, however I would love the opportunity to speak with you in more detail. Please contact me at ndarrell@walkerschool.org at your convenience.
    All the best

  102. March 29, 2007 4:09 pm

    I think you got to the majors by working your ass off. I used to go home to wife’s area and watch you in Philly lug 9 or 10 innings per start and marvel at your work ethic. I don’t think I ever saw you give the ball up.
    It’s not like you had amazing stuff. I don’t even remember you throwing the split in those days. You just overpowered hitters. I always wanted to see you in a Boston uniform but the sox never could pull the deal. Hell, I can’t believe Philly traded you to Arizona. It seemed you were destined to remain a Philly for life. I mean you were the Phillies back in the day. Thankfully somehow you ended up in Boston and made it happen. (although I wish it was 10 years ago).
    Thanks for liking Boston and all the stuff that comes along with it.
    Keep talking, keep writing, keep blogging, keep pitching !
    You’re a winner all around, even if you are a republican.

    A

  103. tem9 permalink
    March 29, 2007 8:27 pm

    Curt,

    Now that the Sox have two on the roster, I am very curious to know your thoughts regarding Japanese pitchers. Do they have different routines, different approaches to ABs, etc. that you find different from MLB pitchers?

    Thanks for the delightfully analytical approach!

    TEM

  104. roojchan permalink
    March 30, 2007 1:38 pm

    Curt,

    The best measure of a blog seems to be how often i am willing to distract myself to check how often i am checking for updates… you have reached the multiple checks in one hour stage.

    (i only check my wow’s guild forums more, http://www.avaguild.com/forums a blatant attempt since we are recruiting.)

    So quick question: Have you ever spoken with another pitcher and just realized that your approach and their approach are just completely different and alien? When was it that you began creating a “game plan” for every hitter. I found what you wrote abotu how your old pitching coach and you would design a plan for each hitter fascinating. Were you able to do this even in High School? College (i apologize if you didn’t play college ball), the minors? Is this a skill or habit that more experienced pitchers can rely on?

    Linus

  105. redsox4life permalink
    March 30, 2007 3:31 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Did you have a favorite baeball player growing up?
    If so, who was it?

    Joey

  106. yessum8 permalink
    March 30, 2007 3:47 pm

    Mr. Schilling,
    I quickly wanted to say how much I appreciate you as a ballplayer and as a person. I had one question for you. In your opinion, who are the top three pitchers out there right now, and what makes them a cut above the rest? All the best and good luck this season.

    Ryan

  107. hofmaterial permalink
    April 1, 2007 5:19 pm

    Mr. Schilling,

    If you could face off against any line-up of players who retired from baseball before your career started, who would be on the list? And as a kid, I know you were a Pirates fan because of your dad, but did you always prefer the challenge of pitching over hitting? Or when you were a kid watching some of the great hitters, did you prefer the offensive side of baseball?

    Best of luck this season and I hope I can catch at least one game at Fenway this year….the last time I saw you pitch was at Victory Field the season after the World Series.

    Brian

  108. chach17 permalink
    April 1, 2007 7:07 pm

    Curt,

    You may have answered this in a past post, but when it comes to pitchers not talking the day before their start, to the media pre blog days, what is the mentallity of that? Is it to prevent the CHB’s of the sports media profession from throwing off a pitchers concentration?

  109. pandoramayfair17 permalink
    April 1, 2007 8:32 pm

    Curt,

    It’s Pandora Mayfair17 :)
    Good Luck on Moday!!! My boyfriend has taken the day off (as I bet most if not all the true Sox fan’s have) to watch the game! I can watch baseball and of course follow it, but I am still asking my boyfriend – what a wonderful man, what must seem like stupid and annoying questions. I know the obvious basics of baseball, (I DID play it as a little girl with the rest of the kids. I can actually really nail the ball, they go deep when I come up to bat :)) I have to admit, he answers each one of my questions with a giant smile and in easy to understand terms, just as you have!
    I have been reading the sites, and still feel VERY lost, asking questions and TRYING to keep it straight! Somtimes I don’t even know what or how to ask what I am confused about. I almost feel like crying as I read things on the sites I don’t get, I think I get intimidated – trying to grasp too much too fast I think. Although, I’m getting there :)
    Thanks again for all your help and time. GOOD LUCK MONDAY!!!! I’ll be cheering – wish we could be there!

    Pandora Mayfair17

  110. ironwill permalink
    April 3, 2007 3:23 pm

    Curt, this may not be the right place to put this, but I noticed that your wife, Shonda, is running the Boston Marathon for her SHADES charity, and that made me wonder if you might be willing to give me some tips on fundraising for that sort of thing. I am running the Boston Marathon as well, but for the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center, which sits right near the start line of the Marathon, in Hopkinton.

    On another note, yesterday may have been a rough start, but my entire family lives and breathes Red Sox baseball, so we will be behind you all the way, hopefully through October.

    -Will

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