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Q & A XI

April 11, 2007

Q-Regarding Papelbon, from your standpoint, how important is it to know that there is somebody like him who can just come in and save virtually any game, compared to the thought of having him in the rotation (provided he would perform similarly as a SP)? Does it give you any kind of boost when pitching in 1-run games and such?

A-Having that lights out guy at the back end of the bullpen changes everything. From the way the game is played in the middle innings, to the way it’s managed. Basically, each ‘shut down’ guy in a bullpen shortens the game by an inning. The Angels are a great example. The Twins too. Having 2-3 guys in the bullpen that are ‘closers’ almost, means you better have the lead on them before the 7th, instead of thinking you have 9 turns at a team, you sometimes can manage or play as if there are only 21 outs before the game is over. The Reds in the late 80′s had that kind of bullpen. Managers on both sides will sometimes manage a game differently considering who the other team might bring in. Rivera for the Yanks has been the best example. If you don’t get a lead on them before the 8th or 9th, depending on how much rest he’s had, there’s a better than 90% chance they are winning the game. The numbers don’t lie, when he comes in with a lead, it’s pretty much a lock they are winning. Paps has absolutely given this team that same feeling the last two years.


Q-Great performance last night – however, I’m quite curious what was going through your head in the 8th watching Joel Pineiro almost cough up the game?

A-As fans you have the luxury of hindsight and the cussing and screaming when one of us screws up. We don’t. There’s a personal thing that comes with this for us. Not only is the guy on the mound, or at the plate our teammate, but they are also our friends. No one wants a teammate to screw up, no one wants to see someone they know screw up, even worse is it being a teammate and friend. I’ve blown more than my share of saves, screwed up more than my share of games, regardless of the fact that it might be a loss, there is a bigger connection there for us as players. I know how bad doing those things feels, blowing a save was by far the worst feeling I’ve ever had as a pitcher. I can deal with losing a game when I screw up, it sucks but it happens, these guys are pro’s, they get paid to beat you. But what I had the most trouble with was costing the team and a teammate a win after they worked their butts off for seven or eight innings.
Q-Do you remember the last time you played a weekend three game series in which the only day game was on Friday?

A-Being in Boston is a different animal. We, like the Yankees and some other big market teams, get the shaft at times on scheduling because of TV and the need to put us on ESPN Sunday night games. Last year we had a ton of night game travel days. Say what you want about the salaries and sucking it up but the fact is that the guys that play every day have to be physically and mentally at their peak to compete, and being at your peak after arriving somewhere at 5am, after a 9 inning 4 hour game, and needing to get it going again for a day game is an immense challenge. I’ve heard that Brian Jordan, Deion Sanders and a few others that played in the NFL talked at length about the fact that playing in MLB, and the schedule, was far and away harder than the NFL. Not the physical pain aspect of it, but the every day grind. Tired or not, 20 games in a row or not, you better be at your best come first pitch, every day, for 162 games. It’s by far the hardest schedule in sports and another reason I think catching in MLB, and being good at it, is the hardest position in sports to excel at.
Q-Just wondering if there was one single point in the game where you realized it was going to be so different from your last start, and that your command was back?

A-The first three pitches.

Q-One question- how much does colder weather affect a player’s performance?

A-Depends on the player. I hate cold weather from a feel standpoint. I hate pitching in Colorado for about a million reasons. Regardless of whether I hate it or not, the game is going to be played. Add to that, the fact that the other guy has to pitch in the same conditions as I do, and it really is what you make it. Turning those things into a positive somehow is the only way to address them I in my mind.

Q-How do like the Boston area, is it a place you’d live year round when you are done playing

A-We love it. The public school system is off the charts. The curriculum here, the community, the people and the way of life in the Eastern U.S. is very different than growing up in the west. We found that when our kids would go back and forth during the school year, they’d be months ahead of class when they were in Arizona, coming from Boston, and coming this way (Boston from Az) they’d be months behind. The student/teacher ratio, all of it, is a huge plus. Regardless of where we end my career playing, we think we’ll come back here to settle down and let our kids grow up.

Q-is it disappointing to pitch so well only to come up with a ND? do you get frustrated with the ‘pen when that happens, or does it all balance out over the course of the season?

A-It used to be, much more so than now. But over the past 7 years the one major change in mentality for me has been this. On the day I start, if we win, I did my job. I can feel as good or as bad about how I pitched as I want to, but if we end up with the win then it’s all good stuff and you go about getting ready for the next one. If you lose, you did something wrong. I don’t care if it’s 1-0 or 12-2, a loss is a loss and the starting pitcher has major input on what ends up happening. Losing 1-0 means you got out pitched. You made one more mistake than the other team and the other guy. At the end of the day, the extraordinary amount of money they pay me is being done for me to win games, period. No one cares about how I handle the media, what I say, how I do things, the bottom line is winning at this level, nothing else matters in the grand scheme of things.

Q-I love the prolific posting but it seems impossible that you’ll be able to keep it up throughout the season. Hope I’m wrong. Maybe the fact that you only have to post 35 or so times will help.

A-I am not too concerned about this one way or the other. I don’t have a quota, or a goal. I’ll post when I can and do whatever I feel like doing. There’s no pace to set or keep. Contrary to popular belief I think there are humans on this planet that can actually type, and play baseball, all in the same week, without having one affect the other. Hell I’ve seen people walk and chew gum in the same day.

Q-I am concerned for the need to go to Papelbon in the 8th. Pretty sad- yet a dead on call by Francona. However- having said that- Papelbon will be cooked by the all star break if he is the only one out there that Francona has confidence in.

A-I would hazard to guess that Terry knows what he is doing. Regardless of what some people want to think they know, or believe they know, Tito and this staff, and this front office, know us better than the people that DON’T work for the organization, even better than some members of the media. We are 7 games into the season and while it would be nice to know exactly who can do what, and when, it takes some time to get a feel for people and their roles and I trust that the guys running this team and the coaching staff to do what’s right.

Q-I do hope you plan on omitting the, as you called it , whining. Easter, 10am starts- give us a break. You chose your career- you cash the checks- you want to continue to play next year. All good and fine- but you need to choose one or the other.

A-No reason to omit it, and I wasn’t worried about what you’d think, just making the observation that being away from you family on the holidays sucks, no matter what you do for a living. If that bothers you then hang with them. I am assuming that if I made that observation as a 45,000 a year salesman you’d empathize? What’s the salary threshold in your mind that makes it offensive for me to be bothered about being away from my family on the holiday? Get the point?

Q-NFL players are on the road for Christmas and routinely play in sub-zero temps. Summer nights at the Fen don’t even compare…

A-Which means what?

Q-Way to skip over the ugly pitching last night. I understand why you might not want to talk about other pitchers but Pineiro looked like crap again. This is the stuff we want you to talk about- What’s going through his head? What does he say or teammates say to him? I feel bad for the guy but he needs to execute.

A-It’s one game. One game of 162. If it bothers you that much then there’s not much anyone can say to help you. I don’t know what’s going through his head, not sure I know anyone with that power other than some guys in Marvel Comics maybe. Thanks for the tip, I’ll make sure to remind him he ‘needs to execute’ next time I see him.

Q- quick question; when writing about the previous nite’s work as you have done after each start thus far, are you checking notes you made during the game or are you writing all this from memory?

A-Writing from memory which is why I might mess up some counts or situations at times.

Q-How does the cold affect you as a pitcher? Is the ball “slicker”, does it break more, or is there no effect whatsoever?

A-The major effect is how slick the ball becomes and how hard it is to get your hands sticky enough to get a firm grip. I don’t know that the cold has an effect on the ball once it leaves your hand to any degree, just the pre-pitch part of it is what I notice the most. On the plus side is knowing how badly hitters want to avoid getting jammed on cold nights and the fact that the ball doesn’t travel nearly as well in the air on cold nights.

Q-My question to you is what are you feelings on the schedule around MLB early this season, with a lot of games being scheduled in places like NY, CLE, CHI and not in places like Tampa?

A-Having been a player rep and been in on scheduling meetings I know how incredibly complicated schedules are to make. We don’t play in a vacuum. The stadiums we play in have many other events that are scheduled there, TV has a HUGE influence on who plays where, and when. I don’t think the weather is as significant a factor as fans and players would like it to be early in the season.

Q-Catalanotto haunts my nightmares. He is now 10-19 vs.

A-11-22

Q-I travel a lot for work and sometimes find it a lot easier to be effective on the road without all of the distractions of home. Do you find this to be the case or would you rather prepare and pitch at home?

A-There is no question that playing at home and on the road are incredibly different lifestyles. I would guess that’s much more significant for married players and players with children. I don’t prefer pitching to one or the other when talking about these factors. As a player I’d prefer to pitch in Fenway over pitching on the road in every way imaginable. As a father and husband I’d love to have 162 home games.

Q-I’m one of the guys that think youre out of shape. I didnt jump on you after the first game, so I’m not gonna praise you and say youre healed after this one. Time will tell.

A-Thanks for checking in, and thanks for the opinion.

Q-With all the changes since ‘04, it seems sometimes like the front office cares more about stats, and that players are just interchangeable parts in a machine. What about team continuity and chemistry, what about the Muellers and Millars on a team (and the Pedros, Cabreras, Damons, Nixons and so on…) Is the Beane-ball movement losing sight of something when they stare into their laptops? Or do they, when they make personnel decisions, assign due value to how personalities can support a winning team?

A-I know this team looks very hard at a players makeup, Theo talks about it often but at the end of the day it is about stats. Whomever you can put in uniform that’s going to produce the best numbers is who teams want to sign for as little as they can. Continuity can be as bad as it can be good. Teams have made the mistake in the past of falling in love with a group of players to the point that they hang on to them hoping they’ll recapture last years “magic”, only to realize it isn’t going to happen too late and the season gets lost. Some teams go out of their way to force themselves to not get caught up in that very thing. As players we grow pretty close to each other and this game is very personal to us, which for the most part makes us look at it in almost the exact opposite manner that teams do. The amazing thing is how twisted the perspective gets when fans get into it. When a player leaves to take more money with another club fans scream “Greedy money hungry hired thug traitor” and when a team lets a player go because that player doesn’t fit financially, the team is ‘doing what it needs to do’.

Q-Does the real gelling often happen in a particular game? Over a weekend series? Or is is less traceable?

A-It happens when it happens. It can be a game, an inning, a fight, a series. There is no way to guarantee it will happen, but gelling happens when you win. For us it happened in 2004 during the Yankee game at Fenway, Varitek, Arod, Muellers walk off. In 1993 it happened over the first three games of the season when we swept Houston, in Houston to start the season. In Arizona in 2001 it was just there from the get go. We were good and we knew it.

Q-What’s going on with Wily Mo Pena and Eric Hinske? Neither of them have seen much playing time so far this season. I think you are going to need both of them to provide some pop on offense in a major way this season, especially Wily Mo.Coco is an above average outfielder, but doesn’t have the power of either of those guys. I realize that Wily Mo needs a bit of work out there, but I don’t see how the current lineup can produce enough runs to be a serious contender. You have got to have his bat in the lineup…especially with Tek not hitting either.

A-If we don’t consistently pitch well it won’t matter how many runs we produce. This is the American League, and if you aren’t straight platooning people you will have bench players that will go long stretches without a lot of AB’s or appearances. It’s drastically different than the NL. Coco isn’t supposed to hit for power, he’s supposed to run around a lot and catch everything, and make teams nervous on the bases. After 8 games I’m ok with the fact that he’ll do just that. Complain all you want about the offense, but this teams destiny rests with the pitching, like pretty much every other team. If we can stay healthy and pitch consistently then I think the staff we have can do what needs to be done. This division, this league for that matter, is going to be a serious grind for every team. There are quite a few relentless lineups in the AL again this year and it’s going to be a war of attrition on pitching staffs.

Q-I know many columnists, reporters and sportscasters will refer to the induced pop fly, or induced pop out, but how many times do you actually make it happen (by jamming the hitter, or over extending hit swing for a ground out, or soft liner) and how often is it just as a result of getting lucky?

A-Some nights never, other nights 5-10 times. Depends on the lineup and your command for the most part.

Q-When your pitching (especially on ESPN), they always show you in the dugout with a book and your writing in it. What is in that book that you are always writing in?

A-My up to date notes on the lineup I am facing that night. When I am writing during a game, or just after I come out, I am writing something that I don’t want to forget for the next time. Something that I know might not be a ‘highlight’ moment or pitch, but to me is a crucial thing not to forget for the next time I am facing that person. I’ll also jot down my umpire stuff right then too, since it’s still fresh.

Q-Do youknow if Tek or any other cathers out there have ever tried to read batters before calling for certain pitches? Or is he just reminding himself who’s up to bat, or maybe just talking to the batter or ump?

A-A lot of catchers will do that. Watching hands, feet, things like that. Some hitters move during the pitch, some do it before the pitch. Catchers will watch hitters while giving signs to make sure they are not peeking either. There are a lot of guys in the AL that peek, or try to. There are guys in the AL who’ll wear sunglasses at the plate, so they can peek, then take them off when they get on base.

Q-Hey Curt, do you ever have issues mentally dealing with pitch count vs the need to get guys out? That is, does pitch count ever affect what you would do on the mound from a pitch selection or mental standpoint? Theoretically, you may choose to set guys up differently, hoping for more first pitch contact.

A-Honestly no. It can’t. It is something you sometimes think about, but I’ve never had it impact the actual selection of a certain pitch. Hitters dictate pitch selection the most, closely followed by how I feel about my stuff.

Q-Question for you, When a starting pitcher such as yourself hands the game over to the bullpin and things start to go south, do you personally get involved with the pitching coach as to what the bullpin may do to improve the situation?

A-Hell no.I would hope that thinking through that question even once would prove how impossible that would be right? “Hey coach, I think you should bring in this guy, because I really want us to win the game and I think he’s a good pitcher.” Do people honestly think that’s even possible?

Q-Do you think that the Yanks are in trouble if they are turning to Andy for relief help? and their rotation has a 9+ ERA. I know it’s early, but your thoughts about it would be great.

A-They are the Yankees. Whatever needs fixing will be fixed by the trading deadline, everyone in the game knows that.

Q-Did you choose not to come back in the 8th or was that Francona’s choice?

A-I don’t pick and choose, contrary to what people might think about Tito and I’s relationship. He certainly has given me more leeway in the past at times, but at the end of the day he’s the manager. I was done after 7, when I hit the dugout he shook my hand and said nice job.

123 Comments leave one →
  1. Redsauce permalink
    April 11, 2007 11:18 pm

    Good game tonight. Shame the hitting didn’t come around & Hernandez had such a good performance, but Matsuzaka did well & bullpen kept us close. Just the hitting wasn’t there tonight. I’m loving the updates.
    Go Red Sox!

  2. Redsauce permalink
    April 11, 2007 11:26 pm

    Also, to the ‘you coaching the bullpen after you leave’ question, I got the impression the question was more about how much input you gave the pitching coach (i.e. what pitches, location, etc. had been working for you against certain batters and relaying that) not so much which pitcher to bring in. But I might be wrong, I have been before. Again, great post.
    Go Red Sox!

  3. badabing04 permalink
    April 11, 2007 11:37 pm

    Curt,

    Q: Is there any music or anything that you listen to or do to get ready before a start?

    I know that the Angels are up next for you. Guerrero must be one of the hardest guys to pitch to because it seems like he can make contact with just about everything. Is it better to throw someone like that the hard stuff inside or to throw more pitches to try to bait the hook so to speak? Thank you for all that you are doing. Go get them! Watch that Cabrera, he loves the Monster!

  4. cuse93 permalink
    April 11, 2007 11:44 pm

    This is your old buddy Aaron (formerly of Ubisoft, etc). Love the blog. Comments and Questions for you: If you look at the stats of great pitchers from the 70s (Carlton, Palmer, Jenkins, Ryan, etc.) they all ate up incredible innings (upwards of 300/yr) and would often have over 20 complete games while pitching in a 4-man rotation. So, what is my question? Is the emphasis on pitch counts overblown? Are arm problems more a result of poor mechanics than over-use? It seems like sometimes a manager puts in a middle reliever or closer in a spot because he is “supposed” to make that move at that point in the game. It drives me crazy when a set-up guy is mowing people down in the 8th and a “closer” is brought in for the 9th and blows the lead. Why not go with the hot hand? Has the specialist thing got out of hand? Yes, I know this is a loaded posting. Apologies.
    Thanks!
    -Aaron

  5. petad39 permalink
    April 11, 2007 11:52 pm

    Curt,
    Buster Olney had a link as to how Carlos Delgado’s visits to the mounds are always well-timed and he always has something positive to say. I was wondering, what does Youk (or other first basemen/short stops) in the past say to you, and do you heed the advice or are you so caught up in the moment that you just want to trust yourself and your mechanics? Keep up the great work

    Pete

  6. copeshirefarma permalink
    April 12, 2007 12:01 am

    Hey Curt,

    You’re doing an awesome job blogging and pitching this year…keep up the good work! I personally feel you and ‘Tek are the smartest battery in all of Major League Baseball. Does ‘Tek keeps notes like you do, or does do more video watching, picking up on hitters’ tendencies and such?

  7. azseafan permalink
    April 12, 2007 12:09 am

    Curt,

    As an Arizona guy, I’ve been able to watch some timeless pitching outings by the likes of you, RJ, and most recently Brandon Webb. I’d like to hear your thoughts on what you just witnessed in King Felix. What about him or his pitching makes him special? If you were his teammate and he were to ask, what kind of advice would you give to this “kid”? Thanks in advance and keep up the great work on both the mound and your blog.

    Chad in Phoenix

  8. April 12, 2007 12:33 am

    Wow. Matsuzka was pretty good tonight, but didn’t seem to have real good control on his breaking ball. Unfortunately, Hernandez was amazing.

    Question: I have an 11 year old son who loves baseball. He’s got a live arm, and his coaches have remarked that his fastball has a hop on it. Unfortunately, his accuracy (both from the mound and the field) doesn’t match up with his arm strength. Can you recommend any specific exercises or drills I can do with him to work on accuracy? Thanks.

  9. mwalter permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:09 am

    Curt,

    Thanks for your effort the other night – it was good to see you throwing more like you’re capable of. It seemed like you had great control from the outset. You mentioned that you’d rather pitch in Fenway than anywhere else and I was wondering why? Are there specific aspects that you can take advantage of or is it more of a feel thing pitching in front of the home fans and in a familiar place.

    You’ve talked before about coming into this season needing to play your way into shape, and I was wondering how that was going? How difficult is it to keep a workout program up when you’re in the midst of trying to pitch every few days and traveling around the country? Is there a specific schedule you try to keep?

  10. ej65 permalink
    April 12, 2007 2:03 am

    I was watching the Home Opener with Beckett pitching on Tuesday and there was a shot of the dugout with you talking to Dice-K. How good is the communication between him the most of the rest of the team. At least in the post game during tonights game – all the communication came from his interpreter.
    It had to be a little disappointing for him, he pitched a very good game, just Hernandez was outstanding.
    I think a no hitter is extremely difficult to pull off, but do you think it would be harder at Fenway than other parks?

    Thank you for the amount of information you are sharing about what goes on beyond what we can see sitting in the stands or watching on TV. It is really fascinating.

    Cheers!

  11. April 12, 2007 2:19 am

    So, I guess we’re all looking forward to your dissection of Felix Hernandez. The reports have David Ortiz giving a glowing review. Would love to have your take on him.

  12. bomdiggity permalink
    April 12, 2007 2:35 am

    What’s the relationship between pitchers and hitters on the same team? Do you give them advice or criticism on their approach at the plate (hacking at everything, not working the counts, etc) and vice versa? Or is it more like you see in football, where the defensive players tend to stick together, and offensive players do the same?

  13. ego221 permalink
    April 12, 2007 3:45 am

    Curt,

    Just wondering, were you able to speak with Yaz at all before, during, or after the game on Opening Day? I remember reading just after he retired in ’83 that he’d never put on the uniform again. I’m guessing this is why he’s the only one who didn’t wear “baseball pants” like the rest of the “Class of ’67.” The Hawk went up to the booth during the game and talked with Remy and Orsello about that year. He praised Yaz and said, to this day, he’s never seen a ballplayer have that kind of year like Yaz did in ’67. A lot of good baseball has been played over the past 40 years, and I thought that was a hell of a compliment. Your thoughts on Yaz and that “Impossible Dream” team would be appreciated. Thanks

    Eric Davenport – Meriden, CT

  14. April 12, 2007 4:27 am

    Curt,
    What do you think about the NFL’s recent suspension of some big-name players? Do you think MLB has similar problems with players outside of the game and what (if anything) should be done about it?

  15. Tom Field permalink
    April 12, 2007 5:00 am

    Curt:

    I know how Hernandez looked last night from my living room vantage point — lights out! What’s your take on him?

    I was at the home opener on Tues., and I thought the Japanese fans added a whole new dynamic to the crowd. Had a whole row of them in front of me, and it was fun to see them in their brand-new Sox regalia, smiling, snapping photos, bowing graciously and just enjoying the whole Fenway experience. Quite the contrast to the fat, drunk guy in the sleeveless shirt, bellowing “Yankees suck!” seven years too late.

    Today’s my son’s 6th birthday, and I’ve promised for months to take him to this afternoon’s game. Alas, we’re at risk of being rained — or snowed — out. Welcome back, April baseball!

    Hope to see you pitch this weekend. Hell, I hope to see *anyone* pitch this weekend!

    best,

    Tom

  16. neilsox permalink
    April 12, 2007 5:19 am

    I always wondered, how did your jersey number come about?

  17. nhsoxfan permalink
    April 12, 2007 5:35 am

    Curt:

    Thanks for answering my question. What are your thoughts about Felix Hernandez?

  18. Derek permalink
    April 12, 2007 5:46 am

    Hey Curt first off let me say great blog . Awesome insight man. I think I am late for the Q&A but I do have a question.

    I know you own 38 studios and do your fair share of gaming. My question is :

    How do you feel about the lack of quality baseball games for the consoles or even pc’s on the market ? Not to sure if you play them but I personally think EA Sports had the best baseball game on the market. Now that the 2k series has the license the game is horrible. Whats your opinion and do you play any of the sports games ….any favorites ?

  19. April 12, 2007 6:29 am

    Curt: Some great questions and answers. I loved the NFL one, How they play during Christmas. Don’t you know It is harder for them, They do play 16 games a season. I will be at Fenway on the 22nd, I can’t wait. It looks like Wake will be pitching that day, but I kinda wish Julian was on the mound! I have got to see him in action, that guy is great!!!! Their is a Sox Blog from Ireland, it is run by the pitcher Irish National baseball team. (die hard Schilling/Sox fan) it is called I didn’t know their was baseball in Ireland. Check it out ! Thanks for ’04 http://www.menuhub.com

  20. FightinPhils permalink
    April 12, 2007 7:01 am

    Curt,

    First off, I was one of the winners of the mlbtv contest, and wanted to say thanks. I’m a Phils fan in DC, and despite the bad start, this is going to be a season worth watching as much as possible.

    Also, a question for you. Have you seen much of Cole Hamels yet? I’d like to hear your take on the guy that is hopefully our staff ace for the next decade or more. Thanks.

    Tim

  21. April 12, 2007 7:11 am

    Hey Curt – You’ve talked before about the notes you keep on opponent’s line-ups and the umpiring crew during and after the a game in which you pitch. Do you share those notes with other pitchers (especially Dice-K who may not know a lot about any of the MLB batters)? Was curious if other Sox pitchers come to you asking for advice when facing a line-up given your experience and the fact that you keep such copious notes.
    Thanks!

  22. April 12, 2007 7:46 am

    Hey Curt,

    I just wanted to say that this is awesome. I really enjoy reading your blog, and gaining some insight. Thank you!

    Too bad ya’ll lost last night. Felix pitched so well, as did DK. Tough loss.

    Question: What kinds of things do players talk about while the game is in progress (when your in the dugout)? Is it mainly about the game, or do you guys keep it loose and talk about other stuff?

    Thanks for your time

    Erika

  23. keysersose permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:00 am

    tough game last night, as dasiuke pitched really well, but that kid Hernandez was just sick… which leads to my next question, While I’m sure that you were rooting hard for the guys to come back and knock Felix out of the game, is there a part of you which just sits there and, as a pitcher, marvels at the game that kid was throwing? I mean, I couldn’t help but appreciate how well he was locating most of his pitches, seriously the kid throws 100mph with a hard breaking 88mph curve… thats on target.

    Anyway, good luck with the preparations for the next game…

    D

  24. krimsman permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:02 am

    Hey Schill,

    Thanks for candidly answering all these questions. What in your mind differentiates “clutch” players from those who do not seem to perform as well in the clutch? Do you think that you do a better job putting the distractions aside? Do you handle the adrenaline rush better than others? How do you put aside your nerves in big situations?

    Thanks,
    Andy

  25. steveo20 permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:25 am

    Curt,

    Quick Question;

    As a player do you marvel at the pitching of other starters, such as Feliz Hernandez? Also, you like having the the opportunity to coach some of the younger player? Do you think coaching maybe in your future.

    Steve

  26. mrgringosuave permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:40 am

    Curt – First off I’d like to say kudos on the blog, I think it’s pretty cool that you put in a significant amount of time directly communicating to your fans and passing along your thoughts about your pitching and baseball in general.

    My question isn’t about baseball, it’s about politics. I would like to know why you consider yourself a Republican. Why you supported President Bush in the last election, and if you still support him (other than the usual “he’s our president and I stand behind him). Thank you!

  27. dirtdognumber7 permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:51 am

    Curt, your command was on point the other night, even by the K-zone standards.

    Tough game last night, Hernandez has nasty stuff, but I am surprised a few runs weren’t mounted off him. Rubber game tonight, weather permitting, hopefully Wake can have another start like his last.

  28. dylan2146 permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:23 am

    Hey Curt, thanks a lot for answering my question at the end of the Q&A. How about that Felix Hernandez kid? Just a quick question: does having a young kid like Pedroia behind you on second base make you upset with the front office b/c they gave away a guy like Loretta to have him play there? I mean do you get upset when the front office makes a move that they think is great but at the same time weakens the defense? And hey check out dylan2146.wordpress.com…my Red Sox/sports blog. Also, I was wondering if there was any chance at all I could somehow get a signed cap from you or something? ‘Til next time…

  29. moneyfish1 permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:24 am

    Hi Curt. Having Wake around, would it be unheard of to learn the knuckleball just to throw it once in a while to keep a hitter off-balance, or is it impossible to learn well? Would those Nosfaratu fingernails mess with your other pitches? How did pitchers who weren’t knuckle-specialists used to implement the pitch into their arsenal? Do Japanese pitchers do it, like El Duque quick-pitching that guy a couple years ago?

  30. manyoso permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:27 am

    Uhm, don’t think you can blame the bats for that. The other pitcher was just lights out dominate.

    Curt, is that the first time you saw Felix pitch in person?

  31. exiledinarkansas permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:39 am

    “Q-Catalanotto haunts my nightmares. He is now 10-19 vs.

    A-11-22″

    Was at the games in Texas with the SoSH crew. Explained to my sister that I can’t stand Catalanotto and why… she looked at the scoreboard and said something like “He’s only batting .1-something.” To which I replied, “Not for long!” It could be worse… at least he’s not in the AL East anymore.

    My dislike for F.C. is so deeply rooted, that I’m playing baseball on the XBox, he gets drilled in the back every time he comes to the plate, just on principle. Is that unhealthy? :)

  32. powerchild33 permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:46 am

    Your thoughts on Hernandez’s performance. I thought that was some of the best stuff I’ve witnesses. His downward movement on his fastball was unreal plus his slider was sick! I was amazed that our batters got that many balls (what two or three, maybe?) in the air. Some nights you just have to tip your cap to the other team.

  33. cursednomore2004 permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:51 am

    Hi Curt. Thanks for this forum. I have a long comment, followed by a question and I can’t find a place on this site labeled for that, so I’ll try it here. I consider myself a mixture of the old school and new school regarding player evaluation. I firmly believe that blindly looking at numbers is a mistake and that “seeing” a player is a crucial necessity in the overall analysis of what a player’s skill set might be. While I embrace some of the sabermetric elements of the game, I’m turned off by the arrogance that usually accompanies it, which is mind boggling when you consider that MOST of these computer-driven evaluators haven’t played a game since they were 7 years old. Two things come to mind: #1) The crew at Baseball Prospectus insist that David Ortiz is NOT a clutch hitter. Having seen every Sox game since he’s been there, it’s quite obvious that this statement alone crushes their credibility. While they may crunch their numbers favorable to determine what they think “clutch” is, I know Red Sox Nation asks, “last at-bat, out or hit, what will Papi do?” The answer is come through BIG. #2). These sabermetric fools insist that the pitcher has NO CONTROL OF THE OUTCOME once the bat hits the ball. I don’t think this is true, and I suspect you don’t either. My guess is you can pitch to location that will induce certain outcomes. Am I correct in this assessment? As a follow-up, what is your overall view on the sabermetric evaluation of players?

  34. civ26 permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:55 am

    Hey Curt,

    Quick question. Do you prefer to have a long break between innings, allowing your arm to rest, or quick breaks between innings, keeping you warmed up (not taking offensive production into play)?

    ~~Civ26~~

  35. rakku permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:56 am

    Hey Curt,
    Just a quick question. I distinctively remember watching one of your interviews after Game 6 of the ALCS couple years back where you talked about God and how you asked Him to help you through your problems. Being baptized recently, I still remember that interview you gave and how it affected me when I saw you had the conviction to say that to the media, because nowadays people would laugh or roll their eyes when they hear anyone talk about religion in public. So, my question is, I know there are a lot of Christian players in the MLB and the Red Sox (Mueller, Nixon, Clement, you, etc), so do you guys regularly talk about God and have discussions about the Bible? How about other players who have different beliefs in religion? I’m assuming since you guys are together all this time, these important subjects must be discussed upon. How do you prepare for a game when it lands on a Sabbath day (Sunday)? Do you go to services? Thanks for reading my question and good luck on your next start!

    -Ben

  36. gokartmozart permalink
    April 12, 2007 10:04 am

    curt-

    i work in venture capital and i get a news wire every day written by who works for thomson and covers venture capital for them. you can imagine my suprise when today the email had a story about 38 studios in it. anyway, since i’m guessing you don’t get the PE Week Wire, i thought i’d pass the story along. and FYI, continue to have your CEO ignore his calls, the guy (Dan Primack) is a complete wannabe who carries no weight in the industry.

    “Curt Schilling wants $48 million. And it has nothing to do with a possible contract extension from the Red Sox. Instead, it’s for a videogame startup he founded last year called 38 Studios. If successful, it would be the largest-ever first round funding for a gaming company.

    38 Games is developing online multiplayer games, with initial products that will incorporate storylines from author R.A. Salvatore and visuals from comic book icon Todd MacFarlane. Not much more is known about the Maynard, Mass.-based company, except that its team includes vets from Midway Games, Hasbro and Disney.

    By all accounts, Schilling seems to be very involved in the company’s vision and operations. He’s met with a number of VCs over the past few months, and will be invaluable once there is a product to promote. He’s even launched a blog called 38 Pitches, which is designed to discuss both the company and baseball (it’s only discussed baseball so far). The downside to Schilling’s intense involvement, of course, is that he is a first-time entrepreneur who doesn’t yet know much about how venture capital works. More than one VC I’ve spoken with has come away with the impression that an investment would require quite a bit of “babysitting.” At the same time, almost all of them like the idea of hanging out with Curt Schilling, and respect the team. And since any respectable term sheet would include a request for box seats…

    The big issue here is the round size. Game publishers typically raise single-digit or very low double-digit millions for their first round, and then raise more later. Turbine, for example, raised $15 million in a Series AA recap in 2003, and now has another $37 million in the bank. RealTime Worlds was launched with less than $2 million in 2004, and later scored $31 million from NEA.

    So why is 38 Studios asking for $48 million at the outset? No idea, and company CEO Brett Close did not return my calls. All I can assume is that the company would prefer the increased flexibility of a large bank account, and thinks VCs will be willing to invest at what is basically a Series B or Series C valuation. What remains to be seen is if the lure of a baseball superstar can overcome what would be typical VC angst at such an abnormal transaction. “

  37. patman0322 permalink
    April 12, 2007 10:24 am

    Hey Curt,

    You may have heard this before, but thanks again for the blog – this kind of access to a real live MLB player’s insights, observations, analysis and experience is fascinating.

    Great game the other day – that’s the Schilling we know and love. Too bad the start of the 8th didn’t work out better for Pinero but I gotta say once Lopez got the ground out and I realized Papelbon was coming in, I was feeling a lot better. Paps’ fastball was awesome! I can’t remember the last time I saw that many flailing swings at heaters up around the eyes.

    I’d like to ask you about last night’s (Wednesday’s) game. What’s it like sitting on the bench watching a guy go through your lineup 3 up & 3 down for 9 innings? What did you think of both starters performances?

    From a Sox fan’s perspective, I was disappointed that we couldn’t string a few hits together and pull the game out. From the perspective of a fan of great pitching, while I thought Matsuzaka pitched a pretty good game and just ended up with the short end of the stick (you gotta figure most nights the Sox will cover 3 runs), but Hernandez was incredible!

    For getting 1 hit, I thought the Sox’ hitters acquitted themselves pretty well – Hernandez didn’t really make guys look foolish (not like Paps did to the Rangers’ hitters) like he has with other lineups, it just seemed like they didn’t get many pitches they could do much with and when they did, they ended up in someone’s glove.

    Matsuzaka seemed to be pitching well but it looked like the M’s were getting their hits off of breaking balls that stayed up a little too high and they were able to get enough of them together to plate some runs. Also seemed like the course of a few at bats were changed by some inconsistent balls & strikes calls.

    Thanks again!

  38. April 12, 2007 10:26 am

    Question about Daisuke’s start last night.

    He was having trouble commanding some of his pitches, particularly his curve, which he continually left inside to righties when ‘Tek was calling for a pitch outside and down. He was lucky enough to tie up Sexson with a couple of these “mistake pitches” and get the punchout, but it was obvious he had problems locating. Then, at one point in the Sexson at-bat, I believe, ‘Tek reached up and tapped his left shoulder. Up in the booth, Remy began discussing the gesture, and it began a short discussion about the shoulder “flying open”, and ‘Tek trying to remind Daisuke to “keep the shoulder closed longer”.

    Can you explain this physical mechanic? I’ve heard this repeatedly in the media through the last several years, but I still can’t picture the specific mechanic in my head, or what it means the “keep the should closed”.

  39. theotherm permalink
    April 12, 2007 10:33 am

    A lot of baseball questions are being asked and answered here, so my next question is off topic. You say you’d love to settle in Boston because of the schools, the people and the different way of life. My son, who now lives in CA, misses the New England area because the people out there are so very different from here. I know his perspective is coming from the fact that he grew up here, so now I’m curious to hear what you see the differences are between right and left coast people, specially the fan base. Thanks, once again, for your time!

  40. slapsh99 permalink
    April 12, 2007 10:35 am

    Curt, every year like many teams in the AL, the Sox trot out a pretty deep lineup. However, the team’s offensive production has dropped in each of the last 3 seasons since 2003 (961 runs) particularly a 90 run drop from ’05 to ’06 where the team scored 820 runs (which is still more than most teams).

    In spite of last year being the team’s lowest run total since the 2001 season, I think it took until July or August for opposing pitching to shut them out. This year, 8 games in, we’ve already seen 2 shutouts. Now I know Hernandez has great stuff and is white hot right now, but I was just wondering your thoughts on this. I know there are still 154 games to play, but I feel that playing in the AL East, not only do you need great pitching but you need great hitting too, unlike the AL West where teams aren’t facing the likes of the Sox and the Yankees a combined 38 games per year and a team like Oakland who isn’t an offensive powerhouse but can win on their good pitching alone.

    Being the pitcher that you are, you’ll probably just tell me that hitting doesn’t matter if the pitching staff is doing their job, but the hitters have a job to do too. It was great to see the team put up the big numbers at the home opener and get great pitching from JB, but so far over 40% of the teams’ run scoring has come in 1 of the 8 games played.

    I hope to hear your thoughts and to see Wake pitch another gem tonight.

  41. icbomber permalink
    April 12, 2007 10:35 am

    Hi Curt!

    I’m a huge fan of yours and I love that you’ve entered the blogosphere. I was lucky enough to see your first start as a Red Sox down in Baltimore in 2004, which was a great beginning to your career in Boston!

    One thing we heard a lot about in the past few years was the QuesTec system, something that you and many other pitchers were very outspoken against being used – and in my opinion rightfully so! I was just wondering if all the ballparks still are using the system and if so is it still having a big effect on how the umpire calls the balls and strikes?

    Best of luck the rest of the season!

  42. mainesoxfan82 permalink
    April 12, 2007 11:05 am

    I saw you before a game last year sporting a slick Tomlinson jersey. Chargers fan? or a fan of LT?

  43. badblood44 permalink
    April 12, 2007 11:31 am

    One thing that seems to go ignored by the media with respect to performance enhancing drugs in baseball are their recouperative effects on the players. Obviously, over the course of a 162-game season, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a consistent physical health. I would surmise that for many players, their performance drops dramatically during the final 30 or 40 regular season games simply based on the day-to-day wear and tear.

    As seen by this page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MLB_players_who_have_hit_30_or_more_home_runs_before_the_All-Star_break

    it was rare for a player to maintain their homerun pace through the entirety of the season. Until the late-to-mid 1990′s that is.

    As a pitcher, was it ever tempting for you to partake in such a program to ensure your performance was at least as consistent over the course of a full season as those players who did?

  44. dcsoxfan permalink
    April 12, 2007 11:31 am

    Thoughts on Felix Hernandez? I hadn’t seen him before, but that dude has some filthy stuff.

  45. sean1829 permalink
    April 12, 2007 11:36 am

    Hi Curt –

    Just wanted to thank you for doing this blog. It’s an amazing opportunity for fans and it’s incredible that an athlete as busy as yourself would take the time to answer questions and give really fascinating insights into the nuances of the game.

    You’re a pretty outspoken guy and you get a lot of grief for that from sportswriters and some fans, yet if you were quieter you’d be looked at as “sullen” or “temperamental.” How do you find that balance in speaking your mind? It seems so many athletes don’t bother because things get taken out of context or they get hammered for saying what they feel. Do you ever just want to unload on a writer or message board poster for their ignorance and if so – what stops you?

    Good luck this season and (even though it’s late) since I never got a chance to say thank you for 2004 – Thank you for 2004!

  46. neonsox permalink
    April 12, 2007 12:12 pm

    CURT,

    Good Q&A session again, always informative. Yet another question though…

    You probably don’t have anything to do with this, but what’s up with Jack Welch showing up on the NESN pre-game from time to time? Do they honestly think that Welch can relate to the common fan in any way? How much did he buy into either the Globe or NESN for?

    I thought maybe you would have an opinion on this because he was known as a ruthless businessman in his days at GE. Now, he’s over 80 and on the pre-game show. Doesn’t make sense. It’s like inviting Dennis Miller to do Monday Night Football… oh wait… Anyway, what motivates NESN to make these rash decisions? Aren’t they controlled by the Red Sox? Or is it the Globe or any other huge sponsor? It’s commercialism again and I can’t understand why the old guy gets a spot on camera. I know it’s not your decision, but being a man with opinions, I want to know what you think about this blatent corporate favoritism.

  47. irnbru permalink
    April 12, 2007 12:42 pm

    Hello, Curt.

    Kinda of a random group of questions today.

    Opening days/Home openers. What have your favorite/most memorable ones been?

    And something I’ve always wondered. I know it’s strange/ How many uniforms does a player actually have at one time? I know at least one white, grey and red but do players have more than one or does someone do laundry/repairs every single overnight?

    I know the tell no secrets of the clubhouse thing, but what’s a clubhouse like before/after the game. What are typical activities/food/topics of conversation etc.

  48. ktcosmos permalink
    April 12, 2007 12:47 pm

    Hey Curt, do you ever recall your days at Yavapai College? My son Dillon is playing there now, and we were having a family discussion as to whether or not big leaguers ever recall those college days/teams/dorm life, etc., (I voted that they do) or not (my son assumes not). We actually live in Prescott and also wonder what our little town seemed like back when you were here. Ever been back?? Thank you and best of luck! ktcosmos

  49. sbasil permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:00 pm

    Curt,

    RE:

    Q: I do hope you plan on omitting the, as you called it , whining. Easter, 10am starts- give us a break. You chose your career- you cash the checks- you want to continue to play next year. All good and fine- but you need to choose one or the other.

    A-No reason to omit it, and I wasn’t worried about what you’d think, just making the observation that being away from you family on the holidays sucks, no matter what you do for a living. If that bothers you then hang with them. I am assuming that if I made that observation as a 45,000 a year salesman you’d empathize? What’s the salary threshold in your mind that makes it offensive for me to be bothered about being away from my family on the holiday? Get the point?

    I agree with your sentiment on Easter and empathize with you as a married father of 3 who travels globally on business. I think there’s a big difference between missing a holiday with your family and having to get up in the middle of the night (AM is the middle of the night for most MLB ballplayers no…that’s what John Flaherty told me) and participate in the tradition of a Patriots Day game. I do hope you stay and play in more Patriots Day games. I never implied it was one or the other and I don’t understand why you’d think that. I am just saying it’s one day, fans will be getting up very early if not earlier as well, and don’t whine about it. Have fun with it. The kids will be off from school so hopefully they’ll enjoy it too. I don’t see how you can package the Easter and 10am perspective into 1. One your missing your family on a holiday which does stink. The other you’re complaining about getting up early for a special day for your fans at work.

  50. jcosta04 permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:01 pm

    What’s it like sitting in the opposing dugout watching when a guy like Felix Hernandez is dealing like he was last night? As a fellow pitcher (or just as a baseball fan in general), you have to appreciate the game he threw. He made one of the best lineups in the American League look toothless. Does it get the guys on the bench talking to one another? Is there a grudging respect paid?

  51. chitoryu permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:02 pm

    Curt,

    Thanks for answering the questions about ‘gelling’. But I am still curious about how it could happen to this team in 07. And what would we see as fans that would signify the difference.

    From the outside, in 04, it certainly looked like Tek’s mitt in A-Rod’s face was the trigger. But what I noticed as a fan was that no matter what the score was, in the last half of 04, you guys never seem to doubt you would win the game. It just showed on your faces, your body language, in your whole demeanor in the pen and bench. I was trying to figure out a way to bottle it for the Celts and Bruins, because the Pats sure enough had the magic as well.

    What is it like when you guys are in that zone? When you are down 3 in the sixth and just know you are going to find a way to tie and beat the other team. Is it something that only beginning to win in a streak can bring out?

    Mike C.

  52. dmbfan36 permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:15 pm

    Curt,

    Q – It’s no secret how much you prepare for a start and how you’re around the park between starts and at every game. How would you feel about the Sox giving Clemens a deal similar to the one he had in Houston where he didn’t have to travel when he’s not scheduled to pitch and what not? Do you feel that sets a bad example for the other guys and would it bother you? Or is it ok because he’s Clemens? This is not meant as a knock on him, as I’ve always been a huge Clemens fan, I’m just wondering how you would feel about the situation.

  53. rpknfn14 permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:23 pm

    Curt,
    First of all thank you for doing this, it is awesome to read what goes through a major league pitchers mind. Question what goes through your mind when you have a no hitter going through the 5th, 6th, 7th innings etc? Thanks

    Chris Pierce

  54. chester41 permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:25 pm

    hey curt…beckett looks great, so does dice…if u can keep it up that will be a real tough first 3 in rotation…i remember dave cowens saying the seasons were too long and it hurts the quality of play..i totally agree cept for NFL…he said NHL and nba should go to 70 games and MLB to 140…i would like to see them start baseball in may and end everything by mid october..i diasgree w/ you, i feel hockey then basketball are the most grueling seasons, esp hockey, those guys take a beating… i also think spring training is too long make it no more than 4 weeks…what a marathon sports seasons are…i enjoy your “column”, we learn things here that are new…and i can understand why you wouldnt publicly criticize a teammate… i know i wouldnt if i was a big leaguer….good luck against LAA…one time i saw a AA bullpen session at manchester up close and i couldnt believe how fast that guy was and how effortless he made it look…the guy probably never got a sniff of bigs…made me appreciate manny even more and what Ted w said about hitting…dont see how you do it at your age, i gave up slopitch 10 years ago and i was only 32…it was great seeing Yaz tuesday, talk about a tough clutch sob…i hope millar comes back as a bench coach someday, he just seems like he is great for chemistry…your loyal( as long as u win haha) fan leo NH

  55. chester41 permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:26 pm

    you will pass it on to the bullpen to execute…good one!

  56. soxrok1 permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:34 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Just posting one more time because I was so low down on the list last time. Just wondering if you could comment, from a white players perspective, if you think the declining rate of African American Players in the league is a problem. This being the 60th anniversary of the Great Jackie Robinson breaking the record, (in three days!), it is very problematic to me that only 8% of the league is of that race. If you could just give your thoughts on what could be done to improve this that would be great. For example, do you think it’s right that MLB has made a concerted effort to recruit talent overseas in Asian and Latino countries without developing talent in urban America? I’d love to be able to include your comments in my report.

    Thanks again Curt!

  57. soxgal permalink
    April 12, 2007 1:46 pm

    Hi Curt,

    I have really been enjoying the blog. I was wondering what cities / ballparks you like the most. I just got back from the Rangers series and liked the park but thought the area around isn’t really conducive for walking around, ect., like Boston or Baltimore. What are your favorite cities?

  58. April 12, 2007 1:48 pm

    Hey Curt — it’s Thursday, 2:41pm, and MLB is making you sit and watch it rain. We know what that’s like from the fans perspective (ick), but what’s it like in the clubhouse? At what point do you all start getting cabin fever in there? And from a starting pitcher’s perspective on a day like this — especially someone like you with a pretty structured pre-game routine — how do you keep yourself ready to go if/when they give you the green light after hours of sitting around waiting?

    PS – saw Jon Lester pitch in G’ville on Tuesday night. Can’t wait to get him back in the rotation!

  59. mromeo2000 permalink
    April 12, 2007 2:22 pm

    Curt:
    2 questions. The first could be just lack of knowledge on how pitcher’s off days/side sessions work but…..I am wondering why more teams don’t do what Torre did with Petite in middle relief? If a pitcher has an off day, and he is going to throw a side session anyway, it seems to make sense to pitch an inning or 2? When throwing a side session, do you “air it out?” Secondly, Varitek looked as if he was out of breath at the beginning of his press conference after Game 2 vs. Mariners. Does JV (and other players) workout after games all the time/some time/never? Love the blog and I’m looking forward to seeing you guys in Anaheim!

  60. kirk43 permalink
    April 12, 2007 4:00 pm

    hi curt guess you have read that line alot ,my question probably is alittle weak but iwas just wondering when you do your radio interviews for sports talk weei which im an avid listener you come on air your interviews are straight foward and entertaining on both your part and weei,s and mostly friendly in nature,but for the hour or two leading up to your interview thiers plenty of rude crude nastyness on on weei,s part focused on you your age performance income ect is this just thier version of the good cop bad cop routine , ihave always felt if you happen to have been listening a little before your air time you might be alittle angry but you never have been are you aware of this ?they certainly get plenty of promo from curt from the car somaybe they should back off also your ford truck comercial going to boston to win achampionship unbelieveable did you really feel that in your gut or was ford just really creative in thier ad thank you go redsox pats capecod

  61. mrpunchy permalink
    April 12, 2007 5:04 pm

    Curt – I had tickets to todays game, which was rained out. Like the other 35,000 fans, I found out about 5 minutes before game time. I understand the Sox have to call it at the last minute, but it got me thinking. Why don’t the Sox do something for the fans when there is a rain out. After all you’ve 35,000 fans at the ball park, with money in their pockets. It wouldn’t be too difficult to do a couple of things so people wouldn’t be so miserable and maybe the Sox could even make a few bucks (if they wouldn’t have a problem with that). You could show classic Sox highlights on all the TVs. Maybe a few players could sign autographs or pose for pictures or they could raffle off some equipment off or something. This happens once or twice a year and the Sox could make it memorable (and profitable) instead of miserable if they used a little imagination. I understand that you have nothing to do with this, but since the people that do all read your blog, I thought this might be a good place to post this idea. Thanks again for this blog. Go Sox!

  62. gkamens permalink
    April 12, 2007 5:49 pm

    Curt,

    Just started reading your blog and think it is fascinating to get a players insight during the season. Hopefully you will stay active throughout the season.

    I’m not sure if this is something that you have addressed allreay but….

    Q- Do you think after your playing career there is any chance you would go into working with development of young pitchers, or front office type work? I know I would love you too see you working in ANY role with my Cleveland Indians.

    Also

    Q- Why can’t the RedSox bring in some more “hateable” players. I’m a Cleveland fan and hate the fact I like most of your teamates. Can you talk to Theo and do something about this?

    Thanks for the insight hope you have a great season. Just try to skip starts against my Tribe so I’m not forced to root against you.

    George

  63. crowlebb permalink
    April 12, 2007 5:52 pm

    I know that you didn’t pitch against Ritchie Sexson in this series, but how is your approach different when you are pitching against guys that are 9 feet tall?

  64. crowlebb permalink
    April 12, 2007 5:54 pm

    Oh yeah….
    “Thanks for the tip, I’ll make sure to remind him he ‘needs to execute’ next time I see him.”

    That was fantastic.

  65. jakedasnake permalink
    April 12, 2007 6:05 pm

    Hey Curt, It’s very early in the season, but who do you watch for the most in our farm system? Pitching mainly.

  66. soxfaninny permalink
    April 12, 2007 6:10 pm

    Curt…Again thanks for taking the time to reach out to the fans.

  67. firedannyainge permalink
    April 12, 2007 6:38 pm

    Why do you answer people like the idiot above when they obviously only come here to be Trolls? By doing that you are giving them a reason to come back and be tens time worse.?

  68. srv753 permalink
    April 12, 2007 6:49 pm

    Curt: A quick question

    I attended Wednesday nights game and when Matsuzaka drilled Guillen, considering the previous nights incident, I thought, he just made a statement to his team that he is there to support them. With all the media surrounding this event, this action said “Guys, I’m here for you”.
    I’m guessing he gained a new respect last night. True?

  69. adamonfirst permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:00 pm

    A few things I’m wondering:

    1. How much easier does it make for a starter to have a good game when he gets an early lead from the offense? It seems like a lot of times there is a pitcher your team should be able to score some runs off of, but then he get’s spotted several runs and he relaxes and mows em’ down all day. What goes on with that?

    2. You said you don’t actively make pitches based on pitch count, but on the other hand you’ve talked about wanted your changeup to get first pitch outs and to depress your pitch count. I’m not try to catch you or anything, but I’m curious to hear more on how you approach pitch count.

    3. Would you consider telling a pitching coach “hey, this next guy up has been weak to this all day” or something like that so he could let a reliever know?

    4. Do you think first year guys from Japan should be eligible for the Rookie of the Year (sorry if someone’s already asked you that)?

  70. bepo10 permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:37 pm

    Curt,
    Who is the leader of the offense this year? With Trot and others that have left over the past few years, I was wondering who is the vocal leader of this group if there is one? You shared a little about bonding in this post, I was wondering in your experience if bonding happens first or if winning does?
    Ben

  71. cowboyup3638 permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:39 pm

    Hey Curt,

    As a lifelong Red Sox fan and general baseball fan, it is really interesting to hear a player’s perspective on the various aspects of the game you have discussed. Thanks for your dedication and passion for the game, and for taking the time to write this.

    A question that I think about multiple times during every baseball game I watch on TV – as a pitcher, does it bother you the television crew always shows close-ups of the catcher’s signals? It was really apparent to me in last night’s game – the ESPN2 crew kept showing Varitek’s signals and Dice-K’s grips, and Orel Hershiser was pointing what he thought each signal and grip was. I know teams often change signals, but I still think it would be annoying to keep having your signals made very visible to opposing teams who you may face in upcoming series.

    Thanks again and God bless!

    Will

  72. redsoxedmunds24 permalink
    April 12, 2007 8:55 pm

    hey curt

    at 21 years old i have probably only followed baseball 7-8 years now and really dont remember a whole lot about those days… my ? for you have you ever seen in thw weather this poor early in the season? the snow outs in cleveland and the cold and flurries down in arlington is hard to comprehend for baseball season

  73. fredsox permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:26 pm

    Dice Vs. Felix.

    All the hype was justifed. Dice got a few fastballs up in the zone and got hammered, welcome to the AL kiddo. All in all a VERY well pitched gane by our new “rookie” from across the pacific. This kid has all of the pitching tools, he just needs a little tweaking from the starters who know the AL and can give a few helpful pointers.
    But.. OH MY. Felix the King. UNHITTABLE. I haven’t seen that dominating a performance from a 21 year old since um.. umm..since I don’t know when. I mean this kid has.. filthy, nasty filthy stuff. Holy Moly.I haven’t seen someone’s knees broken like Dustin Pedroia’s knees were, since my Uncle Vinnie owed a few grand to the corner bookie! Poor Dustin, that bucket he was stepping into could have held a redwood tree.Don’t feeel so bad, Manny, et al, looked just as confuzled trying to fight off that 91 mph slider with a two strike count on them. If this kid stays healthy, not just the sky, but the entire solar system is the limit. MOST IMPRESSIVE.

    Lets go get three against those Halos. PLEASE, don’t pitch to Vladdie. no Matter what. He hits everything and KILLS us.

  74. gyrotyro permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:44 pm

    Hi, Curt.

    I don’t know if I’ve seen a question like this one, before, but this is something that’s bugged me for a decent while, now.

    As Baseball is still a relatively new love for me, I’m not quite finished mastering all of the terminology. There seems to be one thing that still eludes my understanding, and it has to do with the difference between two pitches.

    What is the difference between a Splitter and a Sinker? I’ve both heard them described as having downward movement, but the various descriptions seem to blur the lines between what each pitch does.

    From what I understand, the “perfect” Splitter would fly straight and level to home plate and then immediately drop, almost as if it had hit a wall. On the other hand, the “perfect” Sinker would start from a high arm slot and then move in a constant downward diagonal, forcing the hitter to constantly adjust his eyes down, to follow it.

    Is this the proper way to describe the difference between the two pitches? Maybe I’ll have to post this one Derek Lowe’s blog, too. :-)

    Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, like this. Good luck in ’07!

  75. pemliza permalink
    April 12, 2007 9:50 pm

    Curt, I love reading the blog & I love that you take the time not only to put game analysis up, but to answer fans questions. It’s good to get a players pespective.

    I’ve been a Josh Beckett fan since the trade. I was very pleased tht we brought him over & liked him, even when he was struggling last year. I’ve been pleased to see him perform so well this year. So here’s my question to you, who gets to see him work every day. Are the two games he’s pitched indicative of the work he’s done in the off season? Are we going to see him reach his potential this year & not struggle as much as last year?

  76. billyerin permalink
    April 12, 2007 10:11 pm

    curt, erin and i were some of the lucky ones to see dice-k pitch the other night…you can feel the electricity in the stands before and during the game. do you as players sence that???

    also as a marquis player on a big market team, do you feel its hard to go out in public?? i mean its got to be hard going to CVS or a home depot.

    BTW it was a tough loss the other night!!! the bats will be there so wont the pitching.

    billy

  77. thedoctorx permalink
    April 12, 2007 11:16 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to answer questions.

    Here is one I would not mind having a professional pitcher’s perspective: The Ritual of Intentionally Hitting a Batter.

    I do not mean trying to get a batter from “crowding” the plate; I mean the retaliation, especially for a batter who admires a home run. ESPN wonks last year frequently predicted that “Manny will take one in the ribs” for “admiring a home run.” “You should just lower your head and run the bases.”

    Well, fine. But pitchers “pump” and “point to the sky” when they strike out a guy looking or even with the “big swing.” It is not like a batter can charge the mound with his bat in retaliation!

    This came up, obviously with the recent Donnelly-Guillen “Incident”–but it also came up last year when the White Sox manager demoted a pitcher for NOT hitting a batter when instructed to do so.

    Now I understand that player have to show teammates that they have the other’s back. Understood. Anyways, any comments?

    Thanks for your time.

    –J.D.

  78. rabbs permalink
    April 13, 2007 1:07 am

    Hi Curt – I appreciate the time and insight. I was just wondering, when writers say that Manny is the best “pure hitter” in baseball, what exactly does “pure” mean? Is it the balance between a “slap hitter” and a “power hitter”? And what does it mean for pitchers facing him – do they need to approach him differently?

  79. April 13, 2007 1:09 am

    Hey! How are ya? Couple questions for your next Q&A:

    What did you think of Dice-K’s Fenway debut? (I wish he would have won, but Hernandez was just too freaking good.)

    And, now, a fun one: What’s on your iPod (assuming you have one)?

    Good luck on your next start! :)

    ~Nollie

  80. dustypagoda permalink
    April 13, 2007 1:49 am

    Hey Curt,
    I hope it’s okay to post this here, if not feel free to delete it. My girlfriend is running a 13 mile half-marathon in Alaska this June to raise $4,500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. I’m not asking you for money, just hoping to post this here for others to see. If any of your readers would like to make a donation (no amount is too small!), that would be great. Thanks!
    Here is the link to her fundraising site: http://www.active.com/donate/tntcpa/sarahmarxen
    I’m sorry if this is considered spam.
    James
    ps when is Hansack gonna get called up. 20ks, 3bb in 10 innings! Guy is nasty.

  81. thedoctorx permalink
    April 13, 2007 2:03 am

    Sorry one more thing: I think it is good that you address negative comments. Frankly, you handle it well.

    To those who think it your answers to negative criticism encourages “trolls”: it may. There will be those who only comment so they can tell their fellow cellar dwellers “I TOTALLY pwned Shill LOL!” However, then no one can say you only respond to “praise” or only field “softball” questions. Kudos as well to whoever moderates these comments for allowing such questions, even if they be stupid.

    –J.D.

  82. jaxirish permalink
    April 13, 2007 9:21 am

    I guess what we have is a lack of communication. Matthew did not get your e-mail address and you must have received the wrong one for him. I apologize if I offended you with the last post. That was not my intention. you can e-mail him a irsh6738@comcast.net. Thank You for your response to my last post.
    Matt Cahill

  83. jonfan permalink
    April 13, 2007 10:04 am

    Curt,

    I met an amazing family from Medfield last night whose son is battling SMA (I’m sure you know the names). They spoke so glowingly of the impact you and your family has had on their lives. Their story has inspired me not to sweat the small things (cuz they are only small). I don’t think people give you enough credit for the off-the-field things you do. Keep it up, cuz you are truly changing lives!

  84. usafdouce permalink
    April 13, 2007 11:21 am

    Curt,
    I think that the dumbest stat in baseball has to be the Win and Loss record for a pitcher. A guy can go 8 innings give up 1 run and get the loss while another guy gives up 6 runs in 5 innings and gets the win, or worse yet a reliever faces 1 batter and get the win. Awards are given out via this stat? I feel that it should be eliminated and never used especially in consideration of yearly awards. Amazingly professional baseball writers (and TV guys) spend their time quoting WL records. I though they would see through the bunk. What do you think?

  85. rje13ma permalink
    April 13, 2007 12:20 pm

    I couldn’t find anywhere else within your blog to send you this letter.

    Dear Curt,

    I am contacting you to let you know of a fundraiser that my family is taking part in to raise money for ALSTDF. Last year my family and I were introduced to this terrible disease of ALS when my uncle was diagnosed on January 28th, 2006, a day we will never forget. In a short period of time we have come together to learn about this disease and start our efforts to help raise awareness, funding, and hopefully a cure. Last year we began our efforts when 25 members of our family and friends ran in the Sharon Timlin 5k Road Race to raise money for the Angel Fund, and we vowed that it would be the beginning of our efforts to help.

    This year we plan on bringing an even larger group to the Timlin Race and having even more fun. We are also expanding our efforts in fundraising by participating in the Tri State Trek, a bike ride from Boston to New York to raise money for ALSTDF. In order to make the most of this event my family is holding a benefit in Boston on June 16th (the same day as the Timlin Road Race) to raise money for ALS. All donations received will be directly contributed to the Tri State Trek-ALSTDF. Our fundraiser will be taking place in Boston at “The Greatest Bar”, on Friend Street, near the TD Banknorth Garden.

    I also understand your involvement with Curt’s Pitch, so it is our hope that your groups could give us their support by making an announcement on the Curt’s Pitch website or 38pitches.com, or even an e-mail blast to all registered members, letting them know of this other great event with the same intentions of raising money and most importantly AWARENESS for ALS. Perhaps, you could provide some type of autographed memorabilia or you could even join us at our fundraiser to help us secure the best possible contribution to aid in the research being conducted by ALSTDF. I would be glad to provide more details of the event, such as auction and raffle items, potential guests or even to spend a minute talking with you about our intentions for the evening. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Together for a cure!

    Richard

    http://www.active.com/donate/Trek2007/TeamCalhounForaCure

  86. williamsfreak permalink
    April 13, 2007 1:20 pm

    another good blog posted

    can you tell wily mo pena I (sly) said hi and I m the biggest Pena fan!

  87. justspecial permalink
    April 13, 2007 1:22 pm

    Curt,
    I know you know 1 million times more about baseball than I do, being it your profession, but I really have to disagree with you about the pitching being more important than the offense right now in this team. The team gathered only 1 hit last game, and 3 all day in that loss by 2-0 on Wake’s last start.
    If Crisp’s bat might be costing the team wins, he should be benched a little and let other guys get some work. I know he adds speed, but that hasn’t yet made a significant row in this team’s wins.

    Other thing: I wonder if sometimes you felt like criticizing someone in the game of baseball here in this blog, but had to give up on the idea because the blog is too well-known and famous. Did you?

    Thanks

  88. airforcesoxfan permalink
    April 13, 2007 1:58 pm

    Curt,
    I love what you do for the Red Sox and love what you stand for in life. You do so much charity work, you make all us Red Sox fans proud! I too am heavily involved in the fight against cancer, however, through the American Cancer Society, specifically the “Relay for Life”. Hardly the forum to ask but I am going to throw it out anyway, is there anyway to get a signed auctionable item for our Great Falls, MT “Relay for Life” event? I am a native New Englander and far from home I know, but the military has me out here and I have found Red Sox Nation is strong no matter where you are so I know you could really help us raise some cash. This may never reach you but, hey, you never know if you dont try. Thanks for all you do!
    Your freind in Montana,
    Tracy “Tack” Tackling

  89. georgesteinbrenner permalink
    April 13, 2007 2:24 pm

    Mr. Schilling,

    I think you should play for me next year. I see the sox didn’t want to put up an offer. Perhaps they thought you were too old. No contract/No Faith…. Time to jump to the empire.

    Kurt looking forward to chatting about the Yankees again soon.

    GS

  90. April 13, 2007 2:35 pm

    Personally, I think Papelbon coming in somewhere in the eigth inning. From the opposing team’s view, it’s gotta be rough for the last three batters to get a preview of a dominating performance like his most recent. And even if he’s less than stellar, it gives Pap the opportunity to make some adjustments before the critical 9th. It’s one of Tito’s consistently good decisions and I think teams with power closers like Pap will begin to use their shutdown man for that last out or two of the eighth inning more and more.

  91. brettjmiller permalink
    April 13, 2007 3:42 pm

    Hey Curt, how’s it going. I’m from Seattle but I’m a big fan of you–I love watching you work. I’ve only gotten to see you in person once in 2005 vs. Tampa Bay, it wasn’t your best game but you kept the Sox in the game and Trot Nixon came through with the game winning hit in the 9th…it’s great ballpark you guys have out there, and it was fun to see you work. Ever considered signing a two year deal or so with Seattle in the offseason? Hah.

    Anyway, my question, not surprisingly, concerns King Felix Hernandez. I’ve got nothing against your team, but wow, he made your potent lineup look like the 2004 Kansas City Royals…I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone dominate as good of a lineup in years. What are your thoughts on this kid and his future? I’d love to hear what you think about him…I think he’s a lot like Kevin Brown in his heyday–a high strikeout rate, and ridiculous amount of groundballs. It’s probably the biased Mariner fan in me, but having attented all but about two of his home starts, there’s something special about this kid…I just wonder if you, as a pitcher see it, or if I’m just being a biased Mariner fan.

    I hear all the talk about signing King Felix when he’s a free agent, Sox fans. Let me just say, as Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing said, Felix is ours and you can’t have him. You guys had your shot when he was 16, and he chose us over you and the Mets and the Yankees…-whew- I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t go down to Safeco every 5 days for Felix day–for win day. If we don’t outbid you guys with a 20 year, $1 billion contract, well…I’ll have no choice but to abolish being a Mariners fan if the front office lets Felix go :(

    Sorry for rambling on your blog Curt. If you answer this, feel free to edit for length…haha.

    Good luck in your next start, and I hope to see you and the Sox in the post-season…as unlikely as it is for us to get there and meet you.

  92. wileyokiley permalink
    April 13, 2007 5:45 pm

    Greetings from Moscow! It’s pretty rough being +8 hours away from Boston (esp. for night games… it’s been killing me for morning classes, but I’ve managed to not miss an MLB Gameday cast yet), and I just wanted to say that it’s great to read this blog: keep up the good work! I also second the question(s) abt. your music choice: what IS on your iPod? For now–до свидания (do svidania)!

  93. chrisscog permalink
    April 14, 2007 12:19 am

    Curt I am really glad you decided not to retire after this year. I hope you finish you career here and hope you can keep healthy (don’t go hunting with Dick Cheney) and can guide the younger guys like Delcarmen and Hansen. Are you going to try to coach after you finally hang up your glove?

  94. emmetthayes permalink
    April 14, 2007 5:30 am

    Curt, I feel Terry is getting the most out of Papelbon by bringing him into the game when its at its most critical time, rather then just waiting till the 9th and giving him a clean Eck like save. It is somewhat similar to the late 90′s when Mariano was setting up for John Wettland. Mariano got all the big outs and wettland got the glory, that was short lived, but my point is that sometimes the big outs are in the 8th not the 9th, and I give Terry credit for going to Pap early before things get out of hand. Your thoughts? Thanks Emmett

  95. chillyme permalink
    April 14, 2007 6:56 am

    Good game Friday night! Nice to see BATman (Mirabelli) & Robin (as in Wake robbing the A’s of baserunners) lighting up Fenway. :) Now that is what I call run support.

    A little long ball….a little small ball….bats swinging, defense looked good… the PAPinator doing his thing….impressive, fun to watch, congrats to all.

    Good luck in todays game.

    Onward! :)

  96. eisleyrocks permalink
    April 14, 2007 11:37 am

    What kind of fan behaviour do you respect the most?

  97. Ad C permalink
    April 14, 2007 12:58 pm

    you see, in this question – “When a starting pitcher such as yourself hands the game over to the bullpin and things start to go south, do you personally get involved with the pitching coach as to what the bullpin may do to improve the situation?”, I thought the kid just wanted to know if you’d share your notes on the batters you faced with the pitching coach, not suggest someone else take over the mound. I mean, I’m sure the coach is watching the game closely and knows a lot of baseball pitching and all, but some input from someone who was just at the mound actually facing these batters can’t hurt, right? So don’t you ever do something like that? Does any other pitcher you’ve played with try to do that?

  98. ace1307 permalink
    April 14, 2007 3:23 pm

    I am watching you pitch right now on Fox on Saturday afternoon (in case you dont read this till after) and Tim McCarver, who I absolutely dispise, made another “award winning” comment I thought I should share with you and get your thoughts on. He said that you were losing confidence in your fastball because you were throwing more changeups. I think that is a load of you know what, but I wanted to get your opinion from the guy actually throwing the pitches, and not some former player who never pitched…thanks!!!

  99. bigschill21 permalink
    April 14, 2007 5:04 pm

    Hey Curt, great blog. My question is what is the greatest pitching performance you have seen?

  100. kirk43 permalink
    April 14, 2007 5:26 pm

    great game curt sign this man to an extension !!!!!!! fox tv just mentioned your web blog amazing your creativity go redsox pats capecod

  101. techsoldaten permalink
    April 14, 2007 5:44 pm

    Any chance, after you retire, that you will be publishing those meticulous notes you keep on hitters?

    M

  102. kirk43 permalink
    April 14, 2007 5:51 pm

    curt quick question is thier any extra emotions or stress on national tv apperances great game fox tv is really impressed with your performance today they are wondering if you want to go in the 9 th for shut out ,again great game congrats go redsox pats capecod

  103. amlothi permalink
    April 14, 2007 5:51 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Great game today! I’ve also really enjoyed reading your blog, and I think it’s great that you take so much time to answer questions. I have a quick one for you. Every once in a while you see a pitcher toss the ball back and ask for a new one. Why do they do this? If there’s a scuff on the ball, my understanding is that would be to the pitcher’s advantage (they could use it to add movement to the pitch).

    Thanks!

  104. fhyrew permalink
    April 14, 2007 6:11 pm

    In the interest of full disclosure, I have you on my fantasy team and we count complete games. After seeing you pitch brilliantly today but not come out for the ninth after 103 pitches, and recalling your comment from the Texas game blog about wanting to complete the game, I wonder:

    What goes into deciding when you’re done in a given game? If it was totally up to you, would you complete a game like tonight’s when you were pitching very well but had thrown a good number of pitches?

  105. brooklynfrank permalink
    April 14, 2007 6:43 pm

    I notice you’re throwing the overhand curve more this year. Are you trying to bring Uncle Charlie back like Justin Timberlake brought Sexy back?

  106. nantinugiliath permalink
    April 14, 2007 6:43 pm

    The minors may no longer be your bailiwick, but since you are answering pitching questions I figured I’d pitch one. I was at the Greenville game the other night — the Sally League Red Sox affiliate managed by Gabe Kapler — and the kid they had on the mound had it going. He finished with 10 Ks over five innings. But all of those Ks, and the vast majority of his pitches, were fastballs. He was locating really well and had it up (I would guess) in the low 90s.

    BUT: He could not throw a breaking ball or an offspeed pitch for a strike consistently; the one hit he gave up was a long dinger on a fastball that followed two very poor curveballs (nowhere near). And (like a lot of pitchers at this level) he telegraphed the curve at the top of his delivery.

    So here’s my question. At what point is it more important for a guy like that to work on his offspeed stuff and secondary pitches? Should a guy like this go with what is working? Should he sacrifice some baserunners, and maybe some runs (and maybe even the game?), to work on these pitches? What’s the balance?

  107. ctredsoxfan permalink
    April 14, 2007 6:49 pm

    Great Game today Curt!
    I work for a new Program that will be researching with Neurodegenerative Diseases and Spinal Cord injuries. I’ve added Curts’ Pitch for ALS to our website. Is there anything else I can add to help out?

  108. crazypaul5 permalink
    April 14, 2007 6:52 pm

    Curt,

    First off, I want to say that you are my favorite pitcher in all of baseball. I have so much respect for the way you prepare and execute on the mound. Red Sox nation is forever indebted to you for your heroics in the ’04 playoffs.

    That being said, I have a bone to pick with you. I remember distinctly after the great ’04 World Series win that you used the national publicity to campaign for George W. Bush’s presidential re-election bid.

    We were told by the Bush Administration that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
    We were told by the Bush Administration that Iraq had connections to Al Quaeda and was partly responsible for 9-11.
    We were told by the Bush Administration that Iraq was attempting to build nuclear weapons.
    We were told by the Bush Administration that Iraq posed an immediate threat to the safety of the United States.
    We were told that we would be greeted as liberators.

    All of the reasons used to justify invasion were untruths.
    As a result of the US-led invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq, it is estimated that 600,000 Iraqis have been killed and over 3,200 Americans have been killed.

    As a Christian, do you regret your enthusiastic support for a man responsible for unjustified murder and bearing false witness? If you could go back in time, would you once again campaign for Bush?

    It’s great that you take time to answer fan’s questions and I look forward to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks, and Good Luck this season!

    Paul

  109. falcon64 permalink
    April 14, 2007 7:22 pm

    Saturday After Shutout;

    Congratulations on a solid win.

    I especially liked the “walk and chew gum” line in your last post.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  110. shortandstout permalink
    April 14, 2007 7:45 pm

    Schill, do you think Beckett should get a Two-Seamer?

  111. iamjago2 permalink
    April 14, 2007 8:22 pm

    Great game today – No, let me correct that – Excellent game today. My question is this, however. I, too, want to know who’s decision and why that you not finish the 9th and post a shut out? You seemed to still have plenty of what ever it is you have that makes you do what you do, so I was a little disappointed to not see you out there to finish it.

  112. fmmodzelewski permalink
    April 14, 2007 8:43 pm

    Curt-

    When you get emails from tools like Paul (email 108), doesn’t it make you want to run all the more for Senator and rid the state of one of its other curses (come on the CY Young and a Senate seat in the same year–let’s see someone else pull that one off)? Btw, such a great game today. That overhand curve rocked! Hinske was on fire. He needs some more time in the line up.

    Mojo

  113. wakefield49 permalink
    April 14, 2007 9:16 pm

    Curt,

    Great posts. I love your insights into the game. My questions:

    1) On the road, how do you typically spend your free time? Do you room alone or with another teammate? If another teammate, how is that decided on? And do you room with that teammate for the whole year for road games?

    2) How do you try to keep in contact with your wife and kids when you’re on the road?

    3) How long (in years) did it take you to adjust to MLB life — that is, the constant travel for 8 or 9 months out of the year? Is that a real factor in how young players perform on a daily basis?

    4) Tied to Q2, I understand the “grind” was (or is) the major reason why players depended on amphetimines (“greenies”). In your opinion, how prevalent were (or are they)? Were they ever a topic of discussion? And though they are illegal, did players often (or ever) view their using them as breaking the law?

  114. jeff7168 permalink
    April 14, 2007 9:22 pm

    I like the idea of using Papelbon when necessary – even it’s at a key moment in the eighth and even the seventh inning – and having someone else finish the game. I have confidence in every reliever with the exception of Joel Pineiro, and hopefully he will get into a groove. Regardless, this is the type of Sox team I have wanted to see for a long time – excellent starting pitching, a lights out closer, a reliable bullpen, a productive offense and a strong bench. No longer do the Sox have to score a lot of runs in a game to offset a mediocre rotation. It will be an exciting year in Red Sox Nation!

    Jeff
    http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

  115. mab33 permalink
    April 15, 2007 2:46 pm

    Curt,
    I think that what you are doing is awesome. Keeping in touch with the fans and actually responding back is “what it is all about.” Alot of Pros would never even think twice about doing something like this. I have alot of repsect for that. My question to you is :
    What runs through your mind after you make a bad pitch, even when you have been in total command of your pitches ? For instance like yesterdat in the 7th you wnet to ball 3 on 2 batters and you were talking to yourself in disgust. Is it more to get yourself back onto the game plan or just mental frustration on making the bad pitch?
    Also, why are there not more pitchers that study the game as much as you do and are you changing your approach to your game; leaning more on off speed pitches and mixing in your fastball. This seems to be working, almost confusing the batters not knowing what will be coming next.
    Keep up the good work.

    Matt

  116. bdawg23 permalink
    April 17, 2007 3:03 am

    Curt,
    what was your point of view of baseball players wearing the number 42 this sunday on the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson day?

  117. soxin2007 permalink
    April 17, 2007 3:34 pm

    Curt,

    I know you get millions of questions, but I just have one quick question for you.

    Prior to the 2004 Red Sox season, I decided to purchase a Massachusetts issued vanity License Plate called “SOX 04″. And for the first time in 86 years, you guys, the 2004 red sox, won the world series.

    My question to you is: Do you personally like the license plate? And of what value do you think it is?

    I appreciate your time, and this blog is a true testament to your character.

    Thanks,
    Dan… soxin2007

  118. bonbonhomme permalink
    April 18, 2007 11:48 am

    Curt,

    I would like to ask a question about Daisuke.

    Does he have problems communicating with you and the other teammates?
    It seems you guys don’t have much conversation with Daisuke.

    And when Tek or the coach talking to him during the game,he always said the same word “Okay”….

    This is what I’m wondering about…

    Thanks,

    bonbonhomme

  119. soxzealot35 permalink
    April 19, 2007 4:13 pm

    Curt, first off let me say thankyou for teaching Papelbon the splitter a few years back in spring training…that pitch took him from a good pitcher to….what he is now…rediculous. Pitchers cant sit on his fastball because of the splitter, and it has made him so much better, as i’m sure it has for you over your career.
    I was watching a recent game and saw you having an engaging conversation with Dice-K in the dugout. I’m wondering how easy it has been to communicate with him in the dugout, whether in english or Japanese. Does he know much more english than he lets on….or have you become proficient enough in Japanese to have any conversations beyond the basic greetings?…

  120. redsox72 permalink
    May 1, 2007 8:02 pm

    I saw this website 4 petes sake. Is this Curt’s new charity?

    http://www.4petesake.org/

  121. crazyjaa permalink
    May 7, 2007 2:41 pm

    Mr Schilling- First of all, thanks for everything u have done for the fans of New England—some yucks in the media dont get you(the whole sock thing among others) or us and we really cannot repay what u did for us. U basically risked your career to win us the World Championship. You are a genuine hero and great leader for us on and off the field. Thanks!!

    As far as Clemens goes, I agree 150% on what u said- we dont need him– we have 6 good SPs(Lester not far away) and the NYY had a major need here. I like our team chemistry and balance, the season is long and maybe down the road we might need a SP but today I love our team.

    U keep doing what u are doing, beat on CHB and his ilk and PLEASE resign here.. we need you!!!

    GO SOX!!!

    CJ in AA

  122. dedsux permalink
    May 9, 2007 12:34 pm

    Dear 38pitches.com: here’s how something can be so horribly miscontrued – YOU SAID IT. Nothing wrong with your ENTIRE quote, but ANY part of ANY quote that includes the words “We don’t need him (Clemens)” is just ASKING for that portion to be lifted from the total quote. Translation: you have always been one to shoot from the hip without thinking but also one who then bitches when others “misconstrue” your words. Guess who’s fault that is?

  123. mattlenny permalink
    December 28, 2007 3:50 pm

    Curt,

    It is kind of funny how many bonehead comments get put in this blog. At first I thought that might be frustrating to you, but I am starting to get the impression that you enjoy those comments more sometimes. Maybe it is just my sarcastic side that thinks you enjoy answering them too.

    Matt

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