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Hot Stove, Charities, and more.

November 15, 2007

Wow, 275 million for 10 years. Holy crap. The only argument you might make is that no ones worth that, hell none of us are worth that much relative to ‘real world’ salaries. But if someone in the game was getting a contract that big I am not sure you could argue it being Alex. On the field this guy is the MVP in waiting every year it seems. Just amazing to see how far this game has come revenue wise. I think the number this year was over 6 Billion in revenue generated.

Santana, Cabrera, Tejada, all on the market?? Wow. This has the makings of the early off seasons of free agency where huge trades were commonplace. If one of those first two names gets moved I can’t imagine the young talent heading the other way. Only a few teams have the resources to make those happen.

I was shocked to see Brad Lidge get moved. I don’t know much about the players heading to Houston but I’ve always loved that guys stuff.

Congratulations to CC Sabathia. As much as I wanted Josh to win it, CC certainly deserved it and earned it. I got to know him a bit at the 2004 All Star game and have been a huge fan every since. I think Josh will settle for the ring.

How the hell did Tito finish 4th in the Manager of the Year voting? I don’t get it. Anyone that knows this market knows how much of a challenge it is, the same challenge Joe had to face in NY every year. What Tito did this year was monumental and worthy of more recognition.

I would guess the next two awards are probably the easiest, Peavy and Alex and then the NL MVP. Going to be interested to see how that voting goes.

We are opening in Japan, decisions been made. I had the pleasure of going over to Japan with the MLB team after the 1997 season. It was a mistake for many reasons but the trip was fun. The problem was the amount of travel once over there, and the 10 days to 2 weeks it took to readjust coming back. My only objection was that the games might negatively impact the everyday players to a much larger degree than if we did not go. I am hopeful and confident that Theo and the Ownership here will insure our travel is what it needs to be to have the everyday guys ok and rested when we return.

Yesterday was packed with meetings. The day kicked off with an extensive and thorough introduction and meeting with Electronic Arts Partners. I thought it was exceptionally well done and it was my first real chance to get ‘caught up’ on where 38 Studios is at with our product in about 8 months. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I believed in the team when they started and the work presented yesterday only confirms they are going far beyond what I’d hoped this might someday become.

Our engine decisions are also winding down and we look to be announcing that decision over the next month or two at the latest.

We are closing in on the announcement of two critical hirings. A Senior Development Director and our Chief Technology Officer. Look for these to occur over the next month or so as well.

On the charity front we are having the Holiday Bubbles and Bites to benefit the Shade Foundation. December 12th at Faneuil Hall from 6:30-9pm. Information can be found at http://www.shadefoundation.org/bubbles/tickets.php as well as http://www.shadefoundation.org/bubbles/sponsorships.php .

For anyone looking for holiday cards and wanting to be involved in the fight against ALS, please check out www.springingforacure.com. Cool stuff and a great way to help out ALS while taking care of your Christmas card list.

33 Comments leave one →
  1. mykolm permalink
    November 15, 2007 2:59 pm

    Hi Curt-

    How can smaller market teams compete with the large market teams when salaries are escalating every season? I read that the Yankees are expected to have a $159 million batting lineup. It seems that there are only a half-dozen teams that can afford the high priced players while the other 20-odd teams are left in the cold.

    Year after year, it’s going to be Boston and/or New York in the playoffs. Teams like Tampa that don’t have the TV revenue will never, ever have a chance to build a strong team because they can’t afford to keep their players.

    Anyway, just wondered your thoughts.

    Thanks-
    Mike

  2. melzyide permalink
    November 15, 2007 3:00 pm

    Hey Curt,
    Can’t believe the amount that they are willing to give him(A Rod). What happened to playing baseball for the love of the game. Some day some one might be willing to pay that type of salary to an educator or even a school system. I guess everyone has their price. Any way, hope Sox can still work something out with Mike. It would be a disappointment to see him go.
    One more thing- Happy Belated Birthday!!. We share the date. Greetings from Maine!!
    Have a great holiday season!!
    Mel-

  3. sheopines permalink
    November 15, 2007 3:40 pm

    Over a quarter of a billion dollars? Man, that’s a truckload of money. And while I certainly don’t want to downplay the talent of the indomitable A-Rod, it seems like a mighty pricetag for just one player.

    I don’t mind big money rosters, especially when that roster belongs to my beloved team, but my GOSH that’s a big paycheck for a single individual.

  4. johnnylegit permalink
    November 15, 2007 4:04 pm

    Mr. Schilling:

    First, congrats on your contract and I’m happy as a clam that you can retire as a Sox. I hope that you get ton of credit for leaving money on the table to do what you and your family really wanted to do. Despite all the “faults” attributed to you, you were always honest and were willing to put everything on the line–and most important, when/if you were wrong, you acknowledged it and apologized for it. Nobody is perfect but it takes a man to admit and own up to mistakes–which you so readily do. I hope the sportswriters write more about stuff like that.

    Second, in regards to contract negotiations, I wanted to get your opinion (since I believe you used to have an agent) … how much pressure from the Player’s Union is there to accept the MOST money offered? In cases like yours (where you’ve opted to sign for less money to be where you want to play), do you or your agent (if you had one) get slammed by Union reps? Do other players get on you for taking less money? Do players really get upset because some other comparable player is making a few million more or is most of the talk coming from their agents? It’s really hard to figure out sometimes what the player is actually thinking … much has been discussed in the last few days of Scott Boras “making a mistake” regarding A-Rod negotiations (i.e. untimely announcement to opt out and misjudging the market). As much as I dislike his approach to negotiation, I don’t think he made a mistake at all. He might have gambled and lost but ultimately, his client ended up with a huge contract … last time I checked, he didn’t give up any money. So despite the “bad” publicity, A-Rod got exactly what he wanted. And I’m sure Scott Boras has no qualms about “taking the publicity hit” so his client can get the most money available. No matter what you think of his tactics, ultimately, the player has the final say–and I know that if his client says “just make it happen no matter what the offer”, he’ll do it (case in point: Tek probably took less money to stay; Dice-K got the contract signed). So is it fair to blame the agent, when in fact, he’s only working for the player?

    Best of luck with your offseason regimen–you were an artist out there during playoffs but no one would mind you gaining 3-5 mphs on your fastball -:).

  5. flogbishop permalink
    November 15, 2007 4:09 pm

    Curt, please start answering baseball questions from fans again. I fully understand your time is crazy important. I just love the inside information about the game I love so much. I have learned so much about the game from your previous answers and want to continue my baseball education. Let me start off with a huge issue I have with fans at games:

    How much does it bother players that fans interfere with fair balls for only a 10 dollar ball. It bothers me so much because those are very good seats and one would think the occupants would respect the game since they have an awesome vantage point to watch the game. I think it should be up to the ownership to warn the fans and ban them from games for violations.

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!!

  6. November 15, 2007 4:32 pm

    First off, I have to say – I’m sorry, but even if you’re ARod – that’s CRAZY money.

    Trying to get a group of people together for Bubbles & Bites. :)

  7. soxwally permalink
    November 15, 2007 4:44 pm

    I hope the Arod deal does go through with the Yankees. This should for sure keep him off the Red Sox. We don’t want someone on our team who only cares about making more money than anyone else. I still can’t believe Arod/Boras announced his opting out of his contract during the world series. At least Curt you are an perfect example of someone willing to take less money to stay on a team you love. I know baseball is a business but as much as I love baseball, I hate the business side of it. Please can we just sign Mike Lowell. If Alex can go after a ten year contract, we should give Mike 4 years. He is not that much older. Mike is just so good for our team. We can’t let him go.

  8. brenken permalink
    November 15, 2007 5:28 pm

    Curt, thank you for mentioning the holiday cards for sale to benefit the ALS Association and research at the national level!

    Sabathia winning the Cy Young wasn’t that much of a shock to me but my mouth dropped open when I saw Francona came in 4th for Manager of the Year and so many points behind the other three. I could also understand the reasoning behind giving the award to Eric Wedge but truly thought Francona would come in a close second.

    I spent a number of years living in Indonesia and the travel back and forth to the U.S. is a killer. I have two words for you…..sleeping pills. I found I had to take speeping pills (or a sleeping aid if you prefer) for 3-4 nights to get my sleep pattern back to normal. You’ll go to bed exhausted and sure you’ll sleep all night long only to be wide awake at 2 a.m. and then it’s too late to take one.

    Being a spring training season ticket holder, I’m not happy about watching fewer games this season and don’t like the new schedule. Let’s hope it doesn’t cause a slow start to the 2008 season.

  9. November 15, 2007 5:37 pm

    Curt,

    I love that you do this. I appreciate your willingness to share as a player to fans.

    I completely agree about Francona. As a Yankee fan who isn’t the stupid “we are better than all” type, I respect what he has done in the intense media market of Boston. I don’t even think the organization sees what he does so well.

    Anyway, congrats on another championship and enjoy your “offseason”

    Happy Holidays,
    Gary

  10. ruhikuz permalink
    November 15, 2007 9:03 pm

    “none of us are worth that much relative to ‘real world’ salaries.”

    I hope you are thinking about your $2 million incentive not be be the @#!$ you were when 2007 ST rolled around.

  11. November 15, 2007 9:39 pm

    The word on the radio here in central FL is that the Rays are among the most profitable franchises.
    They have the money to spend, but don’t. Some of that money comes from the salary cap tax- meant to be spent by smaller market teams precisely so they can compete (assuming they spend wisely). Teams like the Jays spend it (A.J. Burnett for instance) while the Rays keep it.
    The system, as flawed as it is, is trying to give small market teams a shot a bigger name players- if they want it.
    But.. only 1 team can spend that kind of money ($27 million/yr) on 1 player- the Yankees.

  12. November 15, 2007 9:48 pm

    Hey Curt. The sad thing Is the fan has to pay more! A-Rod might be one of the best players (regular season) in the sport today. But does anyone deserve that kind of money? I don’t think so. I just hope that this ends soon, I don’t want to pay $10.50 for a frank at the Park.

  13. hytech permalink
    November 15, 2007 11:05 pm

    Curt, I’m a huge MMO fan and a huge SOX fan as well! I think it is pretty uber that you’re creating your own game. I read your Allakhazam interview and was shocked to hear you play WoW as much as you do! I know you posted here once about how much you liked Vanguard, what ever happend to that?

    I really hope that the MMO-To-Be-Named-Later is a huge success. There has been a lot of failure in the genre lately, and I wish you the best of luck. Please throw in a reference to Red Sox lore if you can. A quest to find some “bloody socks” would suffice!

  14. anthony972003 permalink
    November 15, 2007 11:08 pm

    Curt, do you know how salaries work?

    Salaries are not based on how much ‘good’ a position does, but rather how much money it generates. Doctors get paid less than actors. Doctors help many more people than actors do. However, actors generate millions of dollars, and thus make seemingly outrageous salaries. The idea is that investing so much money in a single human being will eventually result in the investor making much more in return.

    You’re a good baseball player. Nobody expects you to have any brains, and the fact that you attempt to impresses many people. Keep up the good work!

  15. 34dunks permalink
    November 15, 2007 11:08 pm

    Hey Curt.

    Yeah, Tito was utterly robbed. Sure, you could argue Wedge deserved it, but Francona’s job in this market day after day was incredible. I respect Joe Torre a lot, but a monkey could manage that lineup! Besides, how many times have the cameras caught him appear to be sleeping in the dugout?! And he gets 5 first place votes. The fact that Francona got zero first place votes is appalling.

    I think the best way for the Sox to retaliate is to make the trade for Johan Santana. We certainly can’t allow the Yankees to get him. The Yanks can get all the bats they want and let them age away. The past 7 years have proven that alone won’t get the job done. So long as the Sox hold the advantage on the mound, I’m not worried. It’s actually pretty ridiculous that the Yankees’ management doesn’t see the trend. Oh well, let em keep spending $190 million+.

    Matt Holliday for NL MVP! Matt Holliday for Manny’s left field replacement (he’s a free agent in ’09)!

  16. smackdown924 permalink
    November 15, 2007 11:23 pm

    Hi Curt,
    I hope your off season is going well. Congrats on the WS win, and the new contract. I’m excited to see you play next season, but in the meantime I am eagerly awaiting news about your other endeavors (ok I admit it, I’m a video game nerd so what?) haha. It seriously is awesome that you’re one of the best pitchers in MLB and yet you also play video games and are very knowledgeable about them. For whatever reason, that just makes you seem more real to me, more tangible. I can’t explain it, but it’s just another reason why you are one of my all-time favorite Red Sox.

    Best of luck to you in the offseason, I hope you are well rested and revitalized by Spring Training, and I hope things go well for you most importantly for the charities but secondarily for the video games :)
    (And good luck in Japan! I’m excited about that, I hope Daisuke returns to a hero’s welcome!)

    PS: Doesn’t Mike Lowell speak Japanese? Just sayin…..

  17. bosox601 permalink
    November 15, 2007 11:29 pm

    Hey Curt,
    I know this isn’t related to the post, but we are trying to get the word out as much as possible. There is a massive search going on in Charlotte right now for a 24 year old who disappeared last Thursday night. Just training to gain some exposure to get it out to as many people as possible. Thanks.
    http://www.helpfindkyle.com
    -Matt

  18. bobwal permalink
    November 16, 2007 12:03 am

    Curt,

    I know you are not going to rip Theo and the gang on here, but it really has to irk you about how slow this organization is to re sign Mike Lowell. For a team that charges by far the highest ticket prices in baseball, they are being extremely arrogant in these negotiations. They are right that in 2011 Mike Lowell will be 37 and probably overpaid if they give him the four year deal. But isn’t it worth it to overpay someone four years from now to keep this great infield in tact?

    Be honest Curt. How many extra pitches did Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis save the pitching staff this year? I bet it was a lot with all the bang-bang plays that Lowell made at third and the great stops that Youk made at first. The Red Sox will be re shuffling the deck (AGAIN) with the infield, probably moving Youk back to third and signing God knows who to play first. All just to save some cash in 2011. I’m not even going to mention Lowell’s great clutch hitting or his leadership.

    Do you think that the front office’s hard line ways will hurt them when Johnathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedrioa and Jacoby Ellsbury are up for free agency? If they see how poorly the Sox are treating Lowell, will it cause them to want to leave and not take a hometown discount? Mike Lowell could not have done anything more if he tried in 2007, and the Sox are rewarding him by pushing him out the door.

    Does this piss you off, just a little?

  19. morineko permalink
    November 16, 2007 12:27 am

    Re Japan: At least you all won’t be worn out by rapidly crossing the country in the space of a week? I know you haven’t been answering many questions in the blog lately, but I was just wondering how this will work for the team as opposed to one of the tours. Are you going to get to see any of Tokyo on your own or will everything be regimented, and all you’ll get to do is go to official functions when you’re not stuck going to work, excuse me, the stadium?

    A friend of mine’s SO went to Yokohama for the 2007 Worldcon, and from what he’s said, he didn’t get to see everything he had wanted to outside of the convention–and he was there for five days. And that’s just Yokohama.

    If you do get to have fun on your own, at least it’s easier to find fun and interesting things to do ahead of time–in English–than it was in 1997. (And if you go to a maid cafe: please report on it. ^_-)

  20. ciao614 permalink
    November 16, 2007 3:18 am

    Hi Curt!
    I alos was SHOCKED to say the least that Josh didn’t win and that Terry was 4th! (They are both 1st to me:)
    Yeah, who the heck does the voting on these things??
    I think it’s more a popularity contest than a”who earned it” contest!

    I wanted to know your thoughts on using instant replay on questionable home runs?
    Part of me thinks “no”- it takes away from the nostalgia of the game- but then part of me thinks it’s a great idea.

    Other sports use it why not baseball? Good argument there eh?
    Happy be-lated Birthday too!

    How many more days ;til Spring training??.lol
    I am jones-ing for baseball already!..LOL Peace!-Mo

  21. chillyme permalink
    November 16, 2007 6:06 am

    I don’t care how much the Yankees pay ARod as long as it’s enough to keep him out of Boston.

    (Sign Lowell, Theo.)

    Onward.

  22. November 16, 2007 8:51 am

    I must admit that I am only a playoff fan of base ball and I don’t visit this site for the baseball stuff.

    I was searching the 38Studios website trying to figure out what the new game might be compared to and found that none of the links on the affiliates page work to take me to the sites.

    What kind of game play will it be? Everquest or WoW? And have you checked out these guys here: http://www.guildcafe.com/

    I saw them present at the local Web Innovators meeting.

  23. 5oldfan5 permalink
    November 16, 2007 8:53 am

    Curt
    I had an idea for helping your charities, help you secure your contract arrangement and all of us who need to can lose some pounds.

    Have you thought about contacting the diet companies like weight watchers, nutrisystem, slim fast, etc and starting a campaign with them?
    Set up a weight management program in your name.
    Sell it to the public.
    Designate proceeds to your charities.
    That way those who need to win can win, those of us who should lose can lose and your fan base can work with you.

    Or could be done without the diet companies as well!

  24. mattod permalink
    November 16, 2007 11:02 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more about Tito…he did not get 1 first place vote.

  25. janetb permalink
    November 16, 2007 11:31 am

    Firstly, I am soooo glad that it looks like A-Rod will sign with the Yankees. I certainly didn’t want him donning a Red Sox uniform next year.

    Secondly, I hope that this makes the Sox up their ante to Mike Lowell. I think that for having the payroll that they have, they certainly can be rather cheap! I agree with the post that Lowell and Youk saved the pitching staff from having higher counts by their terrific plays. However, the point is, Youk is Golden Glove material at first base. I think he is far more superior in that position than when he played third. There were days that I would cringe at the awful plays he made to first base! Keep him where he is, and keep Mikey at 3rd!

    Red Sox Nation in Chincoteague Island, VA!!!

  26. Complex permalink
    November 16, 2007 12:00 pm

    I never got paid for playing rounders when I was younger?

  27. thesportsworld permalink
    November 16, 2007 12:31 pm

    Great Entry Schill. 275 million is a “holy crap” number. Thanks for coming back to Boston. God Bless.

  28. va1soxfan permalink
    November 16, 2007 12:35 pm

    Curt,

    Any word yet on Mike Lowell and the 4th year? Now that A-Rod has pretty much resigned with the Yankees, I would hope the Sox go ahead and secure Mike for 4 more years. His swing it taylor made for the Green Monster. He’s only 33 years old and I know the policy about multiyear contracts, but I think this would be a win-win situation for the Red Sox.

  29. chiquita1959 permalink
    November 16, 2007 1:49 pm

    vasoxfan

    forget mikey
    the sox fo should had this deal wrapped up long ago
    he is gone
    i just hope we dont end up with the second coming of kevin “milley” mitchell

  30. sethratti permalink
    November 16, 2007 7:19 pm

    Curt,
    I’m a Yankee fan who has always been a big fan of yours. Being on Arizona (and beating NY) and now the team I won’t name still has not led me to dislike you. You’re straight forward and comfortable with your opinion and not afraid to talk about things which other ball players won’t discuss. I think that it’s terrific that you have a blog making you more accessible to the fans. I just wanted to tell you that you make it hard for a Yankee fan to root against you. Good luck with all your charities. Good luck with individual achievements only – only hard to root against you, not your team. Is it spring training yet?
    Seth

  31. Matt Zimmitti permalink
    November 17, 2007 8:46 am

    Interesting to hear that you are in chats with EA. My dealings with them over the last year or so have been great (lots of amazing creative and passionate people there). I’m guessing you’ll be dealing with a different division of EA but regardless, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the relationship as time goes on.

  32. 1918redsox2007 permalink
    November 18, 2007 3:16 pm

    Curt,

    I think it’s great that baseball is bringing in so much revenue. As a Red Sox fan we get to watch you guys compete for the World Series every year. With that said, do you think that a salary cap with a rookie pool, like the NFL does, would work now?

    Six billion dollars divided by 32 teams is 187.5 million dollars per team. If the players are guaranteed 60% of that it’s 112.5 million dollars per team. Put in minimum spending requirements and a rookie cap and the vast majority of players get rich. But better yet, small market teams would get a level playing field and baseball would blow the doors off of football if fans in every city knew there was hope every year.

    Selig predicts 8 billion in revenue within 5 years. Is a cap something that could ever happen?

  33. oakcrown permalink
    December 16, 2007 7:38 pm

    Dear Curt & Shonda:

    I don’t know where else to leave this but I thought this was a good place. I sincerely hope you get it. My name is Joe H. I live in Pennsylvania and have had the great pleasure to be in the process of adopting a 14 year old girl named Yvonne L. from Webster House in Manchester. Yvonne moved in with us in July. She has had a very difficult life through no fault of her own. She told us about your visit at Christmas last year and what a fantastic impact it made on her and everyone else at the house. Her pictures and ipod are true treasures to her. She also idolizes Shonda as she spent Father’s day with her this year at Fenway during the game.

    My wife and I would like to thank your family for your true generosity. You really helped her through a difficult time. I am happy to say that she is now on the honor roll at our local high school and is blossoming in her new life. Yvonne gave me an autographed baseball for Father’s day from you. I know it was the single most precious thing she had. I wish you the best in the forthcoming holiday season. I was going to send you an email but couldn’t find an email contact so I hope you don’t mind me posting this here. Thank you again and Merry Christmas. To anyone else reading this, please donate to Webster House they are a fantastic organization doing great works.

    Sincerely,

    Joe & Lisa H.
    Foster Parents in Adoptive Placement For Yvonne L.

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