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B Game? Q&A IV

March 13, 2007

After a long day of travel to Philly and back (flight left at 6:30am and we returned around 4PM) I felt good on the mound. I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to Mr Henry who flew us up and back on his plane today, something he did not have to do but did anyway. Not surprising given what kind of person he is.

The service for Vuke was incredibly well done and there had to be 3-400 people there. I saw friends and former teammates that pretty much spanned my 21 years in baseball. The service was a great tribute to a great man and incredible friend.

Not sure what tonight’s game would qualify as, since it was done with no defense and 6-8 hitters.

Worked my pitch count up to 80 and was told my last three FB were 93-94 so the arm strength is coming. Had very spotty command with it but I felt that all four of my off speed pitches got better. Threw more change ups and a higher % of good ones. The split was definitely better in the bullpen, pretty much the best it’s been in 2 years, which was a great sign. Slider felt great and the curve ball was better than normal as well.

Arm and legs felt strong and I don’t think 80 pitches was anywhere near the limit, so that was another great sign. Broke a few bats with the 2 seamer and also got a few outs, and some swings and misses on the change up, overall it feels better every day.

Had a great chance to talk to some of the younger pitching prospects in the organization today who came over to watch and also throw, including Daniel Bard, Rozier and a young man named Masterson. I apologize for not remembering names but it was pitching day so I didn’t hear very much.

I do know that both Rozier, a big lefty, and Masterson, a big righty, can throw. Both kids had very live arms and good breaking stuff.

Next up will be Sunday and it looks like a minor league start is in order. We are playing to O’s on Sunday and it looks like we get them on my NEXT start as well, so I may end up throwing against them next week depending on the schedule.

Now to answer some more questions.

Q-What makes Boston different than other cities in sports?

A-I think it would be easier to say what doesn’t make Boston different? To play on this team, in this town, is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’ve always likened a Red Sox season to 162 game Packers football season with 19 super bowls mixed in. NFL game day scrutiny, 162 times a year, nothing like it.

Q-An “expert” predicts Daisuke for 15 wins and a 3.75 ERA, how do I feel about that?

A-Um, let’s see. Not sure how to answer that one other than to say that prediction is probably worth less than the paper it’s printed on. I look at him as an unknown commodity, in a great way. This kid is so polished for a 26 year old. He’s pitched his best in the biggest games of his life, which usually means predictions about him suck. I think there will be a learning curve but I think his will be less steep than most, he’s that talented. I don’t think he’ll show up and throw 99 his first start out, I don’t think he has to. He’s got command of 5 pitches, including a 92-94mph fastball, and that’s more than enough to win big in this league. He’s certainly going to be doing it in the games toughest division to pitch in, in my opinion. I think he’s going to have a phenomenal season when all is said and done and those numbers I think are very pessimistic.

Q-What’s my opinion of Daisuke’s first ‘bad’ outing?

A-It’s spring training. We had spoken about some things and he mentioned his desire to begin to work around in the strike zone, specifically up in the zone, during that game. Hitters are very different from the league he’s coming from and he is very astute at watching things when he’s on the mound. I’d love for him to throw 30 scoreless innings down here, but at the end of the day I don’t care, as long as we leave Florida healthy everything should be fine.

Q-How do I think Andy Pettite will do?

A-Andy’s Andy. I mean the guy has been a winner his whole career and there’s no reason to think that will change. Andy Pettite, to me anyway, is a feel guy, he knows how to feel his way through a game and win when he’s not ‘on’. Not many guys can do that. I’ve always loved watching him pitch because he competes at another level. He’s got the makeup to compete within himself, which I think all good to great pitchers do.

Q-What’s with Beckett and the HB in the Detroit game?

A-Nothing. Josh threw a FB in to Sheffield that hit his arm guard, and hit Ordonez with a curveball that Mags leaned the wrong way on. I do know this, if you do not establish the inner half of the plate vs. Gary Sheffield you won’t get him out. Still one of the quickest bats in the game, Sheff has immense plate coverage and he can pull a bullet. You better make sure he knows you’ll come inside or you won’t get him out.

Q-If I wasn’t playing baseball what would I be doing?

A-I’d be running 38 Studios full time.

Q-How did Johnny Podres help me?

A-Johnny Podres, to this day, is still the best and smartest person I have ever met when it comes to pitching. Johnny had a way of making his pitchers think and do the unthinkable. His style was all about positive reinforcement. He never let anyone talk bad about his pitchers, including themselves. He taught me just how good the fastball down and away was, and how everything in the game worked off of that pitch. Once you mastered that pitch the gates opened and anything became possible.

Q-Have I ever thought of writing a biography?

A-Yes, and no. I actually spend an entire spring training in 2005 with Dennis Maniloff doing just that. But after all was said and done it’s just not something I could do. So much of what happens in this life is stuff that can’t be talked about, or told. There’s an expected level of trust in a clubhouse that writing a book would give away. Unless you are going to go the Jim Bouton route and not care who’s life you screw up, or you lie, it’s not going to be something worth reading really.

Q-Do accomplished pitchers get more favorable calls?

A-We used to. No doubt in my mind that before Questec the plate could get bigger for guys that could consistently hit the glove. There were a few umpires that were larger than normal, Frank Pulli, Eric Gregg, but mainly veteran pitchers that could consistently hit the glove were rewarded. Questec changed all that. Now umpires are calling balls and strikes for grades and the zone has changed. That might sound like a good thing but when you understand the details of the scoring system it’s not.

Having said that I don’t care. Would I like balls to be called strikes? Sure thing. Do I put together a game plan that relies on balls being called strikes? No chance. I can assure you that hitters and pitchers are looking for exactly the same thing from umpires, and that’s consistency. If it’s strike one then it better be strike three, same for balls. I feel good enough about my command that if you show me the corners of the strike zone that’s where I will work.

One of the big stats I started to use last year was the umpire stats that have started to come out. Umpires are now ranked by most K’s, most BB’s. Those stats don’t lie, you get a guy back there that tends to score high in walks per game, you can bet he’s smaller. Same for the strikeout guys. It’s all about consistency though, for both sides. That’s all we want from umpires.

Q-How did I become a Christian?

A-Real simple one there. In 1997, in the midst of my first real big year, I was driving home from the park and wondering just what in the hell this was all for. What was I living my life for? Who was I living my life for? I had two children and no idea what the whole goal and purpose was for anything in life? I was making stupid money, my marriage is awesome, I have two lovely wonderful healthy kids, but at the end of the day who was I living my life for? When I figured it out, or thought I had, I gave my life to Christ and have never looked back.

Q-How did I get involved with ALS?

A-In 1992 I met a man named Dick Bergeron. Through a wonderful woman named Ellyn Phillips, the President of the Philadelphia ALS Chapter. Dick was recently diagnosed with ALS. Shonda and I were looking to commit ourselves to something off the field, something we could do that would change and impact peoples lives given the small window of opportunity baseball afforded us and ALS turned out to be the thing.

Q-Do players get upset with teammates that don’t talk to the media?

A-Hell no. Players only get bothered, in my opinion, by teammates that make the media turn to other teammates. Guys that get the media scurrying around the clubhouse for additional quotes, things like that. To each his own, no one cares who does and doesn’t talk to the media as long as players aren’t creating headaches inside the clubhouse.

Q-Do I work with Autism?

A-Yes. I have a former teammate, and friend, named Greg Swindell who has a son with Autism that I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to help at various times with.

Q-Best hitting pitcher I’ve ever faced?

A-Easy answer, Mike Hampton.

Q-Difference between pitching in the rotation and the bullpen.

A-Night and day for me. The ability to have a structured routine is the great thing about being a starter. That’s offset by that every day adrenaline I got from being in the bullpen, knowing you might pitch every day. I think the main thing though is routine. As a starter I can plan out my month, as a reliever you have to plan day to day.

Q-East Coast vs. West Coast baseball?

A-Not to lump them all together, because SF and Seattle fans are pretty cool, but in the west baseball games are things people hang out at, go to, and check out. In the East baseball and the teams are a way of life. In New England you have Catholicism and Red Sox Baseball, and not necessarily in that order. 2001 in Arizona was incredible, but more times than not it takes a great season or special event to sell out stadiums with fans that are rabid, back east it’s a way of life. If you have a team in the East and you draw poorly, you’re screwing something up as an organization because these fans are dying to love their teams and get committed.

Q-How do you get young boys to commit to working hard to be good at baseball?

A- You don’t. Young boys, and I have three, are going to work hard and be good at what they want to, nothing else. If you have to push your kids to want to be good then you’re pushing a kid that’s going to stop the second you aren’t controlling them. Kids have a billion more outlets today than they did even 10 years ago. I’ve already made if very clear to my oldest son Gehrig that I don’t care if he plays baseball, but whatever it is he chooses to do I want him to be as good as he possibly can at it. That’s my only concern when it comes to my kids, be the best, or at least try to, if you aren’t then you aren’t but it’s never going to be from lack of effort. They’ll find their niche, whether it’s acting, playing the piano, baseball, teaching, I don’t care, just push yourself.

Q-Do Tek and I keep the same notes?

A-No. Think about this a second. Tek needs to keep notes on hitters for anywhere from 12-15 pitchers, I keep notes on hitters and how they act/react to me.

Q-Is the diagnosis for ALS hard to pin down?

A-I can only speak to what I’ve seen over the last 15 years. I would guess that 95+% of the patients I have met took around a year before ALS was the definitive diagnosis. Most know well ahead of time, but it takes a very long time because I think doctors work their butts of to rule out anything even remotely possible before they diagnose ALS.

Q-What am I thinking when Tito comes to the mound?

A-Turn around and get your butt back in the dugout is usually first. I would hazard to guess that I am usually livid at the fact that I:

A) Just shook off Tek, did something stupid and lost us the game

B) Didn’t listen to myself, did something stupid and lost us the game

C) Just shook off Tek AND didn’t listen to myself, then did something stupid and lost us the game.

Q-What was my reaction to Daisuke when he signed?

A-I was ecstatic. I had seen very little of him to that point but knew he was incredibly talented and knew we’d just given ourselves another top of the rotation starter. It was more affirmation that the ownership of this team was going to put a world series caliber team on the field.

Q-What are the plans for 38 Studios?

A-We are in the very early stages of pre-production of our first title. There is an immense amount of work being done in all areas. We have pretty much finished hiring at this point as our core team is almost completely in place. Brett and a team of people had a terrific week at GDC last week, making more inroads into the industry and meeting with many potential partners we are talking with. We are continuing to talk with investors, VC’s and others as we are presenting a truly unique opportunity with this initial IP as well as our long term goals going forward. We are looking for that special someone(s) that ‘gets it’, and ‘gets us’ and understands that we are after strategic partnerships instead of having people throw money our way. Our partnerships must bring something to the table beside money as our long term goals are dependant on some things outside of our area of focus. There will be some upcoming news over the next few weeks as well. I am looking forward to getting more in depth about 38 Studios and what we are doing as time goes by.

Q-What do I think of the hypocrisy of writers who blast Manny for not talking to the media and call me a loud mouth for talking too much?

A-It’s humorous really. I saw it in Arizona as well. Matt Williams was labeled the same way. Matt wanted to show, play, and go home. Guys wrote horrible stuff because he didn’t talk to them. Those same guys would come to my locker, ask me questions, sit there and nod approvingly, ya, uh huh, I see, then write about me talking to much. It’s there, you deal with it. You learn that a lot of them do what they do to hear themselves talk. They are as interested in being the story as they are in writing it. The problem is that fans actually believe some of these guys are ‘experts’?

Here’s one. I am in the training room today and there was some ESPN sports talk show on, Jay Marriotti is waxing poetic about his NFL expertise. He says “The Patriots spent almost 120 million on these contracts, given that the Colts haven’t done anything I think the Patriots have to be considered a favorite in the AFC next year”. Holy crap! You actually get paid for that Zen like wisdom? A guy who gets the meat of his stories from sitting on the couch at home, watching TV, like 2 billion other sports fans is an ‘expert’ on sports? Please. Once you realize guys like him exist it becomes easy to laugh at the stuff they do. Woody Paige is another one, the next time Woody Paige says something insightful and smart about sports will be the first.

Q-Shaugnessy and Conlin think you are self serving, how does that make you feel?

A-Dan Shaugnessey once wrote a column about Roger Clemens. In that column Dan writes about how Roger pitched a game, left the ballpark after he came out, before the game was over, and what a gamer that made him. He wanted to win so bad he couldn’t stand to be around ‘losers’. That same guy writes a column in 2004 about Pedro Martinez, who pitched a game, left the ballpark after he came out, before the game was over, and what a jerk he is, what a bad guy.

Bill Conlin wrote a LENGTHY article in which he made his argument for NOT voting for Nolan Ryan for the Hall of Fame. Bill stated that he didn’t vote for Nolan because Don Sutton didn’t get in on the first ballot, so Nolan shouldn’t. Soon after that, in Tampa Bay, I called him out in the clubhouse on it, how he should be embarrassed by the fact that he used the hall of fame voting ballot as a personal soap box. At the end of the argument, and there are witnesses, he admitted it wasn’t the right thing to do. Not to mention that in a few appearances after that in which Bill and I were on the same show, he asked that I not bring that up.

Those two columns right there are as self serving as you can get, so no, I don’t get worked up when self serving people call me self serving. I talk to the media because part of what I do, win or lose, is stand at my locker and answer questions about the game. I was taught that was part of the job when you are in the big leagues. I can’t stand around and answer questions after I pitch well, and not stand around when I don’t. In between starts I will talk to reporters that are doing stories they want to ask me questions about if I have time, but I turn down more than I say yes to, believe it or not. The one and only time I plead guilty to taking the initiative is sports talk radio and I can’t say exactly why that is. I just hate when ‘experts’ say things that are stupid and fans buy into it. The Butch Stearns Pedro thing was a perfect example. Someone I had never met, didn’t even know, was on the air ‘explaining’ what he knew about our relationship, and could not have been more wrong. When all was said and done and Pedro aired out his issues with the media and the team it had to do with them, and not me. Pedro and I got along fine and no one rooted harder for him to deal every time out than I did.

Q-Why associate with the Republican Party? Blah blah blah.

A-The question that could open Pandora’s box. Bottom line is I don’t associate myself with either party. I don’t vote on party lines and never will. I vote for the candidate I feel is the best person for the job. Was President Bush flawless? Nope. Has anyone ever been? Nope. Having said that I won’t add to the crap that’s out there, and disparage the ultimate sacrifice made by thousands of men and woman over the last 4 years, too many other second guessers doing that already. The amazing thing to me is the fact that only about 50-60% of this country that can vote, does. It seems we have been locked into voting for the candidate we least dislike in local elections rather than the person that we know is going to do a great job.

Q-Favorite all time pitcher?

A-Roger Clemens. I think, given the era he pitched in, he’s going to go down as the best ever.

Q-How is Jon Lester doing?

A-Jon looks fantastic. He’s doing great. I think they are taking it slower than he would like but all things considered I think it’s the most underreported story in sports right now. It’s an awesome thing to see on a daily basis.

Q-Do I have a brother that served in the military? Specifically was my brother one of the men in Blackhawk Down?

A-Weird story. No my brother is not the Schilling in Blackhawk Down. But, my cousin served in that very Delta Force unit, and was one of the main characters in the movie.

94 Comments leave one →
  1. miked714 permalink
    March 14, 2007 6:45 pm

    Hey Curt,

    I know you have a love for the military and our brave soldiers. What was your reaction to the young man who was killed in Iraq who Papi had met at Fenway last season? Did you have a chance to meet him as well?

    Here is the link to the article: http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070313&content_id=1842282&vkey=spt2007news&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos

  2. jonfan permalink
    March 14, 2007 7:26 pm

    Curt,

    Love the site! Amazing what you a fan can learn when your comments are not being filtered by the press. Refreshing! Several questions:

    1) We know how you feel about certain members of the media; however, who are your favorites?

    2) My son Jack would like to know what other sports your kids play.

    3) Will we see you at the Marathon finish line this year?

    Thank you!

  3. leahnra permalink
    March 14, 2007 8:00 pm

    Just curious. Do you accept “regular” mail? If so, would you get it if it was sent to the Red Sox address in Boston? I have written a couple letters in the past, but have no way of knowing if they were actually received. Thanks!

  4. bill117 permalink
    March 14, 2007 8:16 pm

    Curt, I read that you sold your other houses and plan on staying in Massachusetts when your baseball days are over. WHY???? I know your house is special but the winters here are not much fun compaired to some of the other places you could live.

    Don’t get me wrong, we love to have you and your family here and hope you have good luck with your new company. Just wondering.

  5. gehrig4 permalink
    March 14, 2007 8:39 pm

    Curt,
    I just wanted to thank you for opening yourself up to the fans. More impoortantly, I want to thank you for all of the work you do for Lou Gehrig’s disease. As you know it is a form of Muscular Dystrophy, and I lost my 56 year old mom to Muscular Dystrophy in January. I truly believe, if they figure out the cure to one type of MD, they will be abvle to cure them all over time. So, thank you, not only for the “bloody sock” performance, but for helping find a cure so other children won’t loose their moms all too early.
    Thanks,
    Traci in WV

  6. schillingmesoftly permalink
    March 14, 2007 8:42 pm

    Hi Curt!

    I really think its great that you put aside some time in your busy day to communicate with your fans. I know you must have grown tired of hearing about Manny, but I wanted to get your personal opinion on him as a clubhouse guy, and possibly clear up all the media ramblings of him supposedly “quitting” late last season. I also wanted to ask if you had any opinions or explanations on pitchers using pine tar, and its effect on pitches.
    Thanks for taking the time to read this Q. =)

  7. tadcranky permalink
    March 14, 2007 8:50 pm

    I really appreciate you doing this, and I really appreciate what you’ve done for the Red Sox. I was interested in your comment today about politics, how it was shocking to you how few people voted. I agree, but isn’t that view inconsistent with the historical Republlican philosophy of consistently opposing legislation that would make it easier for more people to register to vote — motor/voter bills being the most recent, but there’s a long history of previous issues. I’m not asking this to be difficult or negative, I’m truly interested in your thoughts. I hope you have a great year!

  8. piney61 permalink
    March 14, 2007 9:09 pm

    Hey there Curt,

    As a fan of baseball bloopers and other such shenanigans, I must ask you what is the weirdest/funniest thing that you’ve seen? Also whose the biggest prankster in the clubhouse this year? My money is on Ortiz.

  9. cansoxfan permalink
    March 14, 2007 10:53 pm

    Curt,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to sit down and do this….simply put, this is incredible.

    I actually have 2 questions and I hope neither have already been asked as there are quite a few to go through….

    1. What was it like the first time stepping on the field at fenway in a sox uniform?
    2. Ive been reading a book written by Seth Mnookin and one section he covers the negotiation phase of you coming on board, because most if not all of the negotiations took place with Theo, Larry and Jed at your home, do you feel it gave you an edge in getting the deal you wanted?

    Looking forward to reading more from you and watching you pitch again this year!! Your the Man!

  10. billybuckfan permalink
    March 14, 2007 11:07 pm

    Curt: Great blog, thanks. And thank you also for EVERYTHING you’ve done and continue to do for ALS patients first and foremost; their families; and of course funding for ALS research. My mother was diagnosed with ALS in April of 2004 and succumbed to the disease just a few months later, in July 2004. I am no doctor, but my gut tells me someday there will be a “Type I ALS” and a “Type II ALS” – the former being the worse of two bad diagnoses (i.e. – what my mother had: a severely rapid degeneration of one’s system) and the latter indicating that one has more time left than simply a matter of months. This is wishful thinking, I realize, and of course my greatest wish (a cure) differs from that of no one else. But I do feel strongly that if further research can bring to light any difference in one patient’s form of ALS from another’s, such information could only better prepare the respective patient and his/her family accordingly. I was wondering if you have read about any research that may be pursuing this. Thanks — and by the way, I walk in a “Walk to D’Feet ALS” this coming Saturday in Sunrise, FL.

  11. jduges permalink
    March 14, 2007 11:30 pm

    Curt-

    First I’m a life long yankee fan but I’m objective enough to acknowlege that you are a great pitcher and I have a tremendous amount of respect for you as a ballplayer for honest approach when dealing with the fans and the media.

    The only time I root against you is when you play the bombers and otherwise I’m looking for you to throw a no-hitter every other time out. (doesn’t hurt that I have you on my fantasy team this year) and I’m hoping that the “players in their contract years have career years” thing holds true. Honestly, I’m looking for at least 18 wins a sub 3.50 ERA 180 K’s and a WHIP of below 1.20 (with 3 or 4 losses to the yanks sprinkled in) If that’s not too much to ask.

    I love the fact that you’re on here sharing the inner workings of what goes on pitch by pitch. I think it’s a tremedous perspective and one that fans have longed for many years. There is nothing like that to be found anywhere. Sure I can tune in and listen to Rob Dibble, or Al leiter, or another ex-pitcher comment on what they think your doing out there but to be able to watch a game in the evening and then jump on this site at night and get a breakdown of what I just saw, is amazing and I appreciate the perspective, I’d love to see more of this sort of thing from other players (Especially from my headcase 3B who promises to be completely honest from here on out) Can’t you just imagine how that would read? “well the first pitch I was looking fastball inside but I got a breaking ball low and away which I took for strike one, the fans started booing me and that hurt my feelings pretty badly, blah blah blah….) Would be great……actually I think Arod is poised to make a run at the AL MVP this year but that’s another topic entirely.

    I’m not usually one for predictions but I am guarenteeing, right here on your official blog that you will throw a No-No in 2007. It’s a lock. You can thank me after the game by sending a shout out on this blog…..Sorry about putting the pressure of you having to carry my fantasy team this year but you know how that goes, I need you to win the cy young so I hope that change up is Santana like this year……..Good luck this season Curt.

  12. jduges permalink
    March 14, 2007 11:48 pm

    Curt-

    Just wondering where you think you’re club will finish. I ask this partly because of the rough finish last year and finishing 3rd behind what seems to be an improved/healthy blue jays team. Not to mention every team in the AL east (including yours) seemingly being improved and we won’t get into the depth in the AL central.

    The main reason I’m interested in your opinion on this is becasue of the Red Sox stellar record vs the NL last year (16-2 I think) and a sub .500 record vs the AL. This year I see you have the NL west on the schedule as well as the Braves which could prove to be a tougher task than the competition you faced in the senior league last season. Most so called “experts” project you guys to be one of the top two teams in the AL.

    I’m sure you feel like you can win it all and I think you guys can win 89-92 games this year but I’m not sure if that’s enough to make it in the playoffs. Just wondering if players think about all this stuff or if you try to live by the “one game at a time” creedo?

  13. sportszilla permalink
    March 15, 2007 12:15 am

    Curt, I’m curious what you think the role of local reporters/talk radio personalties should be in regards to covering the Red Sox (or any other team).

    I agree that everything in the paper besides the box score contains some sort of bias, but the fact is that fans want more to read/hear about than the bare bones of what happened.

    I think the whole enterprise would be far more effective and fair if the reporters didn’t have to make some ridiculous claim of objectivity. If they merely watched the games, talked to the players, and wrote/said what they thought, then fans would at least know what they were getting.

    From the players’ perspective, what do you want from the media members who cover you? Certainly, you seem like a guy who’s willing to interact with the media, at least to some extent.

  14. cenaddar permalink
    March 15, 2007 1:01 am

    To save you some time and eye-strain, I’ll keep it short and sweet:

    Q- With the recent media coverage of intolerance in the NBA, it has made me wonder how other prominent sports figures feel on issues relating to their personal beliefs. If one of your teammates were to come out as openly atheist, how would it make you feel? Would you act any differently towards them?

  15. cd1515 permalink
    March 15, 2007 2:35 am

    Curt-
    love the blog.
    seriously.
    great stuff.

    that said, do you see any similarity between your current contract issue and what Pedro went thru near the end of his time in Boston?

  16. houstonfan44 permalink
    March 15, 2007 4:28 am

    Curt

    You were teammates with Steve Finley in Baltimore, Houston, and Arizona. What kind of a teammate was he? Also, how did the team celebrate the night they won the world series in Arizona?

  17. christianpitcher31 permalink
    March 15, 2007 4:54 am

    Mr. Shilling,
    I am a pitcher at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood Colorado. Aside from hundreds of pitching based questions I probably have for you I have one that I would really like to know. How do you integrate your faith in Christ and your pitching?
    Thanks
    James

  18. hopper625 permalink
    March 15, 2007 7:11 am

    Curt,

    Thanks for all your insight, especially with respect to the Boston press.
    My fiance’ is not into professional sports at all, and we have an ongoing discussion regarding the appropriateness of the amount of money made by professional athletes “to throw a ball”, while the rest of us schmucks with crappy jobs nobody wants to do (literally: I work in a sewage treatment plant) receive pitiful wages. We’re educated, intellegent and provide vital services and are capable of many things except “throwing the ball”.
    I counter the argument saying that your entire life revolves around your work, you sacrifice family time, have essentially no private life, have a limited time in the career, etc. You also seem to put so much effort into good causes as well.
    I was wondering how you reconcile this?

  19. erikjheels permalink
    March 15, 2007 7:14 am

    Dear Mr. Curt Schilling,

    A 1990 episode of Saturday Night Live featured this exchange among five-time hosts (members of the exclusive “five-timers club” or “fivers”):

    Paul Simon: Step into the reading room. I think you’ll like it. Steve, look who’s joined us.

    Steve Martin: Tom, Tom old bean! Let’s have a look at you. That robe fits you smashingly.

    Tom Hanks: Thanks, Mr. Martin.

    Steve Martin: Please, call me Mr. Steve Martin.

    Tom Hanks: Thanks, Mr. Steve Martin.

    Hence my salutation, Mr. Curt Schilling.

    I am a lifetime Red Sox fan (born in Boston, grew up in Maine, went to school in Boston, now live in Acton), blogger, and recently had ankle surgery. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog and have a few questions that I hope you have time to answer in your blog.

    I own a boutique patent and trademark law firm in Maynard and recently saw you at Clock Tower Place, where Green Monster Games recently leased office space.

    Question: Why did you change the name of your gaming company from Green Monster Games to 38 Studios?

    When I saw you in Maynard, I was surprised because you are much taller than you appear on television.

    Question: What are people most surprised to discover about you when they meet you?

    When I lived in Denver for two years, the television and radio stations were full of advertisements for auto dealerships owned by Denver Bronco’s quarterback John Elway. I’ve always felt that a famous Red Sox player could have similar success in New England.

    Question: Why haven’t more famous sports players followed John Elway’s model after their playing days are over?

    I grew up in Maine listening to Red Sox games on AM radio, and watching the occasionally televised games on WSBK TV38. I would often listen in bed with an earpiece connected to a small battery-powered radio (after my parents thought I had gone to sleep). Now, I live about 20 miles from Boston (in Acton) and I have no radio reception for any Red Sox games. WEEI’s signal is too weak.

    Question: Should I move back to Maine so that I can listen to Red Sox games on the radio? Or is there hope that Red Sox radio coverage in greater Boston will improve?

    As I mentioned, I’m a lifetime Red Sox fan, avid Red Sox fan (is there any other kind?). I lived through the heartbreak of 1975, 1978, and 1986 and am still energized from the 2004 World Series victory. Thanks a million for that! Your performance, by the way, will go down in history as one of the greatest individual sacrifices a player has ever made for his team.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been to a Red Sox game since the 2004 season. After the World Series victory in 2004, the Red Sox ended their family bargain game program and limited the number of tickets that a fan can purchase to four. We have three kids but can only purchase four tickets (and I’m using “can purchase” hypothetically, as I haven’t actually been able to purchase Sox tickets in years). My younger two kids (ages 8 and 10) have never been to a Red Sox game.

    Question: Why not just eliminate the scalpers and “professional” middlemen and have the Red Sox sell all tickets via auction? This way, the market would establish the fair market value for the tickets. As it is now, ticket resellers are making money at the expense of fans, money that should be going to the Red Sox. If the Red Sox eliminated resellers, it could take the extra revenue to reestablish the family bargain games and/or eliminate the four-ticket maximum for legitimate fans. Your thoughts?

    Speaking of bloody socks, I had foot surgery two weeks ago (on the inside of my ankle, not the outside). In the fall of 2004, I had rotator cuff surgery, and it took me a year to feel normal. Two weeks after my foot surgery I’m still on crutches.

    Question: How the heck did you pitch in a Major League Baseball game the day after having your ankle stitched up?

    Pete Rose is back in the news today, admitting that he bet on the Reds daily and hoping to manage a baseball team again.

    Question: Do you think Pete Rose should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

    Question: Jim Rice?

    Question: Mr. Curt Schilling?

    Question: Why do sportswriters vote on the Hall of Fame? Why not fans, or better yet, players?

    That’s it for my questions. Keep up the blogging, I think it’s great. If you blog regularly during the final seasons/games of your career, then you won’t need to write a separate autobiography. Your blog will be it.

    By the way, I’d encourage you to take advantage of FeedBurner’s feed hosting and optimizing services for your blog. My friend Rick Klau would be glad to hook you up.

    Oh, and if you happen to need patent or trademark help for your game company, I know of a law firm in Maynard, in the same building as 38 Studios, that specializes in game patents (including a MMORPG patent), and that is run by an avid Red Sox fan who also happens to be a blogger and who just had foot surgery. Tell ‘em Mr. Erik Heels sent you!

  20. March 15, 2007 7:51 am

    I just wanted to thank you for giving us the opportunity to share your personal thoughts. Your writing is both interesting & very easy to read. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I have great appreciation for the fact that you couldn’t be more accurate than to equate baseball to religion for the fans. It really is something we invest in wholly. When I relocated from Connecticut to Florida five years ago, people asked if I would start rooting for my local team. No way! Boston will always be my hometown team, no matter where I live. I appreciate that you all take the field so many days out of every year, love the game & bring such great enjoyment to your fans. I also wanted to say that I love the chance to see inside the mind of a ball player, glimpses of what you think when you’re out there, focused on what you’re doing, with millions of eyes watching. I’ve often wondered what you’re thinking when Tito starts heading out toward you during a game — and when I read your answer, I laughed out loud, because that is *exactly* what I thought it would be!

    I look forward to learning even more about this great game through your blogging, and also the chance to “get to know” other pieces of another human being — always a privilege.

  21. nyredsock permalink
    March 15, 2007 8:15 am

    Curt, wow great blog!! Go Sox!! First time poster here … do you think you guys will take the East this year? And who to you, looks like they might be closing?
    I figure Timlin but I guess he might not be able to go at the outset.
    Thanks for all the great insight and info.

  22. melanie11 permalink
    March 15, 2007 8:16 am

    When one of the “kids” comes up from the minors for a few games and does not do well (nerves, skill level not yet up to par for the majors)…what if anything do you and the rest of the team generally say to them??

    Melanie

  23. wakefan permalink
    March 15, 2007 8:43 am

    Curt-

    Two quick questions on differences between starters and relievers:

    1. Why do some relievers work exclusively out of the stretch regardless of there being baserunners or not?

    2. Why do closers tend to use smaller repertoires of pitches? I think you threw primarily fastball/split as a closer, and Papelbon is reincorporating his curve now that he is moving back to the rotation. What is the advantage to using fewer pitches?

    thanks,

    sox fan in SC

  24. mrgermschoice permalink
    March 15, 2007 10:41 am

    Curt- you seem like a fan of the game along with being someone who participates in it. What’s your all-time starting nine and rotation?

  25. redsoxgirl permalink
    March 15, 2007 11:11 am

    Mr. Schilling,

    I was wondering if you could discuss what Tek has done for you and the other members of the pitching staff.

    Thank you.

    -Gabrielle

  26. noschillingnoring38 permalink
    March 15, 2007 11:48 am

    Larry Lucchino jerked Theo around last year regarding his contract.
    What do you think the impact was in number of wins
    on last year’s team????????????

    I’m glad you are not retiring.

    TB in Maine

  27. dixieredsox permalink
    March 15, 2007 11:57 am

    Curt,
    I don’t know if you ever read these, but I wanted to state how much of a blessing you are for the Christians of the Red Sox Nation. I met you once when you played for Philadelphia at an exhibition game in Birmingham, Alabama when you were playing against the Orioles. You actually talked with me and a few of my friends in the locker room about Christianity. Since then, I realized that even great athletes can represent Christ! Thank you for your testimony and I find it very commendable as a Red Sox fan, but more so as a fellow Christian!

    THANKS!

    Your Red Sox friend from Alabama,
    Galen (www.galengarner.com)

  28. johnmcg permalink
    March 15, 2007 12:04 pm

    You were quite vocal in criticizing J.D. Drew during his holdout from the Phillies. Had you patched things up with him before the Red Sox signed him? If not, how have you done so so you could move forward as teammates?

  29. March 15, 2007 6:12 pm

    +1 on the Woody Paige comment, I wish I have control of the ‘Mute’ button whenever he’s on Around the Horn

  30. jgulko permalink
    March 15, 2007 6:37 pm

    Curt, I noticed that you think the DirectTV deal signed last week “sucks”. A number of us baseball fans are forming a coalition as well as a petition to send to the FCC asking them to investigate the deal as like you said, it will be leaving millions of very loyal fans in the dark and unable to watch baseball. While you reside in Medfield, and your family has the ability to have NESN, I am sure many players families, just like many of the fans, rely on having the ability to purchase the Extra Innings package on cable. I would be honored if you would be willing to sign your name to our coalition and join us in preventing America’s pastime from becoming America’s past.

  31. soxfanct permalink
    March 16, 2007 10:06 am

    Curt:

    I find your willingness to speak with fans in a sensible and intellegent manner refreshing. While I don’t always agree with you politically, you are a gentlemen and role model for my children not only on the field, but through your many charitable activities. Your explanation, unfiltered by the New England media, was a great read. I sincerely hope you finish your career with the Sox, but will completely understand and respect the ultimate decision you have made. Regardless, I will someday enjoy telling my grandkids about your heroics in ’04.

    God Bless to you and your family.

  32. March 16, 2007 11:06 pm

    Hi Curt, thanks for sharing with us. My question: Do you consider yourself a geek? And what kind of gadgetry do you carry around to help in preparation? I’m imagining a notebook or multimedia PDA (or even an iPod) loaded with video of all the opposing team’s at-bats against you, along with a huge database of stats. If you do carry these gadgets, do you actually refer to them in between innings?

    Cheers and we’re hoping to hear more good news out of camp.

  33. robertjaz permalink
    March 17, 2007 11:45 am

    Hi Curt,
    Thanks for everything you’ve done with the Red Sox including the magic of 2004 and helping to win the World Series. It means alot to so many people who finally got to see The Red Sox win one. I am in my 40’s my brother is 60 and our dad is in his ’80s and all are life long fans.
    Attending the celebration parade was among the highlights of my life.

    My question: I feel your faith and honesty would allow me to ask this tricky one. It is in regards to baseball being “entertainment” primarily, and always referred to as entertainment by the players and anyone involved in the game and by all means I do not intend this to be insulting or to call the integrity of the sport into question. Nor do I mean to say it’s anything like Pro Wrestling :)

    Is there ever a script? or some sort of baseball etiquette that is improvised during the course of a game or series? For example, a team / manager / player has to make a decision to ease up on another team, let another team have more of a chance to win or in an important series take into question that ratings matter and if the series were to extend for more games everyone has more fun? or is what you see, the total reality??

    many blessings,
    Robert

  34. diehardsoxfan12 permalink
    March 17, 2007 12:18 pm

    Hey Curt.

    What do you think of Dice-K’s gyro ball. Have you seen it? Thanks.

  35. sannizzaro permalink
    March 17, 2007 12:24 pm

    Hi Curt,
    My name is Peter Sannizzaro and I am Mike Carista’s godfather. I didn’t know any other way to contact you so I figured I would give this a shot. His mom has followed your career for many years with great joy and is now terminally ill with lung cancer.
    I just thought it would be so great if you could give her a call if you have time, she would just love that.
    She can’t talk long because of shortness of breath but still watches every game faithfully:)
    Thanks alot,
    Peter
    781-690-6707

  36. ilovebigpapi permalink
    March 17, 2007 1:30 pm

    Hi Curt

    I’m sorry about the death of your coach

    I hope these questions haven’t already been asked and answered, there are so many to read..

    I was wondering what you think makes a great father, and what you think is most important to be and to emphasize with your kids-if that’s not too personal.

    Who are your athete role models-current and past? And role models for the people they are, not just for their athleticism.

    Did you ever get to meet Ted Williams? My Mom is a big fan of Mr. Williams, and her love for and interest in the Sox is what created mine. Have you ever read the Science Of Hitting for any possible help it could give you as a pitcher?

    I hope you’re feeling well and best of luck to you this season

    PS. The story of David Ortiz and the young man who died in Iraq was so very touching, it’s wonderful to see the Red sox do such things and help in such a way. Bravo to him and to all of you for what you do. You never know obviously how much your time and attention and something that seems so small can mean to someone and how you can touch them. It meant the world to that soldier.

  37. steelers1966 permalink
    March 21, 2007 12:54 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Long time Steeler, Sox, and Philly fan. I’ve been a fan of all 3 since I was a kid. In fact, I have 2 weeks on you. 11/2/1966. Can’t believe I’m 40 still. I was a Bobby Orr fan first and basically how I became a Steeler fan. Black and Gold !! Jack Lambert was and is my old time favorite. As for baseball I was a Fred Lynn , Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton fan in the 70’s. I followed your carrer when you went from the Sox to the Phils. Wasn’t happy when you left the Phils and went to Arizona but it was nice to see you get your RING. I’m a native Rhode Islander and still live there and still go to PawSox games once in a while.

    On a side note my cousin Dan is the HeadGrounds Keeper for the Yankees; he’s been the head guy since 1995 so ever since then it was a pretty tough going during the holidays when the Yankees were winning all the time; Thank God for 2004; it was pay back time; Christmas Day I made all my Yankee fan cousins watch the 2004 World Champion Red Sox DVD and enjoyed every minute off it

    Bob Casey

  38. phillies2007 permalink
    March 22, 2007 11:28 am

    Curt-

    There is no doubt that this is a long shot but I live in the Boston area and have been very interested in joining the fight against ALS and I admire what you are doing with 38 Studios. I am just looking for some type of feedback as to how I could possibly become a integral part of 38 Studios. Please, if you have any information or suggestions, I would love to hear back from you. Thank you. Good luck this season!

  39. runningred permalink
    March 27, 2007 1:31 am

    Curt,
    Thank you for opening yourself up to the fan base. Is it true that in your younger years Roger Clemmens pulled you aside for a personal one on one discussion? If so why? What are your thoughts on having Roger join the Sox in June? What was it like to play with Lenny Dykstra? Did he leave it all out on the field or what?

  40. runningred permalink
    March 28, 2007 4:10 pm

    Curt,
    What are your thoughts on Hansen? Does he have what it takes to make it in the bigs? Did any of the young guns impress you this spring? How does the staff of the future look?

  41. zacbauer permalink
    March 28, 2007 5:17 pm

    Curt,
    I have to preface my question by saying that I am a Yankee fan. A Yankee fan that absolutely hates having to face you, and has the utmost respect for everything you’ve done(and loves your blog)! Anyways… a few years back I had read an article about how you killed Doug Glanvilles EQ character and he was so mad about it that in a subsequent ab, he hit a homerun off of you! I believe Bingbong the dwarf was “left for the spiders” ;) This story makes me laugh every time I think about it. Do you have any similar stories of fellow baseball players/video gamers? I would love to hear one! Thanks

  42. savejericho permalink
    May 19, 2007 6:12 pm

    http://www.savejericho.info/

    For anyone interested in saving quality programming on TV, we need your help. I bring this to Curt’s site looking for good people to rally around a just fight.

    Jericho was a show I watched with my wife and kids. It was thought provoking, had morale integrity and an American storyline. I take my sons to Fenway as life memories, watching Jericho with them right up there. We can make a difference.

    Any fellow fans out there? We need you to help save Jericho.

    Go Red Sox!

  43. mattlenny permalink
    December 23, 2007 1:06 am

    Curt,

    It is very funny that you compare Manny to Matt Williams. I have never thought of them in the same vain, but when you explain it like that, it makes sense. I spent two years living in Arizona. The Diamond backs became my National League team for a couple of years. I think I was out there the two years before you were. I loved going to the games (it was so easy to get tickets) and Matt Williams was my favorite player on those teams. I loved how he just came to work everyday. You could tell he loved his job and that made it even more meaningful as a fan. I compare him to former Red Sox 3rd baseman, Bill Meuler and current players Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek. All three have been among my absolute favorite players to watch. No offense to you, but for me the guys that just go out their and do their job and do it well…boy, that is awesome. There are some fans that love the fire of a Papelbon or Youk or even the constant smile of a Crisp as he makes a spectacular play almost every night. But for me, it is all about taking pride in a job well done, night in and night out that attracts me to the Matt Williams and Mike Lowells of sports. I may have to rethink how Manny comes to work every night now.

    As for your friend, Vuke, I am glad his memorial service was so well attended. My friend/mentor, Tom’s service was today. It was hard to bear, but it was great to celebrate the great times that Tom shared with so many people. He was one of the best teachers I have ever seen. He took the toughest kids under his wing and held them to a higher standard. They knew he cared and wanted to please Tom. That eventually led to them wanting to please themselves. That was Tom’s way. I think I will always remember Tom as you said your father would describe Vuke. Both Tom and Vuke is good people. Thanks for letting me share.

    Matt

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