Skip to content

Why the media sucks…

March 15, 2007

Gotcha!

Seriously though. I had some discussions over the past week or two about my contract situation and figured the best way to explain it clearly would be here.

So I think the best way to do that is explain exactly how everything happened and where it stands today.

The easy parts.

1) It was no mystery, since I’d said it since day 1 of signing the contract back in 2003 with Boston, 2007 was to be my final season (well 2006 was if we hadn’t won the World Series, but we did). Shonda and I, and our kids had talked at length about where and what we were going to do after the season was over but non-retirement had never really become a topic. At some point last year she and I began discussing, or mulling over, the thought of playing beyond 2007. We never talked at length or in depth but it was something we chatted about on and off during the year. 38 Studios became a reality and playing another year became less of an option at that point. The season ended and the winter came and almost went and a lot of things happened. The first was that physically I felt much better than I anticipated feeling, and the second was a talk with Shonda. In late January we spoke at length and both decided that if the good Lord found it in himself to keep me healthy I would not retire following the 2007 season. After a short discussion with the kids, who were ecstatic (though a bit put off since we promised them puppies when I retired) it became clear to me that this was the right thing to do.

2) I knew for a fact that this would catch the Red Sox off guard and so I made a call to Theo that night to inform him of the decision. I got the impression he was pretty fired up about it and we talked long enough for me to think that the contract situation was pretty much resolved and 2008 would be spent in Boston.

3) Not long after that I got word, and then Theo did, that someone in the media had found out and was going to talk about it. That’s when I spoke with D & C about going on their show to make the ‘announcement’. The main reason I felt that was the way to go was twofold really. They’ve been very good to me, and more importantly to ALS through the monies they’ve raised. Contrary to some writers beliefs I don’t get paid to appear on EEI, ALS does, and always has. Not to mention there have been additional monies raised through other things we’ve done on the show. Even though I don’t agree with them often (I think D and I have some differing opinions on politics) they’ve always been fair to me and I would like to think my teammates, for the most part. So the decision to either allow someone not in the know to leak it, or for me to be pro-active and much clearer on what had really happened was an easy one.

Now we fast forward a bit and we have what appears to be ‘controversy’ because the Red Sox do not extend my contract when alls said and done, and I am going to file for free agency at years end. Again contrary to ‘expert’ opinions and views this was never a ‘gun to the head’ situation, the Sox knew this and I knew it. It really was very simple for both sides. We spoke at length, Theo, Mr. Henry, Mr Werner and I all spoke at some point and at no time, and let me reiterate that, at NO time, were there ever any hard feelings, ill will, or loud exchanges.

The Red Sox owe me nothing. They’ve paid me over 40 million dollars for what amounts to two seasons worth of starts. They didn’t ask for a refund in ’05 when I couldn’t get my mother out, and on top of that they’ve been respectful of my family at every turn.

I wanted to remain in Boston to finish my career, I made that clear to them. They made it clear to me that if it wasn’t for the money this would be a done deal. I get that, it’s not hard to understand. If I was to sign a 4 million dollar deal I’d be signed already. The 13 million we had talked about was money they were looking at as ‘available’, so this had changed their plans if they were to sign me.

Shonda and I have sold our homes in Arizona and are in the midst of selling our home in Philly as well. Medfield is where we have chosen to raise our children. The town is phenomenal and the people are as well. We feel the public school system offers our kids an enormous advantage and we want to be part of the community there.

That being said there’s been speculation that many ‘off the field’ things have made it so we can’t, or won’t play elsewhere. That’s just not true. The Red Sox know that at the end of spring training we will no longer discuss 2008 until after free agency becomes an option. While it may appear as if it’s a ploy, it’s not. One of the disadvantages to this market is the sheer volume of news, and what’s really news as opposed to what isn’t. I was very clear in that I would not allow this to be a story once we started playing games that count, the team, the organization and most importantly my teammates don’t deserve to be asked questions about something that has nothing to do with winning or losing ballgames, and that’s exactly where this would go.

The other was 38 Studios. People falsely thought that I needed to stay in Boston since the company is located in Maynard. One of the things I think I know about good teams, and good businesses is that one person can’t drive either. I think and know that my vision for 38 Studios and what we are going to become will be realized, and I also know that for that to happen there must be people in place to lead this company other than myself. Brett Close was my insurance. When 38 Studios hired Brett as President I lost all concern for having to be ‘in house’ 365 days a year for this company to become the multi-billion dollar behemoth it will be. I think people that are good to great leaders get that to be great you must surround yourself with incredibly talented, driven, honest, hard working, loyal, accountable people. Every member of this company to date is just that, and Brett adds that in spades as the President. So while it would be awesome to be able to be in Boston to help things along in ’08, it’s not even remotely a hinderance if that does not happen.

Our first choice is Boston, the Red Sox know that, we know that. The team has decided that waiting and seeing is the approach to take (and I think many, if not the majority of fans would agree) with a 40 year old pitcher. While I can disagree all I want it’s not really relevant to the situation. I couldn’t for a second use the ‘they are disrespecting me’ or “They owe me” route. That’s disingenious at best and ridiculous at worst.

Am I disappointed? Sure, I’m human and I’d like to think they need me or want me enough to make this happen now. However I also realize that they, and the game, will go on just fine when I am gone. I’ve always needed the game a hell of a lot more than it needs me.

So there it is, and it really is that simple. A lot of times most of these situations are much simpler and never as complicated as the media would have you believe. I will get ready for the season, bust my ass to win one more game than everyone else in this rotation, to win another world series, and then the off season will arrive. When it does I will file for free agency at the appropriate time and if the Red Sox make the better all around offer then I will come back here for 2008, if they don’t, we won’t.

Oh and one more thing. To you Yankee fans. I won’t and never have offered up the “I wouldn’t go to NY” unsolicited. When this story first broke I was asked about the possibility of going to NY and I said I couldn’t make that move. I don’t hate the Yankees, far from it, but after what’s happened over the short period of time I’ve been in Boston, and given the fact that there are probably ten times more fans in NY that would not want me to wear the pin stripes, as opposed to those that would, I couldn’t. So rest easy, it won’t happen.

Someone mentioned that not allowing the Yanks to get into the bidding would mean less money in the end as a dumb reason to say this, I will say this. If I am concerned about my contract next year being for 20 million per, as opposed to 15 or so per, then I’ve made some immensely bad financial decisions in life, which is not the case.

No, I couldn’t go there for many of the same reasons Mariano said the same thing. While he has his entire first ballot Hall of Fame career to look back on and make that decision, which I am sure gives him far more reason to not make the move, I feel much the same way.

In the end it is simple. In 2008, if by the Lords Grace I am healthy, I will be pitching somewhere I want to be for a team that has a great shot at winning a world series. In the meantime it’s all about trying to get the second one in four years here.

176 Comments leave one →
  1. bostontechnoid permalink
    March 17, 2007 6:30 am

    Hi Curt,

    I have the utmost respect for you as a ballplayer and as a man. You have proven yourself in every battle that you have fought, on and off the ballfield. Your dedication to your family, to those in need and to charity fundraising is stellar.

    I also owe you a tremendous debt for your critical role in the success of the 2004 season. The Series win was one of the high points of my life, and thanks to you I got to stand on the mound and touch the trophy after the final game. At this point, you could decide to go pitch for any team (except NY of course, because that would Damonize you for us) and I would always maintain my respect and, yes, love for you.

    If Red Sox management has learned nothing else about salary negotiations over the past few years, they should now know that it is a LOT more expensive to buy players in free agency than to keep players that are already on your roster. They should also know that not every player can become a proven performer at Fenway Park. There is always a risk when you bring a new player to Boston. Proven performers such as yourself are worth a premium.

    Clearly this team needs more and better relief pitching, so I understand that the Sox want to keep some cash available for additional talent in 2008, but I can’t understand why they wouldn’t offer you a salary that they can live with (and contract protection for you including an anti-Arroyo clause) knowing that you would rather not have to deal with the headaches of free agency. They won’t find a better deal in free agency. And if they lose you, then they’ll still need to pay another starting pitcher. I can’t imagine that you didn’t factor all of this into your salary request, or that they are so short-sighted that they’d rather lose you than make a fair offer.

    So where is the problem? Tell me who it is and we’ll speak to him. Or let them and the fans pay the difference in your salary positions as contributions to your charity. I’m ready to donate!

  2. oates77 permalink
    March 17, 2007 10:50 am

    Hi Curt,

    This is great.

    It is very respectable for you to promise that we won’t hear anything about the contract situation from you again until after the season is over.

    No pre-game comments, no post-game comments, no blog entries, nothing.

    I respect that.

    Thanks,

    Eric (Saratoga, NY)

  3. suse74 permalink
    March 17, 2007 11:20 am

    Good Afternoon Curt,

    I hope you stay in Boston. I dont know you personally but you seem like an honest direct person and I admire that. I hope you stay in Boston and hope the Redsox are open honest and direct with you.

    Is there any chance you may have an email address I could send you an email to, I had a buisness question for you.

  4. savage362 permalink
    March 17, 2007 11:25 am

    Curt,

    What are your thoughts on the media now using your blog as a way to get more information from you? I have seen many shows bring up your blog and your thoughts either the day you make a new post or the day after.

    Would you prefer that they get their information in person?

  5. wally97 permalink
    March 17, 2007 11:33 am

    Hi,
    Felger was ripping you, your blog and those of us who like to get the scoop from you without his and his buddies’ filtering last night on TV. Says more about him than you! I love and respect what you’ve done here and your attitude. I’m not in your camp politically, but that doesn’t matter. I respect that you say what you feel. Keep it up. Real Sox fans are with you!!

  6. jmc36 permalink
    March 17, 2007 12:19 pm

    Ego221,

    I just spent 30 minutes reading through all 151 replies and your response (#41) out of all them hits the nail right on the head. I have the same questions about this situation as you and I really think you speak for the majority of Sox nation about Curt’s contract situation.

    Before I respond to it, let me make this clear – I am a huge Curt Schilling fan. I want him back in a Sox uni next year and want him to retire as a Red Sox. What he did in October 04 was something that speaks for itself. When I pop in my 2004 WS DVD 5 years from now, I want to feel differently about him than I do about Damon, and Petey and Foulke and all the guys who either left or left on bad terms. To be honest, what frustrates me the most is this could really be a slam dunk, a no brainer of a situation if Curt wanted it to be. He could put this to rest and ease our concerns about him leaving if he wanted to. But instead, its not that simple.

    Why? Well, I think we all know how proud of person Curt is. Some call it ego, you can call it whatever. But its his “pride” which is what’s causing this to be more complex that what it needs to be. The essence of what bothers me about all of this is that Boston is by far and away the place he wants to be. He loves the city, his hometown, just about everything about this area. But yet at the end of day Curt states, “In 2008, if by the Lords Grace I am healthy, I will be pitching somewhere I want to be for a team that has a great shot at winning a world series”

    He doesn’t say I will do whatever it takes to remain on this team. He doesn’t say I’ll sit down with Theo and the brass and we’ll get something done. What he is saying is that “I am not taking a hometown discount and I want to be paid fair market value.”

    Here’s the rub: I don’t think this makes Curt greedy. He’s not a greedy person. What this is all about is his pride. Curt simply refuses to be paid less than somebody who he feels is not as valuable as him. Curt’s thinking, “You know what, if a guy like Eric Milton is making $10 million a year I’m not taking a deal for anywhere less than that.” or “Moose is making $19 a year for the Yanks and I’m supposed to take a third of that? No way” It’s all about his pride and how he views himself comapred to his comtemporaries.

    I think this is how most ballplayers think. I just wish Curt was one of the few, like Trot Nixon as you pointed out Ego221, who dared to be different. At 40 years old and with his place cemented in this game, you would hope he’d be different than some other guy looking to score their first big contract. In alot of ways, Curt’s alot like Clemens. He’s a proud man.

    I have a close friend who I went to school with who plays for the Tigers. Although I don’t know Curt personally, my friend reminds me of him. He’s a family man, he’s deeply spirtual, he’s one of the most charitable persons I know. But here’s the difference…he doesn’t have an ego. He signed with Tigers again this offseason to stay on that team because he wanted to win and he loves the city and teammates. It was widely reported when he signed the deal, he took alot less than what he could have made on the open market. Why did he do it? Because its not about pride for him. It’s not about being paid market value. He doesn’t give a crap that a player like Melvin Mora will make than him this year. In fact, I’m sure he’s happy for Melvin.

    I just wish Curt was different. I wish pride didn’t play such a big part in this. I wish Curt would look at the fact that he was in the Top 50 last year and again this year for highest salaries. I wish he could look at his situation and say, “I don’t care what the next guy makes. I just want to finish my career here.”

    Ego221, Thanks for raising some very good questions about this. I think you speak for most of us.

  7. jthewes permalink
    March 17, 2007 12:28 pm

    In regard to Post #80 by “alrusso” – might want to work on your grammar, Al, before you attempt to make an intelligent argument.

    And “EXTENTION” is spelled “extension”.

    Nice try though.

  8. tapadance permalink
    March 17, 2007 12:38 pm

    Sir, as always you amaze me. The one time we spoke you were a gentleman, and in a profession where so few people are articulate, your abilities with the written word outside those of many professional writers I know. I think even if you did not write about baseball, and were not ‘the’ Curt Shilling, I would still read this blog for your insights. I am glad you have decided to stay in Medford. If not for being bribed by Tim Wakefield, you would be my favorite player. As it is, you’re my number three (the bribe included Dougie, as number two)

    When you do get your children a dog, I would like to offer my assistance in picking out the proper breed. Until then, they can peruse this Boston based web site, http://www.dogboston.com/blog/ How would they feel about a cat? Mine is driving me insane right now.

  9. March 17, 2007 4:28 pm

    The first thing I thought when I began reading the infamous all-caps comment (#80) from alrusso was, “I bet he gets ‘your/you’re’ wrong.” Sure enough, behold:

    “YOUR A MODERN DAY ATHLETE”

    “YOU ALREADY SAID YOUR NOT LOOKING FOR MORE MONEY,”

    I swear, this works every time. Almost every rude$^%$^% who comments on my blog gives away their level of education by making this mistake. The best is when they say, “Oh, it was a typo.” No, it wasn’t a typo, YOU’RE just not smart.

    26 championships, no brains.

  10. pga1978 permalink
    March 17, 2007 5:11 pm

    Tell you what, Schilling can’t get enough of the fluffing you people do for him on this website. He will NEVER leave this town because he loves the attention too much. He is a glutton for attention. Luckily for him the attention will not hurt his conditioning as much as being a straight up food glutton.

  11. March 17, 2007 8:50 pm

    I’m not Mike Timlin, just a fan who used this login a while ago for WordPress and it popped up when I went to comment so I figured I’d stick with it.

  12. mattc2007 permalink
    March 18, 2007 12:09 pm

    Curt —

    great post. Very honorable and honest.

    It is classy players like yourself that allow us to have our kids look up to athletes in a real positive way.

    Baseball is a great and tough sport to stay at the top level. You have done that despite injuries.

    I only want the best for you, Shonda, and your kids. You are a great talent that I wished the Sox never traded away early in your career. As it would have been something to have two #1 pitchers of yourself and Clemans in the same staff.

    We are lucky and in dept to your Thansgiving decision to join Red Sox nation and drive the bus to the championship. You competitive drive to munge up your ankle with daily surguries to make it to the mound will forever be remembered as above greatness.

    Whatever decision you make in the future regarding your playing location in ’08 I sure do hope the Sox make your decision easy.

    I’m hoping this year’s squad of Dice-K and Paps to the starting rotation along with the Aces of you, Beckett is the year. So hopefully winning a second WS will be something you can remember in your days as a Sox fan.

    I love baseball and love to see guys like yourself go the extra to make the impossible possible. I still love Millar’s quote of “having the Yankees right we want them” — He mentioned they had to win that day and then Shill and Pedro and then it’s anyones game in game 7. Made possible by the determination and bloody soxs of you.

    Thank you,
    a huge baseball fan, and definitely a huge Curt Shilling fan —
    go Sox —
    Matt C

    p.s. – I did like seeing the contributing some portion of the $$ to charity. Should help any squad poney up $$ beyond 13M.. Heck this year average pitchers are getting #2 $$, makes no sense to me…So 14M for you would be a bargain and I hope the Sox go for it.

  13. harrahs80 permalink
    March 18, 2007 8:29 pm

    Hey curt long time fan here is there any chance you would retire with the phillies ? thanks

  14. thebloodysock2004 permalink
    March 18, 2007 10:55 pm

    Curt –

    Hope you’re well.

    You hit the nail on the head concerning the media – particularly sports coverage in Boston. Unfortunately for most of the media, its becoming less and less about the game and the beauty of competition at its highest level and more about them, their views and the outrageousness that is needed to sell papers or ad time on radio or tv. I’m so glad you opened up the blog. Like me, I’m sure lots of other folks have lots of questions about all things in MLB baseball.

    Great choice in Medfield. Great people, great schools – great town. Go Big Blue (and that’s from a Walpole Rebel).

    Separately – you’ve got some real gaming talent right in the area (folks that worked on games like Everquest – and a few others). I’m sure you’re on that though. Best of luck – need some next generation games that not only require you to kill your opponent – but to find your opponent and outsmart your opponent!!!!!

    again – best of luck with the venture – you’re adopted town – you’re contract discussions – and – of course – the ’07 season.

    I’ve got a bottle of nice california red riding against 5lbs of corned beef, mustard and pickles from NY’s finest deli. The sandwiches were great in ’04 – and I now I’m hungry again!!!!

  15. kate773 permalink
    March 19, 2007 11:10 am

    I just wanted to write and say that, as a person who grew up in Medfield and whose parents still live there, I’m thrilled that you have chosen Medfield as the place to raise your children. I know Medfield is proud to have you there as a leader and role model in the community. I hope very much that the Red Sox work something out with you because you are a very big part of this town, and this team.

  16. kate773 permalink
    March 19, 2007 12:09 pm

    BTW- I’m heading down to spring training this weekend. Will be in St. Pete’s Friday and Saturday, then Ft. Myers on Sunday and Monday. Hope to see you pitch!!

  17. sect36rw9 permalink
    March 19, 2007 2:24 pm

    Curt –

    Good to see that you are realistic and honest – but then again, you have never given us any reason to think otherwise. At the end of the day it is about “W”s. You have deserved every penny you’ve made since joining the Sox, and hopefully will do the same this year. If you win 20, name your price and I am sure each of us will pay an extra couple of buck to keep you in Boston next year. You win 12-15, you’ll still be a multi-millionaire and I hope you’ll stay in Boston – even if our price isn’t best. Loyalty and respect go a long way, and hopefully all the way into the HoF in a Sox cap.

    You say that you will take the “better all around offer.” As you clearly pointed out, an offer isn’t always just about the benjamins… That said, I hope you’ll also consider the full package – the best city, the best fans, best public schools in Mass (props to Medfield), and the best damn WS victory ever.

    Good luck Curt…. Now go out there and make this a very easy decision for Theo, Larry, and John.

  18. imdapman permalink
    March 19, 2007 6:44 pm

    Curt,
    I know there are to many replies on here for you to personally read them all but I would like to say thank you.
    Thank you for the honesty
    Thank you for the professionalism
    Thank you for the hard work
    Thank you for putting your career and your well being on the line in 2004

    What you did was perhaps the gutsiest baseball thing I have ever seen and it has made me a Schilling fan for life. So if you dont end up in Boston next year you can count those of us that truly realize your effort and sacrifice will always be your fans

    I sincerely hope you have a good year and the Sox are forced to offer you a huge contract for next year…good luck!

    Signed
    Always a fan

  19. waittillnextyear permalink
    March 19, 2007 9:34 pm

    Do you expect to be the ace on this staff?

  20. bobwal permalink
    March 21, 2007 5:09 pm

    Hey Curt,

    You have played long stretches in two other cities, Philly and Phoenix. How does the Boston media compare with those two cities? It must be hard for all of you athletes to play in Boston when it comes to the media. You have Ron Borges who has an agenda against the Patriots, and Dan Shaughnessy who obviously hates the Red Sox. These two are probably the worst examples, but some of these members of the media seem to just be in it to mess around with you guys. They were probably losers in high school who couldn’t get dates, and now they are getting their revenge.

  21. tucodog1 permalink
    March 22, 2007 8:15 pm

    Curt – you are a great pitcher. Good luck. I have lived in AZ for 33 years and you treated me to the only world championship in AZ ever. That is how I remember you. I will always remember that.

    Q – How do you view the Dbacks progress this off season? It would be great to get your take on it.

    KG

  22. paulnofsky permalink
    March 24, 2007 7:26 pm

    curt,while some of your complaints about the dumbass media are true(see plagarist ron i hate belichick and the krfats borges)you have it easy compared to Manny ramirez.The media dumps on manny for every little thing he does and the jackasses at WEEI especially the three stooges in the am(D and c and the little hasidic geek meter)and mike adams love to pile on manny.The grill fiasco is another example of the media making an big deal out of something of zero substance.The boston writers have an history of attacking their own.My late father used to tell me how ted williams would get raked over the coals by dave egan of the herald about Ted’s personal life.i only care what athletes do on the field what they do on their own time is none of mine or the medias damn business.Good luck this season stay healthy keep the japanese lessons so you and Dice k can rap and GO SOX!!and yankees suck!!!!!!!!!!

  23. soupdaddy permalink
    March 28, 2007 3:30 pm

    Hey Curt,
    Despite what that bum ShawnASSey says, your blog is great. As many before said, the stuff with Millar was a hit. I saw him in spring training last year and ragged him a bit and told him to go deep…..he did. Miss seeing him in the right uniform and same will go for you next year if that’s the case. No matter what, we all got 2004 to enjoy and when those Yankee nitwits talk about how many championships they bought it’s great to remind them of the biggest choke of baseball history. Good luck this year and thanks for the blog…..beats the heck out of the funny pages…..oh yeah, to Danny Boy….nice dew!!

  24. xnmby permalink
    April 16, 2007 8:05 pm

    Hey Curt,

    There’s got to be a compromise to let you stay here and end your career. It’s only fitting. You should consider how much more endorsement money you get being in New England compared with somewhere else as a result of your special status here.

    That being said, the Red Sox would be stupid to let you go at any price. They sell so many shirts etc. because of you, and they’d get so much media attention what with your retirement and all, it’s just shortsighted of them not to pony up. You guys just need to all sit down with a pitcher of beer and make it work.

    -xnmby

  25. mattlenny permalink
    December 23, 2007 12:52 am

    Curt,

    In retrospect, a great blog. Thank you again (I feel like I am going to say that a lot) for sharing your personal/professional life with us fans. It makes it more meaningful for us (as if Red Sox Nation needed to it to be more meaningful). I can not wait to continue reading more.

    Matt

Trackbacks

  1. Pages tagged "horse racing"

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 821 other followers

%d bloggers like this: