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Q & A V, and it’s a long one.

March 17, 2007

For any of you newbs that didn’t get it, “The Media Sucks” was tongue in cheek. I assumed that went without saying, but obviously that was a mistaken assumption. While I certainly have issues with some, there are some pretty cool people in the sports media. Like any profession there are bad eggs but there are more good ones than bad ones in my opinion.

Since some people mistakenly thought that the Q&A was me interviewing myself, no idea how that could happen, I have taken to pasting questions instead of trying to paraphrase them.

I’ve been tackling a few questions at a time and after I get a compilation like this I’ll throw it up here.

Where there are many questions on the same subject I have attempted to take the one that covers the topic the best and address it.

I tried to do this in Word and paste but major formatting problems seem to have happened. I’ll try and adjust it but it doesn’t seem to be working well at the moment.

Q-Don’t you feel your chances at the Hall of Fame are better served staying in Boston?

A- I am not sure I could elaborate any more than I have. While I recognize most of the players in the HOF are the greatest to ever wear spikes, I cannot play 20+ years of professional baseball and worry about something that’s completely out of my control. Some, not all, but some, of the members of the media that are voters for the hall have used their ballots as platforms to make points. I think it’s horrifically unfair to a player that IS a HOF caliber player to have his career ‘voted’ on by someone that can’t comprehend how hard it was to do what he did. That being said I am not a HOF player. I know this because I’ve played with actual HOF caliber players. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Scott Rolen, Dale Murphy, Cal Ripken. When I think of Hall of Fame I think of guys like that.

Q-If you had to pick a prospect the Red Sox have to be a future star, who do you pick? (Lester, Dice K don’t count)

A- I haven’t seen enough of the young guys in camp to talk at length on any of them. Not to mention my insight into what makes a great everyday player is sorely lacking. But if I had to choose right now the kid I think has immense upside is Brandon Moss. I watched this kid hit yesterday for over a half hour and I was pretty blown away. He has immense pop for someone his size. He moves and looks like JD Drew from an athletic perspective. His BP was something to behold. I haven’t seen him play in a game so I can’t comment any further, but his bat is thunderous.

Q-The media sucks? Tell that to your kids when you come home without the puppies you promised them. You sound like ARod, “the media sucks”. “They suck so bad that I’m a quote-machine”… “It’s their fault that I can’t just zip it and play baseball”…”The sky is falling”, said Chicken Little.

A-You’re obviously one of the dolts that didn’t get it, but that’s to be expected after reading the rest of your post. Fact of the matter is if the media never comes to my locker again, and you don’t click on the link to come here, you never hear from me again, nor I you. Deal?

Q-I’m wondering how one might get involved with 38Studios? Are you hiring?

A-At the moment no we are not. We’ve got a stable of designers, artists, animators, engineers and team leaders that’s working in what could be called pre-pre-production! When we begin to look to expand the team and our President Brett Close feels we are ready to look for new hires you will find job postings at www.38studios.com

Q-If only some of the youger players had your outlook on things… you have shown respect and giving 110%.

A-I think a lot of mainstream america has this outlook, and I think it’s incorrect. Most of the guys, a huge majority of them, have my outlook or a better one than I do. This game is comprised of a lot of really great people who do a lot of incredible things.

Q-Does it irritate you at all that the FO keeps making chirpily confident statements about how if they want you at the end of the year, they’re sure they can get you?

A- No.

Q-Does their “no renewal” stance make you feel like they are, in effect, betting against you having a big year? Does that bother you?

A- As I stated earlier, I think the Sox are taking a wait and see approach. I’d prefer it not be that way, but I am more than ok with it. I can’t and won’t make it something it isn’t. I’m hopeful they’ll change their minds in the next few weeks but it’s not something I think about unless I am fielding a question here about it. There’s just too much to do to get ready to dwell on something that’s been worked through already.

Q-Why, at this point in your career, when you had been planning not to make any money from baseball in 2008, is the size of your contract still important enough to you that you would leave a team and community you enjoy to play elsewhere?

A-You have to understand that if I don’t come back to Boston next year, I will be somewhere that I enjoy. Obviously this is my first choice, but a lot better players than me have had a lot worse things happen. Steve Carlton, arguably the greatest LHP ever, was released. Mike Schmidt, Dale Murphy, a lot of guys were ‘pushed’ out before they wanted to go. It’s not personal beyond what you’d expect it to be, it’s a business. As far as the size of the contract goes, I think there are some things that most people don’t consider when trying to spend my money or negotiate my contract for me. As a member of the players union I understand that my contract is not done in a vacuum. My contract affects other players contracts, and vice versa. I’ve never worried about being in the top X% of players at my position, but at the same time I’ve always felt that I knew where I fit in the scheme of players and salaries and been more than comfortable, blessed actually, to have gotten what I have over the life of my career.

Q-Why should the Sox pay you 13 million dollars for the 08 season?

A-They shouldn’t, it’s what I asked for.

Q-Baseball is incredibly out of sync with the rest of the world.

A-And this is breaking news? The entire entertainment industry is and always has been out of sync with the rest of the world when it comes to finances. You can’t expect a business that generates over 5 billion dollars a year to be in touch with the normal common working person. Is it fair that the average salary for teachers, policeman, fireman is under 90,000 a year? That the MINIMUM salary in MLB is near 400K a year? No it’s not, but what does that mean? Should I feel guilty that the Lord blessed me with a right arm that works differently than just about every other human on the planet? Not only that but I had the fortune of being raised by parents that were good people and taught me the difference between right and wrong early in my life. I’m lucky, blessed and incredibly fortunate to have been able to experience what I have over the course of my life, but not because of the paychecks I can assure you. The people and experiences I’ve met and lived through over the last 21 years are the prize in all this, not the money. Oh I won’t deny that the money is incredible, because it has allowed us to do things for ourselves, and for others that we otherwise could not have done. But my paycheck didn’t stop my wife from getting cancer, it doesn’t stop my children from being sick, it doesn’t make being away from my family easier or funner.

Q-The real world philosophy is don’t bore me with what you have done, but tell me what you are going to do and do it.

A-People get paid for what they are supposed to do, and what they’ve done, not what they tell you they are going to do, otherwise everyone would be millionaires because who’d take a job and tell you “I’m going to suck at this so pay me accordingly”?

Q-It is not your fault baseball is so out of touch with reality, but the average fan doesn’t really connect with the player’s salaries and demands.

A-Why should they? Why should they want to? Do you connect with the movie star that gets 20 million dollars to have you sit through 2 hours of pure agony? Do you ‘connect’ with that? I don’t want you to connect to my salary or ‘demands’, if there was anything I really wanted it would be for people to understand that we are not all that different than the rest of the world off the field. We live the same lives in a lot of cases. Now you can certainly make arguments against that and find news stories to back your arguments up, but I would tell you that we’re more alike than people would have you believe.

Q-What’s the launch date for your game at 38 Studios?

A-I can’t give that date here, but let’s say it’s much more than 2 years from now.

Q-There are no better fans to play in front of than “Sox Nation!” Therefore, why is it necessary that you be paid $15 million dollars to stay in ‘08?

A-It’s not.

Q-Surely you don’t need the money, especially with a potentially bright future in your endevours post-retirement.

A-Not really sure that’s for you to decide but ok, we can go with that if it works.

Q-That leaves “ego” as the reason why you wouldn’t be willing to stay for less.

A- I can’t respond to this part since it plays out an argument that is wrong to begin with. I never asked for 15 million per year. Q-In other words, you’re as good if not better than “Joe Blow” who’s making $18 million so why should I not make at least what he makes?

A-I’d like you to find a quote, anywhere, in the last 15 years, from me, that said anything even remotely close to this.

Q-It’s this type of thinking that has driven salaries through the roof and has left me and my family unable to attend games because we can no longer afford it.

A-Not true.

Q-Let me be clear – I am in no way accusing you of being one of these ballplayers, yet I think if you do leave and go elsewhere for $15 million or more, that’s exactly what it will look like. Don’t you agree?

A-No. If I am not in Boston next year it is because they will choose to not resign me prior to this season for 13 million dollars, or I will enter free agency and they will choose to not seriously pursue resigning me.

Q-Why not set a presedent and make a statement by signing for less and staying with the team you obviously want to pitch for? Wake has done this, and Trotty has as well ( and look where that got him, but that’s another story).

A-Why would I sign for less than I needed to? I know that me signing for the amount discussed was not something that would hinder the Red Sox from completing the roster in a manner that would give us a great chance to win another World Series. The number is a number they are not comfortable committing to someone in my place right now, and that’s ok. Both sides, by not pursuing it further right now, are taking a gamble, I think me more so than them, but either way both sides are comfortable where they are right now and the team is moving along just fine without this muddying the waters. Q-Maybe you can explain to myself and others why this is NOT a good way to go out. It would still be on your terms, and “Sox Nation” would see that you’re more than just a nice guy that enjoys communicating with your fans.

A-So if I do not go to them and offer to take a deal for less than my current salary that makes me something else in your eyes? If I had to worry about that I’d be introducing an entirely new set of concerns into the issue.

Q-You’d be a hero that truly meant what he said when he claimed that he wanted to finish his carreer in Boston.

A-I’d disagree. In this town, much like NY, you’re only a “hero” when you do something, and even then that can die a quick death (see Keith Foulke). This town is about achievement. Sox fans, in my opinion, could care less about the contractual crap that goes on as long as it doesn’t affect the on the field product in a negative way. They get the fact that money isn’t endless, and that spending smart is the real way to create a dynasty.

Q-Do comparable salaries come up in salary negotiations? For instance, would you compare yourself to Gil Meche to make the point that you deserve significantly more than $13 million?

A-Absolutely not. The analogy I would give you is that I know where I ‘fit’ from a contract standpoint. Since 1997 I’ve been comfortable with where I thought I fit. I knew the post 1996 season market was going to be a big one, however I loved Philadelphia and thought that things were going to change. I thought the franchise was going to shift it’s philosophy and things would be different, so I negotiated a deal at around 6m per year. 24 million over 4 was a fantastic contract in my head. That winter Kevin Brown signed for 100+ million. Was I bitter? Hell no, I had guaranteed my family a lifetime of security. I did snicker a little bit AFTER the 1997 season, given what happened that year and how I felt I did, but no, I don’t compare the way you might think a player would.I would also tell you that I am sure some guys do, and more power to them if they do. The game made over 5 billion dollars last year, I have zero problems with players getting as much as they can. I think the problem becomes when players who get the maximum dollar try to present their case as something other than what it actually is.

Q-What do you use for stats in negotiations? What do they use?

A-Stats don’t really enter into my negotiations, at least for my last 2 contracts they haven’t. Stats play a huge role in arbitration, since they are basically the only evidence allowed. Stats play a smaller role in free agency with the exception of Scott Boras’ clients. From what I’ve read and seen the stuff that Scott creates for his clients is astoundingly in depth and convincing. Some agents use them to an enormous advantage.

Q-But are we ever gonna get any MMO posts on this thing? A-Absolutely. As 38 Studios progresses and I get the ‘ok’ to talk more I will. Right now there is an immense amount of detail about the IP that has to remain behind closed doors. As that changes you can expect a lot more discussions about the company and what we are doing.

Q-1) I do see the yanks would be out of the question but who would be your top team choices to play for in 08(the Red Sox are the obvious choice)? A-I won’t go into detail for a lot of reasons. But suffice it to say that if it ends up not being Boston we’ll end up in a place with a team that we are comfortable with and that will have a chance to win it all.Q-2) If you could have a ‘Super’ Team who would be in your lineup?

A- Fun one. Starting 9 with a DH, and SP, from todays players? No payroll limit?

C-Jason Varitek – As good a handler of pitching staffs as anyone I’ve ever been around, coach or player. Not to mention he brings value in the clubhouse as well. I have heard Joe Mauer is this same kind of presence, but he brings some pretty incredible offensive tools that no other catcher in the game possesses. I’ll stick with what I know though and that makes Tek an easy choice.

1B- Albert Pujols – There are some other great ones here, Morneau is a stud, Helton, Ryan Howard. I love Lyle Overbay as well. But Albert is doing things no ones ever done, ever, and when you are doing things that have never been done in a game that’s over 100 years old, that’s something.

2B-Chase Utley- I don’t know a lot about him defensively but his production at a position that doesn’t have a lot of power is huge. If I had to pick this based on defense I’d go with Orlando Hudson hands down.

3B-Scott Rolen-Personal bias here since I had the good fortune of being his teammate. Along with Junior Spivey he’s the best athlete I’ve ever played with. Opening day in 1997, 9th innning, 1 run game, Brett Butler hits a spinning chopper over the 3rd base bag, Scott, running to his right, backhands the ball, falling into foul territory, spins and throws sidearm, perfect chest high strike on the bag. Still one of the better plays I’ve ever seen. Not to mention the guy runs the bases to perfection.

SS-Derek Jeter-Lots of good choices here but Derek may be the only guy in the game that you’d not be able to find someone that had something negative to say. He’s money on the games biggest stage and an often overlooked fact is that he plays every single day. Tejada is another one. He brings an immense amount of energy to the field and he plays to win. For pure defense I’d pick Alex Gonzalez with no one even a close second. I will argue until I die that he’s the best defensive shortstop that ever played. I still think he played the best defensive season in the games history last year. Chuck the range charts or whatever ‘scientific’ method is used, this guy was a stud from pitch one until the end of the season.

LF-Jason Bay-I think he’s a stud. Unfortunately he’s almost invisible in Pittsburgh. I don’t know much about him other than the few times I’ve faced him but he has put up some incredible numbers and I thought he was a pretty good defensive player as well. If it were pure offense I’d pick Manny hands down, twice on Sunday. Manny is still the best pure hitter I’ve ever played with. Matsui is, in my opinion, horrifically underrated as a run producer. The Yankee lineup is drastically different when he’s not in it.

CF-Andruw Jones-I’d pick him just to watch him shag during BP. He’s so incredibly gifted it’s unfair. I had a chance to get to know him when we were on the MLB team that toured Japan after the 1997 season and I was blown away at what a nice and respectful young kid he was, and he was a kid. Didn’t he hit 2 HR in a world series game when he was like 15?

RF-Vladimir Guerrero-Most plate coverage in the game. Can hit a ball a foot off the outside corner down the RF line and deep. Cannon for an arm. The funny thing about Vlad is that if you watch him doing something other than running or hitting he looks like he’s got a broken back. He limps around right up to the point where he beats you. Ichiro would be another great choice, incredible athlete. Bobby Abreu, JD Drew are both in for big years as well I think. Both can run, throw and grind out AB’s.

DH-Who else? David Ortiz-I think he’s in the midst of one of the better offense runs in baseball history. Though I think you could argue that Travis Hafner is every bit as good or at least getting there. Hafner continues to amaze me with his ability to manage the strike zone. He’ll chase every now and then but most times, against me anyway, he chases ‘good’ bad balls. He chases in areas he’s looking, as opposed to guys that chase just because they are swinging.

SP-Johan Santana-True legit ace. To me the earmark of an ace is innings. I think it’s far and away a SP most important stat. If you’re good, and you compile innings, the other numbers all take care of themselves. He’s dominant and he carries that to the mound with his presence. There are others I’d be more than ok with as well. Brandon Webb, Roy Oswalt, Ben Sheets, Josh, John Lackey, healthy Pedro, Carpenter, Halladay, Rich Harden, Sabathia, Verlander, Bonderman. True #1’s are guys who, if you don’t win on the day they start, everyone is stunned, I think every one of these guys brings that in spades. The guy that even on a bad day is going to get you through the 6th inning. That’s what I think about Halladay everytime he pitches.

Q-3) Honestly speaking when is Jacoby Ellsbury moving up in your eyes? I really enjoyed watching him play at OSU and not knocking
Coco but he hasn’t produced like I really thought he would of.

A-I have no idea. Obviously foot speed is not an issue but I don’t know enough about maturing as an offensive player to answer this one honestly. The few times I spoke with him this spring I realized he’s a good kid and driven to be a great player.

Q-For games when you are not on the mound do you watch the batters and try to pick up on things or do you just relax and enjoy the game. A-Depends on who’s pitching. If it’s a guy like Josh, or Daisuke, or Paps then ya I will watch the hitter and how they react to pitches. Same with watching games on TV when we are on the road. I’ll tune in to a game that has a power RH pitching. Otherwise ya, if I am not in the video room watching some stuff for an upcoming game I am most likely doing something I shouldn’t be to someone I shouldn’t be doing it to.

Q-On your days off this year you may enjoy Mass Effect from Bioware. Coming out relatively soon.

A- I will say this. I don’t know much about Mass Effect but I am a HUGE fan of Bioware. They are a top notch company of what seems to be incredibly talented and passionate people.

Q-You’re delusional if you think the Yankees would pay you $20 million! Are you completely out of your mind?

A-No, because they won’t offer it nor will I ask for it. But thanks for asking.

Q-If you’re sincere that you really want to stay in Boston, you should be happy to re-sign with the Sox now at a discount, instead of holding out for the “better all around offer.”

A- Appreciate the expert advice.

Q-After all, since you’re so sure your company will be a “multi-billion dollar behemoth” (give me a break), your 2008 salary is irrelevant, right?

A-Right.

Q-In your negotiations, did Theo & Co. ever propose a smaller guaranteed salary accompanied by a set of reachable incentives (something like Boomer’s last two deals)? Given their legitimate concerns about your age, it seems to me that’s one way for them to mitigate their substantial risk. If they did, did you give it due consideration, or were you firm in your desire for a simple guaranteed extension at your current salary? Were you willing to make any concessions to assuage their concerns?

A-I think it would be safe to assume that we explored a wide variety of ways to structure a 2008 contract.

Q-When you decided to extend your career by another year (or more), were you partly motivated by the need for capital for your startup venture? I’ve read that 38Studios is still actively seeking capital (talking with potential investors, etc.). It certainly takes an awful lot of money to create a company like 38Studios from scratch, and I was just wondering if the chance to self-fund a larger part of the startup and initial operating costs and seek fewer investment dollars was in the back of your mind when you decided to continue playing (and earning).

A-No. 38 Studios was started and is funded by me. We have the luxurious advantage of keeping it that way until we retain partners that can offer us more than money. We are looking to find strategic partnerships as opposed to check writers. That being said the money from a 2008 contract was a nice potential ‘perk’ for 38 Studios as opposed to a motivating factor in me coming back for another year. The only factors that were included in the decision had to do with my desire to continue competing and Shonda and the kids decision that they were ok with me coming back for at least one more year.

Q-If the Red Sox asked you to play for the league minimum next year, would you sign with them.

A-No.

Q-1. Where do you think The Rocket will pitch in 2007 (if at all)? And how much would it mean to you if he came to Boston?

A-No clue. I haven’t spoken to him about it and most likely won’t. I’d love for it to be here but as of today this 5 man rotation is set. I think, like any other team in this league, that if our rotation stays healthy we can win it all.

Q-2. From my perspective, I think this year’s rotation looks like it is going to be the best one in the majors. Do you agree? I have no doubt that Daisuke will adapt quickly and that J.P. will make the transition successfully. I expect Beckett to have a more consistent year than last year (less long balls), and I never doubt that you are going to have a solid season, even if you are 40. I’m not too sure who the 5th starter will be,
Wakefield? Lester? Either way, I’d be surprised if the top 4 starters didn’t combine for 60 wins.

A-I agree on the perspective. I am assuming that based on what’s happened so far Wake will slot into the 5 hole and Jon will continue to regain his strength. The perfect scenario for the team would be that we all make every one of our starts. That would mean Jon would have to squeeze into the bullpen to get here, but that’s the perfect world. In the real world we’ll probably need some help and the thought of having a kid who’s as good as he is as insurance is something not many teams anywhere can claim.

Q-3. How do you think Varitek will fare this year, coming off some nagging injuries and an off year for him offensively?

A-Tek looks unreal. He feels fantastic which is all I care about. If he’s healthy and his body allows him to do what he can I think we can expect a ‘Tek like season. He’ll hit his 20-30 HR, handle the pitching staff incredibly well and be a major force for us on and off the field all year.

Q-do players, when negotiating contracts, ever consider other players?For example, you’re asking a team for X amount of money, and the team says ‘OK, we’ll give you that but we’ll have to get rid of 3 other guys to afford it.’Would that enter into it at all?
Or is it simply every man for himself?

A- I can only answer that as it pertains to me. It was absolutely something that was talked about in 2003 when I was in discussions with
Boston. They spoke at length about their needs for my AAV and contract length and how that coincided with their plans for other players. It was also something I was very aware of since I didn’t want to get into a position that had my contract negatively impacting the potential of the team. I knew that the numbers I was at, or around, we’re not going to impede their desire or discussions with other players.

Q-As I am on my umpteenth business excursion this year which no one here cares about, it has prompted me to ask, when making the decision to come back in 2008, how does the fact that you’ll be away from your family for another 135 days (counting spring training and the playoffs) in 2008 factor into that decision. Is your family conditioned to this fact as being “par for the course” or normal because it’s the way it’s always been? How do you reconcile the fact you’re going to miss out another year of family and friends’ weddings, baptisms, birthdays, etc.

A-It’s a massive part of the decision we made. In fact next to my physical situation it was the most important part of the decision. I jokingly stated that when the decision was made I realized that maybe I’m not all that fun to be around at home if they were that excited about me playing another season. The difference now is that our kids are getting to the age that I can take them on the road with me individually at times, and that’s huge. It’s one of the parts of this life people either don’t care about or don’t think of when they think what we do is the greatest. I won’t lie, this job doesn’t suck. It’s a dream come true in many aspects but there is always a price to pay and often times the price is paid not by the athlete, but by the people you care about most.

Q-CURT, PLEASE GIVE US ALL A BREAK! IF YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THE RED SOX DON’T WANT TO EXTEND YOUR CONTRACT BEFORE THE END OF SPRING TRAINING, THEN WHY ARE YOU CLOSING THE DOOR DURING THE SEASON FOR AN EXTENTION?

A-I thought we covered this already, or maybe you didn’t read the previous post? Either way no need to yell….

Q-BECAUSE YOUR A MODERN DAY ATHLETE THAT THINKS THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND YOU.

A-Ok….

Q-TELL YOUR AGENT WHAT YOU WANT, YOU ALREADY SAID YOUR NOT LOOKING FOR MORE MONEY, AND LET THE AGENT NEGOTIATE WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT.

A-I don’t have an agent.

Q-BUT THAT WOULD MAKE TOO MUCH SENSE, IN THE END YOU WANT THE CONTROL BECAUSE THIS IS 2007 AND THAT IS WHAT ATHLETES DO.

A-Hmm, ok. So Williams and Dimaggio weren’t doing the same thing when they held out? I played the requisite 6 years I was required to play to obtain the rights of a free agent. In a career where the average lifespan of a player is less than three years, that means something. I’ve earned the right to negotiate on even footing and it’s not something players take lightly.

Q- I CAN’T HAVE IT MY MAY SO I’M NOT GOING TO TALK TO YOU. YOU CAN FLOWER IT UP ALL YOU WANT BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS YOUR NO DIFFERENT THEN MOST ATHLETES. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY AND YOUR HUGE EGO.

A-If that’s what you need to believe to feel better about yourself that’s cool.

Q-ATHLETES IN GENERAL AND TOP ATHLETES SPECIFICALLY HAVE BEEN TOLD HOW WONDERFUL THEY ARE SINCE THEY WERE OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER. JUST THINK CURT, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE IN THE REAL WORLD. HOW DOES THAT FEEL?

A-Not sure of what you are asking, but I can’t complain. Life has been incredible to me and I thank the Lord everyday at some point.

Q-I was also one of the crazy, screaming fans when you made your first appearance as a closer against the Yanks. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a game that loud. And, even though you didn’t succeed, it took some brass cajones to do what you did. I’ve been a huge fan of yours ever since.

A-I remember that. Jogging on to the field was one of the more memorable experiences I’ve ever had. Right up to the point that
Sheffield and Arod played ping pong with the Monster and Center Field Bleachers and I lost the game. That was one of those ‘more incredible than you can imagine experiences” right up to the point when I actually threw a pitch. I was under the impression I was going to job out, punch out the side and walk off the hero, then real life intervened.

Q-Are you still doing research, etc. with Multiman Publishing? Still playing Squad Leader?

A- I am not. I haven’t been involved day to day with MMP for some time now. (BTW if you are a WWII or Wargamer please check out www.multimanpublishing.com ) Brian and Perry have been doing the yeoman’s share of the work for years now and MMP is doing fantastic.

Q-On Pearl Harbor day (Dec 7) I went from being a healthy 63 year old professional with a successful life stretching before me, to a 63 year old patient with metastatic cancer of the tonsil. My perspective on the future changed in the space of one hour. So far I am doing ok, but believe me , this season is the only one I have an interest in now.

A-I don’t need to tell you that Shonda and I are praying for your recovery. In a much different way that’s exactly what happened when I received the phone call telling me my wife had cancer. Life as you know it changes, forever. Shonda and I had 11 years of living and befriending ALS patients to know we didn’t want to wait for an event like this to truly have perspective. Please drop in and let me know how things are going if you can.

Q-What do you think of Gabe Kapler’s venture into managing? Aside from you, Gabe is my favorite Red Sox member. He speaks so eloquently on many subjects and always has something interesitng and insightful to say. I think that his innate understanding of the “right” way to play and his ability to understand the psyche of young players will serve him well as a manager. I wish for his success and hope that one day he manages the Sox. Any thoughts??

A-Awesome question. I am planning on throwing up a blog about favorite teammates somewhere down the line and Gabe is definitely at the top of that list. In addition to being one of my favorite teammates he’s also one of the finest human beings I’ve ever met. His wife is an incredible person as well. Gabe will manage in the major leagues someday if he wants to. I stopped by the minor league complex the other day to check in on him and say hello and tell him how much we miss him and all I can say is that he’s in his element. Gabe loves making people feel good about themselves, he loves baseball and I think he’s captured that magical feeling of what It means to teach people. I can promise you that the players he manages will be better people in addition to being better players.

Q-Also, do your children like to watch games more when you pitch or when you don’t pitch?? What do they experience as your children during a game when you pitch? Are they nervous, excited?

A-My oldest son Gehrig, has, over the last two years, become incredibly involved in my starts. I always talk to him before starts and he usually gives me advice.

“Dad, watch out for Guerrero, he can crush the fastball”

Things like that. One of the coolest life experiences I’ve ever had was a few years back. I’d pitched a game and stunk it up. I was incredibly upset after the game and we were riding home from the park and he says to me;

“What’s the matter?”

“I stunk tonight, just disappointed in the game”

“Dad?”

“Ya?”

“Did you do everything you could to win?”

“I did, but that doesn’t always work here bud”

“But dad you told me that if I played as hard as I could, did everything I could to win, that was all that mattered to you”

…………..

What could I say? Taught a lesson in 5 seconds by my 11 year old son. Those are the things you take with you for life.

Q-If you wanted the Sox to sign you then why not show up at camp remotely in shape? If you look like you do now then what will you look like at next years spring training? You could pull it off when you were younger, but those times are past by.

A-I’d love to refute it all but I can’t. Now don’t misunderstand that. I was heavier than I should have been when I reported, by at least 8 pounds. But I was not ‘out of shape.” I’d been throwing per my off season program since day 1 and my arm felt great. That being said I allowed some real life stuff to intrude and I didn’t prioritize my time the two weeks prior to camp as I should have. However, as of today I am down 9 pounds and 2 pounds under my end of the season weight from 2006. I feel fantastic. I have worked my ass off to get to where I need to be and I feel awesome that I am where I am. The last time I felt this light was coming into 2004. The amazing thing about both years is that my weight doesn’t match the way I feel. I made that mistake, but I won’t make it again.

Q-Hi Mr. Shilling I am a die hard Red Sox fan and at times I go on message boards and there are always yankee fans that just dont get it. GET THIS. They say that in the 2004 playoffs on your socks was not blood but ketchup. Now I know it sounds stuiped but these yanks fans are idiots. Can you say something to that and please enlighten me?

A-I am planning to throw something up about this subject at some point, but needless to say it was blood, my blood, and it was coming from the sutures in my ankle. You’re either stupid or bitter if you think otherwise.

Q-here’s my question, By now, I’m reply 100 some odd… do you, honestly, read every single comment, I just spent 20 minutes reading some, and gave up…

A-I don’t. I just make sure there are no “f’ bombs or other stuff that I wouldn’t want my kids to read. Otherwise the stuff gets posted in the comments.

Q-also, what about the dipR%@ who use the comment forum as a way to insult/berate/name call… Although, lets be honest, you can afford to not care what some whiny jealous brats with nothing better to do complain about…

A-Hey I’m human. No one likes to be called names or talked down to, but the sooner you realize it happens and that the people doing so have no idea who or what you are, the easier it becomes. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, said a lot of things I wish I hadn’t, but at the end of the day I have to live with myself and I know I don’t wish bad things on anyone. I lost the ability to hate anyone or anything when I became a Christian, life’s too short to waste time hating anything. There are only 24 hours in a day and as of now I’m busy for most of them.

Q-1. You’ve said that you feel your newly developed changeup could be a dominating pitch for you at times. Forgive me for being a little skeptical, but for your entire career your bread and butter has been the fastball and the splitter. Ive always felt that the split was your ‘change of pace’ pitch that got batters knees buckling, and for that reason it would be unnecessary for you to use a changeup. It shows them a change in velocity and that last second unexpected movement. When the count is 2-2 with a runner on 3rd with a tie game, and you and tek dont think a fastball is gonna get it done, i dont see him calling for anything but the split. Is the changeup just kind of an insurance policy for days when your splitter might not be quite as effective? What kind of counts and situations do you see yourself using your changeup, and why would you use that over the splitter?

A- I can’t/won’t get into specifics about selection of pitches here, not now anyway. Let’s just say the overall strategy is to reduce my pitch count and get outs faster, and the change up will allow both of those to happen.

Q-2. You also said that your change is about 15mph slower than your fastball, and that is an ideal difference in velocity. Do you think you could share this wisdom with Josh Beckett? His fastball is normally a blazing 96-97mph but his change is usually around 89-90. A 6mph difference doesnt seem like it does much to fool batters, rather it just gives them more chance to catch up to the pitch. Last year his changeup was largely ineffective and usually got crushed. Is this something that Farrell and Josh are working on or do they think that with alittle more control his current style will be effective?

A-Josh is a different animal. Josh has power in spades. Would it be ideal if he could throw a change up at 80mph? Maybe. Having said that Josh is, and always will be about command. If and when he gains total command of his fastball he’s going to dominate. I will tell you it’s coming too. Regardless of what people write about his Curveball or his Change up, like every other pitcher on the planet he will live and flourish on his fastball command. He’s gotten better this spring and I’ve already stated earlier I think he’s going to ruin a lot of fantasy leagues this year for people that pass on him. He’s getting ready to take that next step and I think this year it’s going to start happening.

Q-Also… can you teach Josh the split??? Look what it did for Papelbon!! A-He already throws it. He threw it last year and started to have a pretty effective one towards the end of the season.

Q-1) You posted about “depth” in your pitches… and I’ve seen or heard this term used by scouts/GM’s etc. Could you give a quick definition of this for us layman?

A-Depth, to me, is a word that could be called ‘tilt’ as well. A slider that breaks right to left on a horizontal plane, has no depth. A slider that breaks right to left AND down has depth. The ability to get movement horizontally AND vertically is depth. Same thing with a sinker. If my sinker cuts in on RHH AND goes down, it has depth, otherwise it’s merely a left handed cutter.

Q-2) What makes a pitcher successful at the major league level? I know this is a fairly broad question, but what were the things you figured out after you had been in the league for a few years? The two major things I can think of are command and movement, but what are the things we may not know about? A-The ability to repeat a consistent energy efficient delivery 125 times every five days. The other is command. There is a difference in ‘command’ and ‘control’. Control is the ability to throw strikes, You need to learn that in A, or AA. Command is the ability to control the ball WITHIN the strike zone. Most people think home plate is 17 inches wide. It’s not. Home plate, for me, is 12 inches wide. 6 inches on the inner half, 6 inches on the outer half. Using the middle 5 inches is the easiest way to get a ticket to Pawtucket. I think that’s the hardest thing for young pitchers to grasp, The big leagues is not about throwing strikes, it’s about throwing quality strikes. Learn that and then you move on to ‘throwing strikes that aren’t strikes’, which is a whole other lesson.

Q-1. What incentive would “the media” have to distort the truth on an issue like this? (not much)

A-Really? I’d disagree. I’ll ask you this. Does something news worthy happen everyday in your life? It doesn’t in ours either. However the media has to talk and write every single day, whether there is news worthy material or not. So ya, some distortion or omission of relevant material is necessary to make something ‘worth’ writing on some days.

Q-2. What incentive would a player in this situation have for distorting the truth to bend public opinion to his side? (make a lot of money)

A-Huh? So by lying I am going to make more money? How exactly does that work?

Q-Players say things like “the media sucks” because they know you like them better than you like the media, and that helps them get their message out unfiltered. But sometimes it makes sense to take a step back remember by the filter was there in the first place. It’s for the benefit of the readers.

A-We can agree to disagree. I happen to think the media has gotten to the point of talking down to fans. While we are on this topic let me once again say that this is not the majority, far from it, there are a ton of good people in the media, but the bad eggs can really screw things up for the people who actually do take pride in what they do and aren’t actually interested in being part of the stories they write.

Q-Without “the media,” players, teams, government officials can lie to you whenever they want, for their own benefit.

A-So you are saying that the media keeps people honest? I think I’d agree and disagree with that.

Q-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??

A-No.

Q-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.

A-Who?

Q-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.

A-If it means the story gets printed and I don’t have to talk then all the better.

Q-Would you prefer that they get their information in person?

A-I think that’s going to be more story dependant really. I can tell you that the post game stuff this year will be interesting. I would imagine I’ll be able to give a more thorough in depth review and discussion of the games I pitch than the main stream media, for those that are interested in that kind of thing.

Q-Curt, with the new defense behind you with Lugo, and Pedroia being the starters at SS and 2nd base. How do you feel this defense behind you stacks up with last year and Gonzalez and Loretta?

A-I think they’ll be fine. I certainly don’t think they will cost us games. I think Dustin has a chance to be an outstanding defender. One of the things Coach Murphy (Dustin’s coach at ASU) told me a few years back was that Dustin was the kind of defender that if ‘he gets his glove on it, it’s an out”. I think Julio will be a lot better than people think. The main problem will be that anytime he makes an error the ghost of Gonzalez will come up in post game interviews. I think Alex Gonzalez is the best SS I’ve ever played with, or seen, so those comparisons are unfair to anyone.

135 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2007 12:27 pm

    In defense of Curt! I’m a HUGE Sox fan and sports fan in general and I totally agree that professional athletes salaries are way out of hand. So don’t take this personally………just another way of looking at it.

    Take this into consideration ………..if the company you work for now said that they wanted to wait til the end of their fiscal year to see how your performance was before the decided if they wanted to keep you around another year, how would you feel? If they wanted to cut your salary next year because you’re a year older, how would you feel? Looking at these things and then lets say that another company with the same job available offered you more money to go there, what do you really think you would do? And please…….be honest with yourselves here!

  2. georgetodwright permalink
    March 19, 2007 12:30 pm

    Curt, great site. I’ve been a fan of yours since you did that email interview with Bill Simmons a few years ago. Love your candour. A couple of questions for you –
    Q – In your routine during starts, how much of a role does sports psychology play? The more I read on this topic, the more it seems that what can set top players in any sport apart from their peers is their mental capacity for success. Your son’s lesson about giving it your best seems to be a great example of this. Any thoughts? Better yet, any mentors on a day-to-day basis?
    Q2 – Dealing with media – I am a Maple Leaf hockey fan (probably the closest thing to being a Sox fan in terms of the constant scrutiny our team is under). My problem with the media in our town always has been that they can never get good responses from players because the players know those same journalists will rip them in their publications at the first opportunity or first sign of failure. How much of a role does respect play for you when considering your responses with certain members of the media?

  3. bradley21 permalink
    March 19, 2007 1:45 pm

    Mr Schilling,

    What you are doing here is incredible. I’ve never known of a professional athlete giving this kind of access and this kind of insight. I hope other professional athletes follow your lead. I have a blog of my own, and I know how much time it takes and how much passion. As long as this energy lasts for you to stay up to date, I think it is so valuable. Thanks for that.

    2 comments.

    1. Where does it say that you have to like the media in your job description? Or that you even have to give them the time of day? I wonder how people would feel if they had to answer to the public for not performing their job the way total strangers expect them to perform. “if you want to be a pro athlete then you have to answer to the media” people say. Really? I didn’t read that in a contract anywhere. I enjoy reading about the sox. But I can’t stand ‘drummed up’ news.

    2. I’m always amazed that people who have never played professional baseball or any professional sport can make comments about your negotiations. Let’s be honest, if I had the choice to make 2 million more dollars, I would probably take it. I don’t understand people and their comments.

    Question…

    I’m a man of faith myself…I’m wondering if you ever take some ‘hits’ for your faith among players or FO?

    brad

  4. redsoxpq permalink
    March 19, 2007 2:32 pm

    In response to karentek33,

    “Take this into consideration ………..if the company you work for now said that they wanted to wait til the end of their fiscal year to see how your performance was before the decided if they wanted to keep you around another year, how would you feel?”

    So whats that, a performance evaluation with the potential of being fired if I can’t complete the requirements of the job? Isn’t that basically at-will employment? Hundreds of thousands of companies operate under these guidelines every day.

    “If they wanted to cut your salary next year because you’re a year older, how would you feel?”

    If I was no longer able to complete the requirements of the position as a direct result of my age, I would feel it would be justified. I certainly would not be happy about it, but it WOULD be justified. The fact that most companies wouldn’t do this holds no bearing over MLB. In the majors, salary reduction with age is the standard operating procedure.

    “Looking at these things and then lets say that another company with the same job available offered you more money to go there, what do you really think you would do? And please…….be honest with yourselves here!”

    If I really loved the job, I would stay there, despite making less money, unless the well-being of my family mandated that I choose otherwise. Thats the same argument that allows people to stay in low-paying teaching jobs, work at non-profit organizations for low pay, voulunteer at soup kitchens, etc. If you LOVE what you do, the money isn’t important, its just a bonus.

  5. jduges permalink
    March 19, 2007 2:59 pm

    RED SOX pq- Curt nor any other althete/entertainer owes you anything. He can love the area, love the fans, and still move on because the business side of things makes sense for both parties.

    You act like you have that same kind of nobility that you seek from Curt. If another company/agency like the one you work for offered you X amount of Dollars and your company was unwilling to match that number and in fact decided to pay you less, what would you do? I know you’ll say loyalty is more important but here’s a reality check the only loyalty that exsists in sports is that between fan and team and fan and player and even that is a fickle tenuous relationship.

    THe reality is that you are not that important and you know it. root for the name on the front of the jersey not the back.

    would you feel differently if Curt took an offer of 17 million per for 2 years to pitch for Philly next year, or arizona? But wait shouldn’t he be loyal to those teams? What if he decides to use the extra 3-5 million to actually do something in this world whether it be with his company or his charity organizations should he still stay with the sox then?

    If the red sox want him and think he adds value to their club they’ll sign him ……if not he’s gone and he should be. He owes you nothing…….or anyone else for that matter.

    What makes this even worse is the guy along with 24 others brought you a world series title after 86 years of agony. Isn’t that enough thanks? The guy has a few more years left to do what he loves and what he’s so gifted at….why not maximize his earnings while he can? I know I know, he’s a millionaire right? He doesn’t need the extra money? So If offered you two winning lotto tickets, 1 for 10 million the other for 20 million, you just gonna piss that away? No way….I’d bet right now you’d drink a gallon of dumpster juice for less than a million bucks. No way you’re passing up more money.

    He’d be a fool to do that……….I’m starting my official lobby for you to come to NY Curt………5 starts a year plus playoffs…..that’s it……..18 million……..why not, we’re gonna give roger 13-15 million for half a year……..God it’s good to be a yankee fan!

  6. March 19, 2007 4:55 pm

    redsoxpq,

    but what if you COULD do what you loved and make more money? what if you loved teaching and found a public school or private school that would pay you more? is it wrong to take the job? no.

    i like your connection to companies. makes sense to me.

    brad

  7. gosox9827 permalink
    March 19, 2007 5:26 pm

    Curt

    i want to say that i admire you as a player and a person, regardless of whether you return or not. As much as i hope you stay, if you do leave, i would say no red sox fan has the right to be angry with you; you risked your career and physical health to help bring this team a championship.

    Also, as a brother in Christ, i respect you for your public commitment to Christ…he is Lord.

  8. cardsfan81 permalink
    March 19, 2007 5:35 pm

    Hi Curt. I just wanted to tell you that I think it’s really admirable that you take the time to posts these blogs and answer as many questions as you can. Time, I’m guessing, is not something that you have a lot of. Although I am a die hard Cardinals fan, I’m an even bigger fan of baseball. I’m a big fan of yours, and I’ve always had the upmost respect for you on and off the field…the two exceptions being when your teams eliminated the Cardinals from the post season haha. I like the fact that you can speak your mind regarding your faith and your conservative political beliefs…2 topics that are, sadly, too taboo to bring up these days.

    I know you probably can’t answer any questions about your future free agency, nor is it something you’re probably thinking much about, but I’ll give it a shot anyways. Would you ever consider pitching for the Cardinals? They’re an organization that has put themselves in a position to contend every year. Although you already have 2 rings, I’m assuming that at this point in your career being on a contender is the most important aspect. If it doesn’t work out with the Red Sox at the end of the season, then why not the Cardinals?

  9. slinkyredfoot permalink
    March 19, 2007 5:52 pm

    Mr. Schilling,

    Love your pitching. I think this blog is a neat idea, too.

    If you would like, you could email me your blogs before you post them, I’ll edit them — you know, for grammatical, spelling, and syntax errors — and send them back for you to post. It could help you avoid embarrassing word usage such as “funner.” I think I’ve got the time to handle the job; and I’d work for free.

    Let me know if you’re interested. Otherwise, have a great season and I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors.

    My best,

    Robb

  10. diehardsoxfan12 permalink
    March 19, 2007 6:19 pm

    Hey Curt, Lets face it. Your getting MLB old. That could be another factor why the Sox don’t want to sign you for 13 million. We don’t know if your arm is the same as it was seasons in the past. Red Sox nation does not want your fastball to be 89 MPH tops (whats it at now 92-94?) For 13 mil. we could get nice prospects. Look what Youk has done. Anyways, dont take this as an insult. I hope you kind of understand what I mean.

  11. waldendog permalink
    March 19, 2007 6:51 pm

    Overpriced – overpaid…

    It seems that for the most part, we all agree that many htings and people in life are overpriced and overpaid – not just in the world of sports. With that being said, the real question is:

    What can we do about it?

    How can this trend be reversed when almost everything in society supports this idea – from the athletes, to the actors, to the reality tv shows – the underlying message of everything is money, millionaires, and the need to join the club.

    It used to be that being a millionaire was an achievement and enough, but in actuality, that is no longer the case. That is no longer a big enough nest egg on which to raise and support a family of 3 or even 4…

    Where do we go from here? While it seems that at some point, we will reach the breaking point, will we ever see an athlete make $30 million per year? Curt, if you know how to unring this bell, I am listening…

  12. cdnsoxfan permalink
    March 19, 2007 7:18 pm

    My question is about Kyle Snyder. Going back to last year, he had times when he looked really good, but ultimately was inconsistent as a starter. I thought when the sox started talking about an open audition for the closer, his name would have to be a part of that conversation. Yet even after what has been a good spring, he has still not been given any consideration. My questions is as his teammate, what is it that would not make him a strong closer? He has four pitches, two of which I think he throws pretty well, so why in your opinion is he not a part of that group? Is it an issue of makeup?

    Actually one more quick question, if Paps is forced back into the closer role, who would you rather see take his spot, Lester or Clemens?

  13. drdubya permalink
    March 19, 2007 9:02 pm

    Mr. Schilling-

    Kudos to you for opening your soul to Red Sox Nation. I find the opportunity to get inside the workings of an ace pitcher’s mind to be particularly fascinating.

    Although I live in Texas, I had the opportunity to be present in Boston for your 200th win last year, and was even more impressed the next day when you came out to personally congratulate the servicemen present on the day before Memorial Day.

    In addition to being a bigfan, I am also a professional military historian, and would like to know some specifics regarding your father’s military background? I know he was 101st Airborne, but when and where did he serve, and in what capacity. Did he serve in WWII? If so, I may have a few more questions . . .

    Looking forward to another great year.

    -Bob

  14. davidandrew permalink
    March 19, 2007 10:36 pm

    Curt,

    Love the blog. You don’t see many big shots that take the time to interact with the “Johnny from Burger Kings” in this manner. (and if they do, it’s usually their PR people doing the typing!), so it’s kind of refreshing.
    But for the love of god, your response to the Q&A post was longer than the last book I read cover to cover!! Your gonna give yourself carpel tunnel, just make sure it’s not in the throwing hand.

    I read this on boston.com today and laughed my butt off.

    “Schilling ate your second baseman,” Millar shot back. “That’s unbelievable. When I looked at the picture [of Schilling’s stomach], I couldn’t find Dustin [Pedroia].”

    Over the years, have you ever played with a bigger bag of wind/budding comedian than Millar? Was his presence in the club house that much of a difference on the World Series team?

  15. ejy2 permalink
    March 20, 2007 8:29 am

    Curt,

    You’re the best.

    Evan
    Boxingforecast

  16. kevinto permalink
    March 20, 2007 9:12 am

    Let’s talk salaries.

    I would like to throw my 2 cents (no pun intended) into the mix. I find it interesting the posts from all of the people that believe that you should take a substantial pay-cut to continue to pitch for Boston next year. Although I agree that the compensation for professional athletes is completely uncomprehensible I find it difficult to take the position that you should be the one to take a stand for the betterment of mankind or perhaps just for Red Sox nation.

    The real issue is that as a society we have placed a ridiculous value on people who can memorize lines and stand in front of a camera or who have acquired the skill to throw or hit a baseball better than anyone else. I think that you would agree that it is just “wrong’ that as a society we place a higher value on celebrity (athletes included) than we do on education, if the average pay for a school teacher was $400K per year, I guarantee you that our best and brightest minds would be gravitating towards that field. This is coming from a life-long Sox fan who will pay whatever Mr. Henry decides to charge for an evening at Fenway, but hey it is what capitalism is all about.

    I would challenge all of those who are criticizing you for wanting to get paid fair market value to do your job to go into their work today and let their bosses know that they would be willing to continue to work at their company for only 20% of their current pay or even 80% as some have suggested. I don’t care if your Mike the mechanic from Quincy or Ed the executive from Weston, everyone of us attempts to get paid as much as you possibly can from your employer, it is the nature of the beast. I know the posters will argue that it is not the same because Curt makes $13M per year, but that doesn’t matter, that is what a #1 pitcher makes, it is what it is. Would Sully the accountant be willing to only get paid $25K per year because he wants to be fair to the rest of his company, I think not.

    It is unfair to target just the professional athlete when CEO compensation is just as bad. Is it wrong when an executive get paids hundreds of millions of dollars when his company is not profitable or he/she earns a wage that is 5,000x the wage of their lowest paid employee. Or how about the fact that the price of oil has dropped by about $20 per barrel but yet I am still paying over $3.00 per gallon out here in California.

    Finally, I do believe that you have shown a tremendous amount of loyatly to Red Sox Nation by stating that you will not accept a contract from the Yankees. Although, the Yankees are looking to get younger (no offense, I am older than you) I am sure the George would be willing to pay you to stick it to Larry and the Sox. The people criticizing you are the same idiots that booed Jonny Damon when he returned to Fenway. The Sox did not want to pay him and the Yankees did, it is that simple. Again, would any of your readers agree not to go to work for one of their competitors if their current employer no longer wanted their services. After only 4 years, a bloody sock and a trophy, you don’t owe us a thing, but I will take it.

    I think that we need to look at more of the macro issues, again, as a society our value system is not where it should be. If you don’t like it then drop NESN from your cable/satellite package and don’t buy tickets to a game. Otherwise, live with it.

    Sorry about the rant…but hey, it needed to be said.

  17. spilli permalink
    March 20, 2007 10:05 am

    Q: I always wanted to sit behind home plate. Why do the people that sit there waste an enjoyable moment at the park? They talk on a cell phone and wave at the TV when the idiot on the other line says they are on TV. It drives me crazy. Why Curt? WHY?!

  18. redsox8191 permalink
    March 20, 2007 10:58 am

    Curt,

    At what age did you become a pitcher and know that it was something that you wanted to pursue? Was it in LL, Babe ruth, high School etc???? How much work did you put into it to get to the point of being drafted? Were you always one of the best athletes on your team when you were younger, were you the starting shortstop and hit third? I think many would be interested (at least I would be) in how it all got started baseball wise for you.

    Thanks!!

  19. nbsoxfan permalink
    March 20, 2007 2:33 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Just to let you know, the Red Sox Nation extends into eastern Canada as well. Again, I will echo so many others in saying that I can’t believe how many people feel that they should put their 2 cents in on the salary negotiations. I wonder how they would respond to someone telling them that they don’t need to make $50,000 a year to be an accountant, they should be willing to take $35,000 and be happy about it? Please…

    I like the team this year’s lineup, I think it’s will ahve more pop than last year’s (typical sox fan, I know)… I like Pedroia, from what I have read, kid’s got heart. I am also exciting to see how the rotation shapes up and who will comprise the bullpen. My only worry is the whow ill fill the roll of the closer.

    My Question, thus, is… Your not Tito or the Front office. .. but what are your thoughts about entering this season with a proven closer? How do you feel about reviving the closer by committee system?

  20. nbsoxfan permalink
    March 20, 2007 2:33 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Just to let you know, the Red Sox Nation extends into eastern Canada as well. Again, I will echo so many others in saying that I can’t believe how many people feel that they should put their 2 cents in on the salary negotiations. I wonder how they would respond to someone telling them that they don’t need to make $50,000 a year to be an accountant, they should be willing to take $35,000 and be happy about it? Please…

    I like the team this year’s lineup, I think it’s will ahve more pop than last year’s (typical sox fan, I know)… I like Pedroia, from what I have read, kid’s got heart. I am also exciting to see how the rotation shapes up and who will comprise the bullpen. My only worry is the who will fill the roll of the closer.

    My Question, thus, is… Your not Tito or the Front office. .. but what are your thoughts about entering this season with a proven closer? How do you feel about reviving the closer by committee system?

  21. tooeledave permalink
    March 20, 2007 4:30 pm

    I love it that when the radio guys tried to say that a half a million people have found 38 Pitches because of the media, you can say No, they found it online. I myself found the site through bostondirtdogs, just as you say in the interview.

    Blog on.

  22. kiggy permalink
    March 20, 2007 6:33 pm

    Hi Curt —

    I love your blog and think it’s pretty cool of you to answer those crazy questions about your contract negotiations honestly and openly. It amazes me that people actually expect you to play for nothing just to stay in Boston. Proverbs says ” A worker is worthy of his wages”, and it’s fair for you to get a fair market value, to support your family and provide the best for their future. You give a lot to charity and keep involved in the community. I hope that you stay in Boston., but if not, thanks for your many contributions to the Sox — you won’t be forgotten.

    Don’t be discouraged with these wacky comments. Continue to keep your eyes focused on the Lord and remember who you are in Him.

    God bless you and your family — you’re in my prayers.

  23. lughlamfhada permalink
    March 20, 2007 7:49 pm

    Curt,

    Great to see that you’ve put this blog together. I do hope the negotiations work out with the Red Sox and we’ll see you finish your career in Boston. You have earned the right to spend another year here, and I hope that this current impasse doesn’t lead to your departure.

    My fiance and I went to Sox game for our first date back in 2004 and I actually timed it for your turn in the rotation. Since then, we’ve had the opportunity to see you pitch in many more games, and each time you step on the field it’s electric. We Sox fans appreciate what you did for us more than you realize, and I don’t care if you’re missing your right hand, I’ll still come to see you pitch

    It’s great having a hero in our midst and I hope everything works out and we have you for a few years to come. Besides, how amazing is it to have a Republican on the team?? Finally!

    Take care, and good luck this season!

    -Lugh

  24. alpinemillers permalink
    March 20, 2007 10:59 pm

    Curt,

    I saw an interview after the 2004 season in which you said that you prettymuch couldn’t walk the day of one of your starts. It is also well documented the Sox medical staff did some pretty remarkable stuff to help you. What I wanted to know was where did the will come from to take the mound and perform the way you did? I am always inspired by someone facing near impossible odds and overcoming them. You not only made your star, but pitched brilliantly.

    A big fan!

    -Andy

  25. jeepdaddy permalink
    March 21, 2007 6:55 pm

    Hello,

    This may seem very odd to you; but have you ever been to Bar Harbor Maine. I work for the town and occasionally see celebrities in the resort area. Oddly enough I can’t remember seeing any baseball players, probably because there’s no reason to be here in the winter; the offseason.

    Whenever I listen to you it amazes me how grounded you seem.

    By the way my family and I are huge fans of yours and the Red Sox.

    Thanks for this blog!

    God Bless,
    Tim

  26. pap50 permalink
    March 22, 2007 2:13 pm

    Do you kids or wife ever give you a hard time about what you say in frustration coming off the mound or after a big hit?

  27. phillies38 permalink
    March 23, 2007 2:06 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Lifelong Phillie fan here. I really wish the Phils would have taken the opportunity to sign you before you went to Boston.

    I saw your comment about Carlton and Schmidt being pushed out of the game. With all due respect, I have to disagree. I was fourtanate to see Lefty’s last game in Philly with the Phillies. At that point in time, he clearly had nothing left and he tried to hang on two years after that with ERA’s over 5. Clearly I think he held on too long. Also I found your quote about Schmidt leaving too early a little odd also. I don’t remember hearing anything about that. Do you have an inside story on that?

    Good luck in the upcoming year. Thanks for all the charitable work you and Shonda do in the community.

  28. acarb78 permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:15 pm

    Mr Schilling Thank you for answering my post I know it must of made you mad. It makes me mad everytime a dumb yanks fan trys downgrate your 2004 playoffs. What you did was intense to say the least. I was on the edge of my seat with every pitch and the games that you had with a stiched up angle. Come on Awesome. More players should look at what you did and try to emalate you when its time to play with injuries.But thank you for your time and have a great season… 20-6/3.65……Oh by the way what you did in 2004 that alone should give you the Hall of Fame.. We went 86 years with out winning the world series you come and you gave us one. What does that tell Ya?I know there is a whole team but MAN what you did was Awesome just Awesome… Thank You..

  29. symtech permalink
    March 24, 2007 12:40 am

    Dear Mr. Schilling,

    I have been a die hard Sox fan since the summer of 67 when I used to listen to the games on a radio I snuck under my pillow at night. I know that many people have written to you over the past 2 and a half years but I wanted to add my thanks for the risk you took to bring us all a world series. I listened to the 75 series while attending my school in England and would wake up at 2 am every morning to hear the games played. And when the games kept getting postponed because of rain everyone wondered what I had been doing to cause my semi-stupor each morning. When Fiske finally hit his home run I thought sure we would win it all that year. But I have learned the greater the disappointment, there will always be a bigger reward in the end and what you and the rest of our affectionate idiots did to the Yankess made 37 years of frustration worth every minute of it.

    The other reason I am writing has nothing to do with baseball and I would not broach the subject here but I have been frustrated in trying to contact you directly through the Red Sox or through some other means. At least this I hope you will read. I have read stories that you collect war memorabilia and a gentle man I know has a very unique collection of war memorabilia going back to World War I. He has an authentic collection of letters, medals, and other personal memorabilia collected often times directly from the flying aces themselves. His collection spans from World War I clear up to and including the Korean War. I have seen the collection and know it to be very authentic and could never be duplicated again because most of aces have long since passed away. The gentleman in question is an older man who had a kidney transplant about 5 years ago and is not in the best of health.

    I had made a promise to help try and find a buyer for him because he really is not capable of finding one himself at this point in his life. (Actually he can be a real pain to work with but I guess that goes with the eccentricity of collecting these things). Any way, about 2 years ago I read an article that you collected this type of memorabilia and wanted to find out if you were interested in learning more about his collection.

    Actually, as a further reference I know someone who actually went to the same college as you, I think it was in Prescott Arizonia or some place near there. His name was Christopher Shockeye, at least he said he knew you. And of course you could always check with Steve Carlton if you know how to contact him because he knows my name and came to stay at our home in Paulden, Az briefly about 20 years ago. This was about the same time he began building his home near Durango.

    I am not sure about how you could contact me but I would be glad to send you my email address and contact information if you would like to pursue the war memorabila. I can personally state I have never seen such an extensive collection in my entire life and have known the man for years as we owned the ranch next door to him for 8 years. If you are not interested it would be nice to know that as well. I do not know if I should leave my email address on this blog or not nor am I sure if i will spot your answer to my question.

    In the meantime, I think you and the team are going to have a fantastic year and with Pap back in the bullpen, which was the only thing that really made any sense, I believe all of the pieces are now in place to give anyone a run for their money.

    Good luck
    Symtech, (My company name)

  30. willoughby38 permalink
    March 27, 2007 1:39 pm

    Curt,

    Have you ever read Tom Seaver’s “The Art of Pitching”?

  31. fireguy611 permalink
    March 29, 2007 12:30 am

    Curt, First off looking forward to you having another great year at the Fens, My question is as a long time Sox Fan why do they always seem to want to let the guys that play thier hearts out go. The guys that run into walls (Damon) The dirt dogs (Burelson) The guys with the stapeled together ankles (What’s his name) is this a patern or maybe I’m paranoid. Anyway take Dice under your wing it will be good for him and the team. P.S. tell Schondra she’s got me putting on sunscreen on the golf course. I don’t know what the sports scribes are watching but us out in the right-field grandstand can see you giving it your all. No matter what happens with the contract, know you have a huge fanbase in the Nation.

  32. upintothenight permalink
    March 29, 2007 10:21 am

    Curt you’ve got some writers in the local rags up in arms over your blog. This is great exactly what the doctor ordered for these pompus over paid talk abouts that call themselves writers the info we gather from your blog is better than all the generic repeating columns in the daily papers. In fact Curt your writing is not only more informational but also very well written.I think the scribes are worried about thier jobs after all if the subject such as yourself is willing to give it to the fan first hand then we have lost our need for that writers daily blab and whining about over paid athletes that don’t like them or have no use for them.It is betwwen all this garbage that they write a story linking the athlete with thier game and that is what we want to read!
    Thanks again Curt for 38 Pitches
    Pete

  33. guerrilla1776 permalink
    March 30, 2007 2:22 am

    Curt,

    First of all, thank you for giving the fans an opportunity to contact you.
    My question is this. If it became apparent that Tec needed an extra day’s rest during a pitching cycle, would you be willing to have Mirabelli be the catcher for your starts? I ask this because while Tec is brilliant at calling games, you are perhaps the best prepared pitcher in the league, and therefore are the best able on the staff to call your own game if necessary.

  34. jaxirish permalink
    April 4, 2007 5:01 pm

    Thank You for visiting with my son last summer and giving him a tour of Fenway while he was on his Dreams Come True trip. You made him very happy. He is in remission now and not doing anymore Chemotherapy or is not on any other medicines. My one question is, How come you have not e-mailed him after you made a pinky promise? I know you are a busy man and have a lot of things going on but try to explain that to a 7 year old. He still to this day asks at least once a week if you sent anything and I have had to come up with diffeent excuses. All he understands is a pinky promise and not that you are probably busier than most people. A point of advice if I may, please do not promise things to kids and not follow through. Thank You again for giving him the chance to meet you and some of the other players. It made him smile for a day during his trying time.

  35. mattlenny permalink
    December 23, 2007 1:36 am

    Curt,

    Holy Crap!!!! That was one of the most frustrating posts you have put up so far. Again, I am catching up on these archived posts, but all the negative talk about contracts? Let me just say that it is my belief that contracts are between employer and employee. As far as I am concerned with your contract….Who Cares???? Wow, that was really frustrating. I feel like I missed a ton of that posts because I was getting such a headache from all the negative questions posted.

    On a somewhat different note: I am a teacher. I thought it was almost laughable when you mentioned $90,000 for a salary. I am not sure if there is a public school teacher in the country that can make that. There certainly is not in New Hampshire. I suppose there are administrators or college professors that make that kind of money. But not the regular teachers. Like anyone that is happy in life, I believe that most teachers work as teachers because they love what they do. I know for a fact that people begrudge us because we get so much vacation or great hours or whatever. But honestly, I don’t know too many people in other professions that have a masters degree and make as little as $35,000. I love working with kids. I would do it for free if I could. If everyone would find a job that they loved, maybe no one would worry about what everyone else is making. I certainly don’t begrudge you your millions and I don’t expect anyone to begrudge me my days off.

    Matt

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