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March 24, 2007

Thanks to one-five for the email response last night. Kev never had a problem laughing and having fun on the field that’s for sure.

BTW, for anyone that missed the links in the earlier posts. There is a young man named Peter DeSpain, you can check his blog out at

He is currently undergoing Chemotherapy. If you could stop by and say a prayer or a hello and best wishes I know he gets fired up anytime people he doesn’t know stop by. I asked him to come up with something I could put on my shoe to remind him that even when I am pitching I’m thinking of him and he came up with “4 Pete’s Sake”, so look for a black reebok this year, with that slogan on it. They are working on it now. And thanks in advance to anyone stopping by there and leaving a get well message, much appreciated.

To answer a ton of you that have asked, about time spent doing this and it affecting my work/preperation for baseball. I would imagine, in all of sports, starting pitchers on major league teams during spring training have far more free time than you can imagine. I don’t expect the pace of posts to keep up once we start the season, but right now and when we travel during the season and my family is not with me I’ll be able to keep up the Q&A pace. If I am not doing this I am playing Vanguard or WoW down here.

Q-Who else has upgraded their starting pitching in 2007?

A-I think a lot of teams upgraded, but maybe not in the traditional sense. If Harden stays healthy the A’s are better. Zito make’s anyones staff better. Health, more than some signings, will be huge again this year for starting rotations. If you can run your top 3, and in a perfect world 4, starters to the mound every time their turn is up you have a big time chance to win a lot of games.

Q-When did I really feel I had made it?

A-The morning after Game 5 of the 1993 World Series.

Q-I understand the desire to not face AL East teams, but isn’t the reverse true? Might you learn something from them by facing them in ST?

A-I don’t think so. I think the pitcher, if he prepares, has a huge advantage. That implies some things as well, the most important being that regardless of how prepared you are, if you can’t command your fastball no game plan in the world gives you an edge.

Q-Does one hitter protect another in the lineup, in the pitchers mind?

A-I think that depends on how you look at it. The first time it ever hit me that a hitter is affected by another hitter was in 1992. I was pitching in Pittsburgh, Van Slyke was hitting ahead of Bonds at the time and I had run a full count to him. I think there were runners on 2nd and 3rd. I know Barry’s on deck, and I know Andy knows I know, and in my mind I am thinking that he’s thinking “no way this guy wants to face Bonds with the bases drunk”, so I feel like he’s sitting fastball no matter what. I throw a split and he is out in front by about a day and a half. That’s when I started to realize that the protection thing can go two ways with smart hitters. I think that’s also where I was way behind the ‘mental’ game when I got to the big leagues. I didn’t start pitching until I was 18 and I played with guys in the minor leagues that already knew things like this and had a very mature feel for the game. I always felt Pedro was incredible at this, he could ‘watch’ the game while he was pitching, see things no one else sees, and make adjustments off of that. It’s a lot harder to do than it sounds, I’ve never been able to do it and since I have been in Boston I’ve relied on ‘Tek, who’s incredible at adjusting to hitters while they are in the box, pitch to pitch, AB to AB.

Q-I read that Beckett’s problems last year were him relying on his FB too much, doesn’t Tek make sure that doesn’t happen?

A-First off it’s not true. At that age I threw a lot more fastballs per game than Josh did, or does now, and he throws about 5mph harder than I ever threw at that age. The difference is in command. If you’ll notice, Josh’s K to BB rate this spring is ridiculous. It’s something that takes time to learn, and to be able to do, and he’s getting better every day at commanding his FB inside the strike zone. One thing that I think is prevelant, and is not necessarily a good thing, is how many people try to teach pitchers to ‘pitch’ more. Use all of their pitches, all the time. No matter how hard you throw, from Bob Tewksbury to Bob Feller, fastball command is the key to being successful. Your fastball, and command of it, sets up everything else you throw. When a hitter has to concern himself with BOTH sides of the plate you gain a huge edge.

Q-What is the one thing you need in a game to be successful?


Q-Have the Red Sox gone back to 25 guys 25 cabs? Since the ’04 guys left it seems the good chemistry is gone?

A-No. The last two years it’s been a great clubhouse. Different, because even when you keep the same 25 guys things in a clubhouse change year to year, but great. Chemistry is about winning, period. It starts in spring training, where having a good group of guys lays the foundation every year, but it doesn’t come into play until the games start counting. No clubhouse has good chemistry if you are losing. That’s not to mean it’s a bad place, but there’s a difference, a palpable difference, inside a winning and losing clubhouse, and that’s what the media calls chemistry. That chemistry, in 2004, was fun, light hearted, and all the things you read about because we were winning. If that team had been getting it’s butt kicked we’d have been vilified if we’d acted the same way, as a bunch of non-professional, non-caring rich spoiled kids.

Q-4 rounds of Ali or 4 Quarters of Butkus? Zepplin or Floyd? Who partied harder Damon or Millar?

A-Butkus because I get pads and I’d hit the dirt. Zepplin. No comment.

Q-Worried about pressure on Pedroia?

A-Absolutely not. This kid is a good egg. He’s got great makeup and he ‘gets it’. He might not hit .350 and win a gold glove this year, but he works to get better every day, and he’s talented from what I’ve been able to see. The amount of effort he put forth this winter to be the best he could on day one of camp told me he understood that it’s not a game.

Q-What’s Daisuke been like to watch in person?

A-Something new and fun every day. The best apart, aside from the fact that he’s probably the most polished 26 year old I’ve ever been around, is his demeanor, how much fun he has and how much he laughs every day. He’s got the far east work ethic, which is intense on a whole different level, and he seems to genuinely enjoy everything about what’s happening. I know I’m already better and learning from having him around.

Q-How important is a players number to him? Why 38?

A-To some it’s as important as anything, to others they don’t care at all. I chose 38 because I had been 43, the number they gave me when I came up with Baltimore. Then when I was traded to Houston they asked me, and I chose 19 because that had been my number for most of my life. When I was traded to Philly Kruk had 19, and I knew there was no chance of getting it. I figured I sucked in Houston and I might as well be twice as good if I could, and took 38. Actually a pretty stupid reason now that I think about it.

Q-Can the O’s overtake us?

A-No idea. If Daniel Cabrera figures it out, and Loewen keeps throwing like he has then they’ve got a pretty formidable top three with Bedard. They’re going to hit.

Q-You have set incredibly ambitious goals for 38 Studios and its role in the gaming industry. Are you worried at all about losing sight of your goals, or the company being passed down into incapable/corrupt hands? If so, what measures have you put in place (or wish to put in place) to prevent that from happening?

A-Not at all. The right people to handle the company are in place now and a few more are on the way in the coming months. The dev teams job is to make the games, the leaderships job is to facilitate the dev team while keeping their eyes on the long term goals and visions and how the current projects tie in to them.

Q-What game mechanic concept has really psyched you up in the past that you have yet to see in an MMORPG?

A-A true, immersive, incredibly well thought out and interactive story, that doesn’t feel like it’s being pushed on you. A story that doesn’t force you to do things that aren’t fun.

Q-Which upcoming MMORPG are you most looking forward to, if any? Is there a particular reason to why this particular game grabbed your interest? If you’re not looking forward to any MMORPG “soon” why not?

A-No question, Warhammer Online.
Q-World of WarCraft did an incredible job widening the MMO market with its 8.5 million account mark, however Blizzard had a huge fan base built long before WoW’s release. How do you expect a fledgling company like 38 Studios to compete in the vicious and highly-scrutinized arena of MMORPGs?

A-I have never looked at ‘toppling Blizzard’ as a goal, I don’t think that’s the right approach. I’ve always looked at our goals from the inside out. We have already started the ball rolling on aspects of this current project, that also encompass future goals, to allow us to reach a massive audience on day one.
Q-There are a lot of developers that try to put too much “stuff” (content, world, complex mechanics, etc.) into their games and the title suffers as a result; some get pushed back, others get pushed out early, and some get canned completely. Do you foresee any of these issues afflicting 38 Studios’ games? If so, are you prepared to handle them? If not, what have you done to prevent them from occurring?

A-No. We have the luxury of learning from other peoples mistakes. Our initial IP, and game, will be seen by no one before we deem it perfectly ready. While that sounds utopian, it’s also the MO we are working under, and always will. Every single piece of anything you put into the public eye represents you, and your people. If you can’t make the people in your company understand that and work with the goal of blowing people away, with everything from customer service to swag to actual games, then someone’s missing the boat. This group knows that, they’ve known that from day one and Brett and the other leadership people inside this company are operating with that same mind set.
Q-Some developers release far too much information on games way too early. How many years do you estimate it will be before it’s prudent to toss gamers a morsel on 38 Studios’ first endeavor?

A-I can’t answer that, other than to say we’ll know when. We’ve got people who’s job it is to tell us when the right time is, people who’ve made a living doing just that thing for some huge companies and popular IPs.

Q: What is your take on instancing?

A I think it has it’s places. I am for and against it, but I think that falls to the design team more than my personal opinion in most cases.

Q: Given that you are an Everquest 2 player, what elements of gameplay/design do you really enjoy from EQ2 that you may or may not incorporate into your game?

A EQ and EQ2 were my favorites for much the same reason. I love grouping and the social interaction both games and both worlds offered. Having said that I fast became a fan of solo play because WOW was the first game that would allow me to get ‘work’ done, in game, in bits and pieces if that’s what my schedule permitted.

Q: What is your opinion on NDAs? Do you think your game will have one?

A Yes

Q: What do you feel about “Station-Exchange” type elements of games? Do you have any intention in facilitating sales of gear, currency and characters for RL cash?

A While there has been a ton of in depth discussions on this, nothing that’s been done or worked on is near a state where it could be discussed. And I would again add that while I have feelings and thoughts on this stuff, those feelings and thoughts may not be the majority opinion, which matters a hell of a lot more than what I think.

Q-Your recap reminded me, I’ve always wanted to know; what goes through your mind between innings when things aren’t going well or you are worried that you don’t have all the tools you want or need on the mound on any given start?

A-In between innings I am trying to work through the next inning, pitch by pitch, hitter by hitter. I’ll go over all three hitters due up, how I want to start them, finish them, and then think through the fourth hitter and how I will pitch him with a runner on first, or how I’ll pitch him with a runner(s) in scoring position. There are times when I’ll piss and moan about the previous inning, but that’s something you work to eliminate since nothing that happened in the last inning has anything to do with the first pitch of the next one.

Q-On SoSH awhile back there was a discussion what is more valuable: A catcher with an exceptional bat or exceptional catching skills?

A-The selfish side of me, the pitcher, doesn’t even think about what the catcher does at the plate. I’d love for ‘Tek to go 4-4 every night. My main concern, and another huge differentiating factor for Jason, is that he NEVER allows his AB’s to follow him behind the plate. That’s rarer than you might think. There are a lot of catchers who have little to no interest in being as involved in calling a game as someone like Jason, they want to hit and that’s their focus. Pitchers can see this, and it matters to them.

Q-Who do you think is the best lefty of all time? Does RJ beat out Koufax?

A-I think that comparison is the same as comparing Roger to Pedro. I think Pedro’s three best years are the best ever, by anyone, but Rogers done what he’s done for over 20 years. Same thing with RJ and Koufax. Sandy, if he’d stayed healthy, would have put up even sicker numbers than he did. RJ’s won 5 Cy Youngs, and been pretty much the most dominant LHP of the last 12-15 years.

Q-This might be too personal, but if you don’t mind.. could you please please tell me a little about your father? Is it true that he was in the famed 101st airborn division? Sounds amazing. He must have had an impact on you, and at least helped turn you into what you are today.

A-My dad was an amazing person. I was told when I got older that the day I wa born, I came home from the hospital and he had put a glove and ball in my crib. Always the baseball fan. He’s the reason I grew up a Pirate and Steeler fan as well. He was born and raised in Somerset, PA. Spent 20 years in the Army. I was young when I found out that he’d served in the 101st. I was rummaging around in the garage one day when I found his Airborne Jacket and jump boots. He never talked much about serving; I do know he was en route to Korea when the war ended. He loved sports. He never managed me growing up but he always helped out coaching. He never, ever, pushed me to play any one sport over another, but his rules were clear. If I didn’t play hard, and play right, I wouldn’t play. I was not allowed to throw equipment, and talking back to an umpire would get me kicked off any team I played on. He was the dad that always stood along the outfield fence, he couldn’t stand the chatter in the stands, always wanted to watch the game and be left alone doing it.

He also made me believe he could predict sporting events, often. He called Willie Stargell’s homer late in the 1979 series, and about a thousand other plays and pitches from games we watched together.

The most nervous I’ve ever been, including game 7 of the 2001 series, was when he came to see me, the only time he ever saw me professionally, in 1987 in Greensboro, NC. He came right before the all-star break, and I had been named to the team. I was pitching that night and he came on to the field to accept the award or whatever it was they’d presented me. I warmed up, and then went out and threw like 8 wild pitches, gave up about 200 runs, and got my head kicked in. I showered after the game, walked to the car, and got in. No idea what to say, I was probably as close to tears as I could be at 20 years old over a baseball game. He looks at me and says “Man, you sucked.” We laughed for about 10 minutes. Five days later he saw me for the last time and I threw a complete game shutout. That winter, a week before I was to leave for spring training, he suffered an aortic aneurysm and died. I’ve left him a ticket to every game I’ve ever pitched since then. There will absolutely come a day when we talk again and I need to make sure he knows that not one day of this would have been possible had it not been for him.

I never ever ran across anyone who had a bad word to say about him and I heard from many people when he passed away.

At his funeral, I had to speak about him and his life, and the thing I remember most vividly is how many of my little league, high school and junior college teammates and coaches came.

Q-So, my question is, is 38 Studios going to put out a game that will run pretty much on any PC or laptop (a la WoW) or something for hard-core PC Gamers?

A-An immensely important question. I think that dealing with min specs is something we are putting a large amount of time into. Part of what we want to do is change the way game content is delivered, not just within a specific platform but as a whole, so barrier to entry, technically, is a very important development issue for us.

Q-I’m trying to teach my 11 yr old son the finer points of pitching. Is there a particular resource (book, video, website, training program, etc) that you would recommend? I’m searching for something that emphasizes the proper mechanics of pitching thus reducing the risk of injury.

A-One thing I think about when you are talking about young kids and learning the game, learning fundamentals. The ball kids play with weighs too much. Take a major league ball vs the weight of the player throwing it. The ball kids use is not much different in size and weight but the player throwing it is vastly smaller and lighter. One of the things I did when I was young was, and my father taught me this way, to learn to throw using a tennis ball. The weight of a baseball is, in my opinion, way too heavy for 5-10 year old kids to learn proper throwing mechanics and fundamentals with. I watched this very thing with my first son. Gehrig’s throwing mechanics are perfect for a young kid, when he’s throwing a tennis ball, when you put a baseball in their hands the weight drags the hand down below the slot they’d normally be throwing in and I think that causes a lot of unnecessary strain way too early. Kids have to almost ‘heave’ a baseball, which starts teaching them poor mechanics from day one. Put a tennis ball in their hands and the motion becomes the focus, not the strain of actually throwing the object.

64 Comments leave one →
  1. philliesfan93 permalink
    March 24, 2007 1:40 pm

    Curt, first of all thank you for the memories that phillies fans will always have, especially the magical season of 1993. Since your contract status may allow you to become a free agent, my question is how much importance do you place on pitching in a team’s home park? For instance in Citizens Bank Park, it would appear that a ground ball type pitcher would have an advantage over a power pitcher who may allow more fly balls. I hope you have a great year for the bosox. I also hope you and your family enjoy good health.

  2. soxfan05782 permalink
    March 24, 2007 2:33 pm

    First of all, thanks so much for doing this. It is incredible to be able to have such direct access, and reading your post about your outing against Baltimore was fantastic. That was the first time I’ve ever felt really immersed into the finer points of a professional baseball game.

    I’m curious about your perspective on Barry Bonds’ pursuit (and presumable overtaking) of Hank Aaron this year and how you think MLB, players, writers, and the Hall view the situation.

    All the best to you and your family.

  3. nsulham permalink
    March 24, 2007 2:34 pm

    Hey Curt, just curious about your take on the rising popularity of fantasy sports, particularly baseball. Do you gets friends, family members, etc., asking you for inside info, etc.?

  4. birdsauce permalink
    March 24, 2007 2:54 pm


    If A-ROD leaves the Yanks next year and expresses interest in playing for the sox, do you think that the team could welcome him as part of the fold, what with all the past history, especially with Tek?

  5. saintpatrick permalink
    March 24, 2007 2:59 pm


    Is there a possibility that, in the future, there will be major league pitchers who throw the fastball consistently at a higher velocity? 102-105mph? Is this impossible, and what would an athlete have to do physically in order to sustain this?

  6. stupididioticthingtosay permalink
    March 24, 2007 3:50 pm

    Curt, I am a member of the media and resent you trying to do my job. Tewksbury was right and his name is very Massachusetts. How dare you try to communicate directly with fans. You leave no room for ‘out of context’ quotes or selective hearing. I’ll give you a hint as to my identity: I’m out of shape, have appeared on EEI, no real athletic ability and I’m pretty self absorbed

  7. menuhub permalink
    March 24, 2007 3:53 pm

    Curt, First of all thank you for the link to Pete’s Site. I left a small message for him. Second You said when in Phila. you could not have gotten #19 from Kruk I thought all someone had to do was give him a case of beer for his number. I love your blog, being a Sox fan since 1976, It makes me feel like I am on the inside Thanks.

  8. mowens1080 permalink
    March 24, 2007 3:53 pm

    Curt, I am very thankful for your response to teaching the fundamentals. If you think about it this way…baseball is the only sport where you start with the same size ball that the major leagues use. In basketball they use three different sizes balls and even in softball they use two different sizes. I am glad to finally see that someone has reconized this. Thank you again for 2004 and I hope it is a repeat this year. GO SOX!

  9. 1creativemind permalink
    March 24, 2007 4:13 pm

    I just want to thank you for this blog. As a fan, how much closer to the game you get?!?!

    Far better material/substance/insight than any newspaper, radio or television could ever produce.

    I dream of the day of being able to watch a game (live) with no commentary.

  10. surfdogg permalink
    March 24, 2007 4:14 pm

    Thanks for the Q&A. I enjoy the insight and appreciate the honesty.

    When you aren’t pitching, what players do you enjoy watching? Who would you buy a ticket to see them do their “thing”?

    BTW…My father-in-law works at Cumberland Farms in Millis….and says you are one of his favorite customers. Always polite, courteous, and smiling when you come in. He wouldn’t know a baseball from a basement, but he knows good people. Thanks for making his day….

  11. yagur permalink
    March 24, 2007 4:15 pm

    Curt —

    You mention something above I’ve been curious about, the “he knew I knew it” business with Van Slyke. How much does mental gamesmanship come into your pitching? A crude and comic version is when, in “Bull Durham,” Crash tells Nuke to throw at the mascot to scare the batter off the next pitch.

    Do you, for example, ever say to yourself, “The batter knows I got him out on a certain pitch last AB, therefore he’ll expect the same on the same count, therefore I’ll throw something else?” Would you take it further… say, making an intentionally poor pitch or two, off the plate of course, to make the batter think you don’t have that pitch working, that day? Would you create a false “tell,” say, for example, shaking off Tek twice before throwing the curve on a few occasions (as you did with Millar) and then, repeat the ritual so as to fool the batter into expecting the curve?

    I don’t know what to expect… either a) MLB hitters are far too good to fall for this sort of stuff, or b) MLB batters are so good you’d better out-think them as well.

    All best, as always, from the Chicago fan base.


  12. March 24, 2007 4:44 pm

    Hi Curt: Big, big fan of yours (needless to say). Totally enjoying your blog and the wide-range of topics you’ve addressed. Part of me is not looking forward to the start of the season ’cause it means less frequent posts from you!

    I had a couple of questions:
    What are the challenges of being a professional ballplayer in terms of raising children and being a husband? And how have you tried to deal with those challenges? It seems like you have such a strong family and it’s such a blessing to see.

    Also, with the continual movement of players from one team to another, which former teammates do you tend to keep in touch with more these days?

    Thanks for taking the time to make yourself so accessible to the common fan!

  13. soxontop permalink
    March 24, 2007 5:03 pm


  14. thankusox04 permalink
    March 24, 2007 5:10 pm

    I just got finished reading and posting on Pete’s blog. That kid must be totally STOKED. What an awesome thing, I’m speechless. I posted before that I knew you were a very charitable man but didn’t even know the half of it. Most professional athletes just don’t appreciate what they have, but you obviously “get it”.

    Keep bringing a smile to that little boy’s face. I’m sure it means the world to him.

  15. chillyme permalink
    March 24, 2007 5:50 pm

    “I was not allowed to throw equipment, and talking back to an umpire would get me kicked off any team I played on.” ~CS speaking of his Dad.

    Curt, when I see this behavior in the majors, it upsets me beyond words. (In fact there is one current Sox player that could some anger management while on the field.) There are an awful lot of young eyes watching and, IMO, poor sportsmanship should not be tolerated in the majors. Even if the player is upset with himself.

    Sons of good fathers make good fathers.

  16. acefox1 permalink
    March 24, 2007 5:56 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Thanks for the link to Peter’s website and mention of putting “For Pete’s Sake” on your shoes this season. I left him a message and told him I’d be participating in shaving my head for St. Baldrick’s to help raise money forr them. I haven’t been bald since going into the Air Force in 1995 but my daughter should get a kick out of it. Hopefully my friends and family will find the idea of seeing me bald funny enough to sponsor me. 🙂

    That was great that he was fever free last weekend and that he was able to raise $8000. Reading about something like that helps me to re-evaluate what is important in this world.

    Thanks for answering my question on what you concentrate on between innings when you are pitching. You can get a taste of that when you watch the game on TV, but seeing the game in person is so different. It’s amazingly fun to see what you guys do in the dugout. I’ll never forget the day game you pitched in Anaheim in 2004 and seeing Petey pull out a rainbow afro clown wig and put it on Papi, then see the two of them hitting beach balls into the crowd. But now I know what’s going on behind the intensity on your face.

    Looks like we could all learn a lesson about letting the last inning go to keep it from interfering with the next inning. If only life were that simple. 🙂 Thanks for giving me something new to think about.

    Take care and wish me luck on selling my wife on shaving my head for St. Baldrick’s. LOL


  17. logan6711 permalink
    March 24, 2007 5:58 pm

    Curt, I would like to say thanks for all of the memories you gave me as a devoted Red Sox fan although they should have given you the extension that you truly deserved.
    They say that pitchers are not supposed to get paid for what they did in the past, but what they do in the future, I feel your the exception to the rule for you performed over and above your means especially in 2004.
    I give you lots of credit for your accomplishments especially everything you do for ALS and the other charities you donate to.
    Keep up the good work and may god bless you and your family.

  18. vasoxfan permalink
    March 24, 2007 6:03 pm

    Curt –

    As a life long Red Sox fan I came to your site looking to read about what’s new and going on with you and the team. I came across the posting about Peter DeSpain – and immediately went to their site. I browsed their blogs…read some updates and messages, and left them a reply as well. Our son – likely close to Peter’s age – was very recently diagnosed with A.L.L. (Leukemia). Even though we are only a few weeks into treatment – as I read some of the DeSpain updates – the message and theme was so similar. All this new terminology…life style changes…chemotherapy treatments etc.

    Both my son Ben ( ) and I’m sure the DeSpain family as well ( have received wonderful support from friends, family, our church – and simply people we’ve never met before. I’m sure anyone who has experienced this will tell you – your life changes instantly.

    I wanted to tell you how great it is to know that you continue to use your voice to bring attention to people and causes. God has blessed us with people who are helping sustain us during this time – and we know there are countless others who need support and prayer as well.

    You may keep this message private if you choose – I only wanted to write to say “thanks” and keep up the good work. The battle that ours and DeSpain’s son are facing isn’t new. Let’s pray for others also facing this that they experience the love and support they need from people – and God’s continued many blessings.

  19. neonsox permalink
    March 24, 2007 6:11 pm

    Couple of questions, one relating to 38 Studios and the other to baseball.

    Will you be making your software/games Mac and Linux compatible?

    I certainly hope so. Even though Macs have a lower market share, trends indicate that a lot of people are looking for alternatives to Windows whether it be Mac OS or the numerous available Linux distibutions. I use all of them because it’s the nature of my job and I can afford to, but developing countries and some others prefer to use open-source operating systems due to wider availability, lower prices, etc.

    Do you think that there is excessive “spin” in Red Sox Nation?

    It seems to me that NESN and some other media outlets tend to present everything in a “soft focus”. They build an image of flawless Red Sox management in a lot of respects. I’m not at all saying that they are mismanaging the team or anything, but there’s this sort of attitude that they can do little wrong. I guess you, as a player, aren’t going to bite the hand that feeds you, but it’s good to see a little truth in business once in awhile.

    It would also seem to me that a typical clubhouse is filled with a variety of personalities. I’m sure there are certain players on the roster that aren’t as enthusiastic about the job as you seem to be. For them, it’s just money and business and the fans are just a nagging constituency. You don’t hear about them even though they are depicted in almost every baseball movie ever made. In other words, I’m sure it’s just like any other job where you have the go-getters and then you have the money-types. Once in a while, you hear about how so-and-so is a jerk, but like most things in baseball or other sports (*cough* steriods *cough*), it’s kept real quiet.

    This blog has been great for seeing a little bit “beyond the clubhouse door”, so please keep on keepin’ on.

  20. acefox1 permalink
    March 24, 2007 6:12 pm

    Oh, I was curious after reading your post, does MLB give you a problem about putting charity slogans on your shoes? I think it’s wonderful and wish more players were able to shine the spotlight on something positive and more important than themselves.

    I heard about Craig Biggio getting told by the Commissioner’s Office that he has to stop wearing the Sunshine Foundation pin on his Spring Training cap. His SST cap for goodness sake!

    I don’t know if you are even free to comment on it, but if you can please let me know what your take is on the contrast between his situation and yours? I think as long as it is a non-profit cause that doesn’t offend anybody and it doesn’t detract from the game then a player should be allowed to have something small on their shoe or cap to raise awareness.

    I don’t understand where this quest for total control at MLB is coming from. If I remember right they are even in court claiming they own all the historical stats and game data being used in Fantasy Leagues.

    If you can tell us what the deal-io is with this I know we’d all appreciate hearing it from you.

    Thanks Curt! And let me know if you want to shave your head for St. Baldrick’s. That sure would get the news outlets gabbing and raising awareness and I don’t think the Commissioner’s Office could do anything to stop ya. 🙂 Shonda and the kids might stop you, but Bud can’t. LOL

    Your biggest fan,


  21. limelightnewengland permalink
    March 24, 2007 6:26 pm


    Hi. We hope you get to see this message. Even though you said you’re going to be a free agent at the end of the season, we want you to know that we think the Red Sox should have signed you for another season. You’re one of the best pitchers in the game and we’ve started an online petition for fans to sign. You can see it at . We also have a website for fans to communicate at .



    P.S. We’re going to drop off a shirt we created at your store.

  22. March 24, 2007 7:14 pm

    Hi Curt.

    I have a quick question regarding your comments about former players in the media. I’m curious about your opinion of Jerry Remy. I’ve always enjoyed his announcing, and never found him to be very critical of players, but of course my perspective is very different from yours.

    Thanks for writing the blog — it is a very interesting read. Good luck with the computer game, and go Red Sox.

  23. sportsscribbler permalink
    March 24, 2007 7:39 pm

    Hey Curt –

    Thanks for writing the blog I really enjoy reading it. My mother works at the library in Merrimack with one of the employees at your video game company. I came up with an idea for the Red Sox spring training at – let me know what you think.

  24. bobfeltre permalink
    March 24, 2007 7:41 pm

    Curt, 2 things…

    1) why were you not able to get Marquis Grissom out until 2001? Seems like he owned you until that year.

    2) Do you think the slow pace to Dice-K’s game will impact the fielders’ ability to stay focused. and if yes, would you say something to him?

  25. dougn permalink
    March 24, 2007 8:17 pm

    Hey Curt,
    Have you and Jon Meterparel faced off yet and if so how’d it go?

  26. March 24, 2007 8:35 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Your comment on having a kid throw a tennis ball leads me to ask the flip side of that question: What if someone later in their lives (say early-mid twenties) was interested in learning how to pitch? Given that most peers would be more advanced, and most learning information is for kids, where would you suggest someone start?


  27. westernma99 permalink
    March 24, 2007 8:40 pm

    Curt – First, thanks so much for doing such an amazing service for the fans. To get these kind of insights straight from the horses mouth so to speak, is far more effective than buying a watered down novel written second hand by a friend of the team’s water boy, or “shudder” anything by the Boston media machine.

    Second, my question. Can you finish this statement? (it refers to pitching, or being a pitcher)

    If I knew then what I know now, I ….

    Keep up the great work,

  28. symtech permalink
    March 24, 2007 8:41 pm

    (Left this last night on an earlier reply so I don’t know if you saw it. Ts

    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)

  29. scribe80 permalink
    March 24, 2007 9:26 pm


    This is kinda personal on two fronts, but how are you doing with the dip? Have you been able to kick it? If so, do you have any advice. If not, do you have a support group of fellow tobacco users trying to quit as well.

    I’m a year older than you, and I’m trying to, but man it’s tough. I can’t seem to do it. When I drive, I dip. After morning coffee, I dip. While playing PC or video games or watching TV, I dip. Can’t do it at work, but once I get going, first thing after getting in the car is reaching for the can and the spit bottle in the cup holder…

    Tried quitting and do OK for a couple of days, then it’s like “man, I could use a dip.” My interest was piqued recently when I read that Tito is trying to give up loose leaf. Are you guys helping each other out? Advice? Thanks.

  30. ck91 permalink
    March 24, 2007 9:31 pm

    Curt – Nice work with the blog – should really irritate the Boston writers. I plan on diving on deeper to read some of your other stuff.

    Also, as a Boston area transplant living deep in Yankee territory, I wanted to share with all the entertaining Yankee news that reports have Pavano slated to make the opening day start in Yankee Stadium. How fun it will be to watch them boo their opening day starter.

  31. curtbeingcurt permalink
    March 24, 2007 9:35 pm

    I know you are a huge advocate for your ALS fund/charity. Currently, my granmother is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. It has been detrimental upon my family. I am only 15 but i want to do something about it. Can you give me some tips on how to start a charity or drive?

    I posted this yesterday but it might have been in the wrongquestion section. What advice can you give to me , a young pitcher, who did not make his freshmen high school baseball team? When were you knocked down in life but rose above it?

    God Bless and thanks for a GRRRREAT blog

  32. March 24, 2007 10:22 pm


    I learned of your blog when I was looking around tonight. The world needs more people like you–passionate, committed to excellence, and dedicated to things bigger than himself. Frankly, my love for baseball has taken a hit the last few years, as I followed it very closely with my wife, both of us SF Giant fans, but when she died due to complications caused by ovarian cancer, the game receded into the shadows.

    I saw your mention about Peter DeSpain, and all I can say is thanks. That beautiful kid lifted my spirits tonight (I posted his blog to my favorites on StumbleUpon), and I am actually looking forward to seeing the season get under way.

    Have a great season on the field, and keep up the great work you do off the field.

    Best regards,

    Tim Caldwell
    Brooklyn, NY

  33. templeusox permalink
    March 24, 2007 11:18 pm

    Can you explain how one goes about “turning over” a changeup?

  34. djfuzzefresh permalink
    March 24, 2007 11:28 pm

    I’d stop numbering your Q & A’s with Roman numerals before you have to resort to a cheat sheet.

    And don’t take this the wrong way, because I thought it was funny, but for a guy who values proper language, you dropped a whole lot of s-bombs in that SI article. Hopefully Karin Kinsella didn’t mind.

  35. bandofbrothers38 permalink
    March 24, 2007 11:52 pm

    Hey Curt,

    I posted this earlier, but I may have written it in the wrong section, so here it goes again:

    First off, the first week you signed with the Red Sox, you were on the Sons Of Sam Horn chatroom, shooting the sh*t with the fans. I was the one idiot who didn’t ask you a baseball question, I asked if you liked the Band Of Brothers mini series(Hence my name), knowing you were a history buff. Not sure if you remember that, but I loved your response, which was comparable to a kid at Christmas morning. But I digress…

    I’m writing to ask what you think, (or if you have given it thought it at all) about Bud Selig’s dastardly attempt at severing the baseball ties with out of market fans with his DirecTV initiative? First it was signing that exlcusive game deal with 2K Sports, which, as a gamer, you must admit is nowhere near as great as the EA MVP series. Now it’s no out of market baseball unless you have a dish. I’m from Wakefield, MA. I have been a die-hard Red Sox fan all my life. I moved to Naperville, IL in the summer of ‘05. The one thing that helped my transition to life in the mid-west was the fact that I could come home from work and flip on the Sox game and hear the wonderful, familiar voices of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy, dissecting the hometown 9, as they rolled over whichever unfortunate team they were playing. Now, B.S. (which is an appropriate set of initials for him) is taking that away from me.

    I don’t care what Selig tells us. His claim that we are a small number of fans makes me wonder how he is the commisioner of baseball, and not a hot dog vendor. The man has his finger somewhere, but it’s not the pulse of baseball fans. I’d tell you where it was, but I’m trying to keep this post clean so you’ll read it.

    I am willing to bet most players don’t give this much thought, Curt, but I also think you would have an opinion on this. As a huge fan of yours, I would love to hear it. I hope to see you striking EVERYONE out this year, not just Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, Jim Thome and the rest of the White Sox players whom I can only watch now.

    God Bless,
    Matt A.

  36. eurekadan permalink
    March 24, 2007 11:56 pm

    That’s a really powerful statement that you wrote about your dad. I’m sure that he is looking down on you and even more proud than all of your fans are for what you did in games like Game 7 2001 and the bloody sock game in 2004 (the best game I ever saw pitched).

    Good luck this season. I’ll be looking forward to you leading Boston to glory again.

  37. bdunc8 permalink
    March 25, 2007 12:00 am


    One of Herb Pennock’s 10 Commandments for pitchers is “conserve your energy”. As a power pitcher, do you use this philosophy on the mound? Do you throw every fastball as hard as you can or try to “save” some for key situations late in games? Do you feel you get stronger as the game goes on?


  38. badabing04 permalink
    March 25, 2007 1:09 am

    Thank you for all that you’ve done for us the past couple of years. I can’t tell you how much it means to all of us what you were willing to put on the line just to help the Sox win it all. This could be a stupid question but what is in your cd player during a workout? Best of wishes. Drop the hammer on KC and don’t stop telling it like it is. -Chuck

  39. gamermp101 permalink
    March 25, 2007 1:40 am


    Being a former pitcher in the National League when the Expos were around, as a former fan of the ‘Spo’s, i’d like to get your opinion of what you thought of the City of Montreal, the team’s situation and the fanbase (aka could it have survived and thrived if management and MLB had done things right.) As usual great blog and keep up the good work this season!

  40. Tom Field permalink
    March 25, 2007 4:25 am


    Thanks for the heads-up about Peter & for telling us a bit about your Dad.

    I lost my Mom to cancer two years ago today. She was a teacher, and I’d like to think I draw upon her life’s lessons every day. Just wish my kids — my youngest especially — could have seen what an awesome grandmother she would have been.

    Had to smile at the description of your Dad being one of those who stands alone at the fence. That’s me! I figured out long ago that I couldn’t tolerate sitting in the stands, where you’re too far away from the action & too many parents are talking about lawncare and book clubs. I just instinctively migrate to midcourt or midfield, where I’m smack in the middle of the action, there are no distractions, and I can root for the kids — all of the kids.

    Topic I’d love to see you tackle someday: Baseball management — what’s the difference between a good manager & bad? I’m sure you’ve been around all types in your career. What common traits do you see in the most successful managers, and what sort of management does a pro ball team need most?

    Hey, snow’s nearly gone, and your first pitch will be a week from tomorrow. Can’t wait til the home opener on 4/10.



  41. ego221 permalink
    March 25, 2007 7:57 am

    Mr. Schilling,
    Just to set the record straight, I’ve coached and managed L.L. Baseball for the last seven years and I can tell you that the ball is smaller and somewhat lighter than a Major League baseball. I agree with you that the ball is still much too heavy for kids 5-12, but when they jump up to Junior League (Babe Ruth League, ages 13-15), it’s probably a good idea to start using the ball they’ll be using in High School and College.

    I also wanted to ask what you think of kids spending waaay too much time in front of a video game rather than being outside running around and making friends and the like. I for one, have never encouraged my son ( or daughter ) to even play video games ( even though they do have an X-Box ). Granted the days of the “pick-up sandlot” games are over, yet there are still many things out there to get kids off their duff!

    Do you take any resposibilty for today’s children getting the proper exercise they need when developing a company that makes video games, or are you in the belief that it’s up to the parents to see that children don’t play your games for endless hours at a time? I’m definitely NOT busting your chops here. I would just like to get a feel for your thoughts on this one.


    Eric Davenport – Meriden, CT

    PS- This blog is geat! Having Millar chirp-in was an unexpected pleasure. Keep the posts coming! We appreciate the insight.

  42. djchuckyc permalink
    March 25, 2007 11:02 am

    Hi Curt,

    Congrats on an impressive Spring Training. Hope you feel as comfortable as you look going into the Season. I did some Dj work for you in the past (100 inning game for ALS). Your ALS project has some great, dedicated people working for a great cause.

    On a personal note, my brother delivers your post game meal from Maggiano’s in Boston (great choice of a meal also !!) I hear that he has to be a little quicker delivering it–I’ll take care of that lol.

    Thanks for the blog and sharing your thoughts with us. Tell MIllar he’s always be a dirt dog in all of our hearts. That being said, I hope he cant hit off of you and Daisuke this year–or anybody else!! Sorry Kev!!


  43. kdespain permalink
    March 25, 2007 12:04 pm

    Hi Mr. Schilling,

    Thanks for sending your fans to my website. It’s awesome! I got a blue Red Sox T-shirt with your name and number on the back. I’m going to wear it on game day when you pitch. You will know I am thinking about you. I can’t wait to see the slogan on your shoes.

    Your friend, Pete

  44. wakerugby15 permalink
    March 25, 2007 1:08 pm

    I really enjoy reading your blog, haven’t missed a post yet. Here’s my question:

    My girlfriend isn’t as big of a baseball fan as I am, you could put her in the category of people who find baseball as one of the most boring sports out there to watch. However, she takes this even further and claims that baseball players aren’t athletic and that it doens’t take atheltic ability to play baseball. I’ve argued with her about this a bunch of times and it drives me crazy, but she’s as stubborn as the last bit of toothpaste stuck in the tube and just won’t see it my way. Taking into consideration some players’ less than chizzled bodies, the “slow” pace of the game, and frequent snacking of baseball players, what points would you make to her so I can legitimize the baseball athlete in the eyes of my amazing, but confused girlfriend?

  45. bmore4sox permalink
    March 25, 2007 1:25 pm


    I’m a life long Red Sox fan (grew up in the Boston area), and I’m currently a melanoma researcher at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. I initially became interested in the field because melanoma runs in my family, and ultimately, I developed it as well. So, on a professional and personal level, it was great to see my favorite team associated with my most important cause. I was trolling the SHADE website the other day and noticed SHADE provides grants for melanoma preventative equipment. As members of academia are always looking for new funding opportunities, I was wondering if SHADE provides grants to support melanoma research, as well as prevention? I would be more than happy to draft a proposal to the appropriate contacts if that were the case.

    Also, on a coincidental level, I too will be marrying a Baltimore girl next April. We met after your 8 inning gem in Camden Yards, April 8th, 2006. Hell of a game, by the way. Definitely worth waiting through 2 hrs. of 40 degree rain delay to get the game in. Of course, a couple extra hours at Pickles didn’t hurt either. Can’t wait to see you guys again this year and add to the “home field advantage” the Sox currently enjoy in Baltimore.


  46. redsoxfan permalink
    March 25, 2007 1:56 pm

    Hey Curt,

    What was your first thought when you heard Jon Lester had cancer? What did you plan do to to help him?

  47. lilbucner permalink
    March 25, 2007 6:25 pm


    I am loving the blog. You rule and I have been a huge fan since your Phillies days. On the subject of your number #38, I ran cross-country back in high school and of course, seeing that it was available, chose #38 for the next 4 years.

    Sox question, asked from the long-distance fan’s perspective: maybe I haven’t seen enough of his pitching but Dice-K hasn’t looked so hot to me thus far. Are we looking at a 20-game winner or is the hype just that – hype? Also – what is Beckett’s potential for this year if he gets his stuff back?

  48. denasmith permalink
    March 25, 2007 7:45 pm

    Hi Curt,
    I am Pete DeSpain’s cousin (his dad, Kevin, is my 1st cousin)–I am part of Team Illinois. I wanted to thank you and your awesome fans, “personally”, for all you have done for Petey. I know he is enjoying ALL the messages and attention from you and your fans. The response from all of you to Pete, has been such a blessing to his extended family, too. God bless all of you. I am looking forward to seeing “4 Pete’s Sake” on your Reeboks.
    Dena Smith

  49. March 26, 2007 8:31 am

    “Q-4 rounds of Ali or 4 Quarters of Butkus? Zepplin or Floyd? Who partied harder Damon or Millar?

    A-Butkus because I get pads and I’d hit the dirt. Zepplin. No comment.”

    WOAH!!! A “no comment” from you Schill!? lol

    Just kidding. Good stuff.

  50. firedannyainge permalink
    March 26, 2007 10:34 pm

    I miss Millar. I miss the freaking 2004 team. Only would a Boston person in charge not bring back a freaking WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM.

  51. stargazer1987 permalink
    March 26, 2007 11:55 pm

    Hi Curt,
    I think it’s really great that you’re doing all of this for Pete. The DeSpain’s used to be my neighbors when I was young and they’re a wonderful family. Thank you for taking the time to brighten his days and give him hope. You’re pretty awesome.

  52. grandmal permalink
    March 28, 2007 2:44 pm

    Hello Curt,

    I am Pete DeSpain’s grandmother. You have brought so many smiles to my grandson during some difficult times. All the responses he has gotten from your blog is unbelievable. I will treasure the picture of Pete talking to you during his first round of chemo. You are truly a wonderful person, with a caring spirit. Thank you for all you have done for Pete. Can’t wait to see the slogan on your new shoes.

    Doris Ladd

  53. chester41 permalink
    March 30, 2007 12:04 pm

    hello curt, i am one of no your life zombies shagnasty writes about…that is what my dad used to call him….he has also wrote a lot of good things about you but i can see why he would irritate you..nobody would like being hammered in paper, which is what famous people are subjected to…a little more civility wouldnt hurt sports and the media…cheap shots, even if funny, arent funny to the person being wriiten about…anyways, you seem to put a lot of thought into your responses w/o the standard also seem to answer uncomfortable questions so i think most fans would like 38 pitches…as far as i am concerned after what you did in 2004, everything else is gravy…no more 1918 and dan can kiss my fat a–….i am a much bigger patriots fan and cant stand joey porter so i guess we part ways in the NFL…anyways thanks for you big effort in 2004, esp playoffs..leo warren NH

  54. rdangler permalink
    March 30, 2007 4:05 pm

    Hello Curt,

    I always knew you were sort of a history buff but never knew about the MMOG stuff or that your father was in the 101st Abn. I have played EQ2, WoW, and the rest of those MMOG games but only one has ever held my attention over the long haul, and that is WWII Online, Battleground Europe.

    It uses the MMOG concept to refight the BoF without adding all the leveling up of other online games. Every soldier, tank, airplane and naval vessel in the world is manned by another person somewhere in the world.

    All vehicles are built using specs from manufacturers who actually made these vehicles. It is different from other online games in that you can fly from England to Germany in a bomber without map transitions, it is just one HUGE map (1/2 scale of Europe.)

    I’d like to invite you to try it out. As a WWII history buff I love all the tiny details included and as someone who helps run the 101st Abn Squad in the game I invite you to look us up and let us introduce you to the game. You will never play a harder or more rewarding MMOG, at least I haven’t found one yet.

    ps I love the blog, get Manny to do one. 🙂

  55. 2004redsoxwcm permalink
    April 1, 2007 5:58 pm

    Hello Mr. Schilling ,



  56. kouffaxxk32 permalink
    April 5, 2007 6:32 pm

    I really like this kind of interviews

  57. nursejudy permalink
    April 14, 2007 2:00 am

    I think its great about what you are doing for Pete…….I am his nurse at school, known him since he was in kindergarten! He is a fighter and all of us love him at our school!

    FYI, when they mentioned a pitcher from the Red Sox called him, I asked who, and they said….um um um…..Curt Schilling, and I quote the ladies in the office said……is he famous?! Being a Yankees fan I told them the whole bloody sock story….so even a Yankee fan can give a Red Sox pitcher his props!

  58. mattlenny permalink
    December 24, 2007 12:10 pm


    Thanks for sharing those words about your dad. Very special and appreciated.


  59. November 30, 2009 4:21 am

    Hi, Just thought I’d let you know your blog is displaying weird in my K-melleon browser. Looks good from what I can see however.


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38 Pitches

Curt Schilling's Official Blog

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