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What does it really mean?

October 17, 2008

55 foot fastballs aside, last night was amazing. Watching them do what they did was breathtaking, gut wrenching and many other things, all occurring within what felt like 5 minutes of time.

The thing CHB, Bob Ryan and so many other self proclaimed ‘experts’ can’t explain to you, beyond the normal rhetoric and column filling scraps they now turn out (which is desired at this point, far more than seeing CHB’s comic book fro even one more time) is what it truly means.

Let me see if I can help out.

What does it mean to win/lose in the most extraordinary comeback ever by a team facing elimination?

Well if you win there are some no brainers. You live to fight another day. You get to throw your ace one more time. You still must win two more games. But beyond that, what does it really mean? Until the game starts tomorrow it means absolutely zero. More on that in a second.

What does it mean to lose that game? No question it was a quieter flight than it could have been, much more sober as well. Every single member of that organization had the thought at some point “Damn, 7 more outs and we are in”. Seriously bumming you out sort of stuff. But I would guess based on the presence of players like Eric Hinske, Carlos Pena and a few others, there was not a lot of time before they started to reach out inside the clubhouse, and the flight, with the “So what? We still only need to win one more game” talk and guys quickly went to neutral and many likely went over to that positive place competitive people go when they need to change their state of mind.
But, exactly like the winning scenario above it all means absolutely zero on it’s impact until pitch 1 of game 6.

Now there will be some players on one team or the other, maybe both, that will take the effects of this game and it will absolutely impact them tomorrow, but that’s the minority.

That all changes when Shields delivers his first pitch tomorrow. Now, if you want to find a ‘physical’ tangible edge that the Sox might have, not over the Rays, but over other teams in this position, it’s there. It exists and it’s the very same reason you saw what you saw last night. There are enough players from 04 and 07 to impact the guys that weren’t. One pitch, one hitter, one AB, one inning and one play at a time. That’s the only mindset, imo, that you can possibly come back and win when you are facing 3-1/3-0 deficits. When 25 guys and coaches buy into that, and play with that single mindset, unreal and never before seen things happen. You don’t have to win 3 straight, 4 straight, no one wins 3 or 4 in a night. You have to win the 1st, then the 2nd, and so on. You might lose one, tie a few, but you just have to win 1 more inning than the other guy. When men of this caliber of talent allow themselves or are coached to understand this mindset (Thanks Big Don Kalkstein!!) they do things no one outside of them thought possible.

Now that’s not going to beat Tampa, the players are.

But what is going to happen tomorrow, mentally, is some of this. You have the entire world, outside of the 18 guys on the field, just waiting for what you think and feel should happen. The guys are not doing that, the game is way too hard and involved to think or waste that mental energy in that direction. But, the very first ‘incident’ changes everything. By that I mean this. Look at the last 4 games. Starting with TB jumping out early in 3/4/5 you had a fan mindset of “Holy crap we can never win if we keep giving up huge leads”. To some extent that hits the players, but I always felt it hit us far later than it did you. By the time you are griping before game 6 for the 5th consecutive day about giving up runs early we as players are generally done with that and onto something else. I’d argue it’s basically us operating under the law of averages, just knowing it’s not going to continue. It’s the same reason success sabotages itself, we just can’t believe it’s going to continue, history tells us as much. It works both ways. But there does and will come a point when it permeates the dugout, and onto the field. The X factor is the teams, situation and history. Remember “Don’t let us win this game, don’t” from 2004? We felt it, we thought we believed it, and after game 4 we did. Did that affect the Yanks, hell no, but it didn’t matter to us because it affected us, at least some of us, and in turn we affected each other.

If the Sox jump out early, which I think is important but not crucial, not only will Ray’s fans be thinking ‘oh no’ the first time we have a RISP early, but if we throw a few runs across early and Josh is even remotely himself, it will hit them. How hard and how much is a TBD but it will. At that point they will be at a severe disadvantage because the Sox will be operating with a mindset that could not be farther from that. Now that’s a hypothetical, completely, because Shields could absolutely come out and dominate and make it moot. Nothing, and I feel comfortable in saying this as an absolute, nothing on the planet affects momentum more than the starting pitchers. That’s both pre game and in game, in the post season. Josh’s credentials, regardless of his last two, are already impacting the game. I guarantee you they invaded some minds last night. If he’s on early, and they score early, that momentum generated last night will go to another level.

The one overriding thing to remember here though, for each team, is this.
1) Tampa has spent 6 months being told by some ‘expert’ or another they were ‘going to fade’ or they would not hold up by people that just don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Time and again they ‘held up’ and time and again they earned the respect of people that know the game. They earned their place here, and that in and of itself makes them every bit as capable of going to the World Series as anyone.
2) Boston has history, and that’s not irrelevant, not even close. There is ZERO ‘can we do this?’ going around in the clubhouse or the front office, zero. No need to ask, it’s been done, and it’s been done by the very guys in this room. They will take the 1 pitch at a time approach and if Josh is fine they will win.

Put experience in one hand, poop in the other see which one fills up faster. The ‘lack’ of experience Tampa Bay has is 100% completely irrelevant in this context. It’s served them well far more than it has ever hurt them. Not to mention the guy steering the ship is someone who has been badly mislabeled and branded as ‘quirky’ or ‘outside the box’. This guy is a quality human being, every bit the solid person Tito is, and like Tito is a baseball lifer. Joe Maddons team will win or lose on the field. They won’t be unprepared, over matched or anything else. Don’t forget this guy managed his team in the AL East and won more games than anyone. Both teams will be ready, and at the end of tomorrows game it will come down to those same old cliches the media hates to hear but knows are true.

Regardless, like 04 and 07 there is a feeling, and players don’t really think like this but more so fans and others, that we are now playing on house money. Every team ever in the situation the 04 and yesterdays 08 team went home. Their season was over. So once again you’ve got a group of guys who done something that’s never been done before, trying to do something that’s never been done before, again. I like that, they like that, if you’re a Sox fan you gotta like that too.

I’m saying Sox 7-1, Papi goes deep again, Petey has 4 hits and Josh goes 7, punching out 9 and Sox nation exhales, even if just a little, for one night…..

38 Comments leave one →
  1. soxfaninil permalink
    October 17, 2008 3:24 pm

    Good stuff, Curt, glad to hear your input. AND it was great to see you throw out the first pitch last night. Hope all is well with the Schilling family, and still keeping the faith here that 1) we can make it back to the World Series in 2008, and 2) that we will see Curt pitch (more than the ceremonial first pitch) in a Red Sox uniform again.

    Hope Lord Beckett is on, and that the offense goes off on Shields. We will need it. GO SOX!

  2. Momoftriplets permalink
    October 17, 2008 3:27 pm

    Dear Curt:
    Just in case you missed it, below is what I posted on Justin’s blog today. I’m still crying! It was great seeing you out there last night. God bless.

    Alright, all you Yankee fans out there, indulge me for a minute. Last night the Red Sox were down 3-1 games against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS. Here they were losing the elimination game at Fenway, trailing 7-0 in the seventh inning. All hope (at least in my mind) was lost. Justin, doped up on steroids, begins to cry. Now usually he’s pretty level headed when it comes to watching games, but the steriods are doing a number on him emotionally this go-round and the Red Sox impending doom was just too much to handle. I turned off the TV (thankfully setting Tivo to tape the game, just in case) and tucked him into bed. I lectured him that if you’re a true fan you love your team win or lose. Tampa is a great team and had obviously out-pitched and out-hit the Sox… there’s always next year I tell him. He cried himself to sleep. Well, I wish every member of the Boston Red Sox could have been here this morning to see how winning a ball game is often about so much more than just “the win”. I woke the kids up at 7am, and amidst their confused objections quietly told them “shhh, just come watch this.” The look on Justin’s face was pure joy, combined with disbelief. The rally was simply electrifying and the Red Sox won the game 8-7 in the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs. Now they have their work cut out for them, needing to win 2 more games in Tampa to advance to the World Series, but no matter what, we will always have THAT GAME. And the memory of watching my son, watch that game, will remain with me forever.

  3. October 17, 2008 3:37 pm

    Agree with everything said here.

    The Rays have demonstrated through their play that they deserve to be in the ALCS.

    The interesting thing about the Sox is that there seemed to be two versions of them on the field last night – the team that played innings 1-6 and the team that played innings 7-9. Team#2 seemed much more like the team that I’ve been watching all season.

    Another observation: it is unfortunate that during this home stand certain Red Sox “fans” booed their own team. The complaint against Sox fans of late is that they are turning into Yankees fans, and while I don’t believe that is true, the type of behavior directed at Big Papi last night as he flied out is more appropriate to the Bronx than Beantown.

  4. point798 permalink
    October 17, 2008 3:38 pm

    Great insight, I love to read the thoughts of a player in these situations. To see what they think like. I certainly hope we can keep the momentum from last night for the rest of the series.

  5. peteyt22 permalink
    October 17, 2008 3:42 pm


    I really enjoyed reading this post. I’ve read a number of sports books pertaining to the mental aspect of the game (especially dealing with golf), and the mind set that pro athletes have truly intrigues me. The fact that they can forget so easily the negative things that occur throughout a game, and continue to stay postive even when all odds are stacked against them is why these guys are on the field, and hacks like myself (and CHB) are in the stands. Moreover, its great to hear from one of the biggest clutch pitchers in Boston history about how these types of situations affect the players, affect the attitude in the clubhouse, and future situations. I myself wrote these guys off after the 6th inning last night, and was already texting my buddies granting a tip of the hat to the Rays, but they never quit and it seems to me that these guys like Tom Brady and many other clutch athletes perform their best under pressure. Like you said they took it pitch by pitch, grinded out at-bats, and finally got to the Tampa Bay pitching. Hopefully the bats stay hot for game 6, and even more important hopefully Josh can set the tone early. Look forward to reading after game 6.

  6. phillysoxfan38 permalink
    October 17, 2008 4:40 pm

    Right on once again Curt. If anyone should know the situation the red sox are in right now its you. Great to see you back on the old mound at fenway the other night. Time to get back in this thing! GO SOX

  7. October 17, 2008 4:50 pm

    I thought it was awesome seeing you throw the first pitch though I imagine it must’ve been rather bittersweet.

    Last night was nothing short of spectacular. And I am thrilled, to be able to witness so much of the Red Sox history that is happening.

    Last night is why you don’t leave the game just because they’re behind at the top of the 7th.

    This is why you can’t throw in the towel and call it a season on your team.

    Because sometimes, you have a group of guys with unbelievable heart and who refuse to give up on themselves.

    You know, I have to admit I was starting to say to myself (and to those I was blogging with) “you know, this isn’t exactly the way I thought this game was going to go….”

    But they were hitting. They were getting on base. I really thought it was just a matter of time… It only takes one great play to shift the momentum and revitalize the hearts of the crowd — and renew the energy on the bench.

    And finally, in the 7th — it was a whole new game from there.

    That’s what so special about this Red Sox organization. It’s all heart and soul. They grind it out….and that’s what wins games.

    So, I know you probably won’t answer this, but I’m curious to know — what do you think is ailing Josh Beckett?

  8. bobbybosox permalink
    October 17, 2008 5:05 pm

    I don;’t wanna say i lost the faith BUT…. I was at The Fens last night with my pops and I said “CURT SCHILLING IS NOT WALKING THROUGH THAT DOOR” . . . . . then moments later they announced you to throw out the 1st pitch . . . it was GREAT – – -thanks for everything Curt . . .

  9. herewegoredsox permalink
    October 17, 2008 5:33 pm

    On behalf of Red Sox Nation, thank you for lighting up that @#!$@ Dan Shaunessey in EEI. You are right, that miserable SOB hates the Red Sox and hates baseball. Last night we JD Drewed them again! Go Beckett!!

  10. ryssee permalink
    October 17, 2008 5:49 pm

    Wow, great post!
    Have to admit, I threw in the towel last night. It felt like Game 3 in 2004. I seriously believed the guys were trying to make their Saturday tee times.
    But this time? Instead of raising my head from my pillow after game 4 in 04 and saying “well at least they weren’t swept” I am REALLY excited for Saturday and hopefully Sunday…but, one game at a time, right?

  11. rachelciprotti permalink
    October 17, 2008 6:47 pm

    Thanks for the great post, Curt! I was, incredibly, lucky enough to be at the game last night. It sure was one for the ages. When they began talking about who was going to throw out the first pitch, I quickly realized it was you and went ballistic. It was so very, very great to see you on the field at Fenway once more. Personally, I thought the 55 foot fastball was pretty hilarious =)

    You brought us good luck, Curt, as always!

  12. fenway permalink
    October 17, 2008 9:59 pm

    This is your blog at its best. As fans, we tend to project our feelings on the players we watch. It’s fair enough. However, it’s great to hear a player speak out and give their professional point of view. Thank you for taking the time to share your insights.

    Take care and good luck!

  13. beenthereb4 permalink
    October 17, 2008 10:58 pm


    If the Sox do win, for obvious reasons you’ll be rooting for them….but heck, I know part of you will be cheering for the Phillies as well. Let’s applaud Mr. Charlie Manuel for an outstanding job done this year.

    Pirates fan~
    But Pennsylvania fan first.

  14. mysttickl permalink
    October 18, 2008 12:43 am

    First I have to say it was absolutely AMAZING to see you pitch last night!! Even if it was the “ceremonial” first pitch. I hope I get the chance to see that many more times next season! You are and will always remain one of my favorite pitchers!!

    Now, Im not generally your “bar girl” and to be honest, have never been to a bar to watch a game (or even Fenway Park for that matter). Prefering to sit in the privacy of my home with a nice cold drink or two and screaming, clapping, and cheering (or yelling and crying) with out “witnesses” (except for a friend that might occassionally join me in the same manner). However, last night, I joined a friend in Saugus to watch the game. This is not your typical “sports bar” kind of place. In fact, it is a restaurant with a small bar off to the side. Last night, it became a “sports bar”. And in this rather crowded bar, after the first couple innings, a strong feeling of melancholy was in the air. Most stating “its over” and “see you in the spring”. Me and one other person (a total stranger that I will probably never see again, and in fact I never did even catch his name) were the only onces holding on to that faith and we never once waivered, even in the 7th with the score 7 – 0. As the Sox started their come back in the 7th the whole bar started to liven up. And every play after that made them a bit louder, a bit more anxious, and much more glued to one of the several large screen TV’s mounted throughout the bar.

    When JD hit the double to run in Youk and Sox won the game… the whole bar became one… the fact we were all strangers meant nothing. There was hugging and shaking hands every where!! People saying “Unbelievable” over and over. People buying rounds for their new found “friends”. People that had lost their faith with their eyes filled with tears in utter shock. And all I could do was smile and think to myself I knew it!! And yes, there were a few tears of joy in my eyes as well. Not only tears of happiness because the Sox played an amazing game and came from behind to win. But also because of how this crowd of people united because of that win.

    Just one more reason for me to be so in love with the Red Sox.

    Thank you Curt, for your years of pitching, your blog and everything you do! Hope to see you on that mound again!!

    Forever Faithful

  15. empirelady permalink
    October 18, 2008 12:48 am

    Two comments or thoughts,one good and one not. Really great posting. Enjoyed reading everything that you wrote. I congratulate the team on an incredible win and this is one of the reasons that they are such a great time,to be able to come back like that. Truly fantastic to see you out on the mound again and truly a milestone for you. Seeing you there made me realize even more so that even if it is for just half a season,you should be back out there pitching again in 2009. I hope that it was as much of a thrill for you to be there as it was for me to watch you being there but it is something very special when you pitch and I hope that it will happen once again in 2009. I heard one commentator say that the team had lost great players due to injury,then mentioned your name and you are the greatest,so I look forward to your return..The topic that is NOT good and I would really appreciate a comment from you,as even though you did not say it,it was very upsetting to me and I would like a response from you,as I always respect and value your opinion,thoughts,something that will never change. I heard the comment that your wife made regarding Obama supporters and the Yankees,a comment that I do not know if you agree with or not. I may be a Democrat,a supporter of the Democratic party(I did not vote for Obama in the primary)BUT that does not mean that I support the Yankees. In fact,all of my family here in New York know that I am the biggest HATER of the Yankees team,the organization,and the Yankee fans that there is. As I am here in New York,I do root for the New York Mets(who need big help after what happened this year with pitching),but aside from the Mets,my only alliance is with the Boston Red Sox,and that will never change. I have AGREED with everything that you have said or done,support you in every way(aside from politics)and that will never change but it truly hurts my feelings to think that your wife and you(although in fairness I do not know where you stand on the matter)can lump us Democrats together with the Yankees baseball team. You are an incredible human being,as is your wife,and you have never done anything to hurt another human being,I know that you never will,but this comment did hurt. I do not agree with the Republicans on a great many issues but I would never do that to them;I respect them too much to lump them together like that. As I said,in my almost 49 years of life(49 in February)I have always hated the Yankees,never wanted to support the Yankees in any way,and NEVER will. I would love to hear your comments regarding the matter,as I value your opinion always,and would very much like to know your thoughts on the matter. I have never found fault with you and will never again,and I apologize for perhaps coming on a bit strong,but it did upset me to hear the comment being made,and feel that it is an issue that should be addressed…Again,truly great to see you last night. I look forward to Saturday night’s game and hopefully seeing you out there next year.
    Donna,New York City,at

  16. rkob4 permalink
    October 18, 2008 1:13 am

    Hey Curt,
    I think you gave yourself too much credit. It went 53 feet at most. Just kidding, I bet you are just happy to be able to throw a ball right now. I hope all works out well for you whatever you decide to do next year. As for this year, Go Sox!!!

  17. kathyinct permalink
    October 18, 2008 2:16 am

    Way to call it Curt and hope youve been well! Your optimism sounds so much like my brother in law who might I add is out in Red Sox nation west…..20 mins from angels stadium!! He thought that with Maddon puttin in Kazmir, it was going to benefit us for game 6 and 7! The momentum has switched and I believe for the better. I give you an A+ for your blog!!! Just so you know which I am sure you may have seen, ESPN is already having two guys and who knows maybe all of them picking TB in this next game. They think Beckett is hurt and one guy thinks Lester should be put in. It will be very interesting to see how this game turns out! I saw one optomist Kevin Nathan on WVIT news say you guys all the way and he is a Mets fan. He has supported this team going all the way since the Wild Card! I say Josh knows some of the pessimism and will give a gem of a game for I know he is pumped to show he can do it. So I say it may be a nail biter or a breeze but I am counting on us to see that game 7.

    As for the game Thurs nite, I am proud to say I DID NOT leave the game! I couldnt believe even some people leaving in the 8th when some runs got on the board, no not walking down the steps for the bathroom or food, I as I went to the ladies room saw them walking out of the park!!!!!! I dont care if they had to work, NO EXCUSE!!!

    I have to share I was in the centerfield bleacher fun area and boy there was a guy who I swear was Eric Byrnes in a Tampa hat and he was with a women who was a sox fan, well lets just say the fans behind him had some fun with him, first letting the girl know, what the heck is she doing with a tampa fan and also fans were gently throwing some tiny objects at him, trust me I wouldnt put this in here if I knew it wasnt funny etc, but it was like little rain drops falling on him, so again it was all in fun and wasnt a horrible thing. It helped so much with what was going on in those 6 innings!!!!!!! There was even a yankee fan in the same row as the tampa guy that got heckled a bit….at the end everyone came out smiling with “all in fun”.

    We actually still had some hope left for ya’s and as I said to ones around me and this is to everyone who reads this, you gotta be loud and cheer this team on no matter what, no waiting til men are on base and then chanting the famous “lets go red sox”. I feel through all these games at home the fans let yous down regardless on no one hitting! So on that note…..I swear if you saw that rather large guy between Pesky’s pole and your dugout take off his shirt and got the crowd going, that started the comeback!!!! So good for him! He was a hoot!

    Lastly, I was unfortunate though to miss you throw out the first pitch! Stuck in the lovely 2 miles from the stadium traffic! SO on that I was bummed I missed you! I actally thought I would be missing Millar pitchin again!!! That was great they asked you! I am also glad you got to see them win on a night you throw out a pitch! I as always wish and pray the best for you and if you decide to retire I understand, if you dont, I hope to see you on our team next year even if it is bullpen pitching. One more thing and I am sure people will comment on this but who cares, GO MCCAIN, Lord help this nation if he doesnt get in. Bless his heart for his caring and even trying to let people know the “character” of the opponent and IT IS NOT ATTACKING and I wish people would get that straight. The hypocrisy is unbelievable in this campaign that now it is ok for Obama to talk about Joe the plumber and rank on his salary, but that’s ok. UNBELIEVABLE and on that note I say we will make another UNBELIEVABLE COMEBACK starting this Sat. nite! And I have to add this too: as my sweatshirt that I wore last nite said: SOXTOBER………DO IT AGAIN!!!!!!! Thanks for reading, can I write a book or what! Trust me if I had more time, I’d write on here everyday! It is fun letting your thoughts out, especially to a professional baseball player!!! GO RED SOX!

  18. kathyinct permalink
    October 18, 2008 2:39 am

    usual p.s.: can you please pass on to YOUK that I am a fan that still supports him as MVP along with Pedroia? I feel so bad that no one chants MVP for him. A fan told me last night, Youk is good enough insinuating he should know MVP is in it the YOUK! He so deserves it as well as Pedroia and I hope they get a tie in voting for it hurts to not see them both win it! Which reminds me too: I saw Pedroia’s interview where he said he saw the fans leaving in the 7th inning and said something to himself that I dont fully remember the exact words: well if they dont believe in us they have to keep on believing. Again, something like that, but I had to say, that is proof that the fans have to still be there for them no matter what, for ok maybe it worked for them to get hitting again, but at the same time I am sure it was bringing them down. So for the future, fans, dont leave, and chant no matter what, these guys have lifted that curse and passed it on to the yankees, won 2 titles and the most of any team this decade and century, so return the favor and be there for them no matter what! GO GET EM SOX!

  19. xomandy122 permalink
    October 18, 2008 8:42 am

    Amazing post, definitely. But it was also an absolutely amazing game as well. Around 11 I had given up on the whole rally thing.
    But thats when things got good.

    And btw, Shonda was awesome at the rally Wednesday, sorry you couldn’t be there.

  20. flsoxfan76 permalink
    October 18, 2008 8:44 am

    Great post, as usual, Curt. Unlike lucky fans in Beantown, I’m in Florida and had to watch the game on TV, but it was great seeing you throw out the first pitch. I do have to admit, however, that I gave up on them after the Rays went up 5-0. How aggravated with myself was I when I woke up the next morning to see the Sox had come back to win 8-7. I’m happy I set the DVR to record the rest of the game, in case of something magical, which is just what happened.

    I’ve managed to make it to 3 Rays/Sox games in St. Pete this year and I must say, they really know how to play their stadium. The Sox definately have their work cut out for them, but I’m certain they can pull it off. As you stated, if Beckett is even close to his normal post season self and they can carry the momentum from game 5 into game 6, it will be a very good game to watch.

    Go Sox and hope to see you on the mound in a Sox uniform again soon.

  21. 1redsoxfan07 permalink
    October 18, 2008 9:29 am


    Thanks for the insight, loved seeing you throwing out the first pitch. I also enjoyed your debate on D & C it was much listen radio. The other great thing was Larry told D & C that Jordan LeAndre was going to Game 5, our other good luck charm!!!!

    Go SOX!!!!!!!!!

  22. lionking1 permalink
    October 18, 2008 10:03 am

    Curt should throw out every pitch. Then the Sox would never lose. You know how he is with his magic.

  23. October 18, 2008 10:25 am

    All I have to say is that comeback the other night was simply amazing. I was sitting at the Boston Beer Garden in Naples Florida to watch the game and the place simply erupted when they won. I’m just crossing my fingers for them at this point.

  24. lietopollsters permalink
    October 18, 2008 11:11 am

    We hear all the outside opinions about Beckett–is he hurt, is he not hurt? One thing seemed apparent watching him the last two games (granted it was on TV and that might not be the same as in person). When you look at film showing Beckett at his best, it looks like he starts his wind up very slow and relaxed; almost like he is in slow motion. Then there is a clear and definite break and–boom–he finishes the delivery in fast forward speed. The last two games it seemed like he was starting his delivery a little faster than normal and the transition was more a gradual acceleration rather than a snap into fast forward. Now, if he is bothered by the oblique and cannot make that snap transition, that is understandable, and there is probably not much that can be done about it. But could it also be just some rust in his mechanics due to the break in his normal routine of days off at the end of the season and leading into the playoffs. If it is the latter, someone needs to take a look at the films, see if this observation is correct and point it out to him or Farrell so he can make the necessary corrections in his mechanics.

  25. 24missed permalink
    October 18, 2008 11:33 am

    Agreed that no one should ever, ever, “Boo” their team, if you are a fan. What on earth does someone who would, “Boo” a player, think that does for their psyche? I just hope that Papi realizes a few non-fans, does not a nation make.

    Question for the Big Schill. Are all players, on the DL or not on the roster, required to come to the games? I’m not imagining Sweet Mike Lowell or anyone due to or currently receiving or recovering from surgery, but if you are able to support your team for a game, physically, shouldn’t you? I understand that throughout the year, players are receiving therapy and working towards coming back from the DL and wouldn’t be at games, but could you shed some light on this?

    Just my thoughts: Tampa has done a fine job this year, but so have the Sox. Pleased as punch, just to see how each member has contributed to another fine season.

    I disagree w/ you re: Game 7. Lester is more than able to do the job. If the team is not too beat and tired to produce runs for him, he’ll take care of business.

    To see Timlin strike out the side in either game would bring immense pleasure to this fan.

    Another agreement found: Papi will continue to hit big. Ellsbury, he’ll do what he needs to, also. Gotta have positive mindset. Maybe, there will be a Millar cameo, in the dugout. And Johnny Pesky, too!

    If we could only get more ticket availability and the prices down, but that’s another day.

    I do hope you respond to the question asked. Beckett is a fine pitcher; with his ENTIRE team rallying around him, that has to raise even the most secure pitcher’s mindsets up somewhat.

  26. lovethesocks permalink
    October 18, 2008 11:41 am

    Thanks for the analysis Curt.


    I think we are looking at another nail biter with the ‘Sox winning 6-5 on Papi’s HR in the 11th.

  27. jonnyjbones permalink
    October 18, 2008 12:05 pm

    Yay! No politics!

  28. evanparker permalink
    October 18, 2008 9:55 pm

    seeing you there throwing out the first pitch brought me to tears schill’.

    i hope you, the wife and the kids are all awesome!

  29. akiko114 permalink
    October 18, 2008 10:05 pm

    Nice to meet you.
    I’m always excited on your new story.

    Good luck with your work!

  30. October 18, 2008 11:54 pm

    Great, great post, Curt. Thanks. The ballplayer’s perspective can be hard for a fan to get at.

    So, so glad that the Sox brought you in to throw the first pitch. I hope you were able to enjoy the moment, and the game.

    I admit it– I thought the game was over. I turned it off, checked the score in the 9th, got to see the winning run. Y’know, in 2001, I was rooting against the Pats in Week 5 or so, because Bledsoe had gotten hurt, I figured the season was a wash, and I wanted Flutie’s Chargers to make a run. After all this time, I guess I’ve learned nothing.

    So, Game 7. Lester vs. Garza. Any thoughts?

    Oh my god they just showed Beckett’s career stats in elimination games. It’s like a 1.7 ERA with a 28:5 K:BB ratio. That guy is just some new kind of human being.

    Thanks for the post.

  31. TheNorEaster permalink
    October 19, 2008 1:34 am

    “55 foot fastballs aside…”

    I laughed SO HARD when I read that!!! And I laughed when I saw it, too. And said, “Wow. I guess his shoulder really does need just a little more rehab!” I love your sense of humor, Curt. (And I am certainly one to appreciate laughing myself, too.)

    But yeah…Last night WAS amazing!! Tonight was even better because The Red Sox are THAT MUCH CLOSER to being CHAMPIONS AGAIN!!!

    What can I say? I’m a Red Sox fan and I’m excited.

    All over again. Again!

    One more game. All those guys need to do is win just one more game. After that, they can lose three out of seven and still keep playing, still have chance.

    One game. One inning. One half an inning. One at-bat. One pitch.

    And one swing at a time.

  32. October 19, 2008 1:37 am

    Love the insider type stuff. It appears Beckett, Paps, and Lester are running a bit on fumes, Beckett obviously for diff reasons, but how much can they refill the tank at this point in the season on just normal rest? Does it keep running out? Do you feel like Beckett can get better as there is more and more distance from the original injury or is he deteriorating physically with each start?

  33. October 19, 2008 10:44 am

    Another great post Curt–thanks again for another look behind the curtain. I want to add two thing: First, it was great seeing you pull off your jersey after short-arming the first pitch and handing it to the kid in the stands before Game 5. I cannot imagine what that must have been like for him and what sort of memory that will be. Too bad the folks at home didn’t get to see it.

    Second, your specific predictions for Game 6 were a bit messed up–but the result was fine. Josh only went 5 and wasn’t Josh, but he was a PITCHER last night. He played with the tools he had available last night, knew the FB wasn’t overpowering, used the curve and a change up (with some differential!) and PITCHED. It remined me a bit of the six innings out of the bullpen by Pedro against Cleveland when the best he could do was 88 mph in 1999.

    I would not want to be the Rays tonight–certainly all the pressure is on them in their park. If Lester is remotely himself, this series should end the Sox’s way. But whichever team advances should be the WS champ.

    Thanks again Curt and listen hard when the Sox make a pitch for your services next year. Reading between the lines here and listening to your comments on D&C, it sounds like the fire in your belly still burns. I’m certain you have one more trip to the postseason in there. Why not with the Sox?

  34. likeproy permalink
    October 19, 2008 11:29 pm

    hey curt,

    like you said in the john lackey posts that “Lester out pitched Lackey twice”

    in this series Garza out pitched Lester twice- can’t deny it bro admit it…..

    Garza in game 7 looked like josh beckett in 2003 and don’t make excuses for beckett… were hurt in 2004 and still came in and pitched BIG……obviously you are the best big game pitcher alive Curt because Beckett could not hack it like you could…..and that’s not to say that beckett isn’t a good pitcher…..but I think sox fans fail to remember his 5.01 ERA in 2006…….

  35. wbbl permalink
    October 20, 2008 10:04 am


    just wanted to say what a classy guy you are. been listening to you on weei sports talk radio.

    hope your new england stay was very inspirational. You always speak your mind and even though people’s opinions different greatly. I think you and shona have been a great addition to our new england area and wish you both the best wherever you return or decide to move and appreciate your greatness and what you contributed as a sox player and all of new england

    god bless


  36. October 20, 2008 5:48 pm

    Hi Curt,
    Last night Alex Speier & Rob Bradford were nice enough to let me be a “cool kid’ in black text on the live chat — and as soon as you came on I instantly was afraid of saying something foolish! LOL. I really enjoyed your participation, it was definitely exciting to get a real “inside” perspective of post season ball and the mindset behind it.

    That being said, during your interview this a.m. it sure sounded as if Boston is not going to be your final destination for a .5 year performance. You didn’t confirm nor deny this — just giving my impression of the conversation.

    However it ends up going in your future, I certainly hope you know that while you’ve certainly gotten your share of ribbing for not being a quiet kind of guy — you are forever ingrained in the hearts and minds of Red Sox Nation.

    I for one, have enjoyed your candor – on all topics. Athletes are celebrities so to speak, more often thought of as an entity rather than an individual — so it’s been great to be able to get a feel for who you are, aside from the game.

    Best wishes for you and your family —
    Be well! 🙂

  37. mickeymantle7 permalink
    October 21, 2008 2:33 pm

    Here’s what it means, Curt… It means the so-called Red sox Nation is now only 2 days into post-choke recovery instead of six. You know something you big blow hard? I used to find your outspoken loud mouth almost tolerable when you were able to back it up with your equally hard throwing arm. I was never one to say, “Why doesn’t Schilling just shut and pitch?” But now that the arm is shot, why don’t you just put your mouth to rest to? No one gives a crap what you have to say. No one ever has. So why don’t you shut up and leave the sport commentary to the professionals… You know, the ones that hold your own baseball immortality in their hands. You’re not exactly a shoe-in for Cooperstown, you know. God gave you that great arm for pitching, not for writing hack-@#@! blogs and dialing up AM radio stations. Please shut up and go away.

    Go away? I didn’t come here, you did, you’re welcome to leave, now, and don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out chief.

  38. cecilia98 permalink
    October 26, 2008 7:02 am

    LOVED your answer to Mickey Mantle 7.
    Since you obviously read the comments, how come no one is mentioning the fact that last year D & C nearly fell off their chairs with laughter when you predicted the Rays would be an incredibly improved team this year?
    Another comment of yours that I loved was something to the effect that you didn’t realize that your chosen profession would preclude you from learning, speaking and having opinions.
    Used to love Shaughnessy’s writing, but his sticking in totally irrelevant digs at you is so childish. I think he has an issue with the fact that your writing is almost as good as his without benefit (I assume) of a journalism degree. His is a bit more flowery and poetic, but that’s it. Very sad.
    Disagree with you totally about the election but admire your working for what you believe in.
    One comment to the Mickey Mantle person, a blowhard is a person who shoots his mouth off without any knowledge. This surely does not seem to apply to you. Your opinions, whether one agrees or not, are wall thought out and articulated.
    Thanks for everything. If you don’t pitch again you’ve provided wonderful memories of this fan of 60 years from the first Dunkin Donuts commercial to giving that kid your shirt from that great game on Oct 16th. Have you realized that the situation and score were identical to the Fever Pitch comeback game.

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38 Pitches

Curt Schilling's Official Blog

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