By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Sign Schilling?

One of the great non- controversies in Boston sports is on the plate this morning, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe considers what the Red Sox ought to do now that Curt Schilling’s contract is expiring.

The answer, which I can’t imagine anyone would disagree with, is this: If he’ll take a one-year deal, then yes, of course. It is, as Cafardo says, a “no-brainer.” More than one year? Well … maybe.

Tim Wakefield may be on the verge of retiring. That would leave Beckett and Matsuzaka as the number-one and -two guys, and Lester and Buchholz at the back of the rotation. I want Schilling at number three. Don’t you?

Especially after last night.

Schilling photo (cc) by benostrander. Some rights reserved.

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  1. Steve

    I think he’s already on record about a one-year deal being acceptable. (On WEEI in June-ish he was asked whether he’d take a 1-year $12M if they offered it – he said “in a heartbeat”.)$12M might be a lot to pay for a #3 starter. But then again, Bronson’s getting $25M for 2 years, so Curt must be worth it.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Well, heck, it’s not my money. Yes, I know Schilling has said he’d take one year, but once he becomes a free agent, someone might offer him more than that. And he might think that sounds pretty good.

  3. another face at zanzibar

    Well, if you’re a regular WEEI listener (or you listened to D&C this morning), you’d know that the reason Schilling won’t be asked back is because he’s a conservative Republican and a Christian. That, of course, is not favored on Morrissey Blvd. and other liberal power centers her in Mass., according to Callahan. This is absurd. I’m not a Republican and I’m not sure what Christian means in this context–or even why it’s relevant. I’m a recovering Catholic, I love Schilling and would welcome him back. He is more clutch than Clemens ever was. The money is irrelevant–it’s not my dough. Bring him back.

  4. mike_b1

    Since when does Callahan know what is going on on Morrissey Blvd., or any other street for that matter? He’s where he is for one reason and one reason only: he makes money pandering to the lowest common denominator. Steve is correct: Schilling said before the season he would take one year at the same money ($13M) to come back, but that he wouldn’t negotiate once the season began. The Sox said they wanted to wait. It only came up once during the season, as I recall, and was short-lived. The radio chatter of him going to Tampa for two years and big money is way overblown; Tampa’s not a spender and no way he goes to play for a noncontender. When all is said and done, my guess is it will be Boston, Philly, San Francisco and San Diego in the mix. The NY teams will not be bidders; they have more than enough age on their staffs already. For a team like Boston, one year at $13M for 150-160 innings of 4.00 ERA ball would be worth it. (It would not be worth it for a team like Tampa, for example, which is going nowhere.) As for Wakefield, all signs point to him returning next year. He has given no indication that I’ve seen that he plans to retire.

  5. Rick in Duxbury

    D&C feel that secular progressives run this state. One can plausibly make that assertion, reasonable people can disagree. Their demo wants to hear that, so that is what they say.(Not gutsy programming, I grant you). Re being a “recovering Catholic”, I presume that was tongue in cheek, since in and of itself, Catholicism needs no “recovery”, just like Judaism or Islam. Practiced as it should be, it’s a beautiful thing. Sorry if it didn’t work for you.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Mike: Wakefield will be back if he’s physically able. But I’m not sure that he is/will be.

  7. another face at zanzibar

    Thanks, Rick.

  8. mike_b1

    Fair enough. He seems to think he will be. (bolds mine)”Based on the information I’m getting from the doctors, I’m seriously at risk of injuring myself for the rest of my life,” said Wakefield, who described the injury as inflammation in the back of his right shoulder. “So that had a lot of weight in the decision.”Ideally, he said, the Red Sox wanted him to pitch in Games 2 and 6. He said he probably could have pitched Thursday night but didn’t know how well he could do.”I don’t think it’s fair to the 24 guys that are in the clubhouse and I don’t think it’s fair to the organization,” he said. “And I don’t think it’s fair to me, lastly, that I go out and injure myself and I’m not available for next year or the year after that.”“The start itself really didn’t bother me,” he said. “It was the days between that really bothered me to where I couldn’t play catch the day after I started, or my side (session) was cut short.”Tests showed no structural damage.”The problem that the doctors are uneasy about is my recovery time,” Wakefield said. “If I keep throwing and throwing and throwing with swelling, it may cause impingement. It may tear something.”

  9. another face at zanzibar

    Wake will rest and he’ll be back next year.

  10. jamesgarnerisgod

    I actually want Schill at No. 4; the better No. 3 guy would be Kason Gabbard …. oh, wait…Were I the Sox, I’d ink Schilling to a two-year deal at, say, 20 mil structuring it as 13 this year, 7 the next, but with a 3 million buyout option by the end of spring training. Schilling knows he’s not the pitcher he used to be, but he (and, one imagines, everyone) knows there’s still a bit of good juice left in the grape. He may not want to play more than one year, anyway, but he knows teams will overpay for less than top-of-the-line talent. (That was painful to type … sorry Curt.) If the Sox pass, Schill will catch on with either Chicago team (preferably the Cubs), the Dodgers or, dare I imagine it?, the D-Rays (excuse me, it’s just the Rays, now). I hope he’s here at least one more year, but his selling the Medfield manse — esp. in this crap market — isn’t a good sign.

  11. Anonymous

    One year would be fine but nothing beyond that.

  12. mike_b1

    No. 4, no. 3, no. 1. All the games count the same in the standings. Assigning a pitcher a rank is sportswriter-contrived laziness.

  13. Anonymous

    If Curt had shown up to camp at a svelte 212 lbs. or so we wouldn’t even be having this dicussion. He would have been rewarded with a 2+op. deal. But he didn’t. It isn’t because he’s a con-christ., it’s because he coach-potatoed his winter of ’06-07. I’m pragmatic about it. I hope he’s back but if they can do better in the ’08 market in terms of age and health the FO should go in that direction. I like Curt alot. His ideas are silly at times but it’s about his abilities. When he walked off the mound I think he was ending a fine career in Boston and for that I’m grateful.

  14. Anonymous

    I wasn’t aware of athletes having a ‘talk’ clause in their contracts. Who cares what 38 says about God, Catholicism and all that garbage?If he can pitch effectively as #3, fine. Otherwise, head for the National League.Gee, maybe he can find a home among the Bible-thumping Rockies. Lord knows they need a real Messiah.

  15. Steve

    In any case, game 2 was not his last game. The Sox will take one of three in Colorado, and Schill’s last start this year will be game 6 at Fenway, in which he will be the winning pitcher.And about a “no talk” clause – I have always thought that whatever happens in the clubhouse should stay in the clubhouse (Bouton’s _Ball Four_ notwithstanding), so Schilling’s blogging and willingness to spread Sox inside stories rubs me the wrong way a little. But that willingness to talk is a real boon to the journalists in this town, and it does spice things up.I think he’s way off base with his politics, and his evangelical Christian leanings are a bit off-putting for me. But all that is completely irrelevant – Schilling is a great pitcher even with his fading stuff. He takes his job seriously, and he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Sign him up!

  16. Bill Toscano

    I am going to politely disagree with Mike about numbering pitchers.Yes, all game count the same, but clearly, if the whole staff is available, Beckett is the first choice, followed by Schilling, Matsuzaka, a healthy Wakefield and Lester — at least at this point.I don’t think there’s anoything in the contact about what you can say (other than whatever is in there as a “morals” clause.”I think the criticisms of what Schilling says — and I tend to agree with him most of the time — comes from people like D&C, Dan Shaughnessey, etc.I don’t think team management has a real issue with it. As long as he can pitch, he’ll be fine.

  17. Dan Kennedy

    Heard yet another host on sports radio this morning say something to the effect of Francona takes a lot of heat, but…Who are these unnamed critics from whom Francona takes a lot of heat? A few callers of dubious sobriety? And this matters why, exactly?The guy’s the best Red Sox manager since — well, maybe ever. More to the point, I don’t know of anyone who really disagrees.

  18. DJS

    Dan -I was with you re Francona until I heard this morning that Ortiz starts at first tonight and Youk sits on the bench.Why would Tito sacrifice Youk’s bat, defense and base running and replace him with an injured Ortiz? Youk has hit better in the playoffs than Ortiz, and Papi’s knee limits his performance at first.The smart move is to start Youk and bring in Ortiz later in the game, not vice-versa.That said, I don’t think the Sox will have much trouble with Colorado starter Josh Fogg.Sox sweep in 4.

  19. Dan Kennedy

    I’m sorry, but you don’t bench the greatest clutch hitter of his generation unless he’s so injured that he literally can’t perform. Youk will get into every game, so don’t worry.

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