Red Sox starter Curt Schilling called in to Boston sports radio station WEEIís Mustard and Johnson program today and offered his opinion on Manny Ramirezís trade request and several other topics.
Itís November now rightÖ or itís OctoberÖ once a month. It happens (Mannyís trade request). Itís gonna happen. Itíll be out there and weíll move on. So we get to rehash the same questions and answers that youíve rehashed every year, every four months for the last three years. And itís going to be the same answers and the same questions you had before. Itís gonna depend on the situation and Iím sure Theo will address it and whatever happens will be in the best interest of the Boston Red Sox when all things are said and done.
The bottom line is there is no indispensable player on any team, in any sport and Manny is certainly, heís probably the best right-handed hitter that Iíve ever put a uniform on with but no one player is going to get us that World Series that weíre going after next year and we have a good chance to win again if weíre healthy. He certainly makes you a better club, youíre gonna score more runs, but the fact of the matter is, there is no one guy and I trust in the fact that if Manny leaves Boston, which I hope doesnít happen, but if he does leave Boston, that whatever players they bring in to either fill his role or use his salary for, we will be a better team come Opening Day next year. I feel confident enough in Theo that thatís exactly what will happen.
I think Manny is just looking for change more than anything, and I think that this coming up every Ö and thatís not to belittle his emotions and feelings, I talked to Manny about this a couple of times towards the end of the season and expressed my desire that I didnít want him to go if he could find a way to make it here. I think one of the things that tends to really catch guys off guard is the attention you get off the field.
Q: Does anybody ever talk to Manny and say ďManny it just doesnít look good when youíre half trotting and going down to first base?Ē Does anybody ever pull him aside and ask him that?
You know what, those conversations are few and far between because I donít think anybody Ö Manny knows, Manny knows what people think and feel about the things he says and does and heís not as simple as people like to make him out to be. Heís a lot smarter than that. And I think sometimes he might do things to get actions and reactions like every other player at certain points but you know what, the bottom line was at the end of the season itís 48 and 130, 140 RBIs and thatís what you have to live with. Iíd love every teammate that I ever played with to run to first base as fast as he possibly can, it just doesnít work out that way unfortunately, and Iím not sure why.
Q: Why isnít Theo Epstein's deal done yet?
I think because of the personalities involved more than anything. I donít know if I can elaborate any more than that.
Q: What (organizational) structure or system works best?
I donít think there is one. Itís very fluid, it moves and it goes in cycles. Every year everybody comes out and says Ďyou know what, thatís the way to win a World Seriesí then you try to mimic the World Series team from the year before, Ďweíre gonna make our organization do this and that, this and that.í Thereís never one way, the bottom line is you build a solid farm system, you build your big league club around pitching and defense, and guys that work the count, and youíre gonna be in it. That is, to me, at the core of the philosophy of how this organization is trying to develop. I donít think thereís any one way. I donít think that itís the manÖor I do think itís the man, in this sense. People were talking I heard last week about Ďcould they lose Theo and itís just a system now where you could plug somebody in.í I donít believe that. Iíve believe Iíve been around Theo enough to know the guys is sharp. Heís ahead of the game. Heís just very situationally aware and I think losing him would be a very serious blow.
Theoís always asking players about personnel. Thereís coaching changes weíve made, that weíre gonna make and Theo understands how important those people are to the makeup of a baseball team, how important those guys are to having team chemistry in August when youíre dragging ass and youíve got 35 guys sitting around wondering what the heckís going on. When you have good people in secondary roles, or coaching roles, those things tend to play themselves out during the season.
Q: How important is Larry Lucchino?
Oh I canít answer that. Iím not involved in their Ö Mr. (John) Henry and Mr. (Tom) Werner have been Ö I mean Iím happy. Iíve been happy since Iíve come here with the things that theyíve done here and the things that theyíve tried to do. I donít know how that relationship works and how they interact.
If you donít have a general manager that can act on his own for the most part -- and Iím not talking about going out and spending $80 million to sign a player, Iím talking about day-to-day operations. If your general manager canít act and react on his own, without worries of ramifications, then youíre going to have a dysfunctional general manager no matter how smart he is. Itís just not possible because general managers, in my opinion, they have a vision and that vision is what they want the organization to become, what they want the team on the field to become and they go about putting the organization and the team together by assembling personalities and players that fit that mold. Heís the only one with that vision. And he has the Jed Hoyers' and the Josh Byrnes' and guys like that to help him fill his vision out. That doesnít mesh with a lot of times what the people in the ownerís box agree and believe in. Iím not saying that any one person agrees or disagrees with Theo or with his philosophies, Iím just saying that if you donít let Theo act and react on his own, then youíll make us a worse club and worse organization in the long run.
Quick responses to players by name:
Manny Ramirez: Hall of Fame hitter.
Keith Foulke: Hopefully healthy.
Kevin Millar: Never had a bad day in his life.
Johnny Damon: As hard-nosed and tough a player as I ever played with.
Q: What is it about Boston that David Wells and Manny want to get out of here? Is it the clubhouse limitations, because itís so small?
No, no. Not at all. I think people expect it to be kind of like New York, but it can be smothering if youíre not ready for it. The sheer volume of media. The passion of the fans. Itís never-ending 12 months a year. And some guys just donít adjust to it as well as they think they would.
From yesterdayís call into WEEIís Dennis and Callahan show, Schilling also commented on David Wellsís trade request and the firing of Red Sox assistant trainer Chris Correnti:
Q: Do they have to trade David Wells? Would it be problematic if they said ďDavid youíre under contract, sorry weíre not going to accommodate you?Ē
I donít know. Define problematic. Talk a lot and say dumb stuff? I mean, no, Wellsyís Well Ö I donít know, Iíd much rather have him than not have him but I think heís in a situation now where financially heís comfortable that if they donít trade him he might not come back. I donít know. I havenít talked to him. I donít know. His actions and reactions arenít real easy to gauge and figure out.
I think myself and probably 24 other guys have talked to Chris repeatedly over the last 7-10 days. I think that he was fired stunned us to say the least. I think there was a personality difference between the incoming medical group and some of the people that exist here now and I think that started last year when Dr. Morgan was fired but thatís I guess, as a player, you can have an opinion but it tends to really not matter in situations like this, when people that arenít on the field are making the decisions and thatís unfortunate.
Iím not really sure (if it was a personality or philosophy conflict) and I would be speculating but probably a combination of both. But as a player I donít care. That stuff doesnít matter to me. What matters to me is that thereís people that I trust with my career in the clubhouse and around me on a daily basis. Honestly, I probably spend as much time in or at or around Chris Correnti as I did with my family this year, as did other players on this team and I have two years left in my career and I look at that job and that role and I see a guy who made it real easy for me to get what I needed to get done and not having that is a lotÖ I donít know, itís just disappointing. Mr. Henry wanted to bring in a new medical staff and wants to make this the premier medical situation in baseball and thatís he and Mr. Wernerís obviously their decision and itís their franchise. Itís unfortunate to me that, again, I think the human element is not factored in nearly enough when it comes to decisions away from the players.
Q: Will Chris Correnti be part of your offseason preparation?
Absolutely. Absolutely. Chris will be a vital part of whatever happens with me over the next two years and I would imagine quite a few other guys that he had a major, major hand in. Because if you look at it going through this season, we did not have one pitcher go down with an arm injury, other than Wade (Miller) who came in with a preexisting condition. Chris is one of the, probably tied for me with the best Iíve ever been around on a baseball field as far as handling pitchers and getting pitchers ready, but heíll be in baseball somehow, some way at some point here, so weíll figure it out.