Make no mistake, Curt Schilling can't wait to pitch. And he'd like to see Mark Buehrle pitching for the Red Sox, too.
"When you can't take the ball, you're taking up space ... they pay me to pitch," was the message Sox starter Curt Schilling sent to Red Sox Nation this morning from Seattle during his weekly call-in to sports radio WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show.
The Red Sox ace, currently on the disabled list with a sore shoulder, wants to start playing catch as soon as possible in the hope of a quick return to the rotation.
"I am going to throw literally the second that I force them to allow me to," Schilling said. "I'm just biding my time to be able to start playing catch and the hardest part about the disabled is ... one day down without throwing is two days on the back end. And every day that you sit extends the amount of time you're not going to play."
Sox GM Theo Epstein said late last week that Schilling's stint on the DL may be an opportunity for him to rest and strengthen so he could return in peak condition in the second half of the season.
Radio host John Dennis asked Schilling this morning if that statement angered him a bit.
"Uhhh ... I don't know. I mean, that's spoken the way people who don't wear a uniform speak. Yeah, it's 'oh, you know give it some rest, it will be to his advantage,' but, I understand the view and the thinking, but again, that's not what I get paid to do. So yeah, it's not consolation or a bright spot for me."
So who decides when Schilling will start to throw again?
"It's a group decision," Schilling said. "I'll have a major say in that because at the end of the day, no matter how much I'm chomping at the bit, I'm not going to lie to them about this. And it does me no good to rush back to make four starts and be back here [on the DL]. So I'll be ready to go into the World Series from a health standpoint the minute I take the mound."
Schilling said he prefers to travel with the team versus rehabbing at home in Massachusetts.
"When you are away from the team, mentally you start to drift away from that game mindset," Schilling said. "And that's as hard to recapture as anything when you're coming back from an injury."
Schilling spoke about the rumors of the Red Sox trying to acquire Mark Buerhle.
"I'm a huge Mark Buerhle fan. Huge Mark Buerhle fan," Schilling said of the 29-year-old White Sox lefthander, who is on the trading block. "He can pitch. He's a competitor. Put him in this rotation and wow, do we look a lot prettier. But, at the same time, I think our rotation is one of our strengths. If we don't get Mark Buerhle I think we'll be fine. If we do, I think we'll be finer."
More from Schilling on the Buehrle rumors:
"It's a business. Theo's job is to put the best 25 possible players he can in a Red Sox uniform. And if Mark Buerhle's out there and can be had, great. But at the same time I understand their opinion of Jacoby Ellsbury, and Bucholz, and Bowden, and those guys and know that 99 percent of what I read is crap and not true, so, you don't bring Mark Buerhle in here giving one of those players up for three months."
Schilling also posted a brief update on his blog, 38pitches.com, last night.