Curt Schilling had high praise for Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell today when he was asked in an e-mail to comment on Farrell's decision to return to the Red Sox for another season:
John Farrell is a HUGE part of the equation, not just for me either. He’s as good as anyone I’ve ever worked with and probably the most over qualified pitching coach in the world. This guy is a GM already. I think him doing what he’s doing is a testament to his love for the game more than anything.
This guy gets it on so many levels, personal and professional. While I would claim we are very close friends, he was always my coach first, which is something I desperately need at this point in my career. He’s as upfront and honest as you could ever hope someone in his position would be.
Add to that he’s as genuine and nice as anyone I’ve ever met. One of my real pleasures in life is the ability to rag him about the fact that he wears a 10 5/8 hat, or something close to it.
Good pitching coach, better person.
Schilling also just posted in his blog the letter that arrived at his house a few hours prior to Sox GM Theo Epstein, Asst. GM Jed Hoyer, and CEO Larry Lucchino opening up negotiations in 2003. Those negotiations resulted in Schilling being traded to the Sox from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, Jorge de la Rosa, and Michael Goss. Some excerpts from the letter follow:
Why, then, did we leave our own families behind and fly here today? Well, we think that the Schillings and the Red Sox might just be another great fit – a perfect marriage – and we hope that we can demonstrate why. We are here to tell you all about the Red Sox: who we are, where we are going, and how we’re going to get there. We want to share our thoughts on everything from advance scouting to the way we set up our family room at the ballpark. We’ll discuss the neighborhoods where you might live and every inch of the old neighborhood ballpark you would call home. We’ll be honest about the small weight room and crowded clubhouse, but we’ll also tell you about Ted Williams’ old locker and the feeling you get walking up the ancient tunnel to greet 35,000 of the best fans in baseball. We want to tell you about the type of person and player we want to represent the Red Sox, and how we’re filling our clubhouse with them. We want to tell you all about the unparalleled passion of Red Sox Nation, and about how hard we are working to bring a World Championship to Boston. We’re sure you have hundreds of questions for us, and we’re here to do our best at providing answers.
We are so close to the goal that has eluded us for 86 years. We would not have traded four talented young players or intruded upon your holiday if we did not sincerely believe that our time is coming very soon. The 2003 Red Sox were a talented and exciting team that came within five outs of reaching the World Series. As an ownership group and management team, we are committed to putting an even better team on the field in 2004 and beyond.
Last winter, our goal was to create a lineup that would be relentless one through nine. This winter, our goal is to create a relentless pitching staff to match our offense. You are the key to this plan; in fact, you are the plan. The rotation, should you accept this trade, will be among the very best in baseball: Schilling, Martinez, Lowe, Wakefield, Kim (with Bronson Arroyo as the 6th Starter). The bullpen will also be strong. Williamson, Embree, and Timlin are all poised to have excellent seasons in 2004. In addition, we are close to signing Keith Foulke to become our closer and to lead this talented bullpen. With the pitching staff and a defensive upgrade at second base, Red Sox run prevention will match our run scoring.
Read the entire letter that the Red Sox sent to Schilling in 2003 over at 38Pitches.com.