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Schilling backs off criticism of Valentine

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 6, 2012 04:32 PM

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Serial attention seeker Curt Schilling is backing off his relentless criticism of Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.

"The problem here is this has been positioned as me against Bobby V and I feel bad," Schilling told ESPN Boston Radio. "I disagreed with some things that he did. I stated my opinion in disagreeing. People act like I am openly rooting against him and nothing can be further from the truth. I like Bobby, I think he's a very smart baseball guy. I disagree with some of the stuff that he did, that's what I get paid to do. I gave my opinion and if he disagrees with it that's his prerogative, that's fine."

Valentine has been dismissive of Schilling, saying he considers the source of the criticism and that he has better things to do with his time than worry about the former major league pitcher and ESPN analyst. Valentine also referred to the comments as "silly."

Schilling, a long-time supporter of former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, criticized Valentine for his handling of Daniel Bard, a notion that Bard disagreed with. He also claimed to have spoken to players who were unhappy with Valentine. Josh Beckett mocked that comment.

Even team president Larry Lucchino came out against Schilling, saying the Red Sox are fortunate he has no influence on decisions.

Still, Schilling persisted with ripping the manager. He took to Twitter on Thursday and compared the Red Sox to the Titanic because Valentine agreed to appear on a radio show in New York.

The Michael Kay Show is on ESPN Radio, putting Schilling in the position of disparaging his employer.

Schilling, who is 45, claimed he was "double dog dared" to write that Tweet.

"I probably shouldn't have. It was all said in fun and jest," Schilling said. "We were having fun and joking around and I tweeted it. I got a rash of crap for it, by the way."

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