Well, Dr. Craig Morgan has officially pulled out the idle “I’m running away from home” threat in regards to longtime patient Curt Schilling since the Red Sox didn't play nice.
According to Morgan, the Red Sox rehabber is “angry” over how the team insisted he attempt therapy on his injured right shoulder in place of Morgan’s recommended surgery, one which the doctor warned if he did not follow through with, he might never pitch again.
Oh, but he’s not just your typical, growling Curt Schilling kind angry. Morgan hinted he might be peeved enough to go play for the New York Yankees next season. Cue panic in the streets. Maybe the Red Sox should give him another $8 million to not pitch for them next season too just to prevent this madness from happening.
“He [Schilling] called me when he was angry about a month ago and was having recurrent pain, and said 'Listen, I want to pitch again next year,' and the possibility of the New York [Yankees] option, he would consider. He didn't say he was going to do it, he didn't do any of that. I think it was in part of anger,” Morgan told ESPN Radio in Philadelphia yesterday.
Honestly, we don’t see it. What sort of history have the Yankees shown recently for signing pitchers past their prime?
For the record, Schilling went on WEEI with Dennis and Callahan this morning – after Morgan went on the local airwaves and reiterated the possible "threat" – and insisted that his doc must have "misremembered."
"I'm not really sure how he got to some of the conclusions he got to," Schilling said. "Me wearing pinstripes regardless of what point of my career or the season it might have been is not an option. It's not an option, never has been an option."
So, there. Schilling isn't backing the random threats made by his doctor, and is probably more concerned with the general yawn that Doc's comments sparked in Boston rather than concern on the part of Red Sox fans. Morgan made his comments yesterday afternoon on the Mike Missanelli show, and they barely registered a peep on the wires, blogs, message boards, water coolers, or talk shows until this morning.
As great as it is to have an $8 million cheerleader around, nobody really knows what Schilling might have left in the ol' tank for '08, never mind '09, when he's apparently due to sign his blockbuster deal and pitch Opening Day for the Yankees at their new Stadium.
But Schilling said this morning that his rehab has gone better than he expected, and that he had made "incredible gains," which might put him on target for a return at some point this season.
"From a rehab standpoint, I'm probably as surprised as anyone how well it's gone and where I'm at," Schilling said. "I don't have any pain at all, which is a huge change. ... I'm still nervous about getting on the field and throwing."
But guess who doesn't agree with that? Doc Morgan, take it away:
"I talked to Curt maybe 3-4 days ago, and you have to understand, this has been three months since the initiation of the Red Sox conservative approach, and after three months, Schilling did tell me that his shoulder is feeling better, he has much less pain, but he hasn't done anything. After three months, he's lifting light weights. I'm talking about 2-3 pound hand-held weights. He hasn't picked up a ball. He hasn't done much of anything. And this is purely just my opinion, and based on that, the baby-step kind of approach to rehab. He's looking at August-September even if there aren't any health issues."
Schilling contradicted the doctor again this morning when he said that he's been lifting seven-pound weights. He will pitch. He won't pitch. He'll play for the Yankees. He'll never play for the Yankees.
And yet, Schilling simply laughed off the rambling diagnoses of his personal doctor. If this was any one member of the media, that had proposed this scenario, Schilling would have gone batty, lambasting the individual on numerous media. Instead, with Morgan, he said, "Craig is a friend, a very close friend, always will be. But I've talked to him probably 3-4 times since January. So I'm not sure he's been kept abreast of the facts, and the conversation that, I'm not really sure what conversation he's referring to with regards to a couple of different comments that he made, but the Yankee piece, there's some misinformation going on, and I can remember us having a conversation and laughing about coming back and pitching next year ..."
So, a friend causes a bit of a stir, and you calmly chalk it up to not being abreast of the facts? Shaughnessy could simply say that Schilling's uniform could use a good bleaching and we'd hear about the injustice of it all until the end of daylight savings time.
No such luck in this little "controversy," which is pretty much DOA.
Because when you're a 40-year-old pitcher whose future for this season, never mind next season, is in serious flux, odds are that few people are going to put too much stock in the empty threats of a guy who has already hinted that Schilling's career is over.
The Yankees should call any day though. They love those kinds of guys.