The following are comments made by Curt Schilling today on Boston sports radio station WEEI 850 AM, during his weekly segment on the Dennis and Callahan show:
Is Curt up for a big 2006?
“I’m looking forward to the final two years of my career being the best two… with no question. Good Lord willing, I’ll stay healthy. I’m going to go out and finish my career with the two best seasons I’ve ever had, and I don’t doubt there’s any reason why I don’t do that.
“I’m going to change some things. There’s going to be some adjustments I’m going to make this winter and when I make those, I’m going to make those with an eye towards finishing my career and trying to pull a Clemens… just a lot of different things (will change), I’m really not going to get specific right now, but there’s going to be a lot of different things this winter and I will address those as I need to address them.
“There’s a lot of things going on next year. I don’t question for a second that this could be the best possible team that we’ve had since I’ve been here, next year, given the way this pitching staff is set up. We have a chance to be incredibly deep and incredibly good next year and that excites me.
On Manny Ramirez
“…I think there’s a privacy issue for Manny and I think it has as much to do with the clubhouse as any place else… it’s stifling in there (with the media), it really is. It can be frustrating, it can be tiring, and it gets old sometimes. And when you go through what we went through this year, and the ups and downs, it gets old.
On David Wells and the Boston spotlight
“Wellsy’s a different bird. Much in the same vain that people talk about me and talking too much, and not keeping my mouth shut, I think Wellsy’s just as open as I am. And again, it’s a long season and there are times when you say things and do things that are spur of the moment, you feel and sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t.
“It’s different, it’s different than New York, and I think a lot of people that have played in both places really don’t appreciate that until they come here, how much different Boston is than New York. It’s something you get used to fast if you don’t like it here. I think he enjoys the team more than anything. I think he had a blast with these guys in the clubhouse this year. But I think the public part of this is definitely something different for him.
On the media in the clubhouse
“I think everybody would be (happy with no media in the clubhouse before the games like in the NFL). The problem is that the loitering-to-writer ratio is about 100 percent in there. Nine times out of 10 they’re not doing crap. They’re watching TV, grabbing a bottle of water, reading our papers. It’s one of those things, it’s really something that sounds petty, but you have to understand, from our perspective, that clubhouse is our home. We actually spend more time in the clubhouse than we do our home during the season and we look at that as our home and it’s just different here than any place I’ve ever been. And that’s not a negative in some sense, ‘cause there are a lot of good guys, but there’s some situations where it gets real, real uncomfortable and you can’t trust the guys to not… I’ve seen a lot of stories written without pen to paper from a lot of guys. You’ll see a story written by a guy who was standing in the clubhouse and didn’t do an interview. And that gets frustrating. You have to watch yourself, what you say, how you act. When you have to do that all the time publicly, the clubhouse is the one place where you like to go and be able to kind of let your shorts down, literally in our clubhouse, let your shorts down.
“They fixed that this year (adding private lounges). There’s places to go. This clubhouse has changed dramatically (physically) as I’m sure both of you guys saw. There were places to get to. But a lot of chemistry and a lot of the things that make a team go happen down in the clubhouse. You sit around your locker and you shoot the bull, talk baseball and it’s just a real different dynamic here. Plus the sheer volume is staggering sometimes. You look at that last series of the season. There were more reporters in our clubhouse than there were on the field when we went to Chicago for the postseason. It can be overwhelming at times, for people. It doesn’t bother me because I don’t have a problem telling them to get the hell out and leave me alone. But there are other guys that aren’t comfortable and it’s definitely something you have to address here.
On Terry Francona
“Terry Francona, and I think Joe Torre also, had the best years of their managerial careers this year. You can’t even begin to understand the things that Tito goes through in managing this team from top to bottom. The stuff that goes on in the clubhouse. The people that he has to put up with and the things he has to put up with. I watch what he did this year and it’s an amazing thing, that a normal, healthy guy might have trouble with and I’m impressed.
“And in this market everybody talks about… when the players don’t perform, the thing that I’ve always had trouble with here, is the fans want the manager’s head. ‘This guy can’t manage because this guy didn’t get this guy out.’ It stuns me. I look at it and go ‘wait a minute,’ at what point do the players get held accountable? But that’s the way it is here. And he just did a phenomenal job this year and health-wise, yeah, I do question if this is the right job for him. But he’s out there every night, and he does everything he’s asked to do, and I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else.
“It’s not (fun for him). There’s no way it’s fun. The fun that he has is from first pitch to last and I think after that it’s over because unfortunately you guys are on around the clock and there are a lot of people who are your listeners who are not big Terry Francona fans. And I think that kind of stuff wears on you. Whether you hear it or not, you hear it somehow. Whether by word of mouth or whatever. There are a lot of people in the organization that listen to the radio station. They tend to bring a lot of the opinions heard to the ballpark and that’s the last thing that we want to freakin’ hear when we come to the ballpark is Al from freakin’ wherever, or Frank from Gloucester.”