Curt Schilling may have pitched his last game in the major leagues, but he’s still got time to make up his mind about the ’09 season.
“I don’t know that hinting [at retirement] is the proper word, I think I said it, I don’t think I was hinting at it,” Schilling said this morning during his weekly appearance on sports radio WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan program. “The more I move away from playing, the more I think I’m likely to probably not to come back and play.”
“There’s just things that I thought I might miss that I don’t and things that I didn’t think I might miss that I do and I think the things that I really don’t miss are far outweighing the things that I do,” the rehabbing righthander said about being away from baseball this summer. “The baseball stuff that I miss, the day of, walking out to the mound, driving to the park, walking to the bullpen… just that Fenway thing, I miss that. Watching the games and watching these guys get ready to pitch, I miss. I miss the day of. Beyond that I don’t miss much else. I don’t miss the daily mental grind. I don’t miss in here the media thing. I don’t miss a lot of it and I’m enjoying like, being normal, for the first time…” …
“It hit me a couple of days ago that, ‘Wow, if I don’t ever play again then I don’t have to work anymore’. It’s weird. I still haven’t gotten it down ’cause I’m not someone that can just sit around and ‘hey, what do you feel like doing today?’, I’m always trying to get something done, do something, go somewhere.” …
“The big test will be probably over the winter time, going into spring training next year, how I react to actually not doing anything, but I don’t know that that’s going to change between now and then the way I feel,” Schilling said. “And I guess the other part of it is it’s not like I got a taste of it… it’s 23 years, so I got to experience a lot of things…”
In a blog entry on 38pitches.com on Friday, Schilling wrote that “the pendulum is swinging very heavily in the direction of it just being over.”
Schilling left open the possibility that he could get motivated to pitch again before the start of spring training. “I’ve never sat around and not gotten ready to head to Florida, well not in 23 or so years anyway,” Schilling wrote. “So to me that will likely be the last real test for me and whether or not I want to put the time and effort into getting after it one more time.”
Schilling said that a few weeks ago he thought of trying to get ready to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, a 16-country event scheduled for March with the championship game March 23 at Dodger Stadium. “Next I started thinking about the original plan of pitching the 2nd half of next season,” Schilling wrote. “Thing is, that urgency just is not there. I miss some things I didn’t think I would, and don’t miss many things I expected too.”
Dr. Craig Morgan, who performed the surgery on Schilling’s shoulder, estimated a few hours after it ended that Schilling could be throwing a ball in four months and throwing from a mound within seven months, by late January. “Range of motion is improving greatly and pain is becoming less and less an issue,” Schilling wrote. “I’ve still got a rather lengthy amount of time before I decide anything.”
Schilling, a six-time All-Star, is signed only for 2008 at $8 million. He did not rule out returning to the Red Sox at some point next season but at this point, Schilling would only return in a second-half of the season role. “Yeah, that would be the only way I come back,” Schilling said today.
He finished last season, his 20th, ranked 14th on the career strikeout list with 3,116. His career record is 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA. He is 11-2 in postseason play and was co-MVP of the 2001 World Series with Randy Johnson for Arizona.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.