Thursday, July 31, 2008

Curt Schilling believes Manny Ramirez saga affected the Red Sox

In Thursday morning's Boston Globe, Steve Silva interviewed outspoken Boston pitcher Curt Schilling and his thoughts about Manning Ramirez....the article is below...

Rehabbing Red Sox righthander Curt Schilling this morning said he thought the Manny Ramirez situation has affected the team and keeping him in Boston for the stretch run could present a problem.

"At the end of the day you're taking the field with a guy who doesn't want to play with you, doesn't want to be there, doesn't want to ... obviously effort-wise is just not there and that's disheartening and disappointing," Schilling said during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI's Dennis and Callahan program.

Does he think it's time for Manny to go?

"Would I be the only guy in the New England area that said no if I did?" Schilling replied to the question. "I think I'm probably with the consensus. It's very obvious from anything you see or hear he doesn't want to be here. And anytime that there's a piece of the equation you have a problem, and then not trading and leaving him here is a problem because you don't know what you're going to get."

Schilling was asked if he was insulted by Manny's "the Red Sox don't deserve a player like me" comment.

"I was here for the end of both Pedro [Martinez] and Nomar's [Garciaparra] situation and I'm not sure how there's any parallels there," Schilling said. "... I've always felt the organization extended a lot of courtesy Manny's way and I know Terry [Francona] as a manager, like with everybody else he went that extra mile for Manny. It's disappointing to see that not get recognized, but that happens.

"The hard part for me was this [situation with Manny] derailed into a train wreck so quick, so fast, and so oddly. You had the Buddah Zen Master guy in spring training, reading and 'life is good, don't worry be happy' and it just looked like he was poised to have a monster season. Physically he worked his butt off. Obviously he wants to play longer. Anytime a guy like that is motivated, you get excited. You get a chance to see some stuff...

"We had a conversation a little while back, talking about what he should do and how things are gonna go and there's just really not a reason from a business standpoint for the Red Sox to do anything right now. There really wouldn't... Why would they? Given your age and the contract situations. Why would they not just kind of wait and see how things played out. I think there was, maybe there's some feeling on his part that if he did what he did last winter and he came out and had a monster first couple of months that they'd sit down and say 'OK we want to keep you here the next four years, let's get something done,' and it felt like to me that the second he realized that that was not an option, this just went straight downhill."

Could this situation have caused the Red Sox, losers of 4 of their last 5 on this homestand, to lose its focus?

"Absolutely, absolutely," Schilling said. "This is one of those things ... the trading deadline is always a weird time for everybody, no matter what team you play for but this ... when things are going on with Manny, the fact that Manny's locker was in the back, and not with the rest of the guys, ended up being a thing that worked because media wasn't hovering, there wasn't stuff going on, but it appears to me that he's moved out into the clubhouse now to try and make sure he gets his message broadcast and that's ... it's not fun.

"I would absolutely agree that it's affected this team. I don't question it. I've been around when it did before in '06. These are your teammates and it just makes it hard when every question, you're struggling in a 1-for-14 and grinding your [expletive] off at the plate and every question is about something that you have absolutely no control over..."

Schilling also said would give Jason Bay his No. 38 (and Bay's number with the Pirates) if Bay ends up joining the Red Sox in exchange for someone to give a five-figure donation to his charity, Curt's Pitch. "It pretty much can be had right now... yeah ...we'll work something out," Schilling said.

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