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Pedro Martinez touches on helping Drake Britton grow up, reaching out to Curt Schilling and ‘amazing’ Jon Lester 02.26.14 at 4:36 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. When Pedro Martinez holds court, every word is gold.

That’s the way it was again Wednesday when the former ace pitcher talked about his odds of Cooperstown on the first ballot in 2015, his impact on young pitchers, his future with the team and his attempt to reach out to Curt Schilling after Schilling was diagnosed with cancer.

Martinez admitted Wednesday that when he was in his first season as special assistant last spring he thought lefthander Drake Britton had the stuff to make it on the big league roster out of camp. Soon, he and the Red Sox found out that while he may have impressive pitches in his arsenal, he was far from ready with his off-the-field command of his behavior. On March 2, 2013, the 24-year-old lefty was arrested by Lee County police for driving under the influence, property damage and reckless driving.

Then Britton struggled badly in the early season. Martinez felt the time was right to actually travel to Portland, Maine (home of the Double-A affiliate) and reach out like a parent and deliver some fatherly advice to a pitcher he thought had great potential but no control.

“I was straightforward with him and I told him exactly what I would probably love to hear if I was in the same situation,” Martinez said. “I talked about his personal life, how he should treat some of the things that were happening, how much of a battle he wanted to put up after things like that happened. When I saw him struggling in Double A, I chose myself to go and see him and let him know that everything he had before was still there. It was just a matter of putting his mind, his heart, his desire where it had to be. He took it graciously, and thanks to God, he proved to everybody he was able to battle through it.”

Britton made Martinez proud, going through the legal process in Lee County while improving his effort on the mound. In July, Martinez’s spring training vision was fulfilled, as Britton was promoted to the big leagues. He was posted a 3.86 ERA in 18 relief appearances, helping the Red Sox add depth to their bullpen down the stretch.

“I’m extremely proud of him, extremely proud to see him overcome all that and actually pay me back,” Martinez said. “Pay me back, that’€™s all I wanted. I wanted to see him have success and to see him at the end of the year pitching so well and doing so well for the team, helping the team so much, it really made me like a proud father.”

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Read More: 2014 spring training, Boston Red Sox, Curt Schilling, drake britton
Curt Schilling’s family tweets that cancer surgery ‘went really well’ 02.11.14 at 12:14 pm ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had surgery following his cancer diagnosis, according to tweets from his children.

On Monday morning, Schilling’s daughter, Gabby, wrote: Dads surgery went really well! Now he’s in recovery. #GodBless

 

Schilling’s oldest son, Gehrig, tweeted a photo of his father in a hospital bed with the word “recovery.”

Schilling announced last Wednesday that he has cancer, although he hasn’t revealed which type. On Friday he tweeted: Overwhelmed at the well wishes, and prayers. Bless all of you. No pity or sympathy needed, I’ve been beyond blessed. I’m ready for this.

Added Schilling: One more thing, the world goes on after you leave, change it while you’re here.

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Red Sox players react to Curt Schilling’s cancer diagnosis 02.06.14 at 1:39 pm ET
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As Curt Schilling‘s announcement that he was recently diagnosed with cancer made its way around the web, Red Sox players tweeted their support for the pitcher who helped the team win two World Series titles.

 

 

 

In a statement released by ESPN on Wednesday, Schilling thanked everyone who offered their support.

“Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers,” Schilling said.

“My father left me with a saying that I’ve carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ Over the years in Boston, the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown us what that means. With my incredibly talented medical team I’m ready to try to win another big game. I’ve been so very blessed and I feel grateful for what God has allowed my family to have and experience, and I’ll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on.”

Read More: Curt Schilling, Jon Lester,
Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer 02.05.14 at 5:29 pm ET
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Curt Schilling has been diagnosed with cancer, the former Red Sox pitcher announced in a statement released by ESPN.

“I’ve always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges,” Schilling said in the statement. “We’ve been presented with another challenge, as I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer.”

Schilling pitched for the Red Sox from 2004 to 2007, helping the team win two World Series. He was at his best in the playoffs, as he went 6-1 with a 3.28 ERA during those two World Series runs.

In December, ESPN announced that Schilling would be joining its Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team this season. The network has not said if Schilling’s diagnosis changes that.

Schilling’s wife, Shonda, battled skin cancer back in 2001 and wound up founding the Shade Foundation of America the next year to promote sun safety awareness. The Schillings have also helped raise awareness of ALS (Lou Gehrig‘s Disease).

“Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers,” Schilling said.

“My father left me with a saying that I’ve carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ Over the years in Boston, the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown us what that means. With my incredibly talented medical team I’m ready to try and win another big game. I’ve been so very blessed and I feel grateful for what God has allowed my family to have and experience, and I’ll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Hall of Fame ‘completely out of my control’ 01.09.14 at 9:16 am ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, a day after the balloting for the Baseball Hall of Fame was announced. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

In his second year of eligibility, Schilling received 29.2 percent of the vote, down from the 38.8 percent he received last year and well below the 75 percent needed for election. Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine were elected.

Schilling was driving back to Massachusetts from Florida with a girls softball team he coaches when he learned about the balloting.

“I literally was about 18 hours into this trip and I started to get Facebook and Twitter messages and I wasn’t sure why,” Schilling recalled. “And then it dawned [on me]. I had been completely consumed with this whole weekend [softball tournament] and forgotten that the date had shown up and it had started.

“I certainly didn’t expect to be one of the guys this year given the class that was out there and given the voting rules and stuff. It has become such a politically charged process. Unless you’re on the ballot by yourself and all the cases can be made for and against, it’s hard. But the good thing is you saw three guys that I think had legitimate first-ballot Hall of Fame careers go in yesterday, which was nice.”

Coming off a failed business venture and a health scare, Schilling said he won’t let something like this affect him in a major way.

“Given the way life has gone for me the last couple of years, you start to get perspective — I think a little bit better perspective,” Schilling said. “I might not be here tomorrow, much less next January 8th. So I can’t worry about it. It’s completely out of my control. I keep referring back to the fact that when you talk about things like this and you look at what they mean, ultimately it comes down to respect. And I think the 24 guys that I suited up with for the years that I played, if they had to win a game, I think a lot of them would have given me the ball. And there’s not much more I could ask for out of my career than that. If this happens, awesome.

“The challenge of being in this position is you don’t want to diminish what it means, but you also don’t want to make it out to be more than it is. I’m done pitching. I can’t get anybody else out. That your Hall of Fame credentials fluctuate 10 percent to 40 percent yearly is kind of awkward. It kind of I think sheds a light on the fact that the process is kind of goofy I guess in a way.

“I watched Tim Raines growing up. If Tim Raines isn’t in the Hall of Fame and Dale Murphy isn’t in the Hall of Fame and I don’t get in, I’ll be all right.”

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Greg Maddux, tim raines, Tom Glavine
Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘I can’t imagine’ Red Sox will sign Jon Lester to long-term deal 11.14.13 at 11:46 am ET
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ESPN’s Curt Schilling  joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the MLB offseason, the Red Sox’ World Series title and the results of the Manager of the Year vote.

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

The AL Manager of the Year was announced on Tuesday, as former Red Sox and current Indians manager Terry Francona narrowly edged Boston manager John Farrell, with just 16 points separating the two skippers.

“It was hard,” Schilling said. “I thought the American League one was incredibly challenging, because I thought you had a bunch of guys that had phenomenal seasons. … I thought either one of them could have won it. I think the job that they both did was amazing.”

The offseason is in full swing, as the annual GM meetings have kicked off in Orlando. The Sox already have been linked to multiple players, including Carlos BeltranBrian McCann and Carlos Ruiz.

One storyline that has been discussed is what the Sox will do with pitcher Jon Lester once he enters free agency after the 2014 season. If Lester is able to post another great campaign in 2014, the southpaw could command a long-term deal worth over $100 million.

“I think if [Ben Cherington] is allowed to do the things that baseball ops people should be allowed to do and there’s no interference from people that shouldn’t be interfering, I think he’ll stick to [his previous offseason plans],” Schilling said. “You’re not going to see another eight-year, $240 million deal out of this organization, and rightfully so. … There’s literally almost maybe two or three guys in the history of the last 25 years that would have played to [$200 million-plus contracts]. He can’t do it.

“I can’t imagine they would [sign Lester to a six- or seven-year, $100 million-plus deal]. I don’t think you’ll see any team other than probably the Dodgers with [Clayton] Kershaw turn around and give their homegrown player six or seven or eight years, I don’t see it, not from this team anyway. You saw what happened when they tried to go down that path, and I think that is going to be fresh in their minds as long as these guys are still making decisions here.”

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Read More: AL Manager of the Year, ben cherington, Curt Schilling, Jacoby Ellsbury
Curt Schilling on D&C: Playing Jonny Gomes over Daniel Nava doesn’t make sense 10.30.13 at 11:15 am ET
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ESPN’s Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday and voiced his opinion on some of Red Sox manager John Farrell’s decisions this World Series, and he tried to explain why St. Louis pitched to David Ortiz in Game 5.

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Farrell announced on Tuesday that, with the return of Shane Victorino to right field, Jonny Gomes would receive the start in left field over Daniel Nava in Game 6 on Wednesday at Fenway Park. Schilling said, “No, not at all,” does starting Gomes over Nava make sense to him.

“I love Daniel Nava, I think the kid is just a complete player,” Schilling said. “I think that the Gomes thing is exactly what John said — I think it’s a hunch, and he’s continuing to play it.”

Schilling also questioned Farrell’s decision-making throughout the series.

“I thought John had made some questionable moves and changes, and I thought got outmanaged a couple of different times,” Schilling said. “They’re playing poorly, but they’re good enough to play around that. I guess they’re one of the few teams that can do that.”

If not for Ortiz, the Red Sox likely would find themselves in a significantly different situation. St. Louis continues to pitch to Ortiz despite the fact he possesses a .733/750/1.267 batting line, with four extra-base hits in five games.

“The problem is that he’s so locked in, it’s very Barry Bonds-like in the sense that when he was going well, he would literally get one pitch, not an at-bat, a game, and when he got it he would never miss it. David is getting a pitch an at bat and he’s not missing it,” Schilling said.

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Read More: barry bonds, Curt Schilling, daniel nava, David Ortiz
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