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Curt Schilling on D&C: Juan Nieves firing a ‘wake-up call’ for Red Sox starters 05.20.15 at 9:39 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning to discuss the Sox rotation, Deflategate and tobacco use. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Red Sox starters seem to finally be waking up, and have done so after pitching coach Juan Nieves was fired and replaced with Carl Willis. According to Schilling, though, the exact reason for the change is tough to pinpoint.

“They’re just pitching better,” he said. “I don’t know how to explain it other than stuff happens. These guys were supposed to be this good out of the gate and sometimes a group of guys kind of gets a wake-up call by realizing that they did cost somebody their job, and they did.”

Schilling added that while he doesn’t “know that [he’s] ever seen a coach that got fired deserve it” for the most part, there’s not a lot else that can be done.

“You can’t fire a team, you can’t fire a pitching staff, you can’t fire a bullpen or rotation, so somebody has to be responsible,” he said. “Look at the commentary around Nieves when he got hired, this guy’s been nothing but and gotten nothing but praise and accolades for the job that he’s done, and these guys opened up the season and cost him his job.”

One of the biggest differences between Nieves and Willis, Schilling noted, is that the former focuses on a hitter’s weaknesses while the latter spends more time on the pitcher’s strengths. For Schilling, what worked best was a combination of the two as he mapped out what he could do, what he couldn’t do, where the hitters’ holes were and how he planned to beat that.

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Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘If losing isn’t physically painful to you, you’re never going to be great’ 05.06.15 at 10:31 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to talk about the Red Sox rotation and other things happening around baseball. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The discussion has been had time and time again, but the Sox’ lack of a clear No. 1 pitcher is hurting them in more ways than one, according to Schilling.

“When you have an ace, you don’t go five days in a row giving up seven runs in five innings,” he said. “Number one, a true [No. 1] stops stuff like that, and number two, when you’re an ace, you end up sitting down and saying, ‘All right, listen, boys, here’s the way this is going to work, you’re going to knock him on his ass,’ and if anything happens, he’ll look at the next guy and say he’ll take care of it the next night or whatever that is, and when you don’t have that, that’s a problem.”

Schilling pointed out that so many of the really good teams, including Boston’s 2004, 2007 and 2013 rosters, all not only had a No. 1, but also a 1A. When that happens, the likelihood of a team doing well increases dramatically. For the Red Sox brass, the thought was, as Schilling said, the rotation would be five guys who were going to be “average good to really good,” and that if alterations needed to be made, they would take place at the deadline.

“They have an enormously deep pool of prospects to deal,” Schilling said. “Problem now for me is not whether they can get a Cole Hamels or not, it’s whether or not they’re going to need him at the deadline or not.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Clay Buchholz ‘not going to be a [No.] 1, that’s just not going to happen’ 04.29.15 at 9:29 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday to talk pitching and offer his opinion on what’s going on with the Sox rotation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

For a team that scores as many runs as it does, clocking in at second in the league with 109, the Red Sox‘ run differential is concerning. Boston has a minus-nine in that category, having given up the most runs in the majors at 118. It also has the worst ERA for starting pitchers, a hefty 6.03. While there were reservations about stocking up on middle-of-the-rotation guys to fill out the staff, Schilling said even these results were unprecedented.

“That’s one of those ‘nobody saw it coming’ kind of things,” he said. “I don’t know what to say, I can’t explain it in a way other then they just pitched poorly, but — and I hate to beat a dead horse — but we were talking about No. 1s in spring training, we were talking about the lack of a true one and for me this is one of the things a [No.] 1 prevents.”

Schilling reiterated that having an ace or a clear No. 1 keeps teams in general from skidding and floundering down the line.

“When you have a Pedro [Martinez], you don’t go on five-game losing streaks, your starters don’t go four or five games in a row throwing five innings or less,” he said. “They change the bar and they set the bar and they stop things from happening, and generally you get imitation being the sincerest form of flattery where guys that are pitching against him and with him are trying to match and compete instead of trying to get through the fifth.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘Numbers don’t match the talent’ for Clay Buchholz 04.15.15 at 10:04 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning to respond to the criticism he’s been facing for his comments about Clay Buchholz. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling has received some backlash for what he said last week about Buchholz lacking the internal drive. The remarks drew criticism from the likes of NESN analyst Steve Lyons, who said Schilling should have taken Buchholz under his wing and told him what to do when they pitched together like Roger Clemens had done with Schilling.

Schilling said he talked to Buchholz but that he noticed a difference between young pitchers and how he came up in the game.

“You can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do, and one of the things that you do as a veteran pitcher is you try and kind of lay a path of multiple options out for young [pitchers], ’cause there’s no one way to do this thing,” Schilling said. “I obviously was big into preparation and video and all that stuff and I would always pass that stuff along, but the thing that got me, and it wasn’t just Clay, but a lot of the new, younger generation of pitchers, when I was at the end of my career, they didn’t ask questions. It felt like the game stopped at the water’s edge, like, when they went home the game was over and now I have to go do stuff.”

Schilling also wanted to clarify that his initial comments had nothing to do with him rooting against Buchholz.

“I was just obviously giving my opinion,” he said. “But I think one of the things I always had issues with with younger players was the desire to win, to be great, and you don’t have to go throw stuff and yell and cuss and be a tough guy when you lose to want it. It’s just, it’s actions. What do you do between your starts? What do you talk about? And I’m not sure I ever really had a conversation about pitching with him.

“And that doesn’t mean anything,” he added. “That doesn’t mean he didn’t go to somebody else. … And Clay’s not a loudmouth like me. I mean, he wasn’t talkative, he was a young player, and he did right as far as trying to know his place and stuff, but again, I’m trying to think of an example. There are players who come up who the game just consumes them, and they’re grabbing somebody and talking and every piece of advice they can get. I used to ask everybody questions. We’d go to Baltimore, I’d ask Jim Palmer, and we’d be in Cleveland and I’d find [Bob] Feller would be at the park and [Bob] Gibson, everybody, [Sandy] Koufax and [Don] Drysdale and that was I just was trying to figure out why the best were the best.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Rick Porcello extension stresses ‘Red Sox are all about length of contract’ 04.08.15 at 10:09 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday to talk about Rick Porcello’€™s four year, $82.5 million contract extension, pitching and the importance of the health in the lineup. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Porcello is scheduled to make his first start of the season on Wednesday night, but the Red Sox were kind enough to give him a four-year extension on Monday. For a player like Porcello, who is regarded as a ground ball pitcher, the defense behind him becomes a huge part of his success or failure. Though that can create some uncertainty about his performance going forward, Schilling said teams have been making moves to adjust to this.

“Defensively you have to catch the balls,” Schilling said. “The challenge for me is there’s a lot of coin flip to a guy that relies on defense to win. You can go out there and throw great and give up 15 hits in a game as a ground ball guy if the balls aren’t hit at people, but nowadays with the amount of advanced scouting and defensive positioning, teams are turning that into a science.”

While $20 million a year is no joke as a contract, Schilling noted that, although Porcello might garner relatively less on the market, the Red Sox are doling out extra to keep that contract on the shorter side.

“I think it’s another move that just reinforces the Red Sox are all about length of contract,” he said. “I think that the four years was the reason it was [$]20 [million]. He goes on the market, I think he ends up looking at five, six, seven [years] for 16, 17, 18 somewhere in there, but you pay to short that money.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘Every single woman on this planet is bothered by this’ 03.03.15 at 8:30 am ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to talk about the vulgar tweets he received after tweeting his daughter will be playing college softball at Salve Regina University next year, and the course of action he’s taken. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling wrote a lengthy blog post on his personal blog Sunday night addressing, and even publishing some of the tweets he received. The former big league pitcher reached out to some of the schools some of the tweeters attended, including coaches of teams the men played college sports for. He said some hockey, lacrosse and soccer players have been kicked off teams for good, or suspended for the year.

Additionally, Brookdale Community College suspended one of its students for his comments, and the Yankees have reportedly fired a part-time employee for his comments.

“It’s not a mistake,” Schilling said. “People talk about making mistakes as a kid — listen, I’ve made a million mistakes — these are conscious decisions because a mistake is saying you know what, ‘You’re a tool,’ and going on and saying, ‘Oh gosh, I shouldn’t of said that’ and going back and deleting it. This was over and over and over. You could see at some point they all thought what the hell is he going to do to me and they got worse and eventually it got to the point where I said OK, I need to fix this.”

“A couple of these guys, this stuff will follow them around for the rest of their lives because I am going to make sure it does,” he added.

The current ESPN analyst said at the time of the original tweet he expected a few tweets from trolls, but nothing to the point it has reached. It was then Schilling decided something needed to be done.

“I expected the trolls,” he said. “The one kid kind of came at me and said, ‘I can’t wait to take your daughter out.’ Kind of borderline stuff, which again, I expected. I’ve been on the internet since, I started playing on computers in 1980, so I understand how it works and I knew there would be stuff. The stuff that they did, that is not bad or vile, it’s illegal. It’s against the law.

“When that started — again, I thought it might be a one-off, but then it started to steamroll. And then [my daughter] started to get private correspondence and then I said OK, this needs to get fixed. This generation of kids doesn’t understand, and adults too, doesn’t understand that the internet is not even remotely anonymous.”

Schilling said this isn’t a matter of political beliefs, or which team you may root for — this is a issue for everyone and something he vows to try have as many people hear about it as he can.

“Here is the thing, we all know I don’t care if you’re a liberal, conservative or a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Yankees, Red Sox whatever fan, or if you don’t like me — every single woman on this planet is bothered by this,” said Schilling. “When I talk to Michelle Malkin or when I email and text the link to Ann Coulter, they are going to get the word out. This is one of those kind of elephants in the room as a society now.

“I am a guy. Since I’ve been here I’ve said a million things I wish I hadn’t, but this is not being a guy. There is nothing about this that is manly.”

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College suspends student for vile tweets about Curt Schilling’s daughter 03.02.15 at 12:08 pm ET
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Curt Schilling went on the attack Sunday night after seeing vulgar tweets about his daughter, a high school senior whom Schilling congratulated for deciding to play softball at Salve Regina University next year.

One of the most offensive tweeters, identified as Adam Nagel, a student at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey who hosts a sports talk show on the school’s radio station, was suspended for his actions. [Update: The school emailed to say the student had an hour-long weekly slot on one of the radio station’s student radio streams.]

The school announced the discipline on Facebook, writing:

Students and community members have rightfully expressed concerns regarding recent social media comments made by a Brookdale student.

The Twitter comments posted by this student are unacceptable and clearly violate the standards of conduct that are expected of all Brookdale students.

The student has been summarily suspended and will be scheduled for a conduct hearing where further disciplinary action will be taken. The Brookdale Police are actively investigating this matter. Brookdale takes this behavior very seriously and does not tolerate any form of harassment.

Our sincerest apologies to Gabby Schilling. Her achievement should be celebrated and not clouded by offensive comments.

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John Farrell on D&C: ‘I believe in and I like the talent that we have’ on pitching staff 02.25.15 at 11:09 am ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell checked in with Dennis & Callahan from spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday morning to talk about the outlook for the team this season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The biggest question mark as spring training begins is the pitching staff, with the lack of a true No. 1 starter.

“We all know that there’s a label that certain pitchers have earned. But I tell you this: I feel very good about the five that are in the rotation,” Farrell said. “There’s talent. There’s some question with the bounce-back capability of Justin Masterson, with an injury late in 2013 that seemingly affected last year; Clay Buchholz‘s durability, consistency, comes to mind, but when he has been healthy he’s pitched equivalent to a No. 1; and, to me, Joe Kelly, who’s got the stuff to be that type of guy — we’ve got to extend his overall innings workload.”

Kelly’s name has been mentioned as perhaps the most likely candidate to be the team’s top starter.

“I think Joe Kelly’s got the ability to go I think a step up as he’s learning himself as a pitcher. He’s got the best stuff in our rotation,” Farrell said. “You’re looking at a guy who’s mid- to upper 90s with a very good breaking ball, a strong, competitive streak that we saw in the starts that he made for us last year. I’m going to talk optimistically, there’s no doubt about it, because I believe in and I like the talent that we have.”

ESPN analyst Curt Schilling appeared on D&C before Farrell and questioned Buchholz’s inner drive to succeed.

“I wouldn’t agree with that,” Farrell said. “Everyone certainly has the right to their own opinion. But having been with Clay for a number of years now, he loves to compete. He loves to be the best to his abilities. Now, there’s been some things that have held him back, and durability over the course of a career to date has come into play here a little bit. But I can tell you this: He’s driven and he’s got — as we all do — a lot of motivation coming off the year we just finished.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘You don’t have to have an ace to win’ at 10:24 am ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the American League East, pitching, the Red Sox and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

As it usually is in February, but more this year than others for Schilling, it’€™s tough to judge how good the American League East will be. There are question marks around many of the teams in the division, and different aspects of different clubs put them in position to fight for the first spot in the division or end up at the bottom.

“I don’t know that it’s terrible,” the ESPN analyst said. “The team that, to me, that could win by 15 games and I wouldn’t be shocked is Toronto.

“If you look around the division,” Schilling continued,”in Baltimore, they have by far one of the division’s best game managers and a roster that’s talented, but there are more talented rosters. I think if you look at Boston, you have a guy who’s a great communicator, probably not even, I don’t think anybody is the game manager that Buck Showalter is, and a very talented roster, but again, it’s February and there has never been a year for me more so than this year where they’re saying, ‘Hey, I want to see where they are at the end of camp.'”

Though the Red Sox have added some offense to the lineup, Schilling isn’t as enamored with the additions as some have been.

“I think it makes their lineup deeper,” he said. “As long as they’re healthy and David [Ortiz] is David and Pedey [Dustin Pedroia] is back. I don’t know, and maybe it’s personal, I never get overly emotional about offensive signings just because you can score as many runs as you want, but if you can’t stop them from scoring it doesn’t matter.”

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Curt Schilling to D&C on Hall of Fame balloting: ‘I can’t spend my time being concerned about people’s opinions of me that I’ll never meet’ 01.07.15 at 10:46 am ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday, after falling short of election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the former Red Sox star said he believes some writers won’t ever vote for him because of his political leanings. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling received 39.2 percent of the vote, well short of the 75 percent needed for election. Four players were elected: Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio and former Sox star Pedro Martinez, whose surprisingly low 91.1 percent result was more evidence to Schilling that something is wrong.

“The process isn’t flawed; stupid people do stupid things,” Schilling said. “I’ve seen so many in the past, voters making their vote into a news article, protesting this or protesting that, except just voting the player on his playing merits. And that’s normal, I guess, because we’re human, we all have bias, we all have prejudice. When Pedro gets 91 percent, that tells you something’s wrong.”

A case could me made that Schilling’s statistics are comparable to those of Smoltz, yet the Braves legend received 240 more votes. Schilling said Smoltz deserves enshrinement, but he noted that Smoltz’s political views are more consistent with many media members.

“I think he got in because of [Greg] Maddux and [Tom] Glavine. I think the fact that they won 14 straight pennants. I think his ‘Swiss army knife versatility,’ which somebody said yesterday, I think he got a lot of accolades for that, I think he got a lot of recognition for that. He’s a Hall of Famer,” Schilling said. “And I think the other big thing is that I think he’s a Democrat and so I know that, as a Republican, that there’s some people that really don’t like that.”

A proud conservative, Schilling has been outspoken in his support for Republican candidates. He also received heavy criticism when he moved his video game company from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to take advantage of government assistance and then the company went bankrupt.

Schilling said there’s no question that he would have received more votes had he been more mainstream in his beliefs and less outspoken and controversial.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Listen, when human beings do something, anything, there’s bias and prejudice. Listen, 9 percent of the voters did not vote for Pedro. There’s something wrong with the process and some of the people in the process when that happens. I don’t think that it kept me [out] or anything like that, but I do know that there are guys who probably won’t ever vote for me because of the things that I said or did. That’s the way it works.”

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