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Curt Schilling on Big Show: ‘Personal accountability … unbelievably lacking’ on Red Sox 11.04.11 at 4:07 pm ET
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Curt Schilling

Former Red Sox pitcher and current ESPN analyst Curt Schilling called into The Big Show to discuss the conditioning issues that impacted the 2011 Red Sox and that ultimately contributed to the firing of strength and conditioning coach Dave Page this week. Schilling suggested that the issue had little to do with Page.

“He is as honorable and as hard-working a man as I have ever been around in sports,” Schilling said of Page. “He’s absolutely a casualty of what these players did.

“This was a guy who would lose sleep at night when we lost games,” Schilling, whose working relationship with Page dates to when both were with the Diamondbacks. “Dave Page has absolutely zero responsibility for this.”

Instead, the former All-Star said, the issue was one that reflected directly upon Red Sox players.

“You can’t instill pride and integrity in people. It’s something you’re born with. You have to have it,” said Schilling. “The thing that sickens me is we’re talking about grown men. They have a responsibility and an accountability first of all to their families, to the team, to the organization and to the fans. It clearly didn’t motivate these guys when they were going through the worst collapse in the history of the game last year to change anything. … There’s a personal accountability piece that is unbelievably lacking.”

Schilling suggested that it is critical for the Sox to bring in another player who will force his teammates to remain accountable. He cited the influence of Orlando Cabrera, who was able to get through to teammate Manny Ramirez in 2004 after the Sox acquired Cabrera at the trade deadline.

Asked if the Sox could address the conditioning issues without getting rid of the players who were responsible for them, Schilling said, “Only if you bring in a game-changing presence in that clubhouse. It’s a player. Read the rest of this entry »

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Transcript of fired Sox conditioning coach Dave Page on M&M: ‘There was a lot of grumbling’ among team at 2:41 pm ET
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Dave Page, who was fired as Red Sox strength and conditioning coach this week, joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday to offer his views on the team’s late-season meltdown and discuss why some players failed to adhere to the team’s conditioning program.

Page said he did not expect to be released, even though the topic of the players’ conditioning has been front and center this offseason.

“I was very surprised,” he said. “It was a tough thing to hear. It kind of shocked me, the fact they waited this long. I know they had some bigger fish to fry, with the whole Theo [Epstein] situation, Tito [Francona] and all that stuff. But that fact that they waited 33, 34 days from the end of the season to do it, it led me to believe that things weren’t going to change, and it really kind of limited my opportunities to move on with another team. It was very surprising.”

Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Did you find your job challenging, differently this year than years past?

At times it was. At times it was. I wouldn’t think any more than it had been in the past at times. I was there for six years. We didn’t have a whole lot of roster turnover. Every few years you see new guys you get to plug in. But it’s the same guys every year. I knew them and they knew me. They go through things on and off the field that I might not know about that may have limited them. But for the most part, I didn’t really see anything.

I did have a good conversation with one player at the end of the year in Baltimore that really kind of opened my eyes. I said, “Hey, what’s going on here? It seemed like you pulled the plug a little bit. Why?” He kind of looked down at the ground, looked back and me and said, “I don’t know why. I can’t answer that question.” Which was kind of a shock.

So, you had a player tell you, he basically admitted that he didn’t work as hard here down the stretch and it may have affected his results in the field.

Yes.

Read the rest of this entry »

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