Curt Schilling: Forever the Diplomat

by Jason Epstein

Mr. Bloody Sock himself shares his thoughts on the Red Sox mess on WEEI radio:

Did [the Boston Globe story] nauseate you? Did it trouble you? Did it disappoint you?

All the above. You see somebody’s personal life made a story and you know, you see the reporter not use good judgment. You see the reporter do things that are probably questionable ethically. And then you see the reporter report things that you just know are true and you just wish people didn’t know.

Was that your reaction to the revelations about Terry Francona?

Of all the things that I heard and saw talked about after it came out yesterday, did anyone put marital problems with struggling managing and bad September together? I just feel like that was one of those, ‘We need some people to buy this copy so let’s put it in there.’ Why? The medication, that’s embarrassing and it’s sad and it has nothing to do with anything because that same writer and all the people involved have been around Tito, and there were no incidents of him being off his rocker or out of it. And 30 days before that article and the season ended, everyone was okay with everything.

Isn’t it more disturbing that somebody within the organization felt the need to say those things about Tito?

Way more disturbing. Listen, the article bothered me and how it was written bothered me. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that the article didn’t lie enough for me. That happens. I can picture teammates, I can picture situations where everything talked about in that article, I can see or I’ve done. At the end of the day, that is when someone who’s wealthy, someone who’s powerful gets wronged, this is what happens. They destroy people’s lives because they can.

Why would ownership have leaked this information when they have nothing to gain from it? In fact, there was nothing but downside to it.

I think the problem there is that you’re using a logical train of thought in an illogical situation. People do irrational things for the dumbest of reasons. I think when Terry got done and didn’t throw anybody under the bus, I think some people in the organization were livid because the fans were pissed at the owners. I think for the most part, fans were ready for a change managerially. I hate to say it, but I think that there were a lot of fans who saying he was a great guy, but it was time. These fans want a winning baseball team. I think that everybody was semi-okay with how it ended, but they were ready to move on. After he took the high road, I think the ownership, I think there are a group of people who are very upset about the fact that he made them look bad. Because if Terry comes on and says, ‘This guy did this,’ if he does throw guys under the bus, it’s very easy for them to say, ‘That’s why. This is why we had to do what we did.’

I think the ownership got into the end-zone free and clear on this deal.

I think they did as well to some degree, but if you listen, when Tom [Werner] and Larry [Lucchino] did their press conference, I think Larry’s answer to the question about Tito being surprised, about the front office not having his back, I thought that that was disingenuous at best and an outright lie at least. They knew exactly what was going on. They knew exactly how he felt. I just thought that it was very chicken. I just thought that this whole thing was a direct result of what happens when you piss people off that are really rich and powerful. . . .

Who’s more disappointing: the leader, Josh Beckett or the follower, Jon Lester?

That’s the one that I think probably makes me bend over and double-clutch more than anything. I wanted so bad to believe that that September late-season swoon by him was just something other than . . . I’ve known him since he was a young player. I don’t see him quitting. And I don’t know that he did, but I don’t have anything . . .

Listen. The hard thing for me is you guys know me well enough to know that I’m irrational and very passionate and very loud. If my name was in the article, there would have been a follow-up piece the very next morning in which I called people names they wouldn’t have been able to print and I would have been screaming to the end of the earth to say, ‘That is a lie. That never happened. I didn’t do that.’

The stuff in that article is career-ending stuff from a reputation perspective. I’m hearing nothing. Nothing. No one is saying anything. And in lieu of response, it is guilt. You’re guilty until proven innocent, especially with athletes and celebrities.

EDIT: Whoa! The drama continues, BIG time. Here is club owner John Henry’s side of the story via 98.5 FM The Sports Hub.

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