ESPN analyst Curt Schilling checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning, shortly after Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine joined D&C and reiterated that he didn't put much stock in Schilling's criticism of him during spring training.
Valentine said that he got along with Schilling when the two worked at ESPN last year and he respected the former Sox pitcher's knowledge of baseball, but he nonetheless dismissed Schilling's criticism as not being credible.
Responded Schilling: "My problem right now is that this has been framed as something it's not, which is pro-Terry Francona, anti-Bobby Valentine me. I can't imagine anything being further from the truth. I like Bobby. I got along with Bobby, we got along when we were at ESPN. I was asked to give my opinion on how I saw the situation based on my observations and conversations.
"I'm not trying to get the job back for Terry. You can't fire the team. The way that season ended, Terry had to go at the end of last year. It was embarrassing and all those things around that. What happened at the end of last year had to happen.
"This hiring surprised me, based on what I knew about Bobby as a manager and personality in this market, and playing here and having been here. I've been asked to give my opinion. It's my opinion. It could be wrong. They could win the division and I could be totally wrong. It's just how I feel based on what I've seen and what I've heard."
Schilling insisted his criticism was rooted in discussions he had with those around the team.
"I go based on conversations either a) with guys on the team or b) with people around the team," he said. "I'm not going to speculate. I played and I got pissed with a lot of guys in the media that I knew didn't know. I promised I wouldn't be one of those guys. If I'm going to comment on something about the ballclub, then it's going to be based on a conversation that I've had."
Added Schilling: "I had more than one conversation with guys that are either on the team or around the team. There was some concern, I think, about how things were going. And then my comments on the [Daniel] Bard situation are as a pitcher. I've been in that situation and that role and those jobs. And I've been handled differently. I think I have a little bit of an insight into how that affects pitchers' mentality and approach and stuff like that."
Schilling said he agreed that the Red Sox needed to let Bard continue down the path of being a starter despite the injury to Andrew Bailey. And he agreed with Valentine's assessment that three games in to the season is too early to have to warn a player that he won't be in the starting lineup -- referring to the Kevin Youkilis situation. But Schilling stressed that a manager needs to be consistent and communicative.
"I would tell you that you want managers to be exactly the same way you want umpires to be, which is consistent," he said. "The last thing in the world you want to be as a manager is unpredictable. I think that that is absolutely a problem. And it was my impression that there was some unpredictability, I guess is the word.
"The challenge is that fans don't want to hear that multimillion dollar athletes are being catered to, are being coddled, and I agree. But at the same time, you have to manage the people you have on your roster."
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