News of Curt Schilling’s retirement announcement hit Ft. Myers this morning. Sox skipper Terry Francona said Schilling called him this morning to tell him.
“I was fortunate to have him. This is the first spring training that I’ve ever not had him in 10 years as a manager. He’s a special pitcher. We had a pretty special relationship,” Francona said. “He was never late, he was always prepared when he pitched. I don’t care who you were playing against, you always felt like you had a good chance to win.”
Francona, who managed Schilling in Philadelphia before the two came to Boston, said Schilling was “unbelievable ... phenomenal” with the Phillies, said it was great watching Schilling evolve as a pitcher.
“We felt like he could evolve. I always said that while he was in Philly,” Francona said. “He’d go out, throw a curveball — he could probably make it work. And he had to do that because of injuries. What he did in ‘04 took a lot out of him. I don’t think he would take it back, and I don’t think we would take it back. But he had a pretty damn good career.”
David Ortiz echoed Francona’s comments.
“I have a lot of respect for that guy. He had a lot of controversy with a lot of people. Some people agree, some people don’t. But myself, I say to myself, ‘What an amazing professional baseball player,’“ Ortiz said. “What he did in 2004, I was around the whole thing. Seriously — it was one of the most impressive things that I have seen done in baseball. The guy got surgery and two days later he’s pitching out there. That’s crazy.”
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A quick game recap of Celtics 121-97 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
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