ESPN baseball analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling offered an olive branch of sorts in his back-and-forth with Boston manager Bobby Valentine, saying he feels bad so much has been made about his criticism and expressing regret about a tweet sent Thursday comparing Valentine's New York radio deal with the Titanic speeding toward an iceberg.
During spring training, Schilling questioned Valentine's handling of pitcher Daniel Bard and said he didn't think things were going well in the Sox clubhouse. On Wednesday, Valentine called Schilling's criticism "silly" during his first of what will be a weekly appearance on the Michael Kay show on ESPN Radio New York.
In response, Schilling on Friday essentially called off the dogs.
"I certainly understand he disagrees with me. ..." Schilling told Adam Jones on ESPN Boston Radio. "The problem here is this has been positioned as me against Bobby V and I feel bad.
"I disagreed with some things that he did. I stated my opinion in disagreeing. People act like I am openly rooting against him and nothing can be further from the truth. I like Bobby, I think he's a very smart baseball guy. I disagree with some of the stuff that he did, that's what I get paid to do. I gave my opinion and if he disagrees with it that's his prerogative, that's fine."
As for this tweet -- "Michael Kay radio show? Titanic now in open water at full speed!" -- sent Thursday from Schilling's @gehrig38 account?
"We were having fun and making a joke," Schilling explained with a chuckle. "I got dared to do something and I did it and I probably shouldn't have. It was all said in fun and jest. ... We were having fun and joking around and I tweeted it. I got a rash of crap for it, by the way."
Schilling declined to make a prediction about how the Red Sox would fare this season, choosing to wait for April to play out before making a more informed prognostication. He did allow, however, that the Sox have a tough road to the playoffs in the AL East.
"The challenge for the Red Sox is it's as much about the division as it is about their roster," he said on ESPN Boston Radio. "The Rays are better, the Blue Jays are a team that I think people are going to sleep on and I think that might be a mistake. The Yankees are good but the (Michael Pineda shoulder injury), that's going to be a problem. Those things never work out."