BOSTON -- Curt Schilling has an undisclosed injury in his
right shoulder, and the pitcher has been squabbling with the
Boston Red Sox over whether he should have surgery that could cost him the
season or try something less drastic.
Writing on his blog, 38pitches.com, Schilling said Thursday
night that he has agreed to abide by the club's request to rely on
rest and rehabilitation.
"There have been disagreements these past few weeks in an
effort to provide me with a solution that would allow me to pitch
as much as possible during the 2008 season,'' Schilling wrote. "At
no time did I ever consider taking a course of action against the
club's wishes. In the end, regardless of who agreed with whom, I
have chosen the club's course of action and will vigorously pursue
any and every option I can to be able to help this team to another
World Series title in 2008.''
Red Sox officials have declined to comment other than to issue a
two-sentence statement Thursday night confirming that Schilling is
"Curt Schilling was examined by Red Sox doctors in January
after he reported feeling right shoulder discomfort,'' the team
said. "Curt has started a program of rest, rehabilitation and
shoulder strengthening in an attempt to return to pitching.''
The Boston Herald first reported Schilling's injury on its Web
site, saying the injury was serious enough to consider surgery that
could keep him out for the whole 2008 season. The Boston Globe
reported later Thursday that even without surgery Schilling would
be out until at least the All-Star break.
The dispute over Schilling's treatment went far enough to lead
Schilling to consult with the players' union over his rights.
"I have been consulted by Curt and his representative,'' said
Michael Weiner, a lawyer for the players association. "The Red Sox
have no basis to take any action against Curt.''
According to a side letter to the collective bargaining
agreement, a player has the right to seek a second opinion from his
own doctor, but it's in dispute what happens when the team's doctor
and the player's disagree on the treatment.
Schilling, who spent seven weeks on the disabled list with right
shoulder tendinitis last year, went 9-8 with a 3.87 ERA during the
regular season last year. In the playoffs, he went 3-0 with a 3.00
ERA to help the Red Sox win their second World Series in four
He agreed in November to a one-year, $8 million contract that
allows him to earn an addition $5 million in performance and weight
bonuses. The 41-year-old right-hander has said that this will be
his last year.
Schilling said he passed all physical exams when he negotiated
his new contract.
"I knew in my heart of hearts that the extra time I was giving
my arm to rest this winter would in fact be the cure for what I
went through the entire 2007 season,'' he wrote. "I had a strong
desire to not have to go through multiple cortisone injections in
my shoulder for another year. There was absolutely no reason for
anyone involved to believe I would be anything other than
completely healthy and ready for the 2008 baseball season.
"Things have changed since then.''
The co-MVP of the 2001 World Series and a star in both of
Boston's recent titles, Schilling became a free agent after the '07
Series but agreed to a deal that included $5 million in weight and
performance incentives. The Red Sox questioned whether Schilling's
offseason conditioning last winter was responsible for his dropoff
in the '07 regular season.
The Red Sox had discussed -- and dismissed -- the idea of using a
six-man rotation this year. With Schilling out for an extended
period of time, they are expected to rely on Josh Beckett, Daisuke
Matsuzaka, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield and Clay Buchholz.