EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 25, 2008

Please, Curt, just retire

Bill Burt

Let me repeat myself:

It all started with Curt Schilling.

More than anyone, he showed New England that "The Curse" was nothing more than a pitching problem.

Schilling was a late bloomer, enjoying his best years in his mid-to-late 30s (164 of his 216 wins came after he turned 30), which included three second-place finishes in the Cy Young Award voting.

And his postseason numbers — 11-2, 2.23 ERA — when you add it to World Series rings, will make him a Hall of Famer. Eventually.

That officially ends my massage session.

Schilling, through his doctor, told the Boston Herald that the pitcher's shoulder surgery Monday "was better than expected."

Apparently, there was no tear of the rotator cuff, which was feared. Dr. Craig Morgan said that the Sox pitcher would need at least 12 months of rest and then rehab.

The pretty much gets us to the All-Star game in 2009, when teams will be looking for that guy to put them over the top.

Schilling would be four months shy of his 43rd birthday. And who knows if the rehab, especially the strengthening of his throwing muscles, won't take another month or two beyond the year.

To steal a line from Stoneham's own Nancy Kerrigan: Why?

Is there a team out there which would pay Schilling $1 million a month in a playoff run?

Absolutely.

After his disastrous 21/2 months in Boston in 2007, Eric Gagne received a one-year, $10 million contract from the Brewers.

Nonetheless, the only planning Schilling should do is for his goodbye press conference. Tears will be flowing for that one.

Schilling has been more than complimentary of the Red Sox. He has used the word "privilege" on several occasions, basically saying this four-year pit stop changed his life in ways he never imagined.

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