Curt Chimes in on Nomar

Boston Dirt Dogs:  While "cancer in the clubhouse" is obviously going a bit too far, there have been many reports, for a long time, that Nomar was a loner, marching to the beat of his own drummer for quite some time, e.g. not cutting hair for the Cowboy Up movement last year. Any truth to the fact that Nomar was not on the same page as his Red Sox teammates? And does this matter when it comes to the only stat that counts, wins and losses?

Curt Schilling:  Nomar was quiet, from what I have heard he has always been quiet. That doesn't imply one negative thing, but it's merely his way. I'm not going to delve into the 'cancer' thing because it's a childish argument and not one to debate in a forum like this anyway. Nomar never affected the way I went about preparing for my job nor how I did it.

When he played, he played his ass off. I got a small sample size only being able to see him for less than 40 games, but in my opinion it was obvious that he was having issues moving around well when he was in the field.

As to whether stats are the only things that count, no, they aren't.

Even more so in this city than anywhere else I have been. There is so much more scrutiny here that it's imperative to have the whole team in the same frame of mind, being able to rely on each other, and trust each other. While I am sure it can be done without a close knit group of guys, I haven't been on a team that won that wasn't close, that didn't argue, bitch and holler once in a while. But here it's made out to be a much larger deal to you all, through the media, than it ever is inside the clubhouse. That, to me anyway, is more a byproduct of the media competition than anything else.

Boston Dirt Dogs:  Did Nomar's being peeved at Sox brass about the off-season A-Rod pursuit, and the fact that he could not reach agreement on a new contract, have a trickle down effect on other teammates? Do you think it affected his focus on the field, i.e. sloppy defense since return?

Curt Schilling:  Not in my opinion. Not at all. Nomar gave everything he had when he laced up his spikes.

Boston Dirt Dogs: Do you know if Nomar's Achilles' injury was misdiagnosed from the get-go? Do you think he would have returned sooner if not for the lingering bitterness at Sox brass re: contract/A-Rod?

Curt Schilling:  No idea. I still don't really know what it is that he has. I don't know, because I don't know what all went on. I don't know what was and was not true in all of that mess. For someone to say "yes" to this you would, in a sense, be saying that Nomar screwed his teammates to get back at the ownership of this team, which I cannot see happening.

Boston Dirt Dogs: Having worked out with Nomar in Arizona, what can you say about his conditioning program? Does he work out too hard in the off-season?

Curt Schilling:  Nomar puts his time and effort into preparing the right way for a 162 game schedule in my opinion. The people at API are pro's, and, in my opinion, the best in the country at what they do.

Boston Dirt Dogs: You've mentioned that you've never been on a championship team that could not play solid defense. This team, as was constituted, was giving up far too many easy runs. How does this trade affect the overall team defense? And the chemistry on the club (if there is such a thing)?

Curt Schilling:  I think we've gone from a suspect defense, to a top-tier team defensively. That will have an impact, and a positive one. In one sense, you no longer have to score as many runs as you did since you are going to be giving up fewer. It's not only errors that lose games, it's plays that aren't made that are not errors, plays that few people notice and never show up in the box scores. We talk about them, we see them, and they matter. Right now the two best defensive SS in the AL reside in Boston, that's not a bad thing. I told someone at season's start that the team that pitched and defended best between us and the Yankees would win the East, I still believe that. Their offense is a juggernaut, but they catch the ball better than everyone thought they would and we haven't.

Pitching and defense wins in October. I can't remember the last team that slugged their way to a World Series championship. The chemistry will change, I don't doubt that. How it will change I don't know, but chemistry, good chemistry, is a result of winning, period.


Boston Dirt Dogs Exclusive

Ace Chimes in on the Nomar Madness


"Theo had to decide if 30-40 games of Nomar at SS, with another 20-30 games of Pokey/Ricky at SS was better than 50-60 games of Orlando Cabrera at SS. Look, Orlando Cabrera is not a .250 hitter, he's a legitimate gold glove winner and in my opinion his career numbers are a lot closer to the real player than the numbers he had put up this year."

Boston Dirt Dogs:  Curt, an email came in from a lifelong Sox fan after yesterday's trade that started like this:

"I picked up my daughter at a birthday party yesterday around 5 pm and told one of the parents there that Nomar was traded to the Cubs. A little boy with a Red Sox hat overheard me and started crying and had to be taken away..."

What do you say to all the little Nomah-5 shirt wearing fans out there, and the people who thought Nomar was the next Ted Williams, and would spend his entire career here?

Curt Schilling: You tell them the truth I think. Listen, no one died here, I am certain though, being a new guy in these parts, that some people feel like someone did actually die. This is a sport, big business, not life and death. Trades happen, and this one was obviously larger and had much more impact given the team and the fans and the player and all the combined history.

It was no mystery that Nomar wasn't going to re-sign here, I continue to be amazed at the amount of dancing around this actual fact by everyone. Given that he wasn't going to be coming back, the GM of this team had a very significant decision to make on whether 30-40 games with him, and then the eventual compensation draft choice, were worth not trading him.

Theo had to decide if 30-40 games of Nomar at SS, with another 20-30 games of Pokey/Ricky at SS was better than 50-60 games of Orlando Cabrera at SS. Look, Orlando Cabrera is not a .250 hitter, he's a legitimate gold glove winner and in my opinion his career numbers are a lot closer to the real player than the numbers he had put up this year. From what I have read, he was also one of the potential replacements to be pursued this winter when Nomar left.

Regardless of all the "he said she said" going back and forth now, the facts have been pretty plain and very obvious since I got here. Nomar was not re-signing here, he was going to be a free agent, rather than let him walk for the pick our GM decided to try and improve the one area this team has a gaping weakness in, and did. As far as losing his offense I look at it this way. We spent the first 1/3 of the season without him, and we played well, we were also missing Trot, like now, they are both not in our lineup, we found a way to win then, and we can do so now, we have to.

Would our offense be better with BOTH of them in it? Sure would, but you can't have everything you want, you have to take what's given to you and make it work, and I think we will.

So I guess the short answer is to tell them to appreciate what they got a chance to see, and remember it. Tell them that Nomar is a ballplayer, not a fireman or a police officer or a doctor, those people are the ones she needs to look up to and respect, along with her parents. Ballplayers are there to perform and be cheered, booed and jeered, to entertain fans with their god given ability, and to perform at a level no one else can. Then, at the end of the day, we go home and do the same things you all do.

BDD is a feature of All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

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The "Curt�s Pitch for ALS" program is a joint effort by Curt and Shonda Schilling and The ALS Association Mass Chapter to strike out Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig�s Disease.

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