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Schilling laughs off Yankee talk

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  April 15, 2008 10:00 AM

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Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling reiterated this morning his previous assertion that he would not consider pitching for the Yankees next season, despite comments to the contrary from his personal doctor.

"[Schilling] called me when he was angry about a month ago and was having recurrent pain, and said 'Listen, I want to pitch again next year,' and [would consider] the possibility of the [Yankees] option," Dr. Craig Morgan told Boston sports radio station WEEI 850 AM this morning. "He didn't say he was going to do it, he didn't do any of that. I think it was in part of anger."

Schilling laughed off that assertion in a follow-up interview later in the morning on WEEI.

"Me wearing pinstripes, regardless of what point of the season or my career it would have been, is not an option," said Schilling, who is currently on the 60-day disabled list with a biceps/right shoulder injury. "I can't ... think back to having that conversation specifically it's not an option. Never has been an option."

So how could Morgan have come to that conclusion?

"He's at a distance. And, again, Craig is a friend, a very close friend, always will be," Schilling said. "But I've talked to him probably 3-4 times since January. So I'm not sure he's been kept abreast of the facts, and the conversation that, I'm not really sure what conversation he's referring to with regards to a couple of different comments that he made, but the Yankee piece, there's some misinformation going on, and I can remember us having a conversation and laughing about coming back and pitching next year ..."

More from Schilling:

"The first word that popped into my head, is a word that I think is new to the English language, but everybody understands what it means is 'misrember'. I talked to doc probably within the last week. He's called me a couple of times during my rehab, but I'm not really sure how he got to some of the conclusions he got to."

Even before he became a free agent at the end of last season, Schilling has said all along that he would not consider pitching for the Yankees.

In radio interviews earlier today in Boston and yesterday in Philadelphia, Morgan, who has operated on Schilling's shoulder in the past, caused a stir in Red Sox Nation by bringing up the Yankees as an option for Schilling next season.

"Oh that's definitely possible," Morgan said. "He told me, despite this thing, he doesn't think he's done and he wants to pitch next year. And if you read between the lines, [pitching for the Yankees is] definitely a possibility. I don't think he's going to pitch for Royals next year, if he pitches at all."

Morgan also reiterated that he thinks the Red Sox made a mistake by not allowing the 41-year-old Schilling to have surgery to repair his injured right shoulder.

"If you go back to my comments of three months ago, I felt that this guy, based on the findings in his shoulder at that time, that he had no shot of returning to pitching in a major league game this year with a conservative approach," Morgan said on WEEI. "And you know what? My opinion still hasn't changed. I think if he pitches near the end of this year or in the playoffs or the World Series, that's close to a miracle."

More from Morgan:

"I talked to Curt maybe 3-4 days ago, and you have to understand, this has been three months since the initiation of the Red Sox conservative approach, and after three months, Schilling did tell me that his shoulder is feeling better, he has much less pain, but he hasn't done anything. After three months, he's lifting light weights. I'm talking about 2-3 pound hand-held weights. He hasn't picked up a ball. He hasn't done much of anything. And this is purely just my opinion, and based on that, the baby-step kind of approach to rehab. He's looking at August-September even if there aren't any health issues."

Schilling painted a much more optimistic picture of his progress.

"From a rehab standpoint, I'm probably as surprised as anyone how well it's gone and where I'm at," Schilling said this morning. "I don't have any pain at all, which is a huge change. ... I'm still nervous about getting on the field and throwing."

Schilling, who signed an incentive-laden one-year, $8 million deal in the offseason, has been following Red Sox doctors' recommendation of rehabbing his right shoulder instead of having it surgically repaired in the hopes that he'll be able to pitch again this season. He is expected to be sidelined at least until the All-Star break.

Does he think he'll contribute for the Red Sox this season?

"Based on where we're at now, there's a very good chance that I will pitch, and be better than I was, this year, but again, there's another huge step to take," Schlling said on WEEI. "I can tell you as far as being angry with the organization, or being angry with anyone in particular ... I was not happy with the direction were taking ... but it's water under the bridge. As of today, I think that everybody's been kind of proven right that I didn't agree with early on ... I'm disappointed. The angry part for me right now is I'm traveling with this baseball team and watching these guys go on the field, and do what they do and I can't play. It's frustrating."

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