Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling on D&C: If Dave Dombrowski 'not allowed to steer the boat,' he won't last very long

August 19, 2015 - 6:54 am

ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning as part of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon to talk about his experience with cancer and give his take on the Red Sox' recent moves. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. Schilling detailed the dangers of chewing tobacco and smoking, emphasizing that a large part of the problem is seeing guys in the majors doing it and thinking it's cool. Schilling said he first dipped on a dare when he was 16 and wouldn't have considered it unless he had seen it before. He went through painful treatments to cure himself of the addiction and suffered from withdrawal in the process. "There is not one positive, physical upside," Schilling said. At this point, he said there's not much more he can do than inform people of what's going to happen to them if they choose to dip or smoke. "I'm not going to tell people not to do it because it's a personal choice and it's still legal," he said, "but I will tell you what's going to happen when you do, and it's nothing you could ever, ever experience or imagine." On the baseball side of things, with Dave Dombrowski scheduled to be introduced Wednesday afternoon as the Sox' new president of baseball operations and Ben Cherington stepping down as general manager, Schilling said things probably are going to be changing in the front office. Dombrowski, who was released by the Tigers on Aug. 4, is a different type of guy in the sense that he operates more independently. "I don't think this will last very long if he's not allowed to steer the boat," Schilling said, adding: "I would imagine that Dave made it somewhat clear that, 'Hey, sure I'll take the job, but this is how this is going to play out.' " Schilling added that the Red Sox ownership group is one that likes to be involved in baseball operations dealings. Things never really move "autonomously" in the organization -- at least they didn't when Schilling was around every day. "Nobody worked in a silo from the top down," he said. "From the medical staff, to the trainers, a lot of the stuff, there was involvement." There was even some owner involvement in setting lineups for the day when Terry Francona was manager, according to Schilling. Schilling also noted that while Cherington is responsible for some hefty contracts that aren't easy to get rid of given the performance of the players they've been awarded to, it's also on the guys on the roster for not playing well. "You can argue about the bad contracts and those years are to come and those will be legitimate, valid arguments, but the players that they signed, every possible thing that could have gone wrong went wrong with every player they signed," he said. And while John Farrell isn't necessarily one of Dombrowski's guys, Schilling said he thinks he will keep the manager around. "I think he maybe as an in-game manager still needs to get better, but I think he's as good as anybody I've ever met at the most important piece, which is communication," he said. Addressing the problems the Sox are facing as head toward a last-place finish for the third time in four years, Schilling said the team's needs aren't all that complicated. "They need a vocal guy," he said. "They need kind of a David Ross guy in the clubhouse, but it's not rocket science. They need better players. They've got tons of young talent, you see where their system, you've seen the young arms, which I love, but I don't like the thought of a lot of young arms without a plow horse at the front to tell you, 'Hey, listen, today's your day after you throw. What are you doing today? Why are you doing it? How are you doing it? And here's how I did it, and here's how I would adjust this or add' whatever. That Johnny Cueto to [Yordano] Ventura thing going on in Kansas City? I mean if you watch that, that's hands on. I love doing that because guys can see tangible results immediately." The Red Sox are rich in young prospects, which helps facilitate looking for that kind of guy and making his acquisition likely. Dombrowski is someone who likes to deal those prospects in order to shore up the current roster. "You look at every trade 'cause, to me, coming back was a star," Schilling said, adding: "Yeah, he gave up young talent, but in his mind he's trading a potential for a sure thing, and each one of those trades, I thought he brought back a sure thing." The biggest focus is getting that pitcher at the top of the rotation who will help the rest of the staff. "They need somebody to hand the ball to Opening Day," Schilling said. "They need somebody to hand the ball to -- hey, we made the wild card, win or go home, who are you handing the ball to? Because I think Wade Miley and [Rick] Porcello fall into a rotation with a top two or three guy, an ace and a second guy. "Eduardo Rodriguez to me is the top-of-the-rotation guy that they eventually need, but he needs a guy here to help him get there," Schilling added.