Trouble brewing in Boston?
[url=http://www.courant.com/sports/baseball/hc-redsoxside0707.artjul07,0,1957144.story?coll=hc-headlines-baseball]The news that Schilling will take over as closer raised some eyebrows in the clubhouse.
"I don't think he's ready to be our closer," Johnny Damon said before Wednesday's victory in Texas, endorsing Bronson Arroyo and Timlin. "I think Bronson would be our best choice as a closer. That's if Mike Timlin's not it. "Mike Timlin deserves to be it. All his years in the big leagues and the fact that he came in [Tuesday] night's game and threw six pitches and we were done. That's pretty good. He's going to throw strikes. He's going to make the plays. I think Mike Timlin definitely deserves that spot."
"You got a lot of upset people in here. You've got a lot of guys busting their butts in the bullpen all year."
Another player, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it was a "slap in the face" to other relievers that Schilling is getting a chance to close.
"I don't think it's a good move for us," Damon said. "We've talked about it all year. We need him to come back and be a starter and be a good starter. He can't just walk in and be a good closer, either. If he's not ready yet, then he's not ready. Now, if he goes and sets up at first and is the long guy out of the pen, then maybe we'll see. But right now, we're expecting him to be a starting pitcher. I guess we should have more team meetings and see what the best direction for our team will be."
Damon said the Red Sox are "panicking" by making Schilling the closer.
"We're [four] games up," he said. "They feel like we're 10 down. They've been trying to get rid of [Kevin] Millar since the beginning of the season. Well, guess what? His numbers were the same as last year and then he caught fire. Now he's definitely looking over his shoulder a little more because we've got a very good backup first baseman now in [John] Olerud." [/url]