Back in this post on October 25, I stated that I thought resigning Schilling was a bad idea, based on the expectation that Schilling was looking for a 1-year, $13m contract. Then, when the Sox did resign Schilling for $8m base with incentives, I said that it was an okay deal, giving the Sox some extra depth.
Of course, Schilling hasn't, and won't, throw a pitch all season. It's not much of a blow to the Sox, who have a very strong current rotation of Beckett/ Matsuzaka (off the DL tomorrow)/ Lester/ Wakefield/ Masterson, with Colon rehabbing his back and Buchholz tearing it up in AAA, plus a few other options. The Sox are out $8m, but their payroll is still a good $10m LESS than it was last season at this point, so they can absorb it.
As much as Schilling has done for the team, and as much as I appreciate what he brought, I can't say I'm sorry to see him go. For one thing, he's a tactless, deeply egotistical man who comes across as a man who simply never grew up. His competitive nature, and his ability to mentor young pitchers, certainly helped the Sox, but there comes a point where he's no longer helping and just opinionating; he never learned to recognize that point.
Additionally, Schilling simply doesn't have much left to offer, playing-wise. Even without the latest injury, he was a 40-plus player with a ton of innings on his arm; he'd had to "reinvent" himself as a "smart" pitcher last year because he didn't have the velocity to blow hitters away any more. The Red Sox have a plethora of pitchers, most of them 27 or younger, and even if Schilling was completely healthy right now there's an argument that everyone else in the rotation could produce better than him. Experience certainly counts for something, and Schilling was one of the most prepared pitchers in baseball, but sometimes players completely fail to recognize that their time to retire has come.
So to Schilling I say, it's time to say goodbye. Thank you for everything you did do for the Red Sox. If you do make it into the Hall of Fame, I hope you go in as a Red Sox player: you have certainly earned your place in Boston sports lore. But it's now time to step aside for the new generations of players.