February 6

Former Red Sox star Curt Schilling says he has cancer

The man who helped break the Red Sox' World Series curse takes a leave of absence from ESPN.

The Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Curt Schilling, the right-hander who helped the Boston Red Sox win the 2004 and 2007 World Series, announced Wednesday that he’s battling cancer.

click image to enlarge

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling sits with his wife, Shonda, after being introduced as a new member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston. He has been diagnosed with cancer, he announced Wednesday.

2012 File Photo/The Associated Press

click image to enlarge

Curt Schilling pitches against the Colorado Rockies in Game 2 of the 2007 World Series at Fenway Park.

2007 File Photo/The Associated Press

Schilling, 47, divulged the news in a statement released through his employer, Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN. It didn’t indicate what type of cancer Schilling has, when he was diagnosed or what his prognosis might be.

“With my incredibly talented medical team I’m ready to try and win another big game,” said Schilling, who retired in 2009 after 20 years in the major leagues.

“I’ve been so very blessed and I feel grateful for what God has allowed my family to have and experience, and I’ll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on.”

An ESPN spokesman, Mike Soltys, said Schilling is taking a leave of absence.

Schilling recently signed a multiyear contract extension with the network and was to be part of the “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast team, as well as contribute to the network’s studio coverage, including its spring-training coverage, Soltys said.

“Our thoughts are with Curt and his family during this challenging time,” ESPN said in a statement.

“His ESPN teammates wish him continued strength in his cancer fight and we look forward to welcoming him back to our baseball coverage whenever he’s ready.”

Schilling played for five teams. He won three world titles with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Red Sox, sharing the World Series MVP award with teammate Randy Johnson in 2001.

He won 216 games and struck out 3,116 batters during his career but is perhaps best known for pitching in the 2004 ALCS and World Series after having stitches to mend an ankle injury. His bloody sock was later put on display in Cooperstown.

Schilling has been in the news recently after the failure of 38 Studios, a video game company he owned in Rhode Island, with the help of a $75 million state loan guarantee. The company went bankrupt last year, leaving Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook to pay back tens of millions of dollars.

Schilling said that he had invested and lost as much as $50 million.

This is not the first time he and his family have battled health issues.

Schilling recently revealed he suffered a heart attack in November 2011. His wife, Shonda, successfully battled melanoma in 2001.

His daughter, Gabby, took to Twitter on Wednesday to ask for prayers for her father.

“So i guess the word is out, if everyone could just keep my dad and family in their prayers it would mean a lot!” she wrote.

RANGERS: Right-hander Chaz Roe rejected an outright assignment to the minor leagues and elected instead to become a free agent.

Texas acquired Roe in a Nov. 1 waiver claim from Arizona. The Rangers designated him for assignment last week after being awarded left-hander Pedro Figueroa on a waiver claim from Tampa Bay.

Roe made his major league debut with the Diamondbacks last season, going 1-0 with a 4.03 ERA in 21 appearances over four stints.

Texas reached a 10-year deal with an insurance company for naming rights of its stadium, which has been renamed Globe Life Park in Arlington.

INDIANS: Bryan LaHair, 31, a first baseman/outfielder, agreed to a minor league contract.

LaHair hit .230 with 16 homers and 57 RBI last year for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League. He was released Jan. 23.

LaHair was an NL All-Star in 2012, when he batted .269 with 16 homers and 40 RBI for the Chicago Cubs. He has 21 homers in three big league seasons with Seattle and the Cubs.

PADRES: Left-hander Cory Luebke will need a second reconstructive elbow surgery and will miss the season.

Luebke missed all of last season while rehabbing after having his first surgery in May 2012.

An MRI exam last week showed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament.

DODGERS: Frank McCourt, the former owner, asked a judge to order his former wife to pay him nearly $2 million in legal fees after she contested their divorce settlement.

McCourt’s lawyers are seeking $1.94 million in fees spent fighting a motion by Jamie McCourt to throw out a divorce settlement that gave her $131 million and several pieces of property.

A judge rejected the motion in September.

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