(cross-posted to my mattapp blog; my apologies to those LJ users who have both pages on their friends view)
Attention BoSox fans, I know you all love the fact you have Schilling now, and I understand how you feel. I wish the Phillies had traded some of their "untouchable" prospects this past off-season to get him back. However, there's already trouble brewing. While Schilling is happy to be pitching for Terry Francona again, the fact is that a Francona-Schilling combo is the worst thing that can happen to him.
Back in 1999 Schilling was shelved for a chunk of the season thanks to arm troubles caused by Francona's inability to properly monitor his workload. Those arm troubles required surgery in the 1999-2000 offseason, and as a result he missed the beginning of the 2000 season while he recovered from surgery. Apparently, Francona has learned nothing about pitch counts in the ensuing period as he has already left Schilling in a game for over 120 pitches -- something no starter should ever do this early in the season and which Schilling didn't do until the middle of May last year.
Look, I still love Schill and I'm hoping over the next few years he can put together the numbers necessary to make him a borderline HOF candidate. However, Francona looks dead set on finishing the job he started on Schilling back in Philly: turning that powerful right arm of his into slag.
Mark my word, if Francona continues to leave Schilling in for too long on a consistent basis, either his September numbers will show a significant decline or he will miss a few important starts due to "soreness."