BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox say announcer and former knuckleballer Tim Wakefield is undergoing treatment for a disease they did not specify and asked for fans to respect his privacy after his illness was outed without his consent by ex-teammate Curt Schilling.
The team issued a statement on Thursday after Schilling said on a podcast that Wakefield had brain cancer, leading to an outpouring of support for Wakefield — and criticism of Schilling. The Red Sox noted that they were releasing the statement with the permission of Wakefield and his wife, Stacy.
“Unfortunately, this information has been shared publicly without their permission," the team said. "Their health is a deeply personal matter they intended to keep private as they navigate treatment and work to tackle this disease. Tim and Stacy are appreciative of the support and love that has always been extended to them and respectfully ask for privacy at this time.”
Wakefield, 57, retired in 2012 with a 200-192 record and 4.41 ERA in more than 3,000 major league innings. He was a part of Boston’s 2004 and ’07 World Series championships and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2016.
He has worked for NESN, the Red Sox broadcast network, since 2012 and remained active in Boston charities, including the Red Sox Foundation.
Schilling, who was Wakefield’s teammate from 2004-07, retired in 2009. He worked as an ESPN analyst before he was fired in 2016 for anti-transgender social media posts. Other posts have expressed support for lynching journalists and the Jan. 6 insurrection. His video game company, 38 Studios, went bankrupt and defaulted on a $75 million loan from the state of Rhode Island.
Schilling was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014 and later said it was in remission. He was enshrined in the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2012, but he fell short of induction in the national baseball hall in 2022, his final year of eligibility, garnering 58.6% of the vote — far short of the 75% needed.
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