Please keep talking, Curt

Ken Rosenthal

People used to complain that Curt Schilling talked too much. But now, I wish Schilling would talk even more.

Alas, talking is no longer the same for Schilling, at least judging from the way he sounded while revealing his form of mouth cancer and detailing his painful treatments in a radio interview with Boston's WEEI. He paused several times for water, explaining that he cannot yet generate saliva.

Schilling, 47, said that he did not reveal his condition sooner because he wanted to avoid the "€œchewing tobacco debate,"€ but added that three decades of chewing "œunquestionably"€ gave him cancer. His doctor, who also was part of the interview, agreed.

Some major leaguers say they can't break their addiction to chewing tobacco, and I'™m not here to judge them. But I can'€™t imagine deterrents any more powerful than the examples of Schilling and the late Tony Gwynn.

Union chief Tony Clark has said he is open to discussing a ban on smokeless tobacco in the next labor talks. Yet, even commissioner Bud Selig has said, "€œI understand that individuals have the right to make their own decisions."

My suggestion: Send Schilling'€™s interview to every player. And Curt, if you can, keep talking. People need to hear you, loud and clear.