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Red Sox confirm Wakefields' illnesses shared without permission

Tim Wakefield Red Sox Tim Wakefield - Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox released a statement on Thursday confirming that longtime knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and his wife, Stacy, are both contending with serious illness, but that their health was never meant to be public.

The Wakefields' diagnoses were revealed by former teammate Curt Schilling's podcast on Wednesday, evidently without the permission of the family.

"We are aware of the statements and inquiries about the health of Tim and Stacy Wakefield," the team released in a statement. "Unfortunately, this information has been shared publicly without their permission. 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."

Earlier on Thursday, Catherine Varitek, the wife of former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, expressed her displeasure with Schilling on social media.

"F--- you, Curt Schilling, that wasn't your place!" Varitek wrote.

Wakefield, 57, spent 19 years in the majors from 1992 to 2011 with the Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates, with whom he spent the first two years of his career.

The native of Melbourne, FL was an All-Star in 2009 and was a member of World Series-winning Red Sox teams in 2004 and 2007.

For his career, Wakefield had a record of 200-180 in 627 appearances with an earned run average of 4.41 and a 1.350 WHIP over 3,226.1 innings pitched.