Doing a radio interview on WEEI’s Dennis & Callanhan show Friday, Curt Schilling detailed how things went bad with his company 38 Studios.
Having personally invested more than $50 million in the company, Schilling, who recently took a leave of absence from ESPN, told his family last month that “The money I saved and earned playing baseball was probably all gone…Life is going to be different.”
Schilling said he was still optimistic about the future of the company until Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee went public with its financial problems, mentioning the issues with keeping it solvent. He said he was on the verge of signing a possible $35 million deal with a major publisher for a sequel to his company’s first game, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,” but that talks collapsed after the comments.
Schilling also said he was working on a $15 million-$20 million deal to salvage the company that hinged on the state of Rhode Island’s cooperation, but that the state refused.
Schilling made it clear that he wasn’t looking for sympathy; he just wanted to get some of the facts out there. He also acknowledged how much of a mistake he made in dealing with his employees, all of whom were laid off last month.
“The employees got blindsided,” he said. “They have every right to be upset. I always told everybody if something were going to happen, you‘re going to have a month or two of lead time, and I bombed on that one in epic fashion.”
Infielder Javier Baez is back in camp with the Cubs after helping Puerto Rico to a second-place finish in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was the focal point of what was, to many, the most memorable play of the entire tournament: Baez pointed at catcher Yadier Molina, who was attempting to throw out a would-be base-stealer, before applying the tag for the final out of the eighth inning.
While Baez didn’t receive much criticism for his theatrics, aside from an insignificant handful of spoilsports, he is one of the players who most exemplifies the emotional, celebratory culture that foreign players bring to Major League Baseball. U.S. (and Tigers) second baseman Ian Kinsler is on the other side of that spectrum, as he said prior to the WBC final that he hopes kids mimic the solemn way U.S. players play the game rather than the emotional, passionate way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play the game.
Baez isn’t about to apologize for the way he and his teammates play the game. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Baez said, “We do a great job playing and having fun out there. That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it. but, you know, everybody’s got their style and their talent. I have a lot of fun.”
He continued, “It’s their choice to look at how we play, how excited we get. To us, it’s really huge what we did, even though we didn’t win. All of Puerto Rico got really together. We were going through a hard time over there and everything got fixed up for at least three weeks. Hopefully, they keep it like that.”
Angels outfielder Mike Trout came up with an idea that would allow less experienced umpires an opportunity to call some major league spring training action. As ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Trout thinks the veteran umpires should only call five or six innings as they get back into regular season shape. The rest of the innings could be called by minor league umpires.
According to Olney, baseball officials loved Trout’s idea when they heard about it last week. One official said, “It makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons.” Another said, “That’s Trout — he’s always paying attention to stuff beyond what he’s doing.”
Of course, I have to agree that the suggestion is a great one. As Olney notes, the turnover rate for umpires every year is relatively low, so younger, less-experienced umpires have few opportunities to get a feel for what it’s like calling major league action. Even beyond the actual interpretation of the rules, interacting with big league personalities would also be helpful for minor league umpires.