Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

ESPN Fires Curt Schilling

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With the way he had been proceeding it was only a matter of time. And now his time is up. Curt Schilling has been fired by ESPN.

The final straw came yesterday when Schilling shared a disgusting anti-transgender meme on Facebook and followed it up with supportive comments which took a distinct, inflammatory side in the ongoing debate about access to public facilities for transgender people. He later doubled down in a combative blog post on the matter. The matter has become highly controversial and Schilling weighing in in the manner he did was both insensitive to transgender persons and flew in the face of ESPN’s mandate to its on-air talent — often broken by Schilling himself — to not wade into highly-charged political topics in an inflammatory manner.

Schilling has constantly defended his behavior in this regard as a matter of his personal beliefs, but when one’s personal beliefs are in direct contradiction of your employer’s values and when you cease to heed your employer’s warnings to cease making controversial public comments, you are eventually going to be fired. And if there is any doubt that Schilling’s beliefs conflicted with his employer’s, ESPN’s statement this evening regarding the firing put that to rest:

“ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

Schilling had already been demoted from his job on Sunday Night Baseball last year for a similar incident involving a social media meme which equated Muslims to Nazis. In the past he had also gotten into controversies regarding the teaching of evolution and, last month, was on a radio show when he said that Hillary Clinton should “be buried under a jail somewhere.” By some counts, Schilling has had no less than seven separate instances in which he came under scrutiny for his social media habits. And a guy with Schilling’s distinguished career on the mound knows that, by the time you get to seven strikes, you’re out.

A person hired to be a sports commentator can, with caution and care, wade into public matters. Many do. But the reckless and offensive way Schilling did and his repeated violation of his employer’s orders in this regard made his position untenable. And now one of the best pitchers of his generation is out of a job.

Busch Stadium banned the Joe Maddon “Try Not to Suck” t-shirts

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In spring training Cubs manager Joe Maddon gave out t-shirts to his players which said “Try Not to Suck” on them. The message and its intent, I would hope, was obvious. And, because it’s irreverent, Cubs fans started wearing “Try Not to Suck” t-shirts too. You can buy them here. A percentage of the proceeds go to Cubs charities.

But don’t try to wear them to Busch Stadium. Some Cubs fans tried to for the series against the Cardinals. Officials there banned the shirts following complaints from . . . someone. It’s not entirely clear. The Chicago Tribune has the full story on it, along with Maddon’s reaction. He’s a bit perplexed to say the least.

I’m gonna guess that “Try not to suck” is not the most offensive message to ever appear on a t-shirt in Busch Stadium, but I’m sure some of you have anecdotes about that.

Rockies acquire 1B Decker from Royals

Associated Press
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CINCINNATI (AP) The Colorado Rockies acquired first baseman Cody Decker from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash on Wednesday. He was assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Decker, 29, was hitting .278 with three home runs and five runs batted in over seven games with Triple-A Omaha this season.

He signed with the Royals as a free agent after spending seven seasons in the San Diego system, including an eight-game stint with the Padres during which he went 0-for-11 last season.