Curt Schilling was originally taken off of the Little League World Series telecast for his Nazi/Muslims tweet yesterday. Many, your dear author included, thought that was a tad light. Others wonder how ESPN even continues to employ a guy who seems far more interested in stirring up political stuff than being a baseball analyst.
ESPN is having second thoughts about all of this as well:
This is presumably just this week. But now Schilling has all the time in the world to post things to social media, so maybe just give it time. He’s never been anything less than a top competitor.
Former Indians closer Chris Perez has retired from baseball. This actually happened a few days ago, but no one took notice. The only mention of it appears to be this entry on the International League’s transactions page from four days ago:
He was in the Orioles organization, but he couldn’t even pitch anyway given that he had a 50-game suspension for a drug of abuse to serve that wouldn’t have ended until next month.
Maybe the retirement holds, maybe it doesn’t. Manny Ramirez retired when faced with a drug suspension but then came back and saw the suspension reduced. Precedent is set, right? Take a year or so off, get back in shape and try to latch on someplace else.
Maybe, however, Perez just wants to move on from baseball and into whatever else it is interests him in life. Which, based on his disciplinary and legal history of the past couple of years seems to be marijuana, but hey, whatever you want to do man.
When baseball was his thing he was pretty good at it for a while. He was an All-Star closer for the Indians in 2011 and 2012, saving 36 and 39 games in those years, respectively. But since then he has a 4.31 ERA with 46 walks in 100 innings. He was arrested in 2013, along with his wife, after having a package of marijuana delivered in their dog’s name. Then this suspension. He has bounced from the Indians to the Dodgers to the Brewers and now to the Orioles organization before hanging it up.
Hang loose, Chris. Go be you wherever you want to be.
Dan Patrick knows ESPN better than just about anyone. And he wants to know why ESPN puts up with Curt Schilling given his tendency to step in it all the damn time:
In some of his many roles, Dan Patrick’s corporate overlords are my own corporate overlords. And Patrick talks about this when asked if anyone has ever told him, as a prominent face of the company, to back off political stuff. His answer is sort of refreshing in that (a) he’s not been given any diktats over such things and likely wouldn’t be until something came up; and (b) it’s basically the same way NBC has treated little old unimportant me about such things too.
No one has ever told me to stay away from politics. But there is an unsaid and quite reasonable expectation, I sense, that (a) if I DO mess up, Schilling-style, I’m in big trouble; and (b) dude, at least make sure it has SOME connection to what we’re paying you for, Which I think I do for the most part.
All of which is to say that, in my experience and Dan Patrick’s experience and, I suspect, Curt Schilling’s experience, we’ve been given some latitude and respect and trust that we’re not gonna throw bombs and say outlandish things. But as Patrick notes, Schilling has crossed that line several times. Will ESPN continue to accept that? I’m not sure how they can.