ESPN has confirmed that Curt Schilling — suspended in late August for a tweet equating Muslims to Nazis — will return to the network’s airwaves for postseason coverage on Baseball Tonight. He will not be in the booth for ESPN’s live broadcast of the American League Wild Card Game.
They do not broadcast any other postseason baseball.
Schilling has one year left on his contract with ESPN and told reporters Sunday at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway that he doesn’t expect he’ll be moving on over the winter. But it’s not clear whether Schilling is going to return to Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts in 2016 or remain in a studio role.
Jessica Mendoza has been filling in with Dan Shulman and John Kruk. She seems pretty popular.
Fun thing: Curt Schilling, and others, are still being sued by the State of Rhode Island in the wake of the debacle over Schilling’s software company that went belly-up and cost taxpayers $75 million. Some of his codefendants, however, have settled, leaving Schilling as one of the few remaining defendants:
A judge has approved a $12.5 million partial settlement in a lawsuit over Rhode Island’s failed $75 million deal with former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s video game company 38 Studios . . . Schilling and others opposed the settlement, but the judge called it a good faith agreement and overruled their objections . . . The case continues against Schilling and others at the company, as well as others who were involved.
The case, filed by Rhode Island in 2012, alleges that Schilling and others engaged in financial misconduct, neglect, fraud, and conspiracy to deceive officials about the company’s financial prospects. The complaint says that the defendants “knew or should have known, but failed to inform the [Rhode Island’s economic development board] that 38 Studios was destined to fail according to 38 Studios’ own financial projections.”
In Schilling’s defense, and as virtually all of his post-baseball actions have shown, he is profoundly and possibly even pathologically unaware of when he is making mistakes, so I feel like there is some kind of good-faith-narcism defense he could put up here. Just spitballin’.
Curt Schilling was recently taken off ESPN broadcasts for the Little League World Series and Sunday Night Baseball as a result of a tweet which compared Muslims to Nazis. The expectation was that he would only miss one week of Sunday Night Baseball and return this coming Sunday, but that’s no longer the case. In fact, he’s done for the remainder of the season at the very least.
Here’s the announcement from ESPN:
At all times during the course of their engagement with us, our commentators are directly linked to ESPN and are the face of our brand. We are a sports media company. Curt’s actions have not been consistent with his contractual obligations nor have they been professionally handled; they have obviously not reflected well on the company. As a result, he will not appear on ESPN through the remainder of the regular season and our Wild Card playoff game.
ESPN presumably changed their minds on Schilling after his email exchange with Dan Levy was posted on Awful Announcing this week.
It’s unclear what this announcement means for Jessica Mendoza, who filled in for Schilling on Sunday Night Baseball this past Sunday, alongside Dan Shulman and John Kruk.