Curt Schilling

At least Curt Schilling has a sense of humor about his job status

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I’ve given Curt Schilling a lot of crap in the past, but I have to tip my cap to him here.

Many people are passing this around, but I saw it via Meg Rowley of Lookout Landing and Baseball Prospectus. It’s from the public listing of federal campaign contributors. Schilling, not surprisingly, has made donations to political campaigns in the past.

In 2008, while still an active player, he donated to the McCain campaign and listed “Boston Red Sox” as his employer. This past January he donated a small amount to Ben Carson’s campaign and listed “ESPN” as his employer. That makes sense.

Last September, however, right on the heels of his suspension in the wake of his controversial social media habits, he was a bit more specific. Check out the middle one:

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I’m still not Curt Schilling’s greatest off-the-field fan, but I always retain some goodwill for people who have a sense of humor about stuff. Kudos to Schilling for being zen about his job status.

Curt Schilling assumes ESPN will fire him if they take any action over his Hillary Clinton comment

Curt Schilling
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Yesterday we heard Curt Schilling say that Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail somewhere,” and then we learned that ESPN was “addressing” the matter. What that means is unclear. In the past ESPN has looked the other way at some of Schilling’s controversial comments while punishing him for others.

Schilling himself, however, suspects that if ESPN does take any action over this that it will be his firing.

This is from his Facebook interaction with someone late last night, commenting on the story that ESPN was addressing the matter. I’ve not screen-capped the people with whom he was speaking because they’re not public people and their comments aren’t necessary to understand Schilling’s comments, but as of this moment you can see the entire conversation on Schilling’s public Facebook page:

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The person to whom he was speaking then suggests that ESPN may suspend him for a period of perhaps 90 days. Schilling counters:

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Schilling knows the dynamic between he and his employer better than anyone, it should be assumed. Maybe he’s being dramatic. Maybe he knows he’s on a short leash. I suppose we’ll soon know.

Either way, Schilling has said far worse things than offering his opinion that a leading presidential candidate should be dead and buried. One would assume, however, that at some point the issue with ESPN is not the specific thing that Schilling says but the cumulative nature of his controversial statements. No straw weighs particularly much, after all, but at some point one additional one breaks the camel’s back.

 

ESPN on Curt Schilling’s Hillary Clinton comment: “We are addressing it”

Curt Schilling
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This morning we posted about Curt Schilling saying that Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail somewhere.” A little while ago Cindy Boren of the Washington Post got ESPN’s comment on the matter: “We’re addressing it,” Mr. Schilling’s employer said.

How that will be addressed is unknown, but Boren notes that ESPN did send a memo to employees in January saying that they “should refrain from political editorializing, personal attacks or ‘drive-by’ comments regarding the candidates and their campaigns.” It was not a hard and fast ban on politics talk as much as it was a “keep it mature and respectful” kind of memo, it would appear. Which makes sense as the campaign is going to be the biggest story of the year and expecting people not to comment on it seems kind of silly.

But I suppose we’ll soon see whether Schilling’s comment crossed a line or whether his past skating on thin ice when it comes to political comments inspires his employers to take any action against him.

Curt Schilling says Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail somewhere”

Curt Schilling
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I hope you enjoyed the Super Tuesday results. And by “enjoyed” I mean “survived without succumbing to the urge to tear out your insides” and/or “spent four hours researching emigration laws in-depth.” I have no idea who is going to win this bad boy come November but I do know that, whoever it is, time travelers coming here from 20-30 years ago are gonna step out of their machine, take one good look around and then immediately go back to the time before they were born and make sure their parents never meet. And we will all envy them.

I guess what I’m saying is that, for a guy who knows a little bit about politics, I’m pretty darn confused by the 2016 election. Thank goodness, then, that we have astute political commentators offering their insights on the airwaves. Including the sports airwaves, like 610 AM in Kansas City, which hosted ESPN analyst and should-be Hall of Famer Curt Schilling yesterday. As usual, Schilling set us all straight on how the presidential race should turn out:

The host asked if Schilling thinks Hillary Clinton will go to prison. “I hope she does,” said Schilling. “If I’m gonna believe, and I don’t have any reason not to believe, that she gave classified information on hundreds if not thousands of emails on a public server after what happened to General Petraeus, she should buried under a jail somewhere.”

If one were less respectful of Schilling one might note that he and Hillary Clinton (a) have both done things for which many have called for their prosecution; (b) have both been investigated by the government in an extensive manner; and (c) have both been determined to not have broken any laws and/or have been worth prosecuting and thus should probably be free to go about their daily lives, but I would never point that out because, hey, Schilling was an amazing pitcher and I have too much respect for him.

Also, if you think Schilling was just being partisan, know that he went after candidates from both parties. Specifically, “Schilling criticized Trump for failing to elaborate on his proposals with depth.” Which suggests that, sure, he’s open to crazy, unworkable ideas fueled by rage, delusion and racial and ethnic resentment, he just needs to know how we’ll pay for them. That’s just sensible.

Anyway, glad to see that even now, so many years after his retirement, Curt Schilling still has his fastball.

It appears Curt Schilling’s politics are costing him Hall of Fame votes

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Last year Curt Schilling claimed that he wasn’t getting the same support for the Hall of Fame as John Smoltz because he was a Republican and Smoltz was a Democrat. That was kind of crazy, not least of why because Smoltz is not a Democrat. Either way, it seemed like Schilling was acting paranoid or deluded or playing the victim or some combination of the three.

Whatever was the case last year, however, this year it seems like Schilling is, in fact, losing votes because of his political views and/or public statements. At least that’s the argument Will Leitch, with an assist from the Hall of Fame vote tracking expertise of Ryan Thibodaux, is making. Or, if he’s not actually losing votes, he’s not gaining them at the same rate as everyone else. It’s an interesting analysis.

A couple of takeaways:

If Schilling is indeed losing votes, it doesn’t validate what he said last year about being a Republican. There had not been that much focus on Schilling’s social media habits before this past year, making those comments — and not his status as a Republican — the factor which has caused the damage. Also: being a Republican and holding the views Schilling appears to hold based on his social media posts are not the same thing. Also: there are LOTS of Republican baseball players. A distinct majority, I’d guess. If Schilling’s politics have cost him votes, it’s specific things he’s endorsed and statements he’s made, not his status as a member of the Republican party that has cost him.

A more important takeaway: Schilling should not be losing votes for ANYTHING he says. There is no reason whatsoever for Hall of Fame voters to judge Schilling’s candidacy on his statements or his actions which took place after he stopped throwing baseballs for a living. The character clause is dumb when it comes to PEDs. If the anti-Schilling voters are using it as a justification for not throwing support his way, it’s even dumber.

Of course, it’s possible that they’re not even going through the mental motions of applying the character clause to Schilling but, rather, are just not voting for him because they don’t like him or what he says. That would probably be the dumbest thing of all, even if it’s not unprecedented. Schilling may be the best player to have this happen to him, though. No matter what his vote totals have been the past few years and no matter what is happening to them now, he is clearly deserving of a Hall of Fame plaque.

Happy Hall of Fame week, everyone!