I swear this isn’t something from “The Onion.”
Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, filed for bankruptcy in June and now the Associated Press reports that their recent bank filing with the Massachusetts Secretary of State includes his infamous blood-stained sock from the 2004 playoffs as collateral.
Schilling and his company owe millions and millions of dollars, so it’s a little tough to imagine a bloody sock making much of an impact, but in theory at least he might be forced to sell the sock along with a bunch of other memorabilia in his personal collection.
According to the Boston Herald, Schilling also recently put his 26-acre, 20-room home in Massachusetts on the market for $3.45 million after buying it from former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe in 2004. They previously tried to sell the place for $8 million back in 2007.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.