Curt Schilling was an excellent pitcher during his time. The right-hander pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox throughout his illustrious career. He would win three championship (one with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 and two with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007) and had one of the most memorable moments in World Series history with the “bloody sock” game in the 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. And with his personality when he graced the microphone, some thought he would be an excellent announcer when his time was done on the baseball diamond. To his credit, Schilling can definitely analyze a game very well. He is articulate and can break down the simplest of things where everyone can understand. But that is where the compliments stop for Schilling when it comes to television.
The former veteran pitcher has made some rookie mistakes on television and in social media. Who can forget the tweet he sent out where he had a picture of Hitler with his exact comments with the picture saying: “It is said that only 5-10% of Muslims are extremist…In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?” Schilling was covering the 2015 Little League World Series at the time and was immediately pulled off the coverage at that time. Plenty thought he should have been fired after that stunt. But instead, he was suspended. The thinking from ESPN must be that he would learn his lesson about what to do and say when he was in the media. Well, if his newest actions are any indication, then he has not learned much at all. On Opening Day in Major League Baseball, Schilling was part of the broadcast of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Rays when something drew his attention. He was speaking on talented Tampa Bay ace Chris Archer. “Everything but this right here is big league” said Schilling while he circled the hairstyle of Archer on the screen. If you have not seen Archer, then you would notice that he wears his hair in an afro under his baseball cap. Immediately, the firestorm started.
The tweets and messages on social media going at Schilling have been fast and furious. And to be honest, Schilling deserves every bit of it. Schilling continually puts his foot in his mouth and these are only two examples of how he has done. But I wonder what he was saying back when he was a member of the Red Sox. Back then, did he have some of the same comments about Manny Ramirez, who wore his hair in dredlocks? Did he have the same type of thoughts about Pedro Martinez, who wore an afro similar to Archer? I bet Curt Schilling was silent as a church mouse. Because during that time he was playing, it had nothing to do with the performances that went on between the white lines on the field. Since Curt has been in the booth and in a studio, it seems he has been more interested in the looks of a person and the news of America than he has been in baseball. You get paid to talk baseball. If Schilling wants to talk the hairstyle of people, then maybe he would want to go to a hair show. If he wants to talk his world views, then maybe he should join a network that talks about that like CNN or Fox News. But if he is going to be on a sports network and paid to talk baseball, he needs to keep it there. If not, then he needs to find another place to speak.
As of right now, ESPN has not taken any action against him. And unfortunately, they more than likely will not. But why is this getting passed over? He has routinely been shown to have diarrhea of the mouth on air and has said some things that make no sense at all. Ultimately, ESPN has to stand up and say “enough is enough”. By continuing to employ Schilling, ESPN is saying that they don’t really care about what he is putting out there. The message he is spreading is one that many do not want to hear. And eventually, he will go too far with his rants and will cost the network’s reputation to take another hit. Schilling may have been a talented pitcher. But he is too much of a loose cannon on television.