Curt Schilling is out, I should be celebrating, but I'm not feeling it, what's happening in this world?
Let's go to the videotape.
Two weeks ago, Curt Schilling got himself tossed from ESPN after a stupid and sickening Twitter ejaculation that compared the Muslim world to Nazi, Germany. Our comrades at Awful Announcing ripped him, righteously and thoughtfully, even harsher than I did. Curt wrote them an angry email, they published it, and now ESPN has done what Yankees fans have dreamed about doing since 2004 - they pushed Curt the Blurt overboard.
Here's the deal. On Aug. 25, Schilling - unable to keep his mirthful, Tea Party mind bottle-up - Tweeted this.
Within minutes, Schilling stopped sniffing glue long enough to smell a problem. He deleted the post and began beating a long, ridiculous path of apologies. But it was too late. And here's why:
Schilling's a fricking baseball announcer, for kricesake - a chummy, nine-inning Gomer Pyle bozo, whose opinions are supposed to involve close plays at first and what pitch the guy is going to throw next. He not supposed to channel Curtis Granderson's views about the moon landing. Most of all - he's not supposed lecture us on politics. There's also the First Law of Hitler Comparisons: When you think of a great one - (Taylor Swift is Eva Braun!) - keep it to yourself. But Schilling couldn't hold back. Nope. It was like opening the refrigerator and seeing the last slice of birthday cake. So... ka-boom: ESPN dropped him from the Little League World Series. (The kids didn't need to hear their rally compared to the bombing of Dresden.) Now, dropping Schilling from the rotation was like the Yankees dropping CC Sabathia: He's a big name, yeah, but somebody else can throw the fricking innings and maybe even keep the ERA under 5.00. But I digress...
So Awful Announcing did exactly what sports blogs and fan blogs (which is what we are) are supposed to do. They gutted Schilling, the leviathan of loquaciousness. Here's part of a piece by Dan Levy, site honcho, which argues that Jessica Mendoza - Schilling's replacement - was doing a better job. Here's an excerpt.
As heinous as Schilling’s tweet comparing Muslims to World War II-era Nazis may have been, it’s probably not a fireable offense at ESPN. I say probably because ESPN consistently moves the goalposts when it comes to policies of commentary on social media, suspending high-profile pundits less for their incendiary comments on Facebook and Twitter and more for when those comments create too big of a stir, forcing the higher-ups to react. (Note: This is absolutely on target.)
To that point, Schilling has said and tweeted and Facebook’d much worse in his time at ESPN — heck, he said and tweeted and Facebook’d much worse last week — which led some to question why ESPN chose now to step in and suspended him.
The short answer? He got caught. Schilling plays to his base all the time on social media, and in most cases the liberal media lets him play in his conservative sandbox all he wants. But this time, the sand got into the yard, and now the grass is dead in a pattern that looks like a Seig Heil salute. That tweet was enough for ESPN to finally step in, set Schilling in the timeout chair for a week, and let Mendoza play in the sandbox while he’s gone.
Damn straight. Tuesday, Schilling sent Levy a long email that he meant to be personal. It starts out funny and homey, then delivers blow-back.
All I ever ask is honesty and an attempt at integrity.
But if you want to rip me, or talk shit about me, please do it with more than an ounce of pride in your job. Nowhere, ever, before during or after, have I ever compared “Muslims” to “Nazis”, ever. Normal every day peace loving Muslims have as much to do with “radical” as I do with “fleet afoot”.
However it appears, like many, you ‘made me say it’ anyway.
Here’s a cut and paste of what you wrote
And here’s what was actually tweeted
..”only 5-10% of Muslims are Extremists”
Why would you omit the one word in that entire tweet that provides the only important piece of context other than WWII era Nazism?
I bet I know. Because without rigging your comment to be something it wasn’t, you would have had to search for an article and work to create content. You chose to make it up, ‘misremember’ as best you can, and create something that didn’t exist because it was the ‘flavor of the day”. Even if it wasn’t true> Very Chris Mortensen of you.
(Sorry, but I don't get the "Chris Mortensen" bit. Inside Baseball? Anybody?)
Yesterday, ESPN pulled the plug on Schilling for the rest of the MLB season and the one game Wild Card, which will probably involve the Yankees. It seems to be a direct result of Schilling's letter, which Awful Announcing published. (My guess, some suit creature at ESPN had ordered Schilling to shut up, but he just couldn't.)
I side with the website. It's ridiculous for Schilling to claim he didn't use a Hitler comparison. Good grief, look at the picture: Is that Charlie Chaplin? But... I'm not feeling it about the decision to publish an email that is sent with the request to not be published. Shit, man, I dunno. People come here and rip me up and down, and that's fine. I take my swings, you can take yours. And sometimes, folks send me emails ripping me up and down, and you know what? That's okay too. Comes with the turf.
Here's the weird part: Aside from his Tea Party crapola, I was almost starting to warm to Schilling. I think the 300-pound toad had been trying to compensate for his infamous anti-Yankee tendancies, and he had become the most sympathetic voice on the Yankees within the ESPN clown booth. Now, he's out. Good riddance, I suppose. But let's not kid ourselves: they'll just hire another Nomar. And here's where it will get sickening.
Soon, probably by sundown, Schilling will be hailed by the Sarah Palins as a martyr to the cause, a voice who has been unjustly silenced, a man whose freedom of speech - the ability to roll out racial invective during baseball games - has been compromised. And yes, they'll lament that America is on that "slippery slope" to... well... I aint-a-gonna say it - but his name starts with "H" and he has a mustache. How Chris Mortensen of us all!