Thursday, March 24, 2016
Posted by el duque at 10:33 AM
ESPN is giving him yet another chance.
Since leaving baseball, the guy has done nothing but remind people of the problems with putting millionaire jocks on pedestals and actually pretending that their bizarre view of the world has relevance. (For further study, see O'Neill, Paul and Damon, Johnny.)
In 2008, with his baseball career in a tailspin, Schilling toyed with the notion of running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts - a naked exploitation of his sports popularity. He'd probably be in his second Republican term, but he thought he could still pitch. To top it off, he showed up in spring training so out of shape that Globe columnist Dan Shaungnessy labeled him "the Big Blowhard." They still exchange nasty tweets.
In 2010, the state of Rhode Island loaned Schilling $75 million to develop his video game company, which was going to employ more than 400 people. The Palinista arch conservative lowered himself to accept government money. Less than two years later, he defaulted.
He gets in Twitter wars, arguing for creationism, Last year, he was suspended from the Little League World Series after forwarding tweets that compared Muslims to Nazis. Most recently, he's kept his face in the news by saying Hillary Clinton should be "buried under a jail somewhere."
I dunno, is there a left-wing equivalent of this guy? I mean, in terms of post-baseball publicity, he's a five tool buffoon:
So, naturally, ESPN is bringing him back on Monday Night Baseball.
Of course, they are. Why wouldn't they? Political mud-wrestling brings ratings, right? Look at Trump. It's the golden rule of every TV pundit: It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong. What matters is that they tune in tomorrow. We're about to have a presidential election with a candidate who says we should torture people - bring back the rack and thumbscrew and who equivocates when asked to condemn the KKK. Why would ESPN feel compelled to simply have an announcer talk about the game?
What's really weird here is that I should confess something: I had actually come to like Schilling's commentary. He seemed more likely to support the Yankees than others in the ESPN anti-Yankee stable. I think it's mental: His greatest achievement was in vanquishing the Yankees, so he's still unconsciously promoting them, because it adds to his legacy. But I don't see how anybody can separate the guy from his politics. I would say the same thing if some announcer was constantly touting Bernie Sanders. Why must we have that as a part of the show?
So Schilling gets another length of rope with which to hang himself, which he will. Remember, there's a reason that in the end he showed up overweight: He couldn't help himself to the extra creampuff, and he won't be able to shut up when Barack Obama throws out a ceremonial pitch.
Shame on ESPN. There's a thousand ex-ballplayers out there, fully capable of giving great commentary, and they chose this? What's obvious is that they don't have the guts to fire him.
Another reason to listen to The Master.