Red Sox legend and failed video game mogul Curt Schilling has been back in the news both locally and nationally as of late – in fact, it seems like he can’t keep himself out of the news. He maintained a relatively low profile for a while after his most recent firing from ESPN, but over the past couple of months he’s been inflicting himself on the already beleaguered psyches of New Englanders with increasing regularity and belligerence. Let’s look at the highlights:
In October, Schilling penned an op-ed for the ProJo in which he heaped blame and scorn on former Governor Lincoln Chafee (while admittedly accepting a fair amount of blame himself) for the failure of 38 Studios. Then, he finally consented to give an interview with a local media outlet, appearing in front of what might charitably be called a sympathetic audience in the form of WPRO’s John DePetro. During three hours on air, Schilling declared that he had “nothing to apologize for” regarding the 38 Studios fiasco. Perhaps more gallingly, he stated, without a hint of irony, “If I was the governor, I would have never even offered this deal. The government doesn’t belong in private business.” This was a stunning display of gall by a self-proclaimed small-government conservative who eagerly accepted $75 million from the taxpayers of Rhode Island to fulfill a 13-year-old boy’s career fair daydream.
Not content to simply self-immolate before a local audience, Schilling went national. He appeared live on Fox Business News and had an increasingly pleading exchange with an increasingly baffled female anchor as he made the case that it was a totally normal human impulse for Donald Trump to look at a ten-year-old girl and joke, “I’m going to be dating her in ten years.” The excruciating interview, which prompted in Fox’s Trish Regan the kind of side-eye that internet GIFs are made of, contains the following actual words that came out of a grown man’s mouth live on television, which bear quoting in their entirety: “I have a daughter, my daughter has friends. I’ve seen my daughter’s friends, I’m a man. ‘Wow, she’s a beautiful young lady.’ I don’t immediately jump to molesting her.” If you have to say it, Curt…
A wily old vet like Schilling knows that it’s not really a party until someone drops an F-bomb, so he did it, appearing on local sports talk radio, where he immediately called WEEI columnist John Tomase a “f---ing coward” live on air. Tomase, of course, had criticized that time Schilling went on Fox Business News and talked about not molesting his daughter’s friends. This led to a seven-minute rant in which Schilling called Tomase a “phony,” “dumbass,” “scumbag” and “gutless piece of garbage,” concluding, “You’re what’s wrong with this country.”
In an attempt to make America great again, Schilling later held what was by one account “the world’s saddest Trump rally” on a rainy Saturday in Boston’s City Hall Plaza, attended by dozens of soggy and outraged supporters.
Speaking of politics, Schilling finally decided to announce himself as a candidate for Elizabeth Warren’s senate seat, putting to rest months of pained, sighing speculation. Shockingly, that wasn’t even the coup de grace for his very strange month, because that news was followed shortly thereafter by Breitbart’s announcement that Schilling would be joining their already winning team, hosting a daily online call-in show under the website’s banner.
This completed Schilling’s transformation from local sports hero to alt-right troll. He is a depressingly familiar archetype, the privileged white guy who is somehow always the victim, so he’ll be a natural fit at the basket of deplorables that is Breitbart. His recent run of headlines establishes number 38 as not only an objectively terrible person, but arguably The Worst Person in New England. Perhaps his only competition comes from Maine Governor Paul LePage, who spent the better part of the year with his foot in his mouth gnawing furiously. But as he did so often in baseball, Schilling used his guts and bravado to grind out a win.