As someone who can compartmentalize most aspects of his existence rather effortlessly, one area where I’ve found myself incapable of doing so is with professional athletes and their social views/affiliations. An excellent personal example of this can be tied to Curt Schilling. I vividly recall watching Schilling dominate his way through three starts in the 2001 World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the subsequent man-crush I developed as a result. Same goes for Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS when Schilling took the mound after dousing his sock with red food colouring. I was enamoured.
My love affair with Schilling ended abruptly when I became aware of the former pitcher’s personal politics. His right-wing stances just didn’t jive with my borderline anarchist aesthetic. I’ve since matured a little bit, not much but a little, and I can view Schilling the baseball player somewhat separately from Schilling the conservative failed entrepreneur.
Schilling joined the Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI Boston to discuss Wednesday’s Hall of Fame nonsense. Predictably, Schilling had some opinions on things. In his first year on the ballot, Schilling garnered 38 percent of the votes required for admission. This is somewhat ironic considering Schilling wore the number 38 as a player (at least on the teams he would like us to remember). 38 Studios was the name of the video game publishing company he started, too. $38 is the amount of money that Schilling currently has to his name.
Here’s some highlights from Schilling’s radio hit:
On the BBWAA pitching a shutout:
“I think, as a block, it was the writers making a statement. Whether they should or it was the right thing? I don’t know. I thought it was kind of ironic how the players that didn’t cheat in this group got dragged down with the players that did.”
On the effect the nine years he spent with the Phillies had on his candidacy:
“That 10 years was detrimental to my win total, but I loved it there. I always thought we were going to be a competitor next year. I believed the ownership was going to make the moves the next year, because the fan base was so passionate and so adamant about pushing them to win, and they never did. One of my last years, I had Ruben Amaro hitting cleanup for me, if that tells you anything. It was just a bad situation. I think about that.”
On the slow crawl to evaluate potential Hall of Famers with non-baseball card stats:
“I won’t think about this again until this day next year, but I also, when I do think about it, I think about a more educated base of voters. I think you’ve seen, starting with Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young and Zack Greinke winning the Cy Young with 12, 14 wins, I think you’re starting to see a move away from conventional statistics. As a guy who never bought into conventional statistics, I love it. It shows more interest. I still think the process needs to be tweaked.”
Blaming the actions of others for his own shortcomings, a measured shot at a former employer, and a progressive stance on baseball statistics. That’s just so Schilling.