Curt Schilling, who hasn’t thrown a pitch since the 2007 World Series but has since become one of the sport’s most polarizing figures for his right-wing political views, wants back in the game.
Schilling, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, has often spoken about entering the political arena but instead is ready to throw his hat into the world of baseball.
Schilling wants to interview for the Philadelphia Phillies’ managerial vacancy after the firing of Gabe Kapler. He says he is also interested in the Boston Red Sox’s pitching coach opening.
“I think it’s one of the few openings since I left that I ‘fit,’ ” Schilling told USA TODAY Sports in a text message of the Phillies job. “I know the city. I know the fans and I know the expectations.’’
A six-time All-Star, three-time World Series champion and three-time Cy Young runner-up, Schilling pitched nine years for the Phillies. He later won a World Series championship with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and two more with the Boston Red Sox.
“The media,” he says, “won’t be an issue.”
Oh, yeah, the news media. The same group whose lynching Schilling applauded when he re-tweeted an image that read: “Rope. Tree. Journalist.” Schilling said at the time it was “100% sarcasm.”
Former pitcher Curt Schilling says he’s interested in the Phillies’ manager job. (Photo: Eric Hartline – USA TODAY Sports)
Schilling joined the news media in 2010 after retiring in 2007, working as an analyst for ESPN. He was fired in 2016 after sharing a Facebook post related to the North Carolina transgender law.
Schilling shared a photo of a man wearing a wig and women’s clothing, with parts of the T-shirt ripped to show his chest. Next to the photo, it read: “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!’’
“A man is a man no matter what they call themselves,’’ Schilling wrote. “I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much.
“Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
“The only downside to the firing was, in addition to (lost) finances, I had a lot of very dear friends that I worked with that I loved,” Schilling told USA TODAY three years ago. “But I worked for people that didn’t have a spine and didn’t want to stand for something other than what their bosses told them to stand for.’’
Schilling, who appeared on 60.9% of the ballots last year in the Hall of Fame voting, believes that his conservative political views has kept him from being elected. He went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in his career, and was nothing short of sensational in the postseason, going 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 starts, and 4-1 with a 2.06 in the World Series. He and Roger Clemens are the only pitchers with 3,000 or more strikeouts not in the Hall of Fame. He has three years left on the ballot.
Schilling is still on the air these days, but hosting his own show, a podcast where he shares his political views. He said two months ago that he was considering running for Congress in Arizona against one of the state’s five Democrats. He lives in Massachusetts but is a native of Arizona.
“The state is not the state I grew up in,’’ he told the Arizona Republic this year. “Making Arizona citizens of EVERY Race, religion and sexual orientation 2nd class citizens to illegal immigrants is about as anti-American as it gets. When you have homeless veterans, children, and you’re spending tax dollars on people smuggling drugs and children across our border someone in charge needs their ass kicked.”
Schilling filed for bankruptcy in 2014 when his gaming company went bankrupt in Rhode Island – losing $50 million of his own money along with $75 million invested by Rhode Island – and says he is now financially stable.
Schilling says his interest in getting back into baseball is not about money or attention. It just feels like the right time.
“I make mistakes,’’ Schilling said three years ago. “I’ve said dumb things, but I’ve never done anything malicious to hurt anybody. Never intentionally, anyway. As a Christian, I’m trying to do the right thing, but I don’t always do it.’’
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Is a national and foreign correspondent based in D.C. She files investigative reports and covers breaking news on a range of topics, including corruption, police shootings, etc. Before joining the TimWorld in 2018, she worked at the Miami Herald. She was a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University.