Jeff Pearlman

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What happened to Curt Schilling?

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“Every fifth day he’s a horse, and the rest of the time he’s a horse’s ass.”

— Former Phillies GM Ed Wade, on Curt Schilling.

So earlier tonight I made the mistake of scrolling through the Twitter timeline of Curt Schilling, former Major League All-Star/current #MAGA lemming. And as I read his thoughts and studied his re-Tweets, I kept thinking one thing: What happened?

Here’s what I mean: For about two decades, Schilling resided in one of the most diverse places in the United States—the sports clubhouse. He sat side by side with people of myriad races, ethnicity, cultural backgrounds. His teammates ranged from Oklahoman farm boys to South Central survivors. He played with folks from Japan, from the Dominican Republic, from Puerto Rico. He served on pitching staffs with righties and lefties who fled their impoverished nations seeking the American Dream, armed with hope, optimism and the all-important skill of throwing a round object preposterously hard and straight.

In other words, Curt Schilling should be a guy overwhelmed by compassion and empathy and understanding, because he knows—via experience—that not everyone is raised in comfortable Phoenix, Arizona. That not everyone is bestowed with the advantages he received. That not everyone is so lucky.

Um … no.

Curt Schilling has positioned himself as #MAGA Fan No. 1. Which means he has no complaints supporting a man who insisted he had proof (proof!) that America’s first African-Americans president was, in fact, a Kenyan-born Muslim. Which means he has no complaints supporting a man who wants to ban transgender soldiers from serving in the military. Which means he’s fine with building a wall and demonizing Spanish-speaking immigrants (over and over and over again). Which means he’s comfortable with a guy who received five military deferments ridiculing a POW for “being captured.” Which means he’s OK with slamming a Gold Star Family. Which means “grab ’em by the pussy” is perfectly dandy. Which means he’s cool with the insults, the lies, the tantrums.

Mostly, here’s what I don’t get: If you look at the politicians Curt Schilling likes, they’re all—across the board—men and women who have voted/supported the cutting of social programs in the name of lowering taxes for the wealthy. These are the very programs that allowed many inner-city-raised professional athletes to become professional athletes. These are after-school programs. These are child-care programs. They’re Gary, Indiana and Trenton, N.J. and Tulsa, Oklahoma and myriad places where people need help; where a boost goes a long way.

But guys like Curt Schilling—they never see it as such. They live in bubbles, even as they’re surrounded by a rainbow coalition of human backgrounds. So they throw their baseballs, spew angry shit, act as if the American of older days is the place they aspire to live.

It’s always a disappointment.

He loved immigrants—if they helped his teams win.

He loved immigrants—if they helped his teams win.

PS: There’s also this.

  • Ben Kabak

    Shorter Jeff Pearlman: if you aren’t a hardcore loony liberal like myself you’re a terrible human being.

    • historyguy

      Shorter: Ben Kabak: I’m a Idiotic Trumpette.

      • tenn tom

        Shame on you Benny.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life