Former ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday and said he is nearing a deal to join Sirius XM satellite radio. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
One day after refuting a Deadspin report that his camp had reached out to Fox Sports about joining that network following his dismissal from ESPN for his political commentary on social media, Schilling said he expects to know more about his future very soon.
“I think I’m going to be doing stuff with Sirius,” Schilling said. “I don’t know anything yet. Stuff’s coming together. There’s still a bunch of kind of irons in the fire that I’m talking with. I’m going to meet with some people today face to face and hopefully come to some sort of resolution over what’s going to happen in the next week or two.”
Schilling indicated the Sirius deal would consist of separate appearances — one to talk sports, the other to discuss “stuff” — and would not be a five-day-a-week gig right off the bat, although it could lead to a regular show.
“I think at some point it would get to that,” he said of doing a daily show. “I think that there needs to be kind of a breaking-in period both ways. I need to see if I actually can do it. I need to see if people care that I can do it, and then go that way. … Talking for four hours is one thing, but talking for four hours about stuff that people are actually interested in and want to talk about is another. It’s work. I think there’s a lot of preparation to it, there’s a lot of time to put into it. Because I’m not going to be talking about just sports. And so there’s a lot of time and effort and energy out into preparing to be good at it. Because I sure as hell don’t want to do it just to do it. I’d want to do it to be better than everybody else that was doing it. So we’ll see.”
ESPN was criticized for editing out Schilling’s Game 6 performance from a documentary about the 2004 Red Sox’ comeback against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series that aired before Sunday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game. While the network claimed the move was made due to time constraints after an afternoon softball game ran long, Schilling is convinced the move was rooted in ESPN’s feelings about him after his controversial departure.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I don’t think that there’s any possible explanation otherwise.”
Added Schilling: “I’m uncomfortable saying, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe they cut me out.’ But when you talk about that series, what do you think about? I think about Dave Roberts’ steal, I think about the walk from [Kevin] Millar off [Mariano] Rivera, [David] Ortiz’s [game-winning home runs] and that Game 6. I don’t know. I was waiting for it, expecting exactly what was said in response, when they issued the response, which was, ‘We had to cut the show down to fit into [the time slot].’ … My thought was, somebody in charge — it wasn’t just some dude saying, ‘OK, I’ll just edit this’ — somebody made that actual order: ‘Cut Game 6 out of this, and be very specific.’
“I think the result was exactly the opposite of what they were hoping would happen.”
Schilling’s replacement on Sunday Night Baseball, Jessica Mendoza, has received both accolades and criticism for her work.
“It’s unfortunate that she’s going to be put in a position [to fail],” Schilling said. “I think she’s good at what she does in the sense that she knows hitting. But I just feel like this is an issue where I just don’t see it ending great. And that sucks, because I love her to death.”
An avowed conservative and frequent critic of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Schilling previously expressed support for Ben Carson in the Republican presidential race. Now that Donald Trump has essentially locked up the nomination, Schilling said he will back the controversial billionaire businessman.
“Contrary to what people want to believe and think, supporting someone doesn’t mean everything that comes out of their mouth you stand for and believe in,” Schilling said. “I have some disagreements with some of the stuff that he’s said. He hasn’t been specific enough for me to disagree with much, and I think that’s got to change.”
Added Schilling: “The fact that he said ‘America first’ and all the things he’s said — and I’ve never heard one of the candidates on the other ticket even come close to talking about stuff like that — speaks volumes. Much like a certain company, I think both parties have continued to do that exact opposite of what they’ve intended, which is they’re trying to drive people away from the guy, and they’re doing the exact opposite. I think every time they come up and say something stupid and foolish about Donald Trump, more people vote for him.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
On if he might ever run for an elected office: “I think someday I might think about it. Just because I think a lot of people — and I’m probably one of them — sit on the sidelines a lot and talk trash and all the things that we do and actually don’t do anything about it.”
On how close he was to running for Senator from Massachusetts after Ted Kennedy passed away in 2009, creating a vacancy: “I wasn’t as close as people might think, but it was closer than I ever expected to be. And after talking to Senator [John] McCain and talking to the Republican party, it was considered. But once you sit down and think about what that involves, not just from yourself but what your family has to put up with, it wasn’t something that I thought was [the right move at the time].”
On what position might entice him: “I’ve come to believe in my mind that the true moves and shakers in politics and the people that make things happen in the world are the people that do it at a local level. I’ve seen it here in Medfield. When you’re on the board of planning or those kind of things, you actually impact people lives in a big way. So, I don’t know. Like I said, I’m pretty much focused on what’s right ahead of me and what we’re doing. Those things are going to square themselves away over the next couple of weeks and then we’ll get moving.”
On David Price’s slow start and if something might be wrong with him: “I hesitate to use the word ‘wrong,’ but I will tell you this … the big thing for me is never really average velocity. It’s down a little bit, but if you look at average velocity it’s generally over [2,000] or 3,000 pitches. So there’ll be marginal changes year to year, that can change. The big thing you pay attention to is max velocity. Because to me, max velocity is a huge indicator. Because in the fifth inning of a game with the bases loaded, I want a strikeout, I’m going to reach back and give it everything I have. When everything I have changes, then that means there’s physically different things. Could be just the season, could be the time of the season, but his max velocity is down significantly. … When you move from one velocity sector to another, I think there are questions. He’s not hurt — let’s be very clear about that, because you don’t throw the ball 95 or 96 miles an hour hurt. I just think that he’s either working his way into picking that max velocity up, or that’s what he’s got this year.”
On the report that the Red Sox did not insure Pablo Sandoval’s contract: “I haven’t heard beyond yesterday what I heard, but if that contract is uninsured, then anybody associated with that deal should be fired. … What I’ve heard, and I don’t know it to be true or not, was that the contract was uninsured — completely uninsured. And that, to me, is absolutely [a blunder]. You get what you deserve at that point. If you did that, that’s your fault.”
On Sandoval’s future: “I don’t think he can [return to the Red Sox]. Listen, I would like to think you’re going to see him a year from now at 225 [pounds]. You know what I’m saying? I would like to think he would have the pride and the desire to come back and say, ‘I’m going to fix this, I’m going to make these people like me.’ I don’t know that the history shows that as a possibility, No. 1, and No. 2, I think it’s just as likely he comes back at 315. That’s a really, really, really tough thing to do. At that point, you certainly can’t trade him.”