Reimer: If Red Sox want nothing to do with Curt Schilling, who could blame them?

Alex Reimer
October 25, 2018 - 10:49 am

Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

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The Red Sox did not invite Curt Schilling to a first pitch ceremony involving some members of the 2004 championship team, permitting the World Series hero to play his new favorite role: victim. 

In an email to me, Red Sox spokeswoman Zineb Curran said Wednesday’s event, which involved seven players from the 2004 club, was organized informally. “There was no blanket invite to the entire team, and no slight intended to anyone not included,” she wrote.

According to the Red Sox, the players involved –– Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Kevin Millar, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Keith Foulke and Alan Embree –– were planning to be at the ballpark anyway. This was not a full-blown 2004 reunion. That happened on the 10-year anniversary in 2014. Schilling was invited to that, by the way, and I’m pretty sure we all knew his political leanings.  

If the Red Sox wanted Schilling to be at Fenway Wednesday, they could’ve asked him to come. He lives just 40 minutes up the road in Medfield, and probably would’ve relished the opportunity to attend. That’s what he suggests in his Facebook screed about the topic, just before he calls members of Red Sox ownership “weak 'men' who've spent their entire lives paying and watching other men achieve.”

It’s obvious Schilling’s relationship with the Red Sox is strained. But that hasn’t stopped the team from honoring him before. Big Schill was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2012, just one year after he had rightfully accused ownership of “character assassination” for leaking salacious details about Terry Francona’s personal life to the Boston Globe. 

With that history in mind, I don’t think Wednesday’s snub was some nefarious plot from the Red Sox to erase Schilling from history. It doesn’t seem like the first pitch ceremony was intricately planned, given that only seven players participated. 

But at this point, maybe the Red Sox do want to disassociate themselves from Schilling. And who could blame them?

Enough with the foolishness that Schilling is being dissed because he’s a conservative. Schilling ceased being a conservative when he started joking about journalists getting lynched. Now, he appears to be a rabid conspiracy theoriest, or at least tweets like one. 

You don’t have to go far on Schilling’s Twitter timeline to see him spreading the gospel of lunatics. On Wednesday, he retweeted a message that says the pipe bombs sent to prominent Democratic leaders, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are part of a coordinated propaganda campaign to bring down Donald Trump. Earlier in the day, Schilling shared a video from some ranting far-right pastor who says liberal billionaire George Soros is funding the migrant caravan that’s heading towards the southern border. Soros also had a pipe bomb mailed to his home this week. 

In the past, Schilling has employed the aw-shucks routine when confronted about his penchant for posting vile material on his social media pages. In 2016, Schilling told Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane he was surprised about the backlash to the anti-transgender meme he shared, which included his commentary about how the “men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”

ESPN fired Schilling for that misstep, his second big social media mishap in seven months. The previous August, Schilling was taken off the “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast for sharing a meme that compares Muslim extremists to Nazis. He apologized for that episode, saying he went “off the rails.” 

Of course, at that point, Schilling still had a million-dollar analyst job to protect. Nowadays, that controversial image would be one of the tamer messages on Schilling’s feeds. Over the summer, Schilling posted a video on Facebook that explains the wild pro-Trump QAnon theory, which says Trump is working in conjunction with the military to eradicate a cabal of global elites that’s spreading evil around the world.

These actions are a far cry from saying “Vote Bush” on “Good Morning America.”

In his 826-word Facebook post on the World Series ceremony, Schilling says the snub was “completely expected.” We are in agreement. Schilling has acted like the crazy uncle for the last several years. It’s not a surprise he's getting treated like one. 

Related: Red Sox say Curt Schilling wasn't intentionally left out of 2004 first pitch ceremony

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