Curt Schilling has a new contract and role at ESPN. The network announced Monday that the former Red Sox pitcher has agreed to a multi-year contract extension and has been added to its Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team, joining Dan Shulman and John Kruk, a former teammate with the Phillies.
“I’m excited to join an already outstanding team,” said Schilling in a statement. “I would like to bring a perspective that will help fans get inside the head of the guy on the mound, and behind the plate, while also helping fans to better understand the work and preparation that goes into pitching in the big leagues.”
Schilling, who has been a Baseball Tonight studio analyst since 2010, replaces Orel Hershiser, who is expected to join the Los Angeles Dodgers broadcast team in a prominent role. He follows former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who left ESPN last week to join the Dodgers’ new regional sports network, SportsNet LA.
Schilling, who pitched for the Red Sox from 2004 to 2007, winning two World Series titles, has never been shy about sharing an opinion. And controversy has found him away from the field -- his now-defunct 38 Studios video game company defaulted on a $75 million loan from the state of Rhode Island in May 2012. He lost much of his personal fortune in the failed business.
Schilling has proven an articulate and insightful analyst in the studio, though ESPN executive producer Jed Drake’s suggestion that he’s a broadcaster who will draw viewers who want to hear what he has to say seems a bit ambitious.
“Curt is one of the most unique announcers we have ever had on baseball, or any other sport, for that matter,’’ said Drake. “He speaks his mind, and when he does, it is almost always fascinating, insightful and quite often, provocative. People will watch Sunday Night Baseball because of what Curt might say -- that’s a rare gift. And, did I mention that he was a ferocious competitor, who has three World Series rings? Enough said.”