Nothing comes for free, not even after 86 humiliating years. Reversing the curse to win the 2004 World Series had to come with a price.
That price is Curt Schilling.
He was magnificent back then, pitching the Red Sox to victory in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees, with his injured ankle and his bloody sock.
Now we’re stuck with him. Almost immediately after that glorious win, Schilling began a second career: Spouting off. He’d always been pretty free with his opinions. Now he had a much bigger platform. He leapt onto social media, the early adopter throwing screwballs on guns (good!) and big government (bad!) and Islamism (even worse!) racism (trumped-up charges!) and everything else, courageously giving voice to the sufferings of angry white men under siege across the land.
Like certain parts of the electorate, he has only gotten more furious, more willing to say things out loud that might have given even the most staunch conservative pause not long ago. This Breitbart superfan and Hillary (he calls her “Killary”) hater is the quintessential Donald Trump guy. His kind are the reason Trump the nominee exists.
So, naturally, Schilling thinks he can be president. He’s going to start small, though. “State office first, White House in 8 years,” he told a Facebook fan. On Monday, he told WRKO-AM he’d like to be a US senator.
“I would like to be one of the people responsible for getting Elizabeth Warren out of politics,” he said. “She’s a nightmare.”
Truth is, Schilling has to find something new to do. ESPN finally let him go this month after yet another over-the-top social media post, this one about the battle over which bathrooms transgender people should use. He put up a Facebook meme depicting a large man in drag with the caption: “LET HIM IN! To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to DIE!!!”
ESPN, which was paying Schilling $2.5 million for his wisdom, previously suspended the meme-king for comparing Islam to Nazi Germany. (He’d also recently said Clinton “should be buried under a jail” for having a private e-mail server).
Now Schilling has more time on his hands, so he’s been busier than usual on social media. His feeds and his blog reveal a guy just like Trump, only with worse judgment and thinner skin. There is no critic too insignificant to give him umbrage. “She clearly beat you into dimentia[sic]” he shot back at someone who asked what crimes Clinton had been convicted of. He gets especially angry when people bring up the failure of his video game company in which hundreds lost their jobs after this lover of small government defaulted on a $75 million financing package from the state of Rhode Island.
He rails against sharia law and “Demokkkrats.” He laments the fact that he is called racist, then calls the Black Lives Matter movement “terrorist.” He retweeted a meme asserting that (mythical) “White Irish slaves were treated worse than any other race in the US,” but they didn’t complain about “how the world owes them a living.” The rest of it is unprintable here. Now, why would anybody call Schilling a bigot?
And that’s just the recent stuff. A while back, he got into a marathon Twitter war over evolution. “Hey clown,” he spat at somebody who had tried to explain the science to him, “why don’t apes still evolve into humans if that was the path?”
These are strange times, when Spaceman Bill Lee is only the second-oddest former Red Sox pitcher with political ambitions. Yes, several hundred thousand in Massachusetts pulled the lever for Trump in this year’s primary, but surely the state would sooner send the cryogenically preserved head of Ted Williams to the US Senate than Schilling.
Unless we’re cursed or something.
Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham can be reached at email@example.com