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Curt Schilling: ‘I bombed on that one in epic fashion’

Jun 22, 2012, 3:23 PM EDT

Curt Schilling AP

Doing a radio interview on WEEI’s Dennis & Callanhan show Friday, Curt Schilling detailed how things went bad with his company 38 Studios.

Having personally invested more than $50 million in the company, Schilling, who recently took a leave of absence from ESPN, told his family last month that “The money I saved and earned playing baseball was probably all gone…Life is going to be different.”

Schilling said he was still optimistic about the future of the company until Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee went public with its financial problems, mentioning the issues with keeping it solvent. He said he was on the verge of signing a possible $35 million deal with a major publisher for a sequel to his company’s first game, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,” but that talks collapsed after the comments.

Schilling also said he was working on a $15 million-$20 million deal to salvage the company that hinged on the state of Rhode Island’s cooperation, but that the state refused.

Schilling made it clear that he wasn’t looking for sympathy; he just wanted to get some of the facts out there. He also acknowledged how much of a mistake he made in dealing with his employees, all of whom were laid off last month.

“The employees got blindsided,” he said. “They have every right to be upset. I always told everybody if something were going to happen, you‘re going to have a month or two of lead time, and I bombed on that one in epic fashion.”

  1. pisano - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    We all feel for you Curt, now put your bloody sock in your mouth and get lost.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Curt Doesn’t-Deserve-A-Schilling

  3. Glenn - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Mr Republican “get the government off our backs” was certainly quick to take taxpayer money and wanted more, then blamed the State for his company’s failure. For RI’s and the employee’s sake, it is too bad that the company failed, but Schilling’s hypocrisy is sickening.

    • kkolchak - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      Hopefully, the crook will soon find himself residing in socialist public housing…otherwise known as a prison cell.

      • 18thstreet - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        Do we really believe he broke any laws? He was given a loan that he didn’t pay back. Is that a crime?

      • djpostl - Jun 23, 2012 at 12:01 AM

        If he was pencil whippin the books to bring in new investors despite being under water then yes, some laws could have indeed been broken. Hell, that isn’t far removed from a friggin Ponzi scheme tbh

    • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:37 PM

      Chafee certainly went way out of line with his comments, thereby irreparably damaging 38′s prospects, but he wasn’t wrong–I just wonder how the company got so messed up in the first place. Besides Schilling’s egomania, of course.

      • paperlions - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:10 PM

        Except, of course, anyone looking into investing tens of millions of dollars into a company does a complete and thorough review of the books and any such entity would have found out the exact financial situation of the company and how much trouble it was in….without any comments from the RI Governor. Saying the governor’s public comments had any effect whatsoever on the ability to get large investments is 12 kinds of ignorant.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:57 PM

        Maybe it was the city of Miami and Miami-Dade county looking to invest tens of millions of dollars into his company. I hear they don’t demand access to their partners’ books for eight- and nine-figure contracts.

      • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2012 at 7:03 PM

        The governor outing 38′s financial problems had nothing to do with things like, say, subsequent publishing and developing deals being signed? Please.

      • paperlions - Jun 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM

        No, it didn’t…because no one gives someone tens of millions of dollars without finding out exactly what they are getting into…if the Gov. knew of the problems, any potential investors already knew as well.

        People invest money to make money, not for charity….they don’t loan/invest it without making sure it is a sound investment….anyone doing due diligence (which excludes the Wilpons) would already know what the governor said.

      • badintent - Jun 23, 2012 at 3:11 AM

        OK boys and girls, now hear this, Paul Allen admitted on 60 minutes that he and his management team have invested in over 100 startups and over 90 % have failed to make money !! Of course , all of you Wall Street Wizard have made 22 Billion dollars too. Right ??? Stay broke and pound your keyboards, and watch your penny stocks crash. Even a Yankee fan respects what Curt did on the mound. Grow up.

      • sparky1002 - Jun 23, 2012 at 9:03 AM

        Seems to me the citizens of RI owe Chafee a thank-you for being smarter than the many hypocrites like Schilling who advocated taxpayer help for their personal business while berating the very kind of government that might provide it?

      • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM

        Did 90% of Paul Allen’s start-ups tell their employees they had sold their homes for them when the start-up moved to another state when in fact the homes went unsold and the employees were left holding the bag? It’s not that Schilling’s company failed, it’s that it was such colossal dickbags to its employees that has people berating it.

  4. Jonny 5 - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I hope he keeps in mind that he and 38 studios actually ruined the lives of many people for many years to come. Added debt, homes they can’t sell for what they paid for them. It’s very sad, and I hope he doesn’t let it slip his mind for a minute.

    • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      Nevermind the fact that 38 told its former employees that it had paid their mortgages on their houses…only they didn’t, and now many of the houses are in default.

    • djpostl - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM

      Don’t forget about how the company stopped paying health insurance premiums so now some pregnant women can’t get insurance that covers their new “pre-existing condition”

  5. urfinished - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Wow…an arrogant jerk ran his company into the ground and gave his employees zero notice.
    No shock.
    Now I’m ready for the tell-all on the red sock being fake as everyone outside of Boston knows is true.
    Come on Curt…let karma work for you.

    • homelanddefense - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      not only that, but his company was financed by RI taxpayer loans. So now we are out over a hundred million in taxpayer loans (given to help create jobs at his studio) and now all his workers are on unemployment. Double whammy

      • blabidibla - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        Most of his workers have been hired by other companies already, but still….

      • djpostl - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:58 PM

        Not most, I think a decent chunk though

  6. wswalcottmedshow - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Never been a fan of Schilling as a person. As a pitcher he was pretty good. Kind of like the slugger Alberty Belle. Pretty darn good but no picnic to ne around. At least Belle was the brooding type and disdn’t open his mouth much, unlike Schilling.

    • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      Completely inappropriate comparison. Belle was a collosal prick well beyond anything Schilling ever did. Schilling didn’t go into the stands to assault fans, throw baseballs at them, use corked bats or break into the ump’s dressing room.

      • Glenn - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:10 PM

        And in Schilling’s defense, he does do a lot of charity work.

      • paperlions - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:17 PM

        In Belle’s defense, he stopped being a colossal prick when he got older and he didn’t ruin the credit rating and lives of hundreds of people.

      • micker716 - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:18 PM

        Albert Belle? Seriously? Get a sense of proportion. Belle was a “collosal prick” on the field. That was just baseball. A game. Schilling’s behavior and practices are devastating peoples lives.

      • djpostl - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:55 PM

        Your right, Schilling didn’t do any of those things.

        But Bell didn’t fail to unload peoples homes (as he had promised to do when they relocated) after having failed to even pay the mortgage payments the company had said it was paying, leaving the employees with a 2d mortgage…and one that hadn’t been paid for months.

        Nor did Bell fail to pay his employees health insurance (without their knowledge) leaving pregnant women uncovered suddenly and unable to get coverage for their “pre-existing condition”.

        Bell didn’t run a business into the ground then have the balls to blame the Governor of the state that is going to get stuck holding the $100 million tab caused by his incompetence.

        And lastly, Bell didn’t do all of the above after having taken the “small government is great, the stimulus is big, bad, government socialism” for as long as one can remember, only to change his mind when it benefits him.

        Albert Bell looks like a classy guy next to this snake oil salesmen.

      • dan1111 - Jun 23, 2012 at 5:23 AM

        Schilling was a colossal failure at running a business, but what is the evidence that he intended to rip people off or mistreat his employees? It looks to me like he just got in way over his head. Note that he lost all of his own money at this, too.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM

        The fact that he blatantly lied to his employees as to the status of their homes and insurance is plenty evidence that he intended to mistreat them. If he was in over his head, he’d have disclosed that and let them salvage what they could.

  7. mybrunoblog - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    I’m not a down in the trenches business guy so maybe I’m way off here.
    I just cannot fathom how a relatively small company lost $50 million in such a short period of time. The utter failure of this corporation is mind boggling. Schilling must be the worst business man ever.
    Fascinating, sad and baffling to me.

    • kkolchak - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      “I just cannot fathom how a relatively small company lost $50 million in such a short period of time.”

      Fraud.

      • mybrunoblog - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        Fraud ? Please explain.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      It probably won’t make you feel better if I point out that that was $50 Million of Schilling’s money (apparently) alongside the $75 million from the state, and some unclear amount of sales money from their released game, which should certainly be in the millions of dollars at any rate.

      Pretty incredible stuff.

      • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        The thing is, Kingdoms of Amalur didn’t bomb as a game. It didn’t shatter expectations, but it was pretty good. So I’m wondering how THAT much money got burned.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 22, 2012 at 7:50 PM

        According to reports all the money KoA made went right back to EA to repay fronted money. Essentially it’s the same thing music artists and a lot of professions have to deal with. Agents/companies front them hundreds of thousands/millions of dollars, the player/artist(s) spend it, then any money they make for the next few years goes back to repaying loan(s).

        Don’t you think it’s a bit odd seeing some of these NFL/NBA/etc prospects, who come from broken homes walking out on draft day wearing a $3000 suit with $150k worth of jewelry on, before they’ve signed a contract yet?

    • dan1111 - Jun 23, 2012 at 5:29 AM

      It is not unusual at all for a failed start-up company to lose lots of money. The success rate of new businesses is very low. In this case it was probably compounded by the fact that it was started by someone who is not a businessman, had a large personal fortune, and had a high profile to attract other investment.

  8. APBA Guy - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    The only thing exceptional in this little morality play is that Schilling lost a large part of his savings also. Normally capitalist vultures loot the company while driving the little folk into poverty (see Enron, Bain Capital, et al) but the key difference is that they enrich themselves while doing it. Curt must not have read that far in the “Get Rich the Wall Street Way” manual.

    • Glenn - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:17 PM

      You mean like what future President Romney’s company did to KB Toys? They bought a healthy company with little of their own money, stripped everything out of it (in the form of huge dividends to themselves at about five or six times what they invested in the company) and then drove it into bankruptcy. A company ruined, lots of people out of work, but a nifty little profit of 60 or so million for the vultures.

      • dan1111 - Jun 23, 2012 at 5:39 AM

        There’s a lot wrong with this statement, but the biggest problem is that Romney wasn’t even working for the company when this happened. Here is some more information, if anyone is interested: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jan/13/winning-our-future/video-blames-bain-capital-demise-kb-toys/

        Ok, back to baseball.

  9. buffalomafia - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Why would you invest $50 million in a game company? Especiallly all of your money!

    Scooby Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum!!!!!!

  10. rooney24 - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    When you have $50 million dollars, and essentially never have to work another day in your life, why would you gamble all (or nearly all) of it on any investment, let alone a game company? What an idiot! You were set for life, even if your money never earned another penny.

    Any chance there is more to this and he hid away some money off-shore and is using this bankruptcy to hide it? I am not saying he did that, but would it be possible to do such a thing? It makes just as much sense (none) as blowing all of your money like he did.

    • bigharold - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      “When you have $50 million dollars, … why would you gamble all (or nearly all) of it on any investment, let alone a game company?”

      To turn 50 million into a few billion obviously. Somehow, I’m not convinced that ol’ Bloody Sox lost 50 million of his own bucks. He might have lost a lot but I doubt he’ll need to go out a get a real job anytime soon,

      Regardless, making it sound as if RI was the reason his company went under is weak. Taken in juxtaposition of the reports that his company agreed to relocation packages for staff members and then didn’t sell their houses and neglected to pay off the houses or even tell them about it is weak .. especially considering all the conservative republican BS he throws around. Curt has a lot to learn about takng responsibility for his actions.

      But, the most glaring remarks were his comments about the state of RI help;

      “ .. Schilling said he was puzzled by comments accusing him of being hypocritical for seeking the loan guarantee and tax credits from the state of Rhode Island, despite his political advocacy for smaller government. He noted that tax credits were available to all companies that invested in film or video-game production in the state. “I don’t know how that correlates to this,” he said. Schilling added, “I don’t have any problem with government helping entrepreneurs and businesses.”

      Translation, .. “ as long as I get mine Government is just the right size. It’s when government is giving anything to anybody else, .. that’s when it’s bloated and out of control”. What a staggeringly myopic point of view. That is the mother of all great big juicy rationalizations.

      It’s plain and simple that his company failed miserably because he over estimated his ability. It turns out Curt Shilling is a loud mouth and a blow hard with an over developed sense of self wroth and talent. Go figure.

    • badintent - Jun 23, 2012 at 3:22 AM

      Oh yeah, his little Caymen Island band account is next to mine. And Mitt’s. and Sammy the Bull. It’s called using the tax laws as they be. Like 499 of the Fortune 500 do with off shore headquarters and such.Of course, Obombo was gonna close all those tax loop holes, right ? The man hath more smoke than a Colorado wildfire. Curt was a MLB not a Harvard MBA dude. His advisors were dumb cronies or crooks. “Keep your close friends close but your money closer “

  11. buffalomafia - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    I agree!!!!!

  12. sincitybonobo - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Blaming Chafee is bush league. 38 Studios got a $75 million head start toward success, courtesy of RI taxpayers, based on his celebrity and not his business track record. He pumped a good deal of his savings into this venture, it appears. Perhaps he should have realized that he was burning through money at an unsustainable rate much earlier and made some changes. But, again, what in his background qualifies him to run such an enterprise? Nobody in RI wants to hear him bemoan the fact that he lost money in the deal. An independent audit is hopefully forthcoming. The details of which could grab a few headlines. But, I will give him credit for taking some medicine on the air today. An expensive, cautionary tale for all involved.

    • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      38′s books have already been open to the state for some time. So this could get much much worse.

    • sincitybonobo - Jun 22, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      Damn it, Schill… just when I took the high road and paid you half a compliment.

      “I don’t have any problem with government helping entrepreneurs and businesses.”

      Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Schilling sees no inconsistency between his conservative advocacy and accepting $75 million in government loan guarantees. Capital is raised every day via private equity markets. When government exposes itself to losses in the video game development market, that is $75 million less that is available to build bridges, educate kids, and care for the indigent and disabled.

      There are some things that only government can do. Fronting seed money for Kingdoms of Amalur is not one of them. A true conservative would concede that his failure to raise sufficient capital in the private equity markets should have been a clue that his business model wasn’t sustainable. The market speaks, as Colbert would say.

      He happily stuck his hand out to RI despite never seeing a tax cut he didn’t like. Bain Capital isn’t going to care for the sick and aged, or maintain roads, or educate kids.

    • sparky1002 - Jun 23, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      Yeah…that was some humble crow-eating words by Schilling…so out of character that one can`t help but wonder if there is any far more darker “dirt” to be found after an investigation is forthcoming…unless his friends in high places can curb it of course.

  13. jayquintana - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    It’d have been epically stupid if Rhode Island threw more money into the company.

  14. chiadam - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Kingdom of Schilling: Liquidating.

  15. 27xwschamps - Jun 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Go make some chowder !!!! McDonalds hires …..

  16. byjiminy - Jun 22, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    There are many disgusting aspects to this but the grossest to me is that he blames someone else for not helping him commit fraud. If your business is failing and you’re swamped with debts you can’t pay, going out and soliciting more money under false pretenses is unethical and illegal. Anyone who helped cover up the true state of his finances to lure in more investors would be complicit in a crime. If he owes $150 million already, those prospective investors were never going to see their money again. The fact that he screwed the taxpayers of that much money, while railing against government, makes me want to throw up.

  17. djpostl - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Translation:

    My Ponzi scheme almost had another sucker in line to infuse $35 million that would have merely delayed the inevitable and found the company deeper in debt when the dust settled, damn that mean nasty gummint for opening their big mouth (despite being on the hook for any money we defaulted on)

  18. gugurich - Jun 23, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    I doubt he lost 50 million. I mean, consider the source. Or consider the report that before his company went bankrupt, he was repaid before other creditors a 4 million dollar loan he had personally lent to his company. That doesn’t sound like a man who doesn’t look out for himself.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if he threw out the bogus 50 million dollar claim to get sympathy or to dispute the notion that he didn’t care enough about his company because only other people’s money were at risk.

  19. carolinakid - Jun 23, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Another good ole’ fashioned republican hypocrite or as I like to say the “as long as it’s not me” party.

    He should be sued by the residents of the state for everything he has left.

    State of RI v Schilling. It would be such a large time !

  20. pepe206 - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    3 balls 1 strke …And the market takes him deep. 50 million of personal money! Jesus, if you had my phone number I could have saved you at least 49 million! Then again I am a Mets fan!

  21. aceshigh11 - Jun 23, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    You know, part of me admires the fact that he put up $50 million of his own money.

    In hindsight, was it a reckless move that’s now put his family’s financial well-being in jeopardy?

    Hell, yes, BUT…he clearly must have believed passionately in what he was doing to have invested that much money in his company. He could have just sat on his fortune and lived a life of incomparable luxury, but he took a risk on something.

    Everything that’s transpired since has been awful, between trying to get Rhode Island to bail his ass out and leaving all of his employees in the lurch, but still…I kinda have to give him a smidgeon of credit for his initial ballsiness.

  22. astrosfan75956 - Jun 23, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    Am I the only one who thinks something shady happened, come clean Curt.

  23. gingerkid2000 - Jun 23, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    What a hypocritical, boldfaced liar! And to the writer of this article, it would behoove you to do your research & fact checking before you take this RI tax syphoning moocher’s word for it.

  24. sparky1002 - Jun 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    How the mighty have fallen.

  25. bigmeechy74 - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    I’ve never understood how multi millionaire athletes get in these situations. If i retired after making 50 million dollars, literally the LAST thing on earth i would do is sink a bunch of money in to a business venture. I would buy a nice house, a nice car, a dog, and i would hang out and keep my money in a bank. The only thing i would do is give a bunch of money to those charities that help animals that are on those depressing commercials.

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