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Curt Schilling talks about what kind of color commentator he’ll be

Dec 13, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Curt Schilling AP

Bob Raissman of the Daily News spoke with Curt Schilling, ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball color commentator. They talked about style and stuff, and Schilling, quite characteristically, does not lack confidence:

“I can watch a pitcher for an inning and have a deep and wide understanding of who and what they are and what they do . . . If I were to talk to you about a pitch sequence to a hitter in the seventh inning, literally every pitch has 50 to 60 thoughts, ideas and processes around it and behind it,” Schilling said. “Just getting some of that out there is going to be different, new and unique.”

I don’t know how unique that is. Tim McCarver, Schilling’s predecessor Orel Hershiser and many others talk about what the pitcher is thinking. Maybe Schilling can do it better because he’s a better pitcher than most analysts ever were and is certainly a smart guy. But hearing Schilling talk about being “different, new and unique” gives me pause. I’d love him to just give us an enjoyable broadcast, not try to make his mark. But I suppose we’ll see how it plays out.

The other big issue that comes up: criticism of players. Schilling says he’s going to criticize in a way that is not negative. I’m not sure what that means. In the context of broadcasting — and in the opinion of players — there appears to be very little distinction made between criticizing performance and being personally negative or attacking someone. Merely saying a guy didn’t have a good game plan at the plate is taken as out-of-bounds criticism at times and, as a result, there is a big tendency among ex-athletes to say almost nothing negative. It’s really a drag, because sometimes you have to say something negative.

If Schilling is able to make that distinction — to hate the player’s game, not the player — that truly would be revolutionary. I hope he does it. Because viewers will be just as much if not more enlightened to understand what led to a player’s failure in any given moment than merely to what led to his success.

  1. yournuts - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Hey Schilling, take you stupid game and go away, you are as boring as Joe Buck and hard to listen to.

    • luisrivasbuttocks - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      Take that back! Joe Buck is as exciting as a PBS broadcast on stamp collections.

      • yournuts - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Your right I will take it back, Schilling is more boring than Joe Buck. Hard to believe, but true. Sorry Cardinal fans, I don’t mean to disrespect Joe Buck, but he sucks.

    • bfunk1978 - Dec 13, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      I was unaware that my nuts could type. I’m flabberstounded.

  2. davidbrentfan - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    The kind of color commentator who is desperately clamoring to escape bankruptcy, after idiotically blowing tens of millions of dollars.

    • chinahand11 - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      No kidding, and I hate to say it but I dread his broadcasting. When he has done games before, every statement he makes seems to begin with “back when I played…” or “the way I did it…”

      I do wonder what ESPN is paying him compared to their other analysts. He has been begging for a job lately. I don’t think he deserves to be in the HOF either.

  3. hittfamily - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    I heard him say “video game stats” when referring to a guy once. I think that should be taken out of the ol’ repatoire.

    • karlkolchak - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      Yeah, he also ought to stay away from any “bootstrap” metaphors.

  4. chacochicken - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Well, he has a daughter so I’m expecting some real Percy Bysshe Shelleyesque lyricism in his explanations. Judging by his quote, I suspect he already knows the secrets of a man’s heart.

  5. pbastille - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Wonderful. Now we’ll get to hear about “4 tool” players from a guy who’s a total tool himself.

  6. nymets4ever - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    You want to listen to a brilliant pitching analyst…Ron Darling. My fellow Mets fans know what I’m talking about.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      Darling seems odd to me. My brother (mets fan) loves Darling for the Mets broadcasting, but swears he acts completely different on national broadcasts. Does he have to temper his comments outside the Mets broadcast?

    • karlkolchak - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      How many ways are there to say, “this guy blows?”

  7. bfunk1978 - Dec 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Screw this guy. I want Pedro Martinez. He made me moist all October long.

  8. bobwsc - Dec 13, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I can watch Schilling for an inning and have a deep and wide understanding of what he eats and how lazy he is.

    • mazblast - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      Sounds exactly like the torment of listening to Jeff Brantley on Reds’ broadcasts. Talks about his food habits, especially his ice cream habit, and doesn’t bother with minor details like the batter, the count, the score.

  9. thestatsishere - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Am I the only one here who is excited to hear Schilling commentate? I love Schilling. Sure he’s ADHD and vocalizes his opinions, but I find that refreshing. At least he isn’t overly biased or monotone

  10. onbucky96 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Maybe Curt can give details how to get money from a state, then screw over your employees. Thank you ESPN, you just freed up 3hrs of my Sunday nights this summer.

  11. jkcalhoun - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    I don’t have a problem with ESPN letting Schilling start the game in the booth, as long as they keep him on a strict thought count and prevent him from straining himself. I don’t know exactly what his limit should be, but I’m thinking it’s probably between 100 and 150.

  12. blynch67 - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    dooosh… I can’t stand listening this man. Honest.

    And I don’t like him, or his opinions, or his business practices. I don’t like him.

    I’ll be brief: I don’t like or respect the guy.

  13. stinkfingers - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    I miss Hershiser already. This guy was terrible in the studio, usually stuttering and mumbling his way to a lame cliche, and I imagine he will be equally terrible in the booth.

    Dan Shulman needs to get the hell out of there. He’s deserves better than this.

  14. beachnbaseball - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    Is Schilling (the Shill) really the best ESPN could come up with. What a nut sack. All I can tell you guys is that the mute button is your friend.

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 14, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Once a right wing bass turd, always a right wing bass turd.

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