Curt Schilling built a long, productive pitching career on the strength of a dominating fastball and his outstanding command. But with his company's inability to pay back a multi-million-dollar loan from the state of Rhode Island, he's lobbed a slow pitch softball for his critics to take a whack at. As Schilling himself might point out, the self-proclaimed fiscal conservative has no one to blame but himself.
Nothing ruins one's staunch criticism of the nanny state like suckling from its coffers.
Schilling's video game company 38 Studios was lured to Providence, Rhode Island from its offices in Maynard, Massachusetts by a $75 million state loan. But now that his company can't pay the money back and the Ocean State's taxpayers could be left footing the bill, Schilling is being called a hypocrite by both fans and critics alike.
Schilling has been anything but shy about his political beliefs (and most of his other beliefs, too, for that matter). Days after he helped lead the 2004 Red Sox to their first World Series championship in 86 years (his bloody sock performance was the stuff of legend), Schilling was in New Hampshire, campaigning with President George W. Bush. He also campaigned for John McCain in 2008, and Scott Brown in 2010. His anti-big government views have been well expressed.
In February of 2011, as 38 Studios was getting ready to move to Rhode Island, Schilling reiterated his socio-economic beliefs in an interview on WEEI sports radio: "There can be no question our country is in the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. ...[I]t falls on us, the individuals, to find a way out of our own personal crisis."
For Schilling, that "way out" now means asking Rhode Island for money and writing a bad check. Both happened last week after news of 38 Studios' financial problems broke.
Admittedly, Schilling does not bear all the blame. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, as the governing body who guaranteed the loan, shoulders a significant share of the irresponsibility as well.
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, who campaigned against the loan to 38 Studios, is calling this transaction of state funds "one of the biggest risks [he's] ever seen."
A three-time World Series champion, Schilling pitched in the big leagues for 18 years, during which he earned over $100 million in player salary. Currently, he works as a baseball analyst for ESPN.
An avid gamer, Schilling has reportedly invested upwards of $30 million of his own money into the game company, which released Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, earlier this year. Regardless of the game's success, Schilling has already proven more than capable in the realm of fantasy.