Curt Schilling expresses interest in Phillies managerial opening

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor

Immediately after the Philadelphia Phillies fired manager Gabe Kapler on Thursday, rumors have been flying about who might replace him.

Will owner John Middletown go after a big name? Will the Phillies require managerial experience?

Then USA Today’s Bob Nightengale dropped a surprise bomb on Friday morning: former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling is interested in the position. And then Schilling confirmed it minutes later.

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Of course, it’s not a huge surprise that a former baseball player might be interested in returning to the game in a position of power. But most teams will probably be looking for someone with any coaching experience — except perhaps the Mets — so Schilling is far from an ideal candidate from a purely baseball standpoint.

Schilling added that the Phillies had the talent to make the playoffs but he could to show them the right mindset and work ethic to get there. But just minutes later, he went back talking on Twitter about right-wing conspiracies and getting in arguments about his Nazi artifacts, further underscoring why he is certain to not get the job.

Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling is interested in returning to baseball as a manager or coach. (AP Photo/Michel Pérez)
Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling is interested in returning to baseball as a manager or coach. (AP Photo/Michel Pérez)

Will Schilling ever return to baseball?

It’s not that baseball is unwelcoming to personalities that lean to the right. Baseball is filled with conservative players. But Schilling has been among the most noxious personalities since his retirement in March 2009.

Schilling was fired for ESPN in 2016 for sharing an anti-transgender meme and eventually made his way to far-right website Breitbart News. There, he infamously interviewed self-proclaimed white supremacist and congressional candidate Paul Nehlen, where Schilling heartily endorsed his views.

Beyond his controversial opinions, Schilling is unlikely to return as a figurehead of a team because of his constant headbutting with the media. He’s shared a photo on social media that called for the lynching of journalists and blamed the media for him not yet getting elected into the Hall of Fame.

When the Boston Red Sox honored their 2004 World Series champion team during the 2018 World Series, Schilling was not among those players invited despite his iconic involvement in the Bloody Sock game. Clearly, teams are not interested in inviting the circus that comes with him.

What seems more likely is that Schilling’s future will remain in right-wing politics. He has considered running for Congress in Massachusetts and Arizona, and an endorsement from President Trump may push him towards a run for public office, where his views may be more welcomed.

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