by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
All but unremarked upon in the wake of the Boston Red Sox’s demolition of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the recent World Series was a move by Boston’s ownership that, even in this moment when everything is political, should prompt outrage on all sides: the exclusion of 2004 World Series hero Curt Schilling from the on-field celebration commemorating that landmark event, for the sin of being an outspoken conservative.
One need not be a baseball aficionado or even a casual fan to recall Schilling’s superhuman performance in that historic postseason, which culminated in the championship that ended the “Curse” that had plagued the team since 1918; how, with the Sox facing elimination in the sixth game of the League Championship Series against the hated New York Yankees, the big right-hander, defying career-threatening risk, had the skin around his severely dislocated tendon temporarily sutured in place, and somehow pitched seven superlative innings. Little wonder that the bloody sock the TV cameras relentlessly focused on that memorable evening is today an object of awe in Cooperstown.
Nonetheless, while management invited seven veterans of the 2004 Sox to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before this year’s Game Two, Schilling, though he lives nearby, was absent. “The band’s back together!” tweeted out some dummkopf in Major League Baseball’s PR department. Sure, like an Eagles reunion minus Don Henley.
“We did not reach out” to Schilling, a Red Sox executive confirmed to a local sportswriter, “but it is not out of spite.” That Red Sox owner John Henry is a formidable Democratic donor and adamant progressive was not cited as an alternative possibility.