Former Phillies/D-Backs/Red Sox starter Curt Schilling’s video game production firm, 38 Studios, took a $75 million loan from Rhode Island upon relocating their operation from Massachusetts in 2010. On Wednesday, Schilling (above, far right) attempted to make a $1.1 million payment on the loan after warning the state they’d be unable to make payroll, then warning R.I.’s Economic Development Corporation the $1.1 million check was likely to bounce. Noting that Schilling earned $118 million during his baseball career (including $8 million in 2008, a season he missed due to injury), “it must’ve been his left arm he thrust out for public funds.”
Schilling spent no small amount of time in his career preaching the Republican mantra of smaller government and personal responsibility. He did this fresh off the historic Red Sox World Series win when he backed George W. Bush in the 2004 campaign. He did it on the stump on behalf of John McCain in 2008.
He did it for Scott Brown in January 2010, when he wrote in his blog, “He’s for smaller government,’’ and lauding Brown’s opposition to “creating a new government insurance program.’’
Apparently smaller government, in Schilling’s world, applies to other people, maybe city kids stuck in underperforming schools or disabled adults looking for help back and forth to medical appointments. But for a former six-time Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher whose business venture can create jobs (!), bask in the greatness, people, and open the public vault.
Let’s stipulate here that the Rhode Island officials who committed this public money to 38 Studios are idiots. I mean nothing negative by that; it’s just the only possible adjective that applies. All right, maybe “sycophants’’ works as well because they were probably hyperventilating at the sight of his World Series rings and that he knew their names. Really, what public official bets the farm on a video game called “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,’’ while Central Falls is in receivership and Providence is fending off bankruptcy?