LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Curt Schilling knows criticism is coming. He expects it.
The former All-Star pitcher is replacing Orel Hershiser on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast crew next season, giving him a wider audience for his opinions.
“No matter how you phrase it, if you don’t compliment a player, that player’s team, that’s player’s fans think you hate him,” Schilling said Sunday. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people react with â€˜You hate so-and-so. You hate so-and-so.’ And it’s just amazing how — it’s a good thing. The passion is great. It’s amazing how much people read into the things that we say on a nightly basis.”
In the 25th season of “Sunday Night Baseball,” Schilling will join former Philadelphia teammate John Kruk, play-by-play man Dan Shulman and reporter Buster Olney. Hershiser is expected to join the Los Angeles Dodgers’ new regional sports network, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
Schilling has been a studio analyst for ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” since 2010 and also has been in the booth for a few games.
Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corp. has sued Schilling, former officials of his bankrupt video game company 38 Studios and some of its own former employees. The EDC board in 2010 approved a $75 million loan guarantee for the company to lure it to Providence from Massachusetts.
“People are going to believe and know and see what they want to believe and know and see,” Schilling said. “Unfortunately, the whole story isn’t out yet and when that does happen, hopefully people will understand.”
A six-time All-Star, Schilling said he plans to bring a pitcher’s perspective to the telecasts.
“When I think about the 75 to 100 decisions that went into every single pitch I threw, you can’t break that down,” he said. “But there’s ways to explain, there’s ways to help people watch that I think I can help Dan and Krucky bring to the table.”
And in the first season of expanded replay for umpires’ decisions, Schilling expects to have a lot to discuss.
“I’m sure I’m going to gripe and complain at some point,” he said. “Probably often.”