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 ‘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.
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.”