Curt Schilling is up to his old tricks.
It wasn't a very good Wednesday for Curt Schilling. Last night, the retired pitcher and three-time World Series champion learned that he would not be selected as part of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2017; in fact, he was one of just two players to lose voting support on the ballot, falling from 52.3% last year to 45.0% in his fifth year of eligibility. A lot of that can likely be tied to Schilling's controversial, insensitive and downright idiotic views and social-media comments on (among other things) Muslims, transgender people, journalists and the U.S. presidential election, in which Schilling was a loud and vocal supporter of President-elect Donald Trump.
That Schilling lost so much support came as no surprise to him. In an interview with the Boston Herald before the election results came out, he acknowledged that "there's no chance I'm going to get elected this year, if I get elected at all," before blasting the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America—who vote for the Hall of Fame—as "some of the worst people I've ever known." He's nothing if not consistent.
Nonetheless, Schilling stayed mostly quiet on election night as Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were welcomed into the Cooperstown club—that is, until he got a Tweet from a familiar name.
In case your memory of early-2000s baseball players is a little fuzzy: Sidney Ponson was a member of the Orioles from 1998 through 2003 before bouncing around the league for another six years for a handful of teams and then calling it quits. The rotund righthander is likely best known for being an Aruban knight who was once arrested in his home country for punching a judge who complained about Ponson's use of his jet ski, which is a real thing I promise that I didn't make up. Ponson is a pretty sad character: He's been arrested multiple times for drunk driving, was banned from playing in the World Baseball Classic after failing a drug test in 2009 and was released by the Rangers in '08 after getting into a shouting match with then-manager Ron Washington. As such, it's easy to see why Schilling took offense at Ponson's Hall of Fame-related jab.
(I'd quibble with Schilling saying Ponson had a "potentially HOF career," given that he posted a full-season ERA under 4.00 just once in 12 years, but I digress.)
Anyway, that's some solid former athlete-on-former athlete beefing, right? Just one problem: That's not the real Sidney Ponson.
Despite that and some helpful Twitter folks pointing out that this Sidney Ponson was an impostor, though, Schilling—as is his wont—stuck to his guns.
it is him. No debate or verification needed— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) January 19, 2017
Don't care, know for a fact it is.— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) January 19, 2017
I'm not speculating or guessing, I know for a fact it IS him.— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) January 19, 2017
There may be no better metaphor for the flaming car wreck that Schilling's post-baseball life has become than his furious, bizarre insistence that a man clearly and openly pretending to be Sidney Ponson is actually Sidney Ponson despite reams of evidence otherwise. That said, Schilling did make one pretty good point.