Curt Schilling: Berry, Berry Bad

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Curt Schilling: Berry, Berry Bad

While TSG is usually right on top of things, sometimes it takes us a while to track down a story (or videotape). Witness the case of the home run derby doofus:

Curt Schilling may be the best pitcher in baseball, but as a sportscaster, he's a real bush leaguer. The Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander engaged in an embarrassing bit of ethnic stereotyping during this year's All-Star game festivities in Milwaukee. On July 8, the 35-year-old athlete provided televised commentary during the annual home run derby (Schilling was joined on the mic by New York Met Mike Piazza and ESPN announcers Chris Berman and Joe Morgan).

As the below video clip shows, Schilling made a wildly inappropriate remark immediately following an electrifying performance by Sammy Sosa, the Chicago Cubs star who blasted several home runs in excess of 500 feet. After ESPN on-field reporter Rich Eisen jokingly asked Sosa, "Did you get all of it?" Sosa, a native of the Dominican Republic, responded with a series of canned jock responses like, "I just tryin' to do the best that I can for the fans. It's a privilege to be here..."

As Sosa spoke, Schilling could clearly be heard cackling at the athlete's answer to Eisen. Off-camera--and clearly unaware his microphone was on--Schilling then mocked Sosa, saying, "He's gotta say it: 'Baseball been berry, berry good to me.'" At that point, the camera briefly returned to the announcer's table, where Berman can be seen placing his index finger to his mouth to "shush" Schilling, who responds by sheepishly covering his mouth with his glove hand.

In mocking Sosa, Schilling chose to invoke a classic "Saturday Night Live" bit featuring a Latin ballplayer named Chico Escuela. Portrayed by SNL's Garrett Morris, Escuela struggled with the English language, falling back on the canned response, "Baseball been berry, berry good to me."

While not quite a John Rocker moment, Schilling's putdown--which, remarkably, merited a single brief mention in the Miami Herald--highlights the kind of derision still directed at Latin athletes.