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Former MLB pitcher and more recent conspiracy theorist Curt Schilling—who, among other things, has publicly floated the notion that the Parkland shooting was a hoax—is thinking about running for Congress, and Donald Trump is into it.
“Curt Schilling, a great pitcher and patriot, is considering a run for Congress in Arizona. Terrific!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, tagging Fox & Friends, shortly after they aired a segment about the potential campaign.
After he broached the idea in a radio interview on Sunday, Schilling confirmed in a statement to the Arizona Republic that he is “absolutely considering” running against one of the state’s five Democrats in the House of Representatives.
“The state is not the state I grew up in,” he added. “Making Arizona citizens of EVERY Race, religion and sexual orientation 2nd class citizens to illegal immigrants is about as anti-American as it gets.”
As a player, Schilling is probably best remembered for pitching with a bloodied sock in the Boston Red Sox’s American League Championship series against the New York Yankees in 2004. In select Massachusetts sports bars, the sock wasn’t just about Schilling’s determination; it was also somehow about how hard, say, Tom Brady plays.
Since his retirement in 2009, Schilling has put on a sort of masterclass in losing the plot. He’d already campaigned for George W. Bush during his playing career, but without the rigors of a long pro baseball season, he had new time on his hands, and seemingly has spent much of it online. In 2015, ESPN suspended him from baseball-analyst duties for tweeting a meme that compared Muslims to Nazis. The following year, the network fired him for sharing a transphobic meme on Facebook. Other greatest hits include his collection of Nazi memorabilia that surfaced in 2015 and being sued by the state of Rhode Island over a video game company he founded that went south. (Schilling and other executives agreed to pay the state $2.5 million in a settlement.)
It’s too soon to say whether Schilling is actually thinking of running. He told the Arizona Republic he is “not ready to do any of that right now.” He was trending on Twitter after the news of his supposed run broke, and it’s easy to see this as an effort to drum up publicity for some new phase of his career, especially given that video game misadventure. Plus, he’s pulled this before, in a different state: In 2016 he publicly weighed challenging Elizabeth Warren for her Senate seat in Massachusetts. Warren’s entirely blasé response when asked about it then was recirculated on Tuesday—a sunnier spot in the day’s Schilling rehashes.
For now it might be best to focus on his support of the QAnon theory. Like Foster the People, he was just asking questions, and encouraging you to do your own research. And it can be tough to find your lane in a post–pro sports career. Not everyone moves as gracefully into one as A-Rod. But as long as we’re just asking questions, it’s worth noting that there’s a longstanding Yankees-fan conspiracy that Schilling put ketchup on his sock.