The Big Lug is in trouble

It’s the ninth inning, bases loaded, no outs, and the Big Lug (aka Curt Schilling) is on the mound, trying to keep the dreams of his video game company alive. The facts are few but very troubling. Schilling’s 38 Studios earlier this month missed a payment deadline on a $1.1 million annual fee owed the Economic Development Corp. of Rhode Island in connection with a $75 million loan the state guaranteed to woo Schilling’s company away from Massachusetts.

The company sent state officials a check on Thursday, but apparently it would have bounced so they gave it back. The former Red Sox ace is asking Rhode Island officials for more time and money and the officials, themselves struggling with the second-highest unemployment rate in the country, are trying to figure out whether to comply.

Given Schilling’s conservative political views (“If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.”), it’s not surprising that he’s taking his lumps.

The Globe’s Brian McGrory calls the Rhode Island officials “idiots” and Schilling a “hypocrite.” Globe business columnist Steven Syre urges Rhode Island officials not to turn a poor decision into a disaster by giving Schilling more money. Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy, who in the past has often needled the former Red Sox pitcher, takes a somewhat muted, albeit “I told you so,”  approach.

Schilling’s financial troubles, even though they are Rhode Island-based, will have an impact in Massachusetts. As CommonWealth reported earlier this year, Massachusetts officials are eager to grow the state’s fledgling video game industry. Many, including Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, have shown interest in offering video game developers the same lucrative tax credits that movie production companies receive. That seems unlikely now.

                                                                                                                                 –BRUCE MOHL


Keller@Large sat down for a one-on-one with Gov. Deval Patrick about the state’s business climate and the implementation of the federal Secure Communities program.

Lowell Sun columnist Peter Lucas says Treasurer Steve Grossman’s call for the executive director of the state Gaming Commission (a Patrick guy) to step down was the start of the 2014 gubernatorial race.

The Massachusetts House passes legislation abolishing the item pricing law, the State House News Service reports (via CommonWealth).

CommonWealth ranks the state’s lobbyists by income and their clients by spending.

The Massachusetts Senate passes a health care cost containment bill by a margin of 35-2, WBUR reports. The Senate also passes its “right-to-repair” bill on a voice vote late last night. The measure now moves to the House.

Massachusetts sets up fake websites to teach consumers a lesson, NECN reports.


The Salem News, in an editorial, applauds the city’s decision to post public art on a parking garage wall, even if some people don’t like the piece.

WBUR tells the story of how a community center in Oak Square, in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood, is rising from a Catholic school that was closed in a very negative way.

The City of Boston has filed a complaint alleging the lawyer handling contract negotiations for the city’s firefighters engaged in vulgar and rude behavior at the bargaining table.

A Quincy city councilor is skewering the licensing board for not hitting a local bar with tougher penalties following an assault on a police officer during a fight and a gun being fired in the neighborhood as the bar was closing recently.


Taunton officials have reached an agreement with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe on a casino deal that pays the city $33 million up front and $13 million annually in mitigation and revenue payments. But the city might want to talk with Middleboro officials before cashing the check.


Dan Payne on WBUR’s website asks: Can Elizabeth Warren get her mojo back?

Scott Brown may regret asking Karl Rove to stay out of the Senate race.

Don’t underestimate Mitt Romney, say his past Bay State opponents, including Shannon O’Brien who calls him “perhaps one of the most crafty and ruthless politicians in the country today.”

A new ad from the Romney campaign describes Mitt’s first day in the White House. Hint: it would be a busy one. Meanwhile, Forbes concludes that, if elected Romney would be the wealthiest president ever. Romney defends his time at Bain Capital.

Back to the future: Why a plan to bring up President Obama’s relationship with his former minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright,  in the 2012 election campaign is a bad idea. The backlash comes for Joe Ricketts, the Cubs co-owner who commissioned the Wright ad pitch.

Florida scrubs its voter rolls ahead of November’s election.

Americans Elect won’t put a nominee on its presidential ballot line.


Another drop in the state’s unemployment rate, which now stands at 6.3 percent.

Whole Foods Market’s decision to stop carrying Atlantic fish such as cod, haddock, and gray sole because they are “unsustainable” is angering local fishermen who are already on the ropes.

Immigrants have lower incomes but are more likely to be working than native-born residents, according to a new study by the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden.

The Wall Street Journal provides an inside account of JPMorgan’s multi-billion dollar bad bet.

Will Facebook become the next What? Exactly.


The Marlborough teachers’ union has taken a no confidence vote in the city’s superintendent.


Paul Levy says the Senate’s approach to transparency and accountability in health care costs is still insufficient to force change and hopes the House puts some teeth into the process.


A Herald editorial raps the MBTA for running a money-losing special route from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to Logan Airport while the agency is facing steep budget shortfalls.


The US puts tariffs on Chinese solar panels, Marketplace reports (via WBUR).

The Berkshire Eagle touts Pittsfield’s move to the head of the solar energy class with a new project destined for a former YMCA camp.


Critics say a Supreme Judicial Court ruling on drunken drivers creates a “get-out-of-jail-free” card for repeat offenders.

New documents are released in the Trayvon Martin shooting case in Florida that raise as many questions as answers, the Daily Beast reports.

Boston leaders reflect on the 20th anniversary of the melee at a funeral at a Mattapan church that helped set in motion the city’s response to gang violence in the 1990s.


The Los Angeles Times reports that it has received a $1 million grant to expand its coverage from the Ford Foundation.

Lesley University communications professor Donna Harper has a requiem for WFNX on the Media Nation blog.

The last dance for Dorchester-bred Donna Summer.