Schilling cancels scheduled appearance with Bush

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – Newly minted World Series hero Curt Schilling canceled a scheduled campaign appearance with President Bush on Friday, saying his doctors advised him not to travel because of his injured ankle.

An e-mailer identifying himself as the Boston Red Sox pitcher posted a message on the Web site saying, “I am now not medically cleared to do anything until I see Doc on Sunday, so I cannot travel with President Bush.”

Schilling, who has been known to contribute frequently to online fan forums, did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Friday.

The pitcher endorsed Bush in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday, a day after the Red Sox won the franchise’s first World Series championship in 86 years.

In his e-mail, Schilling said he should have kept his opinion to himself.

“While I am a Bush supporter, and I did vote for him with an absentee ballot, speaking as I did the other day was wrong. While I hope to see him re-elected, it’s not my place, nor the time for me to offer up my political opinions unsolicited,” he said.

Schilling turned in one of the most memorable performances in postseason history this year, winning Game 2 of the World Series and Game 6 of the American League Championship Series with his ankle sutured to protect a torn sheath around his Achilles’ tendon.

On Thursday, he was at Disney World in Florida for a parade, and he accepted the Bush campaign’s invitation to campaign with the Republican incumbent in New Hampshire.

Many of the people lining up Friday morning for Bush’s first event, a rally at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, were there more for Schilling than for the president. These included Republican Congressman Jeb Bradley, who was wearing a Red Sox cap and said he hoped Schilling would sign it.

Children carried baseballs, also hoping for autographs.

David Cummings, 26, of Hamilton, Mass., was disappointed, saying, “It was exciting when I heard Schilling was going to put out the first pitch” for the president.