Red Sox

Curt Schilling on Hall of Fame: 'If I'm outside the Hall of Fame with Luis Tiant, I'm all right'

Curt Schilling on Hall of Fame: 'If I'm outside the Hall of Fame with Luis Tiant, I'm all right'

Curt Schilling is in his eighth year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Is this the year that he'll finally get in?

The former pitcher spent 20 years in the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Boston Red Sox. He went 216-146 record, a 3.46 ERA, and 3,116 strikeouts (good for 15th most all-time) in his storied career. 

It's his postseason dominance (11-2, 2.23 ERA) that elevates Schilling's Hall candidacy. He's a three-time World Series winner, two of which came with the Red Sox, was a co-Series MVP with Randy Johnson in 2001 with the Diamondbacks and was named an All-Star six times.

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Despite his numbers, Schilling hasn't gotten into the Hall yet. While he may be inching closer to making the cut, he isn't counting on getting in with the 2020 class.

"I don't think I'm going to make it this year," Schilling told MLB Network's Bob Costas in a recent interview. "The trend has usually been that players will drop a certain amount of percentage between the public and the private ballots. And I don't think I'm high enough above that 75 [percent needed for election] for the tail-off not to get me."

Though Schilling doesn't think he'll get in, he's not worrying about it too much. And he's focusing on the fact that there are plenty of great players who never made the Hall of Fame, including another former Red Sox ace.

"There are also some pretty good people who aren't in the Hall of Fame," Schilling said. "If I'm outside the Hall of Fame with Luis Tiant, I'm all right."

Schilling does have a good point. There are plenty of great, deserving players that haven't made the cut for the Hall of Fame. He still has three more chances to get in, so perhaps his time will come.

And speaking of Tiant, there surely is a case for him to be a Hall of Famer. He went 229-172 with a 3.30 ERA in a 19-year career and also struck out 2,416 batters. Had the Red Sox gotten him a ring in 1975, perhaps he would've had a stronger case to get in.

J.D. Martinez details why Ron Roenicke is 'perfect fit' as Red Sox manager

J.D. Martinez details why Ron Roenicke is 'perfect fit' as Red Sox manager

The Boston Red Sox replaced Alex Cora with Ron Roenicke, and one of the team's best players believes it will be a smooth transition for the new manager.

Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez was asked Monday about Roenicke's new role, and he explained why the team's next manager is a really good fit for the job.

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"Ron managed before, he understands it," Martinez told reporters. "He was a big piece of Alex's decisions. He understood Alex. Alex always used him, always leaned on him. He knows us, and we trust him. He's a familiar face. He knows the personalities in the clubhouse, and he knows how to handle everyone. I think it's like the perfect fit." 

Roenicke was hired as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers before the 2011 season. The Brewers lost to the rival St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 National League Championship Series but didn't reach the postseason for the rest of Roenicke's tenure in Milwaukee. He was fired after a poor start in 2015.

The Red Sox hired him in 2017 to be the team's bench coach after Cora was brought in as manager. Roenicke served as a veteran voice for Cora to lean on, and the partnership helped the Red Sox win a franchise record 108 regular season games and the World Series in 2018. 

Boston was wise to promote Roenicke to manager following Cora's sudden departure in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal involving the Houston Astros. He has relationships with the players, he knows the pressures of the job, and the players clearly respect him.

Tomase: Red Sox are facing an enthusiasm deficit

J.D. Martinez explains how Mookie Betts' absence will impact Red Sox offense

J.D. Martinez explains how Mookie Betts' absence will impact Red Sox offense

Will the Boston Red Sox score enough runs to be a playoff-caliber team in 2020 after trading superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers?

The Red Sox offense was not the problem in a disappointing 2019 season. Boston was one of four American League teams to score 900-plus runs, coming in fourth with 901. The Red Sox also led the AL in hits, ranked No. 4 in total bases and No. 2 in on-base percentage. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers both had tremendous seasons, and these young stars are in the early stages of their primes.

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Betts is an MVP-caliber player and won a batting title, three AL Silver Slugger awards and an AL MVP over his career in Boston. Losing him will no doubt make the Red Sox offense less intimidating for opposing pitchers, but as J.D. Martinez told reporters at spring training Monday, Boston's offense still has the potential to be quite potent.

"Mookie's a great player," Martinez said. "He's one of the best players in the game. Obviously, you're going to feel it, in a sense, but I think we have a lot of really, really good players. You look at the guys who had breakout years last year, guys come back. I don't know what our numbers were offensively, but I would say one of the top-three, top-four offensive teams in baseball. Obviously, it's going to take a hit, but I really believe in the guys we have, and if guys continue to get better, I think we'll be really good."

The likeliest issue for the Red Sox in 2020 will be pitching.

No one knows what the Red Sox will get out of Chris Sale. When healthy, Sale has the talent to be one of baseball's best starting pitchers. Staying healthy has been an issue for him throughout his Red Sox tenure, though. Rick Porcello has been wildly inconsistent with the Red Sox. He won an AL Cy Young Award in 2016, but he lost 17 times in 2017 and another 12 times a year ago. Eduardo Rodriguez had a breakout 2019 campaign, and his next challenge is showing he can pitch at a high level consistently. David Price wasn't always stellar, but he pitched pretty well when healthy. He was throw into the Betts trade, opening up another hole in Boston's rotation.

Baseball is super tough to predict -- who could have imagined the Washington Nationals winning the World Series last year? The Red Sox could surprise us this season, but for that to happen, the pitching must be much-improved from what it was in 2019.

Tomase: Sale iffy for Opening Day, but he sounds optimistic