Red Sox

Schilling blames "the left" for Hall of Fame snub

Schilling blames "the left" for Hall of Fame snub

Curt Schilling isn't shy about sharing conspiracy theories concerning his political beliefs. He has another one about his Hall of Fame prospects. The Red Sox postseason hero and outspoken conservative told WEEI on Friday that "the left" has painted him as a racist and that's keeping him out of Cooperstown.

"We're at a point in time now where the left has managed to marginalize me in the media," Schilling said on the "Mut and Callahan" show. "It's weird. People dismiss me out of hand as a racist. I've never said a racist word in my life."

In his seventh year on the ballot, Schilling fell short of Hall induction again this week. He received 60.9 percent of the vote from Baseball Writers Association of America Hall electors, shy of the 75 percent needed but this highest vote total yet. He has three years remaining on the BBWAA ballot. 

"That [political views] certainly has played a part in all this, and the only reason I say that is because people have said as much, voters," Schilling said. "It is what it is."

Schilling supporters point to Mike Mussina's Hall election this week as evidence that Schilling, the former Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox ace, should also be enshrined. Schilling won three World Series titles (one in Arizona, two in Boston) and won 216 regular-season games with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons. He was 11-2 in the postseason. Mussina, a five-time All-Star, wasn't on any world championship teams and won 270 games with a 3.68 ERA in 18 seasons. 

In his WEEI appearance, Schilling singled out The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy as a Hall voter who is holding Schilling's politics against him.

Shaughnessy later called the show to defend his vote, saying he has voted for Schilling in the past, but he considers him "a bubble candidate" based on his stats.

"Curt's character is not helping his cause with me," Shaughnessy said. "Curt's gotta stop that it's all because of his politics. He's very much a bubble candidate. He's 11-2 in the postseason. I'd certainly give him the ball ahead of Mussina [whom Shaughnessy said he didn't vote for]."

Shaughnessy said if Schilling took a break from political commentary, it may boost his chances. Schilling has seen a 15.9 percent increase in votes the past three years: from 45.0 percent in 2017 to 51.2 percent in 2018 to 60.9 this season. 

"If he went and stood in the corner for a year, it might help him with some of the writers," Schilling said.  

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An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

Already coming off a season cut short by an elbow injury that shut him down last August, Chris Sale's spring training got off to a slow start as he recovered from a bout with pneumonia just as pitchers and catchers reported to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers. 

He says he's progressing after the illness led to him dropping a few pounds from his already thin frame (6-foot-6, 180). He'll throw a side session Sunday and told reporters on Saturday that he thinks he'll be ready for Opening Day March 26.

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"I think I’m going to be ready for [the opener]. But like I said, those aren’t my calls to make. I go out there, do my job, tell them how I feel on a daily basis," Sale said. "Obviously as the workload picks up, we have to see how things work out. I’ve just got to be open and honest with them and then we map out a plan and see how it works out."

In a Friday interview on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" show, Sale said having his season end early last summer and going through a rehab process to avoid Tommy John surgery has him raring to go into 2020 despite questions about his stamina.

"I feel like I'm better now than I was then because of going through that [injury and rehab]."

Sale hasn't reached 200 innings pitched since 2017. He went 6-11 in 25 starts (147.1 IP) in what he called "a nightmare season" in 2019 after his and all the starters' workloads were limited in spring training and he struggled with his velocity at times before the injury was diagnosed.

"I feel really good," he told WEEI. "I can sit here and tell you what I want to do, what I think I'm going to do, but I've just got to go do it. I live here in town and put in a lot of work. I was here four to five times a week. It's exciting. For me, this really started last September October when that rehab process began.

"I gotta get back to the basics. Not really worry about fading, the injuries. This is sports. Injuries can happen overnight...I'm not worried about what my track record is or what people are thinking of me."

Jerry Narron hired as Red Sox bench coach

Jerry Narron hired as Red Sox bench coach

Ron Roenicke officially has his bench coach for 2020.

The Boston Red Sox manager announced after Saturday's spring training win over the Tampa Bay Rays that Jerry Narron will take over the role.

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If Narron's name sounds familiar, that's likely because he served as Red Sox bench coach during the 2003 season when Grady Little was manager.

The 64-year-old went on to assume the same role with the Cincinnati Reds in 2004–05, then served as the Reds' interim manager from June 2005 to July 2007.

Since then, Narron has had multiple jobs including stints as bench coach of the Milwaukee Brewers (2011-15) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2017-19). He was Roenicke's bench coach in Milwaukee.

Boston's bench coach position opened up once Roenicke was promoted to interim manager earlier this month. Roenicke replaced Alex Cora, who parted ways with the Red Sox after his name was mentioned in MLB's report on the Houston Astros sign-stealing investigation.