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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Is Curt Schilling "on his way" to Hall of Fame? Bob Costas makes case

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USA TODAY Sports

Is Curt Schilling "on his way" to Hall of Fame? Bob Costas makes case

The clock on Curt Schilling's Baseball Hall of Fame candidacy ticked closer to midnight Tuesday.

While Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina all made the cut for 2019, Schilling received 60.9 percent of votes, well short of the 75 percent threshold needed to reach the Hall.

It's Schilling's seventh year on the ballot, which means he has just three more years of eligibility. But Tuesday's results suggest the former Boston Red Sox pitcher should make it as soon as next year.

That's what Bob Costas believes. The MLB Network analyst long has supported Schilling's candidacy and made this definitive statement Tuesday night, via Boston.com:

"Curt Schilling took a significant jump. He should have been in on the first ballot. The other considerations are not relevant. Curt Schilling is on his way to the Hall of Fame."

Schilling's politics and poor business decisions have earned him plenty of criticism. But his baseball résumé holds up: six All-Star appearances, three World Series titles and a career 3.46 ERA over 20 MLB seasons spent mostly with the Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Red Sox.

If you compare those numbers with Mussina's -- five All-Star nods, zero World Series titles and a 3.68 career ERA over 18 MLB seasons -- Schilling certainly seems worthy.

But let's forget stats for a second to look at Hall of Fame voter trends.

Schilling has seen a 15.9 percent increase in votes over the last three years: from 45.0 percent in 2017 to 51.2 percent in 2018 to 60.9 this season.

Here's how many votes Mussina and Martinez (the two non-first-ballot Hall of Famers in the 2019 class) received in the previous three seasons, followed by the votes they received this year:

Mussina:
43.0 percent in 2016
51.8 percent in 2017
63.5 percent in 2018
76.7 percent in 2019

Martinez:
43.4 percent in 2016
58.6 percent in 2017
70.4 percent in 2018
85.4 percent in 2019

Schilling is pretty much right on the same track as Mussina (albeit a year behind), and if he continues that trend should receive right around 75 percent of votes in 2020. Considering he was the leading vote-getter among non-Hall of Famers this year, it seems very likely Schilling becomes the 12th Red Sox player to earn a place in Cooperstown.

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Boston Sports Breakfast Podcast: More AFC title game aftermath; Did writers get Baseball Hall vote right?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Boston Sports Breakfast Podcast: More AFC title game aftermath; Did writers get Baseball Hall vote right?

Tom E. Curran and Jerod Mayo discuss the key call that changed the AFC Championship Game, and Baseball Hall of Fame voting is revealed. Did the writers get it right?

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE:

1:20 - Tom E. Curran and Jerod Mayo break down the key factors in the Patriots AFC Championship victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and how a single penalty changed the entire narrative of the game.

7:15 - Trenni Kusnierek, Chris Forsberg and Rich Keefe debate whether Kyrie Irving can keep up the consistent level of play he has shown recently.

12:30 - Michael Felger, Lou Merloni and Rich Keefe discuss if the Baseball Writers got this year's Hall of Fame class right or wrong, and what it means for David Ortiz.

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