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  3. article_body => "<p>Whether any other Hall of Fame voters actually called officials in Cooperstown about <a href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/MattSpiegel670\/status\/1352387286118313986?s=20\">rescinding their votes<\/a> for Curt Schilling in recent weeks, I was not one of them.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>I did vote for Schilling, as I have in previous years. And if I was filling out the ballot today, I would vote for him again, despite his apparent support for the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, what seems like a gross misunderstanding of the First Amendment, open hostility toward much of the news (especially sports) media and all the generally stupid stuff he spouts from his Twitter account and other platforms.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<drupal-url data-embed-button=\"url\" data-embed-url=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/gehrig38\/status\/1347043469752233984?s=20\" data-entity-label=\"Embed social\" data-timestamp=\"1611644986\" data-url-provider=\"Twitter\"><\/drupal-url>\r\n\r\n<p>The reason is pretty straightforward: Six All-Star seasons, three Cy Young runner-up finishes, the best strikeout-to-walk rate of anyone with 3,000 strikeouts, a good ERA in an era of high-octane offense, a great WAR, more than 200 wins, three World Series rings, a fourth World Series appearance, and a career postseason record for the ages: 11-2, 2.23 ERA in 19 starts (averaging seven innings a start).<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>Schilling is a Hall of Fame pitcher, and unlike some of his peers he appears to have done it without performance enhancing drugs (in fact was an outspoken advocate for ridding the game of steroids and other PEDs).<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>That the man might be a QAnon conspiracy believer, domestic terrorist sympathizer who equates the Capitol invasion with the summer\u2019s racial-justice protests, and all-around crackpot who sometimes engages in inflammatory, potentially dangerous, rhetoric \u2014 that\u2019s certainly at least&nbsp;debatable.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<drupal-url data-embed-button=\"url\" data-embed-url=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/gehrig38\/status\/1343625824789008384?s=20\" data-entity-label=\"Embed social\" data-timestamp=\"1611637050\" data-url-provider=\"Twitter\"><\/drupal-url>\r\n\r\n<p>It\u2019s also irrelevant to the Hall of Fame vote \u2014 even the part of the criteria that includes the instruction to consider \u201cintegrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.\u201d<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>It\u2019s long been established that a lot of bad people lacking anything close to high character have been elected to the Hall of Fame over the decades.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>But that precedent also is irrelevant as a cover for any subsequent vote.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>For example, I don\u2019t vote for PED cheaters regardless of what other cheaters might already be in the Hall of Fame.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>In fact, that speaks to the Schilling issue as much as anything.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>PED users cheated the game, compromised its integrity and performed, by definition, with anything but sportsmanship and character during their careers. That\u2019s what I believe. Other Hall of Fame voters don\u2019t, and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds continue to receive votes. So does Sammy Sosa (<a href=\"https:\/\/www.nbcsports.com\/chicago\/cubs\/why-sammy-sosa-will-never-get-my-baseball-hall-fame-vote\">but that\u2019s another column<\/a>).<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>I covered several of Schilling\u2019s starts in his career, including in the postseason, but I never covered his teams, and I don\u2019t know him personally.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>I don\u2019t think I\u2019d like him, but who knows? I know I watched players in other clubhouses openly mock him for being a look-at-me phony. And I know I don\u2019t like what he purports to stand for. Plus there\u2019s that whole jokes-about-hanging-journalists thing.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<drupal-url data-embed-button=\"url\" data-embed-url=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/billbarnwell\/status\/795778271409565696?s=20\" data-entity-label=\"Embed social\" data-timestamp=\"1611641026\" data-url-provider=\"Twitter\"><\/drupal-url>\r\n\r\n<p>But who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame isn't about me, beyond trying to exercise best judgment on the player and the \u201csportsmanship and character\u201d as it relates to teammates, opponents, effort and the integrity of the game.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>What the guy does after he\u2019s done playing and the fool he chooses to play off the field has nothing to do with it.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>He might even get in this year \u2014 it\u2019s possible he could be the year\u2019s only selection \u2014 when the vote is announced Tuesday.<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>But then again how will any of us convince him that election wasn't rigged, too?&nbsp;A bunch of lib journalists voting for an alt-right, second-Amendment, Dem-baiting \"patriot?\"<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p>How would he explain that one?<\/p>\r\n\r\n<p><a href=\"https:\/\/www.nbcsports.com\/chicago\/podcasts#CubsTalk\"><em><strong>Click here to subscribe to the Cubs Talk Podcast for free.<\/strong><\/em><\/a><\/p>\r\n\r\n<drupal-url data-embed-button=\"url\" data-embed-url=\"https:\/\/art19.com\/shows\/cubs-talk-podcast\" data-entity-label=\"Embed social\" data-timestamp=\"1611641786\" data-url-provider=\"ART19\"><\/drupal-url>\r\n\r\n<drupal-entity data-embed-button=\"app_promo_embed\" data-entity-embed-display=\"view_mode:block_content.full\" data-entity-type=\"block_content\" data-entity-uuid=\"84a634bd-85a1-4e39-9e2a-7d404e5646e3\" data-langcode=\"en\"><\/drupal-entity>\r\n"
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  14. description => "What the guy does after he\u2019s done playing and the fool he chooses to play off the field has nothing to do with whether he deserves a vote for a baseball's Hall of Fame."
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Cubs Insider

Cubs Insider

Whether any other Hall of Fame voters actually called officials in Cooperstown about rescinding their votes for Curt Schilling in recent weeks, I was not one of them.

I did vote for Schilling, as I have in previous years. And if I was filling out the ballot today, I would vote for him again, despite his apparent support for the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, what seems like a gross misunderstanding of the First Amendment, open hostility toward much of the news (especially sports) media and all the generally stupid stuff he spouts from his Twitter account and other platforms.

The reason is pretty straightforward: Six All-Star seasons, three Cy Young runner-up finishes, the best strikeout-to-walk rate of anyone with 3,000 strikeouts, a good ERA in an era of high-octane offense, a great WAR, more than 200 wins, three World Series rings, a fourth World Series appearance, and a career postseason record for the ages: 11-2, 2.23 ERA in 19 starts (averaging seven innings a start).

Schilling is a Hall of Fame pitcher, and unlike some of his peers he appears to have done it without performance enhancing drugs (in fact was an outspoken advocate for ridding the game of steroids and other PEDs).

That the man might be a QAnon conspiracy believer, domestic terrorist sympathizer who equates the Capitol invasion with the summer’s racial-justice protests, and all-around crackpot who sometimes engages in inflammatory, potentially dangerous, rhetoric — that’s certainly at least debatable.

 

It’s also irrelevant to the Hall of Fame vote — even the part of the criteria that includes the instruction to consider “integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

It’s long been established that a lot of bad people lacking anything close to high character have been elected to the Hall of Fame over the decades.

But that precedent also is irrelevant as a cover for any subsequent vote.

For example, I don’t vote for PED cheaters regardless of what other cheaters might already be in the Hall of Fame.

In fact, that speaks to the Schilling issue as much as anything.

PED users cheated the game, compromised its integrity and performed, by definition, with anything but sportsmanship and character during their careers. That’s what I believe. Other Hall of Fame voters don’t, and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds continue to receive votes. So does Sammy Sosa (but that’s another column).

I covered several of Schilling’s starts in his career, including in the postseason, but I never covered his teams, and I don’t know him personally.

I don’t think I’d like him, but who knows? I know I watched players in other clubhouses openly mock him for being a look-at-me phony. And I know I don’t like what he purports to stand for. Plus there’s that whole jokes-about-hanging-journalists thing.

But who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame isn't about me, beyond trying to exercise best judgment on the player and the “sportsmanship and character” as it relates to teammates, opponents, effort and the integrity of the game.

What the guy does after he’s done playing and the fool he chooses to play off the field has nothing to do with it.

He might even get in this year — it’s possible he could be the year’s only selection — when the vote is announced Tuesday.

But then again how will any of us convince him that election wasn't rigged, too? A bunch of lib journalists voting for an alt-right, second-Amendment, Dem-baiting "patriot?"

How would he explain that one?

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