Curt Schilling, the former professional baseball pitcher, is suggesting that his chances of making the MLB Hall of Fame would be greatly enhanced if he was a Donald Trump basher.
So far, the outspoken, right-leaning righty has fallen short of the 75 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America needed to be inducted in Cooperstown on four prior occasions. His name appears on the 2017 ballot.
In April 2016, the controversial Schilling, 49, was fired by ESPN, where he appeared on Monday Night Baseball, after posting an anti-transgender meme to his Facebook page in connection with the North Carolina bathroom law. Last year, Schilling was benched from ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball as well as Baseball Tonight after a controversial tweet comparing Muslim extremists to Nazis, for which he apologized.
A post-season hero with an 11-2 record (and a 2.23 ERA in the playoffs), Schilling retired from professional baseball with an MLB win-loss mark of 216-146, and with more than 3,000 strikeouts and a career 3.46 ERA. The former member of the Philadelphia Phillies was a three-time World Series Champion (2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and 2004 and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox) before joining ESPN as a baseball commentator in 2010. He is a three-time, 21-game winner, a six-time All-Star, and a three-time runner-up for the Cy Young award.
“Schilling says he’s well aware he’s rubbed most of the H.O.F. voters the wrong way with his anti-Obama political views… and the inflammatory social media posts haven’t helped his cause.,” TMZ noted.
When asked by TMZ yesterday (see clip below) specifically about his Hall of Fame chances, Schilling waxed philosophical.
“[Baseball writers] are not hiding the fact that they’ve stopped voting for me because of the thing I’ve said on social media. That’s their prerogative as voters….Fair doesn’t enter into it…My dad told me when you leave home at 18, the word ‘fair’ goes out the window. I’m OK with that…the world’s not going to treat you fair…if they don’t believe my baseball talent merits me getting in the Hall of Fame, so be it.”
He also accused HOF voters of selectively invoking the character clause, which is a provision of the rules that allows the voters to take character into consideration in addition to on-field prowess.
“I promise you, If I had said, ‘Lynch Trump,’ I’d be getting in with about 90 percent of the vote this year.”
Schilling was apparently alluding to a since-deleted tweet in the run-up to the presidential election in which he described a T-shirt at a Trump rally containing the words “rope, tree, journalist” as “awesome.”
This apparently alienated several writers, including baseball pundit Jon Heyman. Schilling insisted he was just being sarcastic.
Influential Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy seized upon the character clause to write that he is no longer casting a vote for Schilling. “Schill has transitioned from a mere nuisance to an actual menace to society. His tweet supporting the lynching of journalists was the last straw for this voter,” Boston Magazine detailed.
In the TMZ clip, the pitcher famous for the bloody sock game also called out some unnamed baseball writers on the HOF voting roster for hypocrisy insofar as questioning his character, insisting that they are “some of the worst human beings I’ve ever known.”
MLB will announce the 2017 Hall of Fame Class on January 17, with the Cooperstown induction ceremony scheduled for July 30.
A pro-life, Second Amendment advocate who is currently a talk show host, Curt Schilling has flirted with the idea of running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts against incumbent Elizabeth Warren.
Do you think that baseball writers would like Curt Schilling more if he actually said “lynch Trump”? Do you believe that it is plausible that politics or social media is preventing an otherwise qualified Curt Schilling from entering the baseball Hall of Fame?
[Featured Image by Charles Krupa/AP Images]