Retired baseball star Curt Schilling is not in the MLB Hall of Fame because the sports media has a political axe to grind, Fox Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd says.
He gave this hot take about the ace pitcher during Thursday’s broadcast of The Herd, which is simulcast on Fox Sports 1, Breitbart News reported.
Cowherd, who used to co-host Sports Nation on ESPN, is also the co-host of Speak for Yourself alongside Jason Whitlock, which airs weeknights at 6 p.m. Eastern on FS1.
In the 2017 balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America, the right-leaning righty’s vote share dropped to 45 percent from 52 percent in 2016, so the trend is not his friend. Candidates need at least 75 percent to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
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. In September 2015, 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.
The outspoken conservative and foe of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton particularly alienated some baseball writers/HOF voters with a since-deleted, sarcastic 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.”
Against that backdrop, certain writers are now invoking the vague character clause as a reason to vote against him, at least in their public explanations.
In response, Curt Schilling declared that “I promise you, If I had said, ‘Lynch Trump,’ I’d be getting in with about 90 percent of the vote this year,” apparently alluding to what many consider the mainstream media’s hostility toward the new president.
In the monologue, Colin Cowherd seemed to agree in general that a political agenda on the part of the media stands in the way of Curt Schilling’s induction into the Hall of Fame. “All of sudden now, the sports baseball media is deciding post career, Curt Schilling’s character bothers them.”
Cowherd explained that baseball writers are taking their eye off the ball, as it were, as political journalists did, in his view, in terms of designating Hillary Clinton the next president in election 2016.
“…The political media’s trust is at an all-time low, and sports media I think continues to dip because of agendas. Curt Schilling is a borderline Hall of Famer. I’ve always said I would put him in simply because he elevated, not one, but two baseball cultures: the losing Red Sox who had a loser’s mentality, and the irrelevant Arizona Diamondbacks. He led both to World Series titles, and I think he changed the culture. Curt Schilling, though, you can argue like a Mike Mussina, he’s just not a Hall of Famer, he’s darn close…”
The radio/TV host is hardly a proponent of Schilling’s social media activities, or apparently his political views in general, but deems that irrelevant to Hall of Fame voting.
“Schilling has now gone on social media and become a little unhinged and has been, what I would say, a little inappropriate. There is nowhere a voter is asked to consider somebody’s post-baseball personality. In fact, the rules say voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team on which the player played. It says nothing about once you retire…This is how you lose the trust of the public — when you start voting on things you’re not asked to consider, and you have an agenda. I don’t like what Curt Schilling said about the media, but I know I’m not asked to consider it voting for the hall of fame. It never says, ‘Consider post-baseball integrity.’ It never says that…”
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.
Although ESPN supposedly had a no-politics rule for its on-air talent when Schilling worked there, the self-named Worldwide Leader in Sports seems to have moved in a very political direction in the past year. So much so that ESPN public editor (i.e., ombudsman) Jim Brady acknowledged in a very lengthy essay last month that his network has seemingly become overly politicized. “Internally, there’s a feeling among many staffers — both liberal and conservative — that the company’s perceived move leftward has had a stifling effect on discourse inside the company and has affected its public-facing products. Consumers have sensed that same leftward movement, alienating some,” he wrote.
Curt Schilling had an invite to President Trump’s inauguration but decided to skip it as he discusses in the TMZ video below.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for Mars Chocolate North America]