The Baseball Hall of Fame will unveil its newest inductees Wednesday night, and Curt Schilling doesn’t figure to be one of them.
“From everything I’ve heard, he will not get in,” Boston Globe sports columnist emeritus Bob Ryan said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I think this is wrong. I vote for him. I think anyone who doesn’t vote for him on the basis of his goofiness, to be polite, and specifically because of his endorsement of his cartoon featuring the lynching of a sportswriter, which I choose to take as sheer hyperbole – as goofy as he is, I do not think he honestly believes that anyone, including sportswriters, should be lynched and that was simply hyperbole and bad humor – and if anyone didn’t vote for him for that basis, I’m embarrassed on behalf of the organization. That’s not a reason for me not to vote for him.”
The on-field case against Schilling is simple: He never won a Cy Young award or an ERA title, and his 216 wins are solid but not spectacular. On the flip side, he was a six-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, a World Series MVP, and twice led the majors in wins. He also went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 19 postseason starts.
“He’s a borderline candidate in the eye of some people,” Ryan said. “Not for me. I thought he was a drop-dead Hall of Famer, but depending on how you evaluate things, he’s a borderline candidate. I think he belongs in. I think that to sum it up, the only time that he was not just a good pitcher, but a great pitcher, are the times that he was injured. His postseason resume is impeccable, and I think that he’s a Hall of Famer. But he will not get in from what I gather.”
In other news, Ryan did not vote for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or any other player suspected of using PEDs.
“I have not yet voted for those people,” he said. “I came around to the point where I gave it serious, serious, serious thought. I wrote in a column that I had my hand hovering over their boxes. That’s the truth. And then it came down to answering the following question: Will I sleep better tonight if I vote for them or if I don’t vote for them? And the answer was the latter, so I did not vote for them.”
Still, Ryan believes the Hall of Fame should not ask voters to play God.
“I have said for years that we are being asked to be judge and jury,” Ryan said. “We are trying to decide which juiced pitchers pitched to which juiced batters to what effect, how many home runs would have landed on the warning track after the juice, how many strikeouts would not have been obtained at 89 as opposed to 93, etc., etc., etc. It is an impossible task and one we should not have. I believe the Hall of Fame should take charge of the voting. I think they should tell us specifically (to) factor in the PEDs or don’t, and if you don’t factor them in, then put people in on their numbers. But just put a disclaimer up outside the Hall that there was a period of time when there were PEDs in baseball and many of the people in here played during that era and there’s great confusion about who did what, but we feel people should be judged strictly on their numbers and their merits. If they would do that, then I would happily vote for them all.”