Curt Schilling on D&C: Hall of Fame ‘completely out of my control’
|01.09.14 at 9:16 am ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, a day after the balloting for the Baseball Hall of Fame was announced. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
In his second year of eligibility, Schilling received 29.2 percent of the vote, down from the 38.8 percent he received last year and well below the 75 percent needed for election. Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine were elected.
Schilling was driving back to Massachusetts from Florida with a girls softball team he coaches when he learned about the balloting.
“I literally was about 18 hours into this trip and I started to get Facebook and Twitter messages and I wasn’t sure why,” Schilling recalled. “And then it dawned [on me]. I had been completely consumed with this whole weekend [softball tournament] and forgotten that the date had shown up and it had started.
“I certainly didn’t expect to be one of the guys this year given the class that was out there and given the voting rules and stuff. It has become such a politically charged process. Unless you’re on the ballot by yourself and all the cases can be made for and against, it’s hard. But the good thing is you saw three guys that I think had legitimate first-ballot Hall of Fame careers go in yesterday, which was nice.”
Coming off a failed business venture and a health scare, Schilling said he won’t let something like this affect him in a major way.
“Given the way life has gone for me the last couple of years, you start to get perspective — I think a little bit better perspective,” Schilling said. “I might not be here tomorrow, much less next January 8th. So I can’t worry about it. It’s completely out of my control. I keep referring back to the fact that when you talk about things like this and you look at what they mean, ultimately it comes down to respect. And I think the 24 guys that I suited up with for the years that I played, if they had to win a game, I think a lot of them would have given me the ball. And there’s not much more I could ask for out of my career than that. If this happens, awesome.
“The challenge of being in this position is you don’t want to diminish what it means, but you also don’t want to make it out to be more than it is. I’m done pitching. I can’t get anybody else out. That your Hall of Fame credentials fluctuate 10 percent to 40 percent yearly is kind of awkward. It kind of I think sheds a light on the fact that the process is kind of goofy I guess in a way.
“I watched Tim Raines growing up. If Tim Raines isn’t in the Hall of Fame and Dale Murphy isn’t in the Hall of Fame and I don’t get in, I’ll be all right.”
Added Schilling: “I don’t get frustrated with this — at all. Because that would indicate a significant amount of energy being expended at it. I can’t. There’s nothing in this that I have any control over. Again, once I threw my last pitch, I was done. So, I hold under my hat that stuff that I was able to be a part of — the World Series and all the things that happened. I’m all right with that.
“If this happens — I work with Barry Larkin, who went in on the second ballot. I played with Hall of Famers. So, it means something to have that plaque. But it can’t mean everything.”
On the media members voting for the Hall of Fame: “Every year you see people doing the same really stupid things, because the vote allows them to create content for their article, for their [website], whatever. ‘¦ I absolutely don’t think they’re the right people. But it’s tough to say respect for any of the ones I don’t know. Jayson Stark I know. Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian — I know they agonize over this. I liken it a lot to hearing Terry Francona talk about picking the All-Star team. It’s gut-wrenching for them, because they know a lot of these guys, and their careers were based on covering them.
“I think first of all the criteria has to change. I think one of the rules should be anybody that gets 90-plus percent of the vote, anybody that doesn’t vote for that person should immediately lose their ballot. Because my biggest problem is Dan Le Batard, Ken Gurnick, this is not their platform. ‘¦ I think you should have to cover the sport, I think you should have to be in the sport. I think at some point you should have to prove that you actually know who’s on the ballot and what they did. Because you’ve got guys like Murray Chass — there’s no point in that man having a ballot.”
On playing during the Steroid Era: “If you look at my career trajectory, too, I fall right squarely under the microscope, because I had my best years after I was 30. I can’t say anything that anybody that hasn’t tried to defend themselves can say. I just happened to run into some amazing people — Chris Correnti, Paul Lessard and some guys in the training room, Dave Page — who worked me and understood how to get me to get the most out of myself at that point.”
On players accepting responsibility for the Steroid Era: “One of the challenges as a player from this era is that the responsibility is on us. The fault lies with us. As players — especially in my situation as a player rep — we had a chance to do something about it and we chose not to. Just like the media chose to look the other way. All of these sanctimonious guys that are making a statement with their ballot, go back and read the stuff they were writing when this era was happening. They all bought in with everybody else. They were all suckers like everybody else. And we as players didn’t do what we should have done, and now we’re paying for it.”
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