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Bradfo Show: Five things learned talking Hall of Fame (and other things) with Curt Schilling 01.06.16 at 9:34 am ET
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Wednesday will mark the fourth time Curt Schilling has discovered exactly how many Hall of Fame votes he received. Last year it 39.2 percent. The year before it was 29.2 percent. The first go-round? It was 38.8 percent.

He knows the drill, and that’s why the waiting process leading up to the announcement hasn’t exactly turned the Schilling household inside-out.

“It’€™s colder and I’€™m worried my chickens are getting frostbite on their combs,” he said on the Bradfo Show podcast when asked how this year might be different. “Honest to God, that’€™s what I’€™m worried about.”

But when it comes to the Hall of Fame, Schilling will be a name many continue to keep a close eye on. There is a strong case to be made that the former Red Sox pitcher belongs in Cooperstown. And then there are the debates that surround his debates.

(Case in point: Will Leitch’s recent story, “Are Curt Schilling’s GOP politics keeping him out of the Hall of Fame?”

It is all why narrowing down the wide-ranging interview with Schilling to five things we learned is challenging, but we’ll give it a shot:

SCHILLING IS AT PEACE WITH POTENTIALLY NOT GETTING THE CALL

“The hard part for me is I don’€™t want to say the things I say and diminish what I think the Hall of Fame represents. But it is the most subjective things I’€™ve ever been around. I read an article the other day about a writer that didn’€™t vote for me, and he didn’€™t vote for me because I only had 216 wins. And John Smoltz he voted for because he had 214 wins. I made peace with it a long time ago.

“Ultimately, I say they can’€™t take away the memories and the three rings, and those are the things I was able to walk away with. If it happens it would be great. I don’€™t expect it to happen. I’€™m not going to make a mistake this year and say it’€™s because I’€™m a Republican because I joked around about that last year and it became it’€™s own article when I called John Smoltz a Democrat knowing full well he’€™s as conservative as I am if not moreso, and I took heat for that for six months.

“If I don’€™t have a plague in Cooperstown, nobody can take away everything I had. I think Cooperstown and getting in is a recognition of all the people that were in your life, not of you.”

HE WON’T BE QUIET FOR THE SAKE OF HIS CANDIDACY

“I don’€™t care. I’€™m not going to change who I am, do what I do, or say what I say to make people think differently of me. For better or worse, and my wife would say there’€™s a lot of worse ‘€“ and some of the GMs I played for, well, all of the GMs I played for would say the same ‘€“ but I’€™m passionate with what I believe in. If my mouth keeps me out of the Hall of Fame then it’€™s a flawed process, if that’€™s the reason people don’€™t vote for me. If they don’€™t vote for because they don’€™t think I belong, then that’€™s absolutely a valid point.”

THERE IS A FRUSTRATION WITH THE HALL OF FAME VOTING PROCESS

“Tim Raines is the second greatest leadoff hitter of all-time and he’€™s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and he’€™s still not in. That’€™s a joke. I think if a guy receives 85 or 90 percent of the votes and you don’€™t vote for him you should lose your ballot.”

(His personal ballot is as follows: Jeff Bagwell, Ken Griffey Jr., Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Mike Piazza, Mike Mussina, Larry Walker, Alan Trammell, Tim Raines, Fred McGriff.)

BARRY BONDS AND ROGER CLEMENS WILL NEVER BE IN SCHILLING’S HALL OF FAME

“I think Bonds and Clemens were first ballot guys before I think they started cheating. What they did ‘€¦ as a player and a member of the player’€™s association it’€™s my fault as much as anybody ‘€¦ but what they did to my generation, it’€™s labeled the steroid era forever and they’€™re as symbolic of the era as anything, and I don’€™t think they should be recognized in a good way for that.”

HE BELIEVES PED GUYS WILL GET IN (HE JUST HOPES THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE BONDS AND CLEMENS

“Listen, this is like anything else. We don’€™t’€™ have staying power. We don’€™t have the ability to hate forever. No matter how bad a person anybody is at some point ‘€“ with the exception of guys like Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson ‘€“ everybody kind of gets that second chance. The only guy in my lifetime who hasn’€™t really gotten it is Pete Rose. I love the man. I’€™ve known him for a long time, but he made his own bed. But these guys, I think at the end of the day they lost the one thing they could never buy which was legacy.

“Bonds and Clemens will go down as the poster children for my generation of players and they both will do so for the wrong reason. I’€™m not a fan of recognizing that.”

OH, AND THERE WAS A LOT OF BASEBALL TALK, INCLUDING AN INTERESTING NOTE ABOUT THE ROLE OF RED SOX OWNERSHIP

“There’€™s meddling and there always has been. It goes back to when I was here [in Boston] I know the [ownership] meddled with the lineup, not just the roster. The other thing is that you have some guys not just in baseball, but football, who are fantasy baseball playing rich people. It’€™s not a bad thing until it gets down into clubhouse, and it has and it does.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Red Sox might pursue Zack Greinke for 1-2 punch with David Price 12.02.15 at 10:26 am ET
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ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis, Callahan & Minihane on Wednesday morning to explain why he supports the Red Sox‘ decision to spend a record amount of money for David Price. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling said it shouldn’t matter that owner John Henry decided to open his wallet and shell out a reported $217 million over seven years for a 30-year-old left-hander.

“This is what makes it different here in the sense that when John Henry wants someone on the team, John Henry gets what he wants. … That’s one of the beauties of being a fan here now. Money is no object when it comes to putting a roster together,” Schilling said.

That said, Schilling echoed the thoughts of many in saying that the Red Sox have to expect that the last couple of years of this deal won’t be a good value.

“I don’t know how good he’s going to be or how serviceable he’s going to be [in the final years of the deal], but you don’t put $30 million onto a guy who’s 11-11 with a [4.20 ERA],” Schilling said. “And that is best-case [scenario]. Because are you fully expecting him to make 33 starts, 34 starts a year for seven consecutive years? I always look at things like this as, OK, one of these years he will not pitch. Right? So, it’s a six-year performance deal for seven years worth of money. Where does the other side of the hill, where does the downside begin — does it begin at 33, does it begin at 36?

“But here’s the thing: That doesn’t matter. Because if they go to the World Series and win, then the amount of money this organization makes off that World Series win pays for this a couple of times over.”

There also has been widespread speculation that Price will opt out of the deal after three years — reportedly an option in his contract — but Schilling doesn’t see that as likely.

Said Schilling: “I don’t think opting out is even remotely possible from the standpoint of, what are you going to do, opt out of a $30.1 million deal to get [$]32 million from somebody else? I think that after the first year he’s going to love it here. I think after the first month he’s going to love it here. Because this is baseball heaven. … There’s very few places like this. And he’s in the family now.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Red Sox ‘have to get rid of’ Hanley Ramirez or Pablo Sandoval 11.04.15 at 1:06 pm ET
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ESPN analyst Curt Schilling checked in with with Dennis, Callahan & Minihane show on Wednesday morning to discuss the Red Sox‘ offseason and other MLB news. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

There has been speculation that new Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski will attempt to rid the team of the hefty contracts of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, who arrived in Boston last season as free agents but underperformed as the team struggled to another last-place finish in the American League East.

“I don’t know if they can do that without eating at least 90 percent of the money,” Schilling said. “Because it’s not like you have these hidden flaws that no one else knows about, that you can sneak him out the door and somebody will go, ‘Wow, I didn’t notice that.’ Pablo, the question’s always been around his weight. And I love the guy. He’s a tremendous clubhouse guy — funny, great guy. But this is what everybody was afraid of.

“With Hanley, is anybody surprised by what happened? This was the guy they traded [in 2005]. He didn’t change. They just got an older version of him.”

Schilling said he never supported the acquisitions last year.

“I was a pariah at the winter meetings, because I was the only guy at ESPN that said, ‘I don’t like either one. I don’t like either signing.’ I don’t get the give [$]80 [million], $100 million to a guy — and then find him a position? That seems kind of backwards to me.

“And Sandoval — you’re literally going to have three first baseman/DHs maybe, going into the season. I don’t think they have a choice. They have to get rid of at least one. And if they can get rid of two, my God, go for it.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Cubs ‘could set themselves up to kind of be the Patriots for the next 10, 15 years’ 10.14.15 at 9:29 am ET
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ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis, Callahan & Minihane on Wednesday to talk about the playoffs and explain his controversial tweet about Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential candidates debate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

During the Democratic debate, Republican candidate Donald Trump tweeted: Who is winning the debate so far (just last name)?

Responded Schilling: ISIS.

Not surprisingly, the critics went after Schilling for the sarcastic remark, especially considering Schilling’s last ISIS reference on Twitter ended up with him getting suspended by ESPN.

“Somehow people were saying, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe you support ISIS.’ I swear to God,” Schilling said. “I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ I thought it was a joke, but then they started getting liberal and vile, so I figured it wasn’t.”

Added Schilling: “First of all, I didn’t see one minute of the debate. So the answer was going to get that way no matter what. I was watching the game. But I thought, ‘I know who’s up there. And I know what they’re saying. So I know who’s going to win.’ ”

Turning to baseball, Schilling said he’s not cheering against anyone in the postseason out of respect for the challenge they face, but there are teams and players he would like to see advance.

“The matchup I would really like to see in the World Series is Cubs-Blue Jays,” he said. “But I’d like to see the Mets, because I’d love to see that pitching. I’d love to see the Dodgers because I’d like to see [Zack] Greinke and [Clayton] Kershaw if they can do it. There’s a lot of really cool stories now. The Astros. I’m not rooting against them, but I really don’t want to watch the Royals. … In the context of championship-caliber clubs, I think they’re boring. There’s no 40-home run guy. … [The Astros] have I think the best young player in baseball at shortstop. This kid is absolutely breathtakingly good. I love to watch [Jose] Altuve play the game, because I appreciate guys that are built like that and play like that. I like [Dallas] Keuchel. [Collin] McHugh concerns me today that he’s not a swing-and-miss guy and he’s got the [Blue Jays] lineup that never strikes out. But they’re interesting. They’re fun.”

Schilling is impressed with the Cubs’ attitude, crediting veterans like former Red Sox catcher David Ross for keeping the team focused.

“They’re not done,” Schilling said. “They’re playing on house money for everybody else. But to them, they believe that they should be holding the big trophy at the end. That’s a deadly combination.”

Schilling also noted that team president Theo Epstein has freer reign than when he was in Boston.

“If you look at what’s happened there, I don’t believe the Ricketts family will meddle in baseball ops. You know that’s one of the reasons Theo left here,” Schilling said. “I think they will leave him to his vices and let him do what he’s going to do. And left alone with the people he’s got, now he’s in a market where — and Joe Maddon‘s managing a team where he doesn’t have to maximize value for five years and watch a guy walk. That’s a deadly combination for me. They could set themselves up to kind of be the Patriots for the next 10, 15 years. With that much talent, and the money, new stadium.

“If they win it this year, it’s going to be — Theo Epstein, what does he do next? Does he go to Cleveland? And then win there?”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Expecting to return to ESPN broadcast booth next season 10.08.15 at 8:23 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane Thursday morning to discuss the postseason and his current situation with ESPN. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling has been taken off the ESPN game broadcasts following a controversial tweet. In his place has been former softball player Jessica Mendoza. The New York Times has called for Mendoza to replace Schilling for next season, but the former Red Sox pitcher says as far as he knows he will be back next year.

In the meantime, Schilling has been doing shows in studio for the network.

“As far as I know everything is going to be normal next year, get back to that,” Schilling said. “A couple of things: First off, I don’t blame [The New York Times], they are still bitter. It was 11 years ago that we did it, but they are fans of a team that offered the biggest choke in the history of sports. They will always be bitter and I am alright with that.

“Jessica is not bad at it. I thought she was good, real good. I thought that she was there, not because she’s the first woman to every do it, I thought she was good. I thought she was kind of a hidden gem on the women’s softball thing and in getting to do that and get exposed to that she can do this. I listen to her talk to guys in spring training about hitting and she did some different pieces for Baseball Tonight during spring training and she is as knowledgeable about putting the barrel of a bat on the ball as anybody I’ve ever heard speak about it.”

Schilling is not surprised John Farrell will be back as Red Sox manager.

“No. Listen, until the day I die I will still be of the mind that John Farrell is overqualified to do anything in the game,” he said. “I still think he’s one of the most amazing people. I think in-game management is an issue. I think something he needs to get better at, but he’s as good of a communicator and presence as anybody I’ve ever known in the sport.”

Farrell recently finished treatment for Stage 1 lymphoma. Schilling, a mouth cancer survivor, isn’t sure how Farrell will be once spring training rolls around in the spring.

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Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘I got suspended because the rules of the company I work for I broke’ 09.10.15 at 9:17 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning touching on a number of different subjects, including the Red Sox on his suspension from ESPN. To listen to the audio of the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling has been suspended by ESPN for the rest of the regular season and the Wild Card round of the playoffs because of a recent tweet. The tweet featured a graphic with a photo of Adolf Hitler saluting. The text read: IT’€™S SAID ONLY 5-10% OF MUSLIMS ARE EXTREMISTS. IN 1940, ONLY 7% OF GERMANS WERE NAZIS. HOW’€™D THAT GO?

“I got suspended because the rules of the company I work for I broke,” Schilling said. “I don’t have a problem with that. It wasn’t the content, it was the act. I’m not racist. I don’t have a racist bone in my body. That’s not who I am.”

“It’s part of what in a sense of what they hired me for, is what I got suspended for,” he added. “I am comfortable expressing my opinions about things, whether they are right or wrong — I don’t try and be wrong. The only thing about the entire thing that bothered me was the people that took the racist angle, which is confusing to me because I’m not sure how you got there, number one, if you read the tweet. It stunned me because I would assume when you’re a racist you’re expecting responses and reports and opposition to things that you say. When you’re not someone who says things like that, it kind of caught me off guard.”

The Red Sox have won 14 of 21 games. The biggest different has been the starting pitching, as Sox starters are 13-4 with a 2.80 ERA in the club’€™s last 21 games. He said their recent play has no impact on John Farrell‘s future.

“First things first, they are pitching better,” Schilling said. “Their bullpen is struggling, but when you get better starting pitching you win more games and that’s the number one reason why they’ve won 14 of 21. Number two, I don’t care how it relates to John Farrell. I don’t think it relates in any way shape or form. All these games have down is make other teams look at Torey Lovullo as a potential managing candidate. John Farrell is undergoing something that I don’t wish on anybody. I want him to get healthy and come back and whatever he does when he comes back I don’t care, as long as he comes back.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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Curt Schilling on D&C: If Dave Dombrowski ‘not allowed to steer the boat,’ he won’t last very long 08.19.15 at 10:54 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning as part of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon to talk about his experience with cancer and give his take on the Red Sox‘ recent moves. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling detailed the dangers of chewing tobacco and smoking, emphasizing that a large part of the problem is seeing guys in the majors doing it and thinking it’s cool. Schilling said he first dipped on a dare when he was 16 and wouldn’t have considered it unless he had seen it before.

He went through painful treatments to cure himself of the addiction and suffered from withdrawal in the process.

“There is not one positive, physical upside,” Schilling said.

At this point, he said there’s not much more he can do than inform people of what’s going to happen to them if they choose to dip or smoke.

“I’m not going to tell people not to do it because it’s a personal choice and it’s still legal,” he said, “but I will tell you what’s going to happen when you do, and it’s nothing you could ever, ever experience or imagine.”

On the baseball side of things, with Dave Dombrowski scheduled to be introduced Wednesday afternoon as the Sox’ new president of baseball operations and Ben Cherington stepping down as general manager, Schilling said things probably are going to be changing in the front office. Dombrowski, who was released by the Tigers on Aug. 4, is a different type of guy in the sense that he operates more independently.

“I don’t think this will last very long if he’s not allowed to steer the boat,” Schilling said, adding: “I would imagine that Dave made it somewhat clear that, ‘Hey, sure I’ll take the job, but this is how this is going to play out.’ ”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Tobacco usage ‘first thing in my life in my mind that wasn’t worth it’ 08.05.15 at 10:37 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about smokeless tobacco and the Red Sox. To listen to the audio from the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is expected to announce a ban on the use of smokeless tobacco at baseball and sports parks throughout the city, including Fenway Park. Schilling himself battled mouth cancer before going into remission in 2014, and he says that his use of chewing tobacco is what caused it. As a result, Schilling has subsequently become an anti-tobacco advocate and is a supporter of Walsh’s new plan.

“When I was in the middle of chemo and radiation, it was the first thing in my life in my mind that wasn’t worth it,” Schilling said.

Schilling says athletes are role models who can affect the behavior of those who look up to them, for better or worse.

“You don’t get to choose what kids get influenced by, what young adults get influenced by,” Schilling said. “And if it wasn’t something that big league players did on TV or you could see on TV athletes doing, I don’t know that kids would do it. I get that it’s legal as an activity and all the things that go with that, but I just feel like as athletes and as men we have a bigger responsibility to a lot of different people than we may want, but it exists.”

Schilling regrets the fact that he may have unknowingly and unintentionally been a poor influence.

“That’s one of the things that I’ll take to the grave is, who and how much of an impact did I have on even one kid’s life in this sense?” Schilling said. “Is there somebody out there that’s going to die from mouth cancer because they were dipping because they saw me do it? It’s kind of naive to think that ‘no’ is the answer there.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Red Sox ‘not getting fixed this year’ 07.24.15 at 10:47 am ET
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ESPN baseball analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Friday to talk about the Red Sox‘ post-All-Star-break struggles. To listen to the interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page.

The Red Sox have lost eight straight, including the first seven contests since returning from the All-Star break. With the Sox now 12 games out of first place in the division, Schilling said that the team will not be able to remedy itself this season.

“I think the first answer is that it’s not getting fixed this year. It’s not. I don’t blame [general manager Ben Cherington] in some ways, but you have to in others. It seems like every single move he’s made since the final day of the season last year has been bad,” Schilling said.

According to Schilling, there needs to be accountability for the team’s disappointing results, but that doesn’t necessarily mean firing anyone in management.

“Somebody’s got to pay. That’s the thing. I think that, if I’m running the team, I don’t know that I fire anybody, but I think there’s some readjustments that need to be made,” Schilling said. “There’s not a Band-Aid to put on this, there’s multiple gaping wounds that need to be healed.”

Schilling was definitive when asked if the Red Sox should fire manager John Farrell: “No.”

“I certainly think he needs to get better as a game-manager,” Schilling added. “I’ve seen situations where I go, ‘In my mind he got outmanaged or he was outplayed.’ But this, to me, is on the players. One hundred percent on the players. You can’t make Joe Kelly suddenly start missing bats, you can’t make guys take extra outfield work off the wall.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘Knowing Ben [Cherington], there’s a plan in place’ 07.16.15 at 11:38 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined the Dennis & Callahan Show on Thursday morning to talk about the Red Sox, the All-Star Game and Pete Rose. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling said there aren’t many teams in the majors who have declared themselves sellers at this point, including the Red Sox. While Clay Buchholz might have been an interesting piece for the Sox to consider dealing, Schilling noted whether or not Boston missed the boat on trading him before his injury might not be a question the team is asking.

“I think the way they played going into the break, I don’t know what their thought process is,” he said. “I would imagine, like everything else and knowing Ben [Cherington], there’s a plan in place, and if that plan is to add a piece at the break, then they’re not actively shopping anybody. I think a lot of teams are in that gray area. There’s the Nats of the world and the Royals, and then at the deadline I think you’re going to see 25-ish buyers and four to five sellers.”

The former pitcher said he’d be surprised if Mike Napoli sticks around unless he starts hitting again. The Sox open the second half with a four-game set with the Angels this weekend, a team he has a .333/.453/.739 career slash line against, although one good series might not be enough unless it gives him a jumping off point for an extended stretch.

“I like Mike and I hope things work out, but it’s getting to the point where, given the contract, [the Red Sox] certainly could walk away because it gets back to what they think,” Schilling said. “Do they believe they’re legitimate contenders? … That’s the question, what they truly think and believe about where they are.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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