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Dan Shaughnessy Isn't Voting For My Friend Curt Schilling For The HOF Because Of His Tweets

The audio above is from this past June when I had Curt Schilling on the Section 10 Podcast for a two-parter. You can listen to Part I HERE and Part II HERE. But that was the only time that Dan Shaughnessy’s name came up, and it’s pretty clear that these two did not like each other even back then, which was a good five months before Schill sent out that tweet about lynching journalists, which probably wasn’t the best idea he’s ever had. It was that tweet that was the straw that broke the camel’s back in regards to Shaughnessy’s willingness to place Curt’s name on his Hall of Fame ballot.

Count me out on Curt Schilling. I have held my nose and voted for the Big Blowhard in recent years (11-2 in postseason, ridiculous walk/strikeout ratio), and he was up to 52.3 percent (75 percent required) last year, but I shall invoke the “character” clause this year. 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. Curt later claimed he was joking. Swell.

The thing about Schill is that he’s very self-aware, which almost seems impossible given 90% of the shit that he tweets. But he really is. He openly acknowledges being off the rails on social media. He just doesn’t care what anybody thinks, or the ramifications for sharing his thoughts. He’s a shoot from the hip kinda guy, and if what he says happens to offend a bunch of people, then so be it. That’s just Curt being Curt. You can have an issue with what he says, sure, but I don’t have an issue with anybody openly speaking their mind, as long as they understand the consequences.

What I do have an issue with is somehow taking tweets from a 50-year-old retired MLB player, who drinks cream sodas with 27-year-old bloggers on Wednesday nights, and holding that against what a 21-to-40-year-old man did during his professional baseball career. Curt Schilling is a Hall of Famer. He should’ve been in on the first ballot, actually, and it’s insane to me that he wasn’t. The year that John Smoltz was inducted as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, which was Schilling’s third year on the ballot, Smoltz got 82.9% of the vote. Smoltz accumulated a 66.5 WAR and had a 125 ERA+ over the course of his career, while Schilling accumulated an 80.7 WAR and had a 127 ERA+. Schilling got 39.2% of the vote that year. It has since risen as high as 52.3% on the most recent ballot, but I’m sure the lynching journalists tweet is going to stall that upward trend in voting percentage for now.

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Was it a dumb tweet? Yeah. Should it cost him the Hall of Fame? Fuck no. If the character clause was invoked on every single candidate that’s already been enshrined, then the Hall of Fame would be a lot less populated than it is today. It’s the Baseball Hall of Fame, not the Good Guy Hall of Fame. And by the way, Schilling won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2001, which is annually given to the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” It’s basically an active player philanthropy award. If you’re going to factor in a player’s character that heavily into your voting decision, then you should look at their character during their playing career the most. I fail to understand how what a player tweets a decade removed from their playing career could somehow negate what they did on a baseball diamond, unless it was some sort of serious criminal offense.