Curt Schilling is not a happy man, and he wants everyone to know about it.
The former All-Star pitcher and three-time World Series champion once again fell just short of induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame as it was announced that none of the 25 candidates received the necessary 75% of the votes from members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).
The former Oriole, Phillie, Red Sox, and Diamondback led the pack at 71.1% of the vote, falling just 16 votes shy of enshrinement. But the incremental increase of just 1% compared to last year indicates that he won’t get the necessary boost in his final year of eligibility to get to the 75% mark.
He’s now forced to sleep in the bed that he made created largely by questionable actions on the internet and social media. Schilling was fired from his job at ESPN for disparaging the transgender community. He posted a video comparing Muslims to Germans during the height of Nazism, called for the lynching of journalists.
After ballots were due, he fell under fire for expressing his support of the Jan. 6 riots at the US Capitol.
For a committee that is tasked with judging the integrity and character of a ballplayer as much as his on-field accolades, this understandably caused reason for pause for many of the voters.
Now, Schilling wants off the Hall-of-Fame ballot next year as he wrote an impassioned letter on Tuesday night.
“I’ll defer to the veteran’s committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player,” Schilling wrote. “I don’t think I’m a Hall of Famer as I’ve often stated but if former players think I am then I’ll accept that with honor.”
And so he went on his rant about the baseball writers:
“The media has created a Curt Schilling that does not and has never existed. It’s one of the things that has allowed me to sleep at night. Not an ounce of that is to absolve myself of sin, Lord knows I’ve committed my share and will do so again. Never malicious, never to willfully or intentionally hurt another person. I was 100% accountable and still am. Even the thought of responding to claims of ‘nazi’ or ‘racist’ or any other term so watered down and rendered meaningless by spineless cowards who have never met me makes me ill. In modern times responding to such drivel somehow validates the claim.
“… The game has made it clear it does not want me back and that’s fine, the game owes me exactly nothing. It gave a billion more times than it took and I’ll forever be deeply in debt to it.”
The BBWAA, however, won’t be so quick to cater to Schilling’s desires. Secretary Jack O’Connell vehemently opposed such a request:
“It is the position of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America that Mr. Schilling’s request to remove himself from the ballot is a violation of the rules set forth by the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors, who have commissioned the BBWAA to conduct the annual elections, specifically the following:
“The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent [5%] of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.
“Mr. Schilling has fulfilled both of those requirements and should remain on the ballot for consideration by the voting body for what would be his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2022.
“The Hall of Fame assigned the BBWAA to be the electorate in 1936. This association has abided by the rules for 85 years and shall continue to do so. The BBWAA urges the board to reject Mr. Schilling’s request.”
Schilling’s controversial status will only be a part of a dizzying 2022 ballot that will feature the final chances for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds to get into the Hall while noted PED users Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz make their debuts.