Baseball Hall of Fame 2021

Time for the annual speculation fest.

Based on early voting it looks like the only player with a realistic chance might be----Curt Schilling.  Boy will that upset a lot of people, both for baseball and political reasons.  Or we could have a year with no incoming members.

With 46% of the ballots already revealed, only three nominees have enough votes to be in contention for election this year:  Schilling (75.3% of known votes); Bonds (72.5%); and Clemens (72.0%).  It is doubtful that Bonds or Clemens get enough of the remaining votes to get to 75%, even with more younger voters this year--likely will top out around 60% as they did last year, could even reach near 70%.

Scott Rolen (62.1%) will get closer but not make it this year.  Todd Helton is seeing his votes rise, but the Denver effect will keep him from getting in.  Jeff Kent, Andruw Jones, Omar Vizquel, and Billy Wagner are in the distance and likely will not get voted in during their initial eligibility.  Garry Sheffield (for whom I would vote) , Sosa, and Manny Ramirez remain tainted by steroids and stand no chance.


So, about Schilling.  The BBHOF does have a moral character clause.  It is not just about statistics.  Schilling has denigrated LGBTQ+ people in vicious terms; he has called for lynching reporters; he cheered on the storming of the Capitol by right wing terrorists.  Yes, I know that Ty Cobb was a virulent racist, as were probably many others in the HOF.  I am sure more than a few members are or were strongly homophobic.

But today is today, and we need to apply current standards of what is acceptable.  This is not about right wing politics, btw, or about cancel culture.  George Brett is about as far right as you can get, and supported Trump in both elections, but he is fine as a member.  Mariano Rivera is a very conservative evangelical Christian but that matters not.

Schilling--who infamously called John Smoltz a "communist leftie" (Smoltz is a conservative evangelical)--is simply beyond the pale.  


https://www.nj.com/yankees/2021/01/baseball-hall-of-fame-2021-curt-schillings-candidacy-losing-support-among-fans-amid-controversial-comments.html

However according to the poll, more than 63% of respondents said Schilling’s statements should prevent him from being inducted. Arizona Republic sports editor Mark Faller, who cast a ballot for the Hall of Fame, explained his decision to exclude Schilling from his submission.

“On the field, Schilling has a strong resume for election. He won 216 games in his 20-year career, much of it with lousy Phillies teams, and struck out 3,116 batters. He played a critical role in helping the Diamondbacks and Red Sox win memorable World Series titles. After his career ended, though, the public began to see a different Curt Schilling, one who some inside baseball merely tolerated because he was so good on the mound. We saw the Curt Schilling who has used social media to denigrate the Muslim and LGBTQ communities. The Curt Schilling who has suggested that reporters would be good candidates for lynchings. The Curt Schilling who accused Adam Jones, a Black man and former Diamondbacks outfielder, for lying about hearing racist taunts at Boston’s Fenway Park. And on. And on. And on.”

Schilling drew criticism earlier this month following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. After the Jan. 6 riot, Schilling tweeted his support for violent, pro-Trump crowd.

“You cowards sat on your hands, did nothing while liberal trash looted rioted and burned for air Jordan’s and big screens, sit back, stfu, and watch folks start a confrontation for **** that matters like rights, democracy and the end of govt corruption. #itshappening


Mark Faller: He won 216 games in his 20-year career, much of it with lousy Phillies teams, and struck out 3,116 batters.

For the record, the Phillies played .467 baseball (76-86, on average) over Schilling’s six full noninjury, nonstrike, nontrade seasons with the team.


A 10-year president of the Hall of Fame, Jeff Idelson, on the meaning of the character clause in a 2018 Sporting News interview:

“I think that the idea you would take character out of your rules for election doesn’t make any sense for the Baseball Hall of Fame and our voting. Every voter has to determine what character means for them. It's meant to be a guide. It is meant to ask: ‘Did this player respect the game? Did this player respect the uniform? Are you proud of this person in terms of how they conducted themselves with respect to the game?’”


Sadly, for some, all Phillies teams are considered lousy.  You know that.

As for character, yah, well, I get it.  The measure you cite is reasonable--did he comport himself well while in the game?  Did he respect it? Did they perform admirably while in the game?  Nothing there about being a huge dick after his career.

Hey, I admit my bias.  I am a liberal.  But I am liberal in the greater sense of the term--as open as I can be to other ways of thinking than my own.  I am perfectly fine with George Brett or Bill Parcells openly campaigning for Donald Trump.  I draw the line at Schilling.


Not to mention that most older reporters who knew him loathed him, so that might keep his vote total down a bit.


Let's not forget the millions that he got from Rhode Island and never paid back.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/09/years-after-bankruptcy-curt-schilling-settles-rhode-island-gaming-loans/

The case dates back to 2012, shortly after 38 Studios laid off all of its 379 staffers and declared bankruptcy. Though 38's first game, Kingdoms of Amalur, sold a respectable 1.3 million copies in its first 90 days, the company's financial resources were reportedly drained by work on an ambitious RPG project, codenamed Copernicus, which never saw the light of day (save for this teaser trailer released just before the company's bankruptcy).

Rhode Island accuses 38 Studios of fraud in failed $75M loan dealThe Rhode Island government floated $75 million in bonds to provide loan guarantees that convinced 38 Studios to move from its base in Massachusetts. After the bankruptcy, though, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation argued in its lawsuit that the company had used false financial projections and misleading statements to obscure the fact that the company was "destined to fail according to 38 Studios’ own financial projections."

Now, the state is agreeing to just $2.5 million in settlement, saying that this is a "highly unusual case" in which it "makes no economic sense whatsoever" to continue going after the defendants. That's not too surprising, considering that Schilling previously said he was "tapped out" after 38 Studios' failure, and 2012 bankruptcy filings showed the company with $150 million in debt and just $22 million in assets. Still, it leaves Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for $28.2 million worth of bonds after accounting for other settlements related to the case (most notably with the banks backing the bonds).


I’m more comfortable keeping Schilling off my ballot for performance reasons. Sure, someone can always point to comparable pitchers, or worse, who are already enshrined, but my own standards are closer to no-doubt-about-it than they are to “Well, look at his ERA- and career WAR next to Mike Mussina’s.”


Schilling is not a HOFer.  His numbers don't justify it.   

And he's a jerk.


He's borderline on his achievements, and until this month if I was a voter he'd have been in my ballot even though he's a major league **** with politics that are abhorrent to me. But supporting a violent insurrection at the Capitol is just too much. I couldn't vote for someone like that for any sport's HoF. 


Teed up for your comments next year, mfpark: Scott Rolen.


DaveSchmidt said:

Teed up for your comments next year, mfpark: Scott Rolen.

Scott Rolen would have my vote. If I had a vote that is. 


DaveSchmidt said:

Mark Faller: He won 216 games in his 20-year career, much of it with lousy Phillies teams, and struck out 3,116 batters.

For the record, the Phillies played .467 baseball (76-86, on average) over Schilling’s six full noninjury, nonstrike, nontrade seasons with the team.

 as a person who has seen my team play too many seasons with records near.467, those are lousy teams. 


Curt seems to be taking it well tonight.


Curt got 71.1%.  He probably could get in next year if he just didn't act like a d#ck for 12 months.


ICYMI.

I want to share with everyone the letter I wrote to the folks at the Hall of Fame yesterday. They’ve been otherworldly...

Posted by Curt Schilling on Tuesday, January 26, 2021

I finally found something I agree with Curt Schilling about.  I don't think he is a Hall of Fame pitcher, either.


yahooyahoo said:

Curt got 71.1%.  He probably could get in next year if he just didn't act like a d#ck for 12 months.

 it's hard for him to go 12 minutes.  I actually did respond to him on Twitter once (only once).  He tweeted at Michelle Wolf after she hosted the White House correspondents dinner, something like how he couldn't wait for her to be out of work for the idiotic things she said at the event.  I responded telling him he must be an expert on that topic.  The utter lack of self-awareness of him making that statement about anyone else was breathtaking.


DaveSchmidt said:

ICYMI.

I want to share with everyone the letter I wrote to the folks at the Hall of Fame yesterday. They’ve been otherworldly...

Posted by Curt Schilling on Tuesday, January 26, 2021

 so he called the voters "cowards" yesterday.  Given the backlash they're likely to face from type of people who admire Curt's politics, it was more like courage than cowardice to leave him off the ballot.


Going off topic, but why doesn't Jeff Kent get more votes? He had solid stats for a 2nd baseman. Did he ever test positive? 


jfinnegan said:

Going off topic, but why doesn't Jeff Kent get more votes? He had solid stats for a 2nd baseman. Did he ever test positive? 

You have company. 

Schoenfield: I've never understood the lack of support for Jeff Kent, who has struggled to get to 30% after eight ballots. I'm not saying he should be a lock or anything, but he hit 377 home runs, drove in more than 1,500 runs (including eight 100-RBI seasons), won an MVP award and played until he was 40. Historically, voters love longevity, but it hasn't helped Kent muster enough support. And his defense wasn't as awful as everyone says either.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30782801/winners-losers-hall-fame-election-day-got-elected


DaveSchmidt said:

jfinnegan said:

Going off topic, but why doesn't Jeff Kent get more votes? He had solid stats for a 2nd baseman. Did he ever test positive? 

You have company. 

Schoenfield: I've never understood the lack of support for Jeff Kent, who has struggled to get to 30% after eight ballots. I'm not saying he should be a lock or anything, but he hit 377 home runs, drove in more than 1,500 runs (including eight 100-RBI seasons), won an MVP award and played until he was 40. Historically, voters love longevity, but it hasn't helped Kent muster enough support. And his defense wasn't as awful as everyone says either.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30782801/winners-losers-hall-fame-election-day-got-elected

Voters might associate him with PEDs since he was in San Francisco with Barry Bonds.  His best years were definitely in San Franciso.


He was consistently good for 15 seasons straight. Half of them were with Bonds, but the other seasons weren't too bad. I'm a Mets fan so I'm still smarting over trading him for Carlos Baerga. I figure nobody will be voted in next year either if they're going to stick with nobody getting in with steroid suspicions. I'm afraid Big Papi may have a different set of rules. 


Schilling was borderline at best.  I feel the same way about Schilling, Rose, Bonds and a couple of others.  If the committee thinks they were worth based on their stats, vote them in after they are dead.  don't give them the satisfaction while they are living.  

Kent was borderline to me but seems the HOF has never been enamored with second basemen.  Their seems to be a higher standard for them ( as well as for DH's).  



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