Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, with Griffey pulling the highest percentage of votes in history — but failing to become the first unanimous selection.

Griffey was named on more than 99 percent of the 440 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America, easily beating the 75 percent threshold required for enshrinement. Griffey was named on all but three ballots.

Those falling short included outfielder Tim Raines, who has become a cause celebre on social media, as well as Astros slugging first baseman Jeff Bagwell, who fell 15 votes shy.

Support rose for a number of players, including ex-Red Sox starter Curt Schilling, who appeared on 52.3 percent of the ballots, just ahead of Roger Clemens (45.2) and Barry Bonds (44.3).

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

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.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Red Sox manager John Farrell joined the Hot Stove Show on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming season and provided a little more clarity with the role of fourth outfielder Chris Young, while also providing updates on Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, two key members of the lineup.

Farrell said that Young, “signed here under the notion that he’s going to get every at-bat against left-handed pitching.” He added that he’ll also get spot starts against righties to stay fresh, because the team wants to take advantage of his extreme pull stroke in Fenway Park.

“He’s well aware of the role when he comes in,” Farrell said. “We also know the way his swing is built, he fits Fenway Park very good with that pull approach. We’re all competitors. I never want to just limit the total number of at-bats a guy can accumulate.”

The natural followup is if Young plays against every lefty, who will sit — Jackie Bradley Jr. or Rusney Castillo (it typically won’t be Mookie Betts)? It sounds like Bradley, who hit over .300 against left-handed pitching last year, will be the odd man out on most days, but not all of them.

“To sit here in early January and say that every left-hander, Jackie’s not going to play, I wouldn’t go that far, because there might be some things that crop up, a day for Rusney, a day for Mookie might be advantageous, so we’ll take the best matchups and keep everybody involved,” Farrell said.

This is obviously a big season for both Bradley and Castillo.

“The way Jackie swung the bat when he came back up from the minor leagues was really a positive and encouraging sign,” Farrell said. “We know he’s going to play premium type of defense, but still, you look at the long-term track record of both he and Rusney, there’s some checkered past early in their careers. We like the abilities, we’ve got some depth, and we can keep some guys from getting overexposed. The overall athleticism is certainly a plus in the group of four.”

As for Ramirez, Farrell acknowledged that he won’t be a “seven-day-a-week” player at first base, with Travis Shaw getting some starts while Ramirez transitions to a new position.

“We’re talking about a longtime career infielder that granted, we made the move to put him in left field and now we’re coming off that and putting him at first base, but we’re also taking a career-long infielder and moving him across the diamond,” Farrell said. “As far as the footwork and fielding a groundball, we feel that’s kind of a pickup from where he’s been his whole career. Now his footwork around the bag, and the responsibilities with cutoffs and relays and understanding certain game situations, yes, that’s going to be different.”

Farrell added that Sandoval has been two-a-day workouts for about a month, with baseball activities in the morning and strength and conditioning in the afternoon. Farrell spoke to Sandoval on Tuesday and says they’ve remained in contact about every 10 days during the winter. He senses a driven player.

“It was a humbling experience from him last year, and he’s bound and determined to make good on that,” Farrell said.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
John Farrell joined the Hot Stove Show and discussed the Red Sox in all aspects. He talks about players coming back from injury and how Pablo Sandoval's conditioning is going.

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[0:03:56] ... for. Another hasn't changed by AB is sick of you saying that Chris Young is gonna get. The bats against lefties does that mean primarily that in that scenario Jackie would be sitting against lefties are ...
[0:04:34] ... you're gonna get early camper going to be about your first baseman. Hanley Ramirez you just talk us through again because Mike Napoli your former first baseman became the latest the guys who. Came out and talk to rob about how tough it is to ...





The guys discuss MLB Hall of Fame voting, talk with Red Sox manager John Farrell, and talk about if Hanley Ramirez can make the transition to first base.
As the voting for this year's Hall of Fame is on the verge of being revealed, Curt Schilling discusses his candidacy along with athletes' role in politics and a wide range of topics from the baseball world
John Farrell joined the Hot Stove Show and discussed the Red Sox in all aspects. He talks about players coming back from injury and how Pablo Sandoval's conditioning is going.