Retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, in an interview on Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, said that the collective decision by Hall of Fame voters to not elect a single player to Cooperstown this year was a clear consequence of the failure by players in the era in which he played to police the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the game. (To listen to the complete interview, click here.)
“I think, with a few exceptions, nobody knows [who used performance-enhancing drugs], so the whole lot of us are lumped in together. Nobody knows,” said Schilling. “We didn’t do anything about it. At the end of the day, we didn’t do anything about it. We knew about it. I think we all had an idea, a really strong suspicion, but we didn’t do anything about it. And we sat by, and we turned a blind eye, and I think this is one of the prices that we ended up paying.”
Asked what he would have done differently if he could have had the opportunity to revisit the era when steroid use was rampant, Schilling did not hesitate.
“I think I would have reacted to the first time [former pitcher and leading Players' Association member] Rick Helling stood up in a player’s union meeting and said what are we going to do about testing? And I think there were a lot of players who wanted to react,” said Schilling. “But I think it was one of those things, like everything else that comes from being in a game mentality, you’re afraid to go against the stream. And I think that’s one of the last times in my life that I didn’t.”
Schilling said that, if he were entrusted with a vote, he wouldn’t vote for players who cheated by using performance-enhancing drugs. At the same time, he acknowledged that, from the vantage point of history, it’s problematic that players such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens (as well as Pete Rose, who is banned from baseball — and hence, from Hall of Fame consideration — after gambling on the sport) do not have places in Cooperstown.
“I believe they were potentially the best hitter and best pitcher of my generation,” said Schilling (who also clarified that he thinks Greg Maddux, whom he expects to get elected to the Hall of Fame next year, is the best pitcher of all time). “But what does it say about the Hall of Fame if the leading home run hitter and the second-best or third-best pitcher of all-time and the leading hits guy aren’t in the Hall of Fame?”
As for his own voting results, Schilling said that he was extremely pleased with the support he received in his first year on the ballot. The right-hander, who went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA, a 127 ERA+ (meaning his ERA was 27 percent better than league average for his career) and a 4.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio that is the best of any pitcher since 1901, was named on 38.8 percent of the ballots, slightly more than half the 75 percent support that would result in enshrinement in Cooperstown.
“This whole thing was surreal for me,” said Schilling. “People were talking or people were debating about whether I belong in the Hall of Fame or not. How unbelievably cool is that? I’m good [with the results].”
Schilling acknowledges that he’s given some thought to the idea that, had he not spent nine seasons with the Phillies from 1992 to 2000, his numbers might look even more robust, thus boosting his candidacy further.
“That 10 years was detrimental to my win total, but I loved it there. I always thought we were going to be a competitor next year. I believed the ownership was going to make the moves the next year, because the fan base was so passionate and so adamant about pushing them to win and they never did,” said Schilling. “One of my last years, I had Ruben Amaro (the current Phillies GM who hit 16 career homers in 1,051 plate appearances) hitting cleanup for me, if that tells you anything. It was just a bad situation. I think about that. And I think about, in ’97, I signed my first big contract. I went 17-11 and I think I punched out 300 guys. And I had a sub-3.00 ERA. The opening day of that season, I signed a four-year, $24 million extension. Kevin Brown, after that season, signed a $105 million contract. That was the first big contract. So, you could play that what if game, but I don’t. I’m so blessed and so lucky. The game owes me nothing. It’s good.”
Schilling does feel that, based on recent awards voting for active players, Hall voters ultimately look beyond his won-loss record to more important indicators that would benefit his candidacy.
“I won’t think about this again until this day next year. But I also, when I do think about it, I think about a more educated base of voters,” he said. “I think you’ve seen, starting with Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young and Zack Greinke winning the Cy Young with 12, 14 wins, I think you’re starting to see a move away from conventional statistics. As a guy who never bought into conventional statistics, I love it. It shows more interest.
“I still think the process needs to be tweaked,” he added. “I think voters should lose their credentials. I think if a guy gets over 90 percent of the vote and you don’t vote for him, you should lose your pass. If a guy gets less than 5 percent and you vote for him, you should lose your pass.”
Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Peter Chiarelli joined the Sunday Skate crew to talk about the Bruins playoff push heading into the final handful of games of the regular season. Chiarelli talked about avoiding some of the overly negative feedback he gets while realizing that the team does have real issues. He discusses what went down at the trade deadline and if he was happy with the outcome, Lucic having a down year and underperforming, the salary cap and if he considers it as big of an issue as it's been made out to be and what the future holds for the team.
It's a big hour #2 for the Sunday Skate dudes - they talk about the B's defenseman and what the future looks like at that position, with both moves the team can make and younger guys in the AHL. They also get into the Bruins philosophy on bringing guys up and sending them back down and how players deal with that. Finally, the boys are joined by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss EVERYTHING.
The Sunday Skate crew gets the show going discussing the Bruins big, impressive victory over the NY Rangers yesterday. What can you take from that game? According to LB - Lyndon Byers - who called the guys from the road, not a lot. LB drops a dime on what was going on with the Rangers yesterday. DJ and Joe discuss Claude's lines and groupings and the importance of Ryan Spooner. They also get into Lucic, his contributions this year and if he can turn things around.
The latest feud between Shank and Papi was discussed.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys discussed the disgusting protests at the scene of Officer Moynihan's shooting.
John Farrell has named Clay Buchholz the starter for Tuesday's opener. Koji and Christian Vasquez are already ruled out. Vasquez on the 60 day DL.
Wrestlemania was a trial run for Super Bowl 50. More Christian dog stuff. Superintendent in Chief William Gross of the BPD deals with some idiotic protesters after the fatal shooting in Roxbury on Friday night.
Shawn Thornton is now a member of the Panthers, who come to town tomorrow night. Thornton spoke about Claude Julien's control of the Bruins locker room, and his own team playing his former team on Tuesday night.
As the testimony of Hernandez' fiancee wrapped up today, we checked in with attorney Michael McCann for all the latest developments and analysis.
We wrap up the day with the best in sound that you may have missed throughout the day.
We listen in on Adam Shefter's deflategate report on NFL Live on ESPN, and discuss when we can expect this whole mess to come to a head.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Kirk's massage and crap all over Sausage.
Ben and Adam finish the odyssey that is the history of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemanias 21-30 are discussed and analyzed.
Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
The guys discussed the disgusting protests at the scene of Officer Moynihan's shooting.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show