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In what I hope is not even a little bit surprising at all to you, I have no love for Curt Schilling, for a number of reasons. You could just pick one of them and it would be understandable — that he basically defrauded Rhode Island taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars while lying to his own employees about their healthcare status, that he has a collection of Nazi memorabilia for “historical” purposes but also aligns himself politically with white supremacists making the entire “historical” thing even more questionable, that he’s especially racist toward Muslims, that he’s a disgusting transphobe, etc. — but the point is that there is a whole spectrum of reasons to think he sucks, and we shouldn’t forget that he stacks them on top of each other like this just because picking one would be disqualifying enough.
That being said, despite my right and true dislike of him and everything he stands for and believes in, I was hoping he would have his request to be removed from his 10th and final Baseball Hall of Fame ballot granted. Sure, he wanted off for extremely childish reasons, and asked for it in a tantrum of a statement following his failure to be elected to Cooperstown once again last year, but we could speed up this whole process by removing him from the Baseball Writers Association of America’s version of the election process, and gain a year of silence on the matter for our troubles, too.
Instead, the Hall’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to leave Schilling on the ballot. Meaning we’ll go through another Schilling Outrage Cycle that begins with him complaining about their decision and his freedoms or whatever, then the people who either love him or just love to Own The Libs or whatever — I’m a communist who dislikes liberalism, by the way, so at least address your concerns to the correct alignment when you tweet me things Twitter automatically filters out because even the hell site knows you’re a chud, thank you — and then media reactions to all of that. It means we need to see, even earlier in the year than usual, sentiments from folks like Jon Heyman who feel like they’re being held hostage by Schilling’s on-the-field accomplishments, and will vote for him again because of that even if they think he’s kind of a garbage person who shouldn’t be elected. No one is making you vote for him, Jon! You don’t have to vote for him! What is wrong with sportswriters, goddamn.
It was just half-a-year back that some Hall voters wanted to rescind their votes for Schilling, given his support of the Capitol rioters. Obviously, that breaking point came extremely late in the game, but at least they arrived at it — and that their wanting to revoke their votes in the first place became a story is what caused Schilling to throw his post-results fit in the first place. It’s not too late for folks like Heyman to get on board with that sentiment, since Schilling will be on the ballot one final time. And it’s not like you need to fear his reaction to it, since, as I said at the time of the story, Schilling is going to paint himself as a victim (and patriot) regardless of how things go down:
Schilling making himself the victim, the oppressed one, is not new. It’s who he is, who he has been, and it’s always been to the detriment of others. There has obviously been escalation in what he feels he can say and find support in, but nothing about this is new. He’s just, like his current heroes, louder about it than his old heroes were.
Whether Schilling’s Hall candidacy happens or not, whether this petition to change ballots goes down or mathematically eliminates him from induction, he will act as if he’s been wrongfully attacked by voters. Which is even more reason to not fear his reaction to a no vote or to a request to change a vote. He’s going to say he’s a patriot doing and saying what he believes in, anyway, and it was four years ago that he wore a shirt with instructions for lynching journalists, so it’s not like you are currently on his good side, anyway. Huh, I guess I could have mentioned that above as one of the reasons voters should have realized Curt Schilling is an awful piece of shit well before now. Live and learn.
Anyway! I didn’t want to re-litigate all of this and yet I’m kind of doing it a little bit despite that, because it is important to include context in your story where you call someone an “awful piece of shit.” The point is that even this little bit of news is already making me run through this again, and now we’re going to have a whole cycle of it from people I hope you like reading less than me, especially on topics like this one. And then we’ll have a whole other cycle of it, a more intense one, during the actual voting season for Cooperstown. And God forbid Schilling actually gets the final-ballot bump and election to the Hall: then we’ll really be in for it.
This all could have been avoided if he was just removed from the ballot as he demanded. Sure, his reasons were not good ones, but who cares? He doesn’t want to be elected by the BBWAA, so, take that decision out of their hands. Save us all some trouble. Schilling might have better luck down the road with whatever iteration of the Veteran’s Committee concept exists by that point in time, sure, and the existence of such committees means we’re probably never really safe from the threat of Curt Schilling: Hall of Famer, but that’s all a hypothetical problem for later. Maybe we’ll be dead by then. We know the Baseball Hall of Fame could have solved the specific problem in front of its voters and the sports’ fans now, but they didn’t. And that’s a real shame, for all of us who have already gone through this song and dance nine times now for this guy.
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