Curt Schilling on Hall Of Fame Shutout: “The Players that Didn’t Cheat got Dragged Down with the Players that Did”

January 11, 2013 – 6:15 am by Steven Cuce

Curt Schilling didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame on this ballot of voting, but the three-time World Series champion isn’t too upset about the whole situation. After receiving just 38.8 percent of the votes, the former Red Sox pitcher admitted that he was honored to even be in the discussion.

As for no one being worthy of selection into the Baseball Hall of Fame after Wednesday’s vote totals? Schilling sticks up for the “clean players” in the following interview.

Curt Schilling joined WEEI in Boston with The Dennis & Callahan Show to discuss getting 38 percent of the Hall of Fame vote, his views on no players being elected to the Hall for the first time since 1996, players on the HOF ballot who didn’t use performance-enhancing substances not being voted in, reacting differently about taking a stand against steroids in baseball if he had a do-over, his career being different if he didn’t play for the Phillies from 1992 to 2000 and tweaking the Hall of Fame voting process.

Are you happy that you got more than 35 percent of the Hall of Fame vote with 38 percent?

“Yeah. It’s weird. Yes. This whole thing was surreal for me. People are talking or people were debating about whether I belong in the Hall of Fame or not. I mean, how unbelievably cool is that? I’m good.”

What do you view of the Hall of Fame picture that did happen or didn’t happen should I say?

“I think, as a block, it was the writers making a statement. Whether they should or it was the right thing? I don’t know. I thought it was kind of ironic how the players that didn’t cheat in this group got dragged down with the players that did.”

It should be the opposite where players who didn’t cheat get voted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot right?

“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. 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.”

If you had the ability to have a do-over, what would you have done? How would you have reacted?

“I think I would have reacted to the first time [former pitcher and leading Players' Association member] Rick Helling stood up in a players’ 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. 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.”

If you did not spend nine seasons with the Phillies from 1992 to 2000 would you have made the Hall of Fame on the first ballot?

“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. One of my last years, I had Ruben Amaro 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 $108 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.”

On Hall of Fame voters looking beyond the win-loss record to more important indicators like conventional statistics:

“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. 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. 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 five percent and you vote for him, you should lose your pass.”

Listen to Curt Schilling on WEEI in Boston here

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