Dan Shaughnessy fires back at Schilling: 'This narrative that the only reason he's not in is because of his politics is BS'

John Tomase
January 25, 2019 - 10:37 am
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Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy has never backed down from a fight during his Hall of Fame writing career, which means he definitely wasn't going to take any crap from Curt Schilling.

That was Shaughnessy's message on Friday when he made a surprise call to Mut and Callahan to respond to Schilling's assertion that he's "a bad guy" for denying the right-hander a Hall of Fame vote over his character.

"Just so we're clear: Yeah, I will allow that Curt's character is not helping his cause with me," Shaughnessy said. "He's a bubble candidate, OK? I think that about 200 guys did not vote for him this year. Curt's got to stop with this that it's all because of his politics."

Shaughnessy only voted for one player on this year's ballot -- Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. He noted in an interview that he didn't vote for Schilling over the "menace to society" aspect of his character, citing a tweet alluding to the lynching of journalists ("Lynching is not political," Shaughnessy noted) or the doubts he cast on Adam Jones when the Orioles outfielder said he heard racial slurs at Fenway Park.

But more than his character, Shaughnessy stressed that Schilling's resume isn't quite strong enough.

"Schill is very much a bubble candidate, can we get that clear?" Shaughnessy said. "His win total is less than Jerry Reuss. His ERA is Dock Ellis. The second half of his career was way better than the first half of his career. Hey, he's 11-2 in the postseason. I would've given him the ball ahead of (2019 inductee Mike) Mussina in a big game, we all know that. But (Luis) Tiant's not in, (Catfish) Hunter's not in. He's not a slam dunk. This narrative now that the only reason he's not in is because of his politics is BS."

Shaughnessy allowed that maybe if Schilling "stood in a corner for a year" and stopped tweeting conspiracy theories, he might earn his vote back.

"I would like to see him behave better," Shaughnessy said. "It's menace-to-society material. The Hall of Fame is an honor. I'm not honoring a guy who's on Q-Anon, who says Adam Jones is a racist, and who is advocating lynching journalists."

In the end, Shaughnessy brought it back not only to character, but performance.

"I'm not saying the only reason I don't vote for him is because of his off-the-rails character, which is off the rails," Shaughnessy said. "He needs to rein it in, in my view. I'm sorry that makes me a 'bad person' in his world. There are 200 other 'bad people' who didn't vote for Curt, maybe he should call all them out, too. It's not some unanimous guy that everyone is withholding because of his quote-unquote politics. That is a phony narrative."

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