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Thursday, January 9, 2014
Schilling: 'Criteria has to change' for voters

By ESPNBoston.com

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said he wasn’t disappointed with the results of this year’s Hall of Fame ballot (he got 29. 2 percent of the votes, down from 38.8 last year), but did criticize the voting process.

“I don’t get frustrated with this -- at all,” Schilling said Thursday morning in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “Because that would indicate a significant amount of energy being expended at it. I can’t. There’s nothing in this that I have any control over. Again, once I threw my last pitch, I was done. So, I hold under my hat the stuff that I was able to be a part of -- the World Series and all the things that happened. I’m all right with that. If this happens -- I work with Barry Larkin, who went in on the second ballot. I played with Hall of Famers. So, it means something to have that plaque. But it can’t mean everything.”

Schilling, now an ESPN analyst, said he respected his colleagues in the media who agonized over picking their ballots, but lashed out at those who either don’t follow baseball closely enough to deserve a vote or use their ballots to “make a statement.”

“I absolutely don’t think they’re the right people,” Schilling said.

“I think first of all the criteria has to change,” he added. “I think one of the rules should be anybody that gets 90-plus percent of the vote, anybody that doesn’t vote for that person should immediately lose their ballot.”

Schilling also weighed in on the quandary voters face on whether to vote in Steroid Era players who are either suspected of PED use or had tested positive. In Schilling’s opinion, it’s a situation for which both players and the media are at fault.

“One of the challenges as a player from this era is that the responsibility is on us. The fault lies with us. As players -- especially in my situation as a player rep -- we had a chance to do something about it and we chose not to,” Schilling said.

“Just like the media chose to look the other way. All of these sanctimonious guys that are making a statement with their ballot, go back and read the stuff they were writing when this era was happening. They all bought in with everybody else. They were all suckers like everybody else. And we as players didn’t do what we should have done, and now we’re paying for it.”