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Former pitcher Curt Schilling has hurt his Hall of Fame chances by antagonizing baseball writers and making a slew of controversial remarks. | AP

Should Schilling’s mouth keep him out of Hall of Fame?

SHARE Should Schilling’s mouth keep him out of Hall of Fame?
SHARE Should Schilling’s mouth keep him out of Hall of Fame?

Our long national nightmare is over, at least for another year. The Baseball Hall of Fame voters have spoken, attempting to do the impossible, to make sense of a nonsensical situation.

Emerging through the din Wednesday were Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez. They’re in. Still not in are Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Curt Schilling, among others. The gushing on the internet that had Bonds and Clemens nearing the magical 75 percent threshold to gain entry into the Hall turned out to be a rather significant exaggeration. The percentage of the vote for the doping daily double did increase, but only from the mid-40 percent range to the mid-50s.

Bonds and Clemens are still quite a ways from the promised land. Kind of returns your faith in humanity, doesn’t it?

Then again, the careers of Bagwell and Rodriguez were clouded by suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use, and they’re now Hall of Famers, so perhaps we’re just delaying the inevitable. Fact is, we get to go through this again next year, lucky us.

Meanwhile, look at Schilling. While Bonds’ and Clemens’ vote totals are going up, Schilling is heading in the wrong direction. Last year he captured 52.3 percent of the vote. This year it was 45.

This isn’t because he’s known for cheating and using steroids because he’s not known for that. Although we’ll never be sure who did or didn’t use PEDs, Schilling was one of the few players willing to speak out against his peers who used steroids, although he complicated matters by saying he believed Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame but Clemens and Alex Rodriguez should not.

No, Schilling dropped not because of anything he did on or around the field of play, but because of what he, now 50, has recently said about baseball writers, many of whom happen to be Hall of Fame voters.

He called them “scumbags” and “some of the worst people I’ve ever known.” He also tweeted a photo of a T-shirt that suggested journalists should be lynched. He later said he was joking.

“If I had said, ‘Lynch Trump,’ I’d be getting in with about 90 percent of the vote this year,” Schilling recently told TMZ.

He might be right. Nonetheless, it’s not every day that an athlete decides to run around alienating the very people whose votes he needs for the Hall of Fame.

Where does all of this leave us? I find myself in the rather odd position of saying that Schilling should have more of a shot of getting into the Hall of Fame than Bonds or Clemens — and I can’t stand some of the things Schilling has said.

On Twitter, he has equated Muslims with Nazi Germany. He said Hillary Clinton should be “buried under a jail somewhere.” And he went on a Facebook tirade against access to public facilities for transgender people.

I wouldn’t want a person like that in any Hall of Fame I was forming, and I sure wouldn’t be happy if he moved in next door. But the Baseball Hall of Fame, for which I do not vote, is known for its rogues’ gallery of undesirables and unquotables, people such as Ty Cobb, Eddie Murray and Steve Carlton. Misbehavior off the field could fill a wing of the Hall, starting with the great Mickey Mantle. Seems like Schilling, one of the finest postseason pitchers ever, would fit right in.

As flawed as he is, Schilling is not believed to have cheated the game by using PEDs. Bonds and Clemens certainly did. As this conversation carries us into 2018 and beyond, just one last question:

How is it that words can keep you out of the Hall of Fame but steroids might get you in?

Follow me on Twitter @cbrennansports.

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