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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced its four-member class of 2014: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio. Former Red Sox star Curt Schilling received 39.2 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America, leaving him well short of the 75 percent threshold for induction. And he thinks that he knows why:

“I think he got in because of [Greg] Maddux and [Tom] Glavine. I think the fact that they won 14 straight pennants. I think his ‘Swiss army knife versatility,’ which somebody said yesterday, I think he got a lot of accolades for that, I think he got a lot of recognition for that. He’s a Hall of Famer,” Schilling said of Smoltz, while comparing their cases during a Wednesday interview. “And I think the other big thing is that I think he’s a Democrat and so I know that, as a Republican, that there’s some people that really don’t like that.”

That’s right: The liberal sports media is blackballing Schilling from the Hall because he’s a Republican!

Unfortunately for Schilling, his case is pretty thin. For one, his statistical case for enshrinement is pretty borderline. Furthermore, if Major League Baseball has any political leanings, they are decidedly conservative. And contrary to Schilling’s accusations, Smoltz is actually an outspoken Republican who has donated thousands of dollars to the GOP and campaigned for far-right candidates such as Ralph Reed and Karen Handel.

But that’s not to say that Schilling’s political leanings couldn’t hurt his Hall of Fame case. For example, following his high-handed opposition to government bailouts with a plea for a government bailout for his own failing company couldn’t have thrilled Hall of Fame voters who are tasked with evaluating candidates based on their “integrity” and “character.”

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