Another year, another swing and miss for Curt Schilling at Cooperstown. On Friday, the former Red Sox great joined Mut & Callahan to discuss a Hall of Fame voting process that seemingly penalizes him for controversial Facebook postings and the espousal of wild conspiracy theories.
"The baseball writers, I know them," Schilling said. "We're at a point in time now where the left has managed to marginalize me in the media. It's weird. People dismiss me out of hand as a racist. I've never said a racist word in my life."
While WEEI.com's Alex Reimer hammered Schilling over some of his more conspiracy-minded assertions -- like the possibility that pipe bombs mailed to a series of high-profile Democrats were a false-flag operation, or the Q-Anon theory that President Trump is secretly working with the military to fight an international sex-trafficking ring -- the former Red Sox right-hander repeatedly claimed bad faith on the part of his critics over his politics.
"That certainly has played a part in all this, and the only reason I say that is because people have said as much, voters," he said. "It is what it is."
Schilling saved particular ire for the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy who said that Schilling lost his vote not because of his politics, but his character.
That said, Schilling is inching closer to immortality. He received 60.9 percent of the vote this year, his highest vote total yet and within shouting distance of the 75 percent needed to earn enshrinement. That's more than double his 2014 low of 29.2 percent. He has three more years on the ballot.
"I have no control over it whatsoever," Schilling said. "The ability to have the vote change year after year, when I don't win a game or strike out anybody, makes it kind of easy just to distance myself."
Without naming him, Schilling relayed a conversation he had with disgraced former Philadelphia columnist Bill Conlin, who explained why he didn't vote for Nolan Ryan on the first ballot.
"It was one of those things where I looked at him kind of like, what the hell are you talking about?" Schilling said. "And he said, 'If Don Sutton didn't get in unanimously, then Nolan doesn't deserve to, either.' I said, 'Hold on a second. You're passing judgment on a 27-year career of one of the greatest pitchers that ever lived, and you're doing so because of something that has nothing to do with him?' So I got into this discussion, debate, and argument, and at that point I realized you know what, this is something that's completely subjective."
Schilling also called out the hypocrisy writers have exhibited towards Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
"Remember back when Bonds and Clemens were doing their thing, and these writers were voting for them for MVP and Cy Young?" Schilling asked. "Those same writers are now not voting for them for the Hall of Fame. I'm at a point in life where I can't allow things (to affect me)."
The rest of the interview was Schilling insulting Reimer with the kind of tired ad hominem attacks that probably don't help his case.