Monday, December 17, 2012

Does Schilling's Bloody Sock make him a HoFer?

My father and I discuss baseball frequently.  There are quite a few times that I agree with him.  This is one issue that we strongly disagree over.

Curt Schilling is probably the last big name starting pitcher that I wanted to look at for this upcoming ballot.  What Jack Morris and Andre Dawson represent to the traditionalists, Bert Blyleven and Curt Schilling represent for the SABR crowd.  Here are the viewpoints as I see them:

Good Idea: Curt Schilling was a very underrated pitcher in his career.  He struck out a ton of batters and didn't walk many which gives him the best K/BB in history.  He had a better WHIP than Clemens, and struck batters out at a faster rate than the Rocket.  Rocket may have been more valuable (due to the innings difference, and granted there's a big gap) but Schill was just as good, if not better, in the innings he threw.  His win total isn't high, but that can be attributed to a lot of things, teams with poor run support (esp after the WS run with the Phillies in 93), bad bullpen (Wild Thing Williams was a terrible closer), or just random bad luck.  He's a great choice, and shouldn't have much trouble making it in.

Bad Idea: He didn't throw a ton of innings, only won 216 games and was never really the best pitcher in the league.  His ERA is a tad too high, and was really prone to the long ball.  The innings thing is huge I think.  He was a closer for a bit early on, and again after that injury in the 04 playoffs, but it does hurt his overall value.  One of the big things a starter needs to be able to do is throw a good amount of innings.  A bunch of 5 inning starters hurts a rotation and a team because that increases wear and tear on the bullpen pitchers.  He was a very good pitcher, especially in the post season, but he isn't quite good enough.  Not an all time great.  Sorry.

Verdict: Schilling gets in my Hall of Fame easily, with a score believe it or not nearly equal to Nolan Ryan's.  Now, before everyone jumps on me and thinks I'm saying that Schill was as great as Ryan, take a step back and lets look at them:

Ryan struck out a large amount of batters, but also walked about half as many.  Which gives a slight advantage to Schilling I would think.  Ryan has a better raw ERA, but when you correct it for the home park (remember all the years that Ryan pitched in the big ol Astrodome?) Schilling comes out ahead, but not by much.  Ryan has more wins, but pitched 27 years and averaged 14 a year.  Schilling averaged 13 a year.  Ryan also has more losses a year than Schilling, 13 to 9.  Ryan beats him handily in innings, but the quality is roughly equal to Schillings when you factor everything in.  Schilling doesn't have the no-hitters that Ryan has, but other than that Schilling is Ryan's equal in almost everything but innings (which helps a lot of the non rate stats like K's).  He belongs in without a question.


  1. For what it's worth, I do not like Curt Schilling, bloody sock or no. That said I don't have to like him to respect his abilities as a pitcher. Schilling was a very, very, good pitcher and whether he goes into the hall wearing a Red Sox cap, a Diamondbacks cap, or any other he wore during his career it would be of no consequence to me. He earned his place and all but certainly will be inducted.

  2. Seconded. 3116 k's and insanity in the playoffs does it. Don't necessarily want to be around for the speech, but we have a few years to prepare...he won't be first ballot. As for the cap. The HOF criteria is, where did that player really leave their mark. Despite the bloody sock, I suspect the HOF wants him as a Philly - that's the cap he's wearing on their candidate summary page.

  3. I could actually see him making it in as a DBack or a Red Sox player before a Philly uniform. Schilling is probably most famous for being a Red Sock, so I'd be surprised if it were anything but.

  4. While Schilling won the WS with all three teams, it's as much about how memorable their stay was with that team as anything else. Winning with the Phillies, okay great. Winning with the Red Sox... they broke "The Curse of the Bambino". totally different deal there, the Diamondbacks were the first of the expansion teams to make the WS let alone win it. another memorable experience.

  5. Point: He didn't win with the Phillies. Joe Carter and Mitch Williams saw to that.

    I think the 2 rings in Boston, as well as the Bloody Sock game get him in as a Red Sock. And I think, as time goes on, he will be most remembered as a Red Sock so it fits.