- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2007

CURT SCHILLING

YES

MARK ZUCKERMAN: I know he never won a Cy Young award or ERA title, but he’s got a .601 career winning percentage (209-139), a 3.43 ERA that’s almost a run below the league average and an impeccable postseason record. 8-2 with a 2.06 ERA in nine different postseason series, and he played a crucial role in leading two different teams to World Series titles. He is the best big-game pitcher of his generation.

LACY LUSK: If Schilling gets to about 240 wins - and he likely will — his period of dominance and his playoff results with the Diamondbacks and Red Sox (and even the Phillies) should put him in Cooperstown. Don’t expect him to go in with an Orioles cap, though.

PATRICK STEVENS: Schilling could have made this easier on everyone if he wasn’t such a knucklehead early in his career. His supporters will always wave the bloody sock and his performance in the 2004 World Series, but it’s easy to forget how superb he was on awful Phillies teams in the late 1990s. Coupled with two dominant seasons in the desert (2001-02) and unexpected longevity, those years helped Schilling blaze a Red Ruffing-like path to the Hall.

COREY MASISAK: Some people say 250 is the new 300 when it comes to wins, but one of MLB’s most notable bloggers may not get there. That said, in this Era of Statistical Enlightenment, wins is no longer the be-all, end-all category when it comes to judging pitchers. Schilling is either the best pitcher I would not vote for or the worst that I would, and it was not an easy decision either way. His postseason resume - provided he does pick up another 25-30 wins - is impressive enough to tip the scale in his favor. And The Sock is already there waiting for him.

JOHN TAYLOR: About the only think Schilling doesn’t have is a Cy Young award. He’s got the strikeouts (more than 3,000), two World Series rings, an NLCS MVP award back in his younger days with the Phillies, three 20-win seasons, he twice led the league in strikeouts. And don’t forget that bloody sock; voters love stuff like that. And as for those Cy Young awards, here’s a fun fact: He twice finished second to teammate Randy Johnson in the National League and then finished second to that Johan Santana fellow in the American League in 2004. Not bad for an old man. Put him in the Hall in a Phillies cap, just make sure his bust has some duct tape over its mouth.

NO

KEVIN BREWER: Schilling has the essential beginnings of a Hall of Fame career. He was one of the top five starting pitchers in his league in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2004. He was at least in the same neighborhood in 1992.

He should also receive some extra credit points for his excellent postseason record: 7-2 with a 2.06 ERA in 15 starts. Most notably, he helped lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a World Series title in 2001 and did the same for the Red Sox in 2004. With the Diamondbacks, he and Randy Johnson were essentially the entire pitching staff and with the Red Sox, there is the legend of the red sock.

The problem with his resume is there aren’t enough very good seasons, good seasons or even average seasons. Other than the seasons mentioned above, he won 10 games just four other times.

His great seasons aren’t Koufax-like or Pedro-esque enough to make him a Hall of Famer. He is Kevin Brown with a great postseason resume, and he isn’t appreciably better than Orel Hershiser, another October hero.

There’s one more reason why I wouldn’t vote for Schilling: His speech would be ponderous, pedantic and overwrought. He might even take a break in the middle to call a local sports talk show.

TIM LEMKE: Curt Schilling has had a nice, long career, but at this point he does not belong in the Hall of Fame. His career totals in wins and strikeouts are good, but not eye-popping when you consider he’s been a starter for 15 seasons. He’s had five truly great seasons, but has lacked the same kind of consistent excellence seen by contemporaries like Maddux, Glavine and Clemens. Schilling was never really part of the Hall of Fame discussion before the 2004 World Series, and it takes more than one bloody sock to earn induction.

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