Schilling’s conservative pitch

For a guy who says he doesn’t care about going into the Baseball Hall of Fame, former Red Sox pitcher and noted right-wing flamethrower Curt Schilling is spending an awful lot of energy talking about the reason he won’t make it – and why he doesn’t care.

Schilling, who has made conflicting statements about whether he will or won’t challenge Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018, is thoroughly convinced it’s his outspoken political incorrectness and support for Donald Trump rather than his borderline stats that is keeping him from triumphantly sweeping into his rightful place in Cooperstown. In Schilling’s mind, all media members – news, sports, business, features, obituaries, local government – are members of a liberal cabal bent on destroying the conservative vision for restoring America’s greatness.

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

That would be a leap, even if Schilling had Warren and President Obama in his corner. Players elected to the Hall of Fame need 75 percent of the vote from eligible members of the Baseball Writers of America. Schilling, in his fifth year of eligibility with five years to go, reached 52 percent of the vote last year after hovering in the 30-percent range in previous years. In reaching 90 percent, only the gods of the game such as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Hank Aaron garner that kind of support and their political leanings had nothing to do with it.

Schilling, who hosts an internet show for the alt-right site Breitbart.com, doesn’t let facts get in the way of his views. Many writers who have said they voted for Schilling said they did it while holding their noses, not so much for his political stances but the way he expresses them. He was fired from ESPN after repeatedly tweeting offensive posts, including a meme opposing the so-called “bathroom bill” in North Carolina. His most recent tweet that sparked outrage was a retweet of a meme about a rope, a tree, and a journalist suggesting lynching was a good response to stories conservatives don’t like.

“OK, so much awesome here,” Schilling wrote before deleting the post and defending it as “sarcastic.”

For supporters of Schilling – and by extension Trump – the results, which will be unveiled Jan. 19, are just one more confirmation of anti-conservative bias in the media. But the fact Schilling can’t keep a bloody sock in it is irrelevant to most who cover the games.

Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald, an openly gay columnist who takes issue with nearly all of Schilling’s stances, said he once again cast his vote for the righty but understands why some would blanch at the prospect.

“I don’t believe these acts of boorishness preclude Schilling from being in the Hall of Fame,” Buckley wrote. “Schilling has a bloody sock and a tin ear. The former is one of the reasons he should be in the Hall of Fame, but the latter shouldn’t keep him out.”

But for others, Schilling’s tweet about lynching was the final straw. The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy, who had previously voted for Schilling, said he was invoking the nebulous “character clause” that voters are guided by in the rules and could no longer vote for “the Big Blowhard” because of his support for violence against those he disagrees with.

“Schill has transitioned from a mere nuisance to an actual menace to society,” Shaughnessy wrote. “His tweet supporting the lynching of journalists was the last straw for this voter.”

It’s doubtful, though, that the fallout from his lynching meme is the reason Schilling will not make it this year – or any year. His numbers, unlike his politics, just aren’t that clear cut.

–JACK SULLIVAN


BEACON HILL

Three pro-pot senators were given advance notice last week of the Senate’s plan to pass a six-month delay in marijuana sales, but none of them chose to block the measure. (CommonWealth)

The House and Senate come close to an agreement on how to address the state’s growing trash disposal problem, but the deal falls apart late Tuesday night in a dispute over the timing of a report from a special commission. (CommonWealth)

The Globe spotlights six areas likely to see action on Beacon Hill in the new legislative session, including revisions to the marijuana law, criminal justice reform, and the state minimum wage. State House News outlines 11 key issues facing lawmakers. WBUR, meanwhile, lists only four key issues.

The latest annual report shows the same thing previous ones have: The Massachusetts film tax credit is a net loser for the state. (Boston Herald)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

As Boston experiments with much higher parking rates (Boston Globe) , Pittsfield rolls out paid parking for the first time. (Berkshire Eagle)

Liquor stores in Hopkinton will be required to install video cameras to record all sales, a move selectmen made after two stores had their licenses suspended for selling booze to intoxicated customers. (MetroWest Daily News)

Beverly is preparing to launch an affordable housing trust fund. (Salem News)

Gloucester police chief Leonard Campanello is officially off the payroll, but lots of questions still remain, including whether he may face scrutiny from the US attorney’s office. (Salem News)

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, the youngest person ever elected to the position in the Spindle City, looks back at his first year accomplishments in office such as privatizing the city’s trash collection. (Herald News)

New Bedford is set to become the first community in the state to have an Arts, Culture, and Tourism Promotion Fund that will paid for by the city’s local hotel tax in addition to any private or public revenue officials raise. (Standard-Times)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

House Republicans, overwhelmed by public outcry from all sides including tweets from President-elect Donald Trump, quickly reversed themselves and dropped plans to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, though they intend to revisit it down the road. (New York Times) A Herald editorial applauds the reversal of the move by Republican “numbskulls” and says the leader of the ill-fated effort, Rep. Robert Goodlatte, ought to lose his chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee as a reward.

Former governor Deval Patrick, who successfully battled Jeff Sessions in a voting rights case while working as a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the mid-1980s, submits a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging it to reject the Alabama senator’s nomination to be attorney general. (Boston Globe)

The GOP approves new fines for livestreaming on the House floor, a response to the day-long gun control sit-in last summer. (Politico) Rep. Katherine Clark does a selfie with her sit-in colleague Rep. John Lewis and tweets that she’s ready to cause “#good trouble” in the “#peopleshouse.”

Some think President Obama may play an usually active role in public affairs as an ex-president, determined to work to preserve his legacy and fight against Trump initiatives. (Boston Herald)

California hires Obama’s former attorney general, Eric Holder Jr., to defend the state in its battles with Trump and his administration. (New York Times)

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, says the Democratic National Committee was easily hackable and repeats his claim that Russian was not responsible. (Time)

ELECTIONS

Roxbury activist Rufus Faulk says he’ll challenge City Councilor Tito Jackson for the District 7 seat — though of course many expect Jackson to give up the perch to mount a run for mayor. (Boston Globe) Jackson tells the Herald he won’t decide on a mayoral run until sometime in the spring. Rev. Eugene Rivers says “there’s some sense of substance and policy focus lacking from Councilor Jackson.” (Boston Herald)

Lawrence Mayor Daniel  Rivera, who is seeking reelection in what could turn out to be a crowded field,  is the clear frontrunner in fundraising. Some of his donors are interesting. (Eagle-Tribune)

Hillary and Bill Clinton and George W. and Laura Bush plan to attend the inaugural of President-elect Donald Trump. (Washington Post)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

One of the largest cannabis cultivation facilities in the United States is scheduled to break ground in March in Freetown. (MassLive)

Dante Ramos takes stock of the stunning admission — a whopper when it comes to public policy “oopsies,” his says — by early champions of 401(k) retirement plans that the savings approach has been a wholly inadequate replacement for defined-benefit pensions. (Boston Globe)

Ford Motor Co. announced it will cancel plans for a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico as a “vote of confidence” in President-elect Donald Trump and instead will invest in upgrading operations in Michigan and create 700 new jobs in the United States. (U.S. News & World Report)

A longtime Boston area property investor says he’s putting his entire portfolio, which includes 444 rental apartments, up for sale. (Boston Globe)

EDUCATION

With Sen. Bernie Sanders by his side, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveils a free college tuition assistance plan at state colleges. (Governing)

Roger Brown of the Berklee College of Music and Laura Perille of Edvestors say the state must send a strong signal that arts education matters by including it as a factor in school accountability. (CommonWealth)

A Lowell Sun editorial slams a union representing school administrators for seeking an extra hour’s pay as compensation for having to walk to a parking spot farther from the school.

Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo calls for a pay hike for substitute teachers; they currently earn $70 a day and he thinks their pay should be raised to $85. (Telegram & Gazette)

The former headmaster for a private high school for international students in Braintree is planning to sue the Worcester police department after a judge dismissed charges that he solicited sex from an undercover officer for a fee. (Patriot Ledger)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Subscribers to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Medicare Advantage plan are being hit with big premium increases. (Boston Globe)

A Westwood man whose liver was fast failing but was far down on the standard transplant waiting list takes a chance with a donor liver infected with hepatitis C that doctors hope they can eradicate. (Boston Globe)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

A Dominican national from New York is arrested in Methuen with $1.2 million of fentanyl. Bail was set at $2 million. (Eagle-Tribune)

MEDIA

Megyn Kelly will leave Fox News and move to NBC, where she will host a daily program as well as a Sunday newsmagazine show and be involved in political coverage as well. Her departure leaves Fox, which has been reeling from the fallout of sexual harassment charges, with no female anchors. (New York Times)

Political advertising at media outlets rose 4.6 percent to $9.8 billion last year, but the allocation shifted, with TV receiving $1 billion less and digital media picking up $1.2 billion. (Borrell Associates/overview free, details by subscription only)

The family of a Boston police officer whose death was connected to injuries sustained by the Boston Marathon bombings continues to press its case to producers of Patriots Day that the late officer should be acknowledged in the film. (Boston Herald)