Jose Contreras may still pitch in Japan, but it probably won’t be for the Softbank Hawks. According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, citing a Nikkan Sports report, the Hawks have moved on from Contreras, citing a roster crunch and uncertainty about what role he would play with the club.
According to the report, SoftBank could re-consider Contreras in the event that imports Brian Falkenborg, D.J. Houlton and Justin Germano aren’t retained or if the staff suffers an injury during the season.
It’s hard to believe that Softbank
would rather have three pitchers who combined for a 5.22 ERA in the
majors as opposed to Contreras, so the Hawks may be hoping he’ll bring
his asking price down.
However, if negotiations have truly
broken down, Contreras’ next best bet may be with the Hiroshima Carp,
based on the proximity to his son’s school, though it is not known if they have interest.
We’ve talked a lot about Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame candidacy over the years.
Bill has argued that, if voters are going to use the character clause to keep certain players out, they should keep Curt Schilling out. I’ve differed on that, not because I think Schilling is a good person — he’s loathsome, actually — but because I find the character clause to be illegitimate and would never, if I had a vote, use it to impact my vote. So, yes, I’d put Schilling on my ballot if I had one.
I’m not alone in this, of course. At the moment Schilling has support on about 72% of ballots which have been made public. My guess is that he’ll fall a tad short when results are announced tomorrow — non-public ballots tend to include fewer players on them — but we’ll see.
I am not the only non-BBWAA member who would vote for Schilling. He’s got some top level support too. From the President of the United States:
Ballots had to be submitted by December 31, so it’s not like this is gonna have any impact on the vote totals. If it came earlier, though, one wonders if it would. And one wonders if that’d help Schilling or hurt him.