Franklin Gutierrez remains sidelined by the stomach problems that have plagued him since last season and Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the center fielder will undergo additional medical tests.
Two weeks ago the Mariners announced that Gutierrez had been diagnosed with a “slow digestive tract” and would be able to manage the issue through diet and medication, with team trainer Mitch Storey calling it “just a simple thing” while adding that “there’s nothing wrong with him … he’s not sick.”
Apparently that has changed, or it was never true in the first place. General manager Jack Zduriencik told LaRue that “it’s bothering him and we’re waiting for more test results … Franklin doesn’t feel strong.”
His status for Opening Day is now in doubt, although figuring out the cause of Gutierrez’s stomach problems is obviously a much bigger concern than his readiness for early April games. Ryan Langerhans and Michael Saunders are the in-house options to replace Gutierrez in center field.
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.