The National League Central is all wrapped up, folks.
In a pretty cool scene at Miller Park, the Brewers and their fans just watched the Cubs beat the Cardinals 5-1. Combined with a 4-1 win over the Marlins only moments earlier, the Brewers have clinched their first division title since they won the American League East in 1982.
Yovani Gallardo was brilliant tonight, striking out 11 over 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, but was handed a no-decision. The Brewers pulled in front for good thanks to a go-ahead three-run homer by MVP candidate Ryan Braun in the bottom of the eighth inning. John Axford sat the Marlins down in order in the top of the ninth to close out the victory.
Ron Roenicke has led the Brewers to a 92-65 record in his first season as manager. With a strong finish, they have a good chance of securing homefield for the NLDS.
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.