Dontrelle Willis struggled today in his second appearance of spring training, allowing four runs, and afterward told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer: “I was horse[bleep].”
Willis also indicated that he was pitching through some arm fatigue–which isn’t a great sign so early in camp–and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that he’ll be “checked out” by team doctors tomorrow for a “sore arm.”
Willis hasn’t been healthy and effective in the same season since 2006 and posted a 5.00 ERA with 37 walks in 76 innings for the Reds last season, yet got a one-year, $1 million contract from the Phillies to serve as their left-handed specialist.
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.