Curt Schilling reveals that he was diagnosed with mouth cancer, blames smokeless tobacco

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When Curt Schilling was diagnosed with cancer back in February he did not reveal the form of cancer. He and his family have kept almost everything about it to themselves, actually, as one might quite reasonably wish to do.

However, Schilling is talking about it now. He announced today during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon that he was diagnosed with mouth cancer. Thankfully, he is currently in remission.

But this story is not going to end here. Not after this:

We have already lost one Hall of Famer this year to cancer that, he believed anyway, was attributable to smokeless tobacco. That a should-be and likely will-be Hall of Famer is now coming forward and saying that he believes smokeless tobacco threatened his life should only increase the volume on this long overdue wakeup call to baseball players who continue to use the junk.

Here’s hoping Schilling continues back on the mend and here’s hoping that his coming forward helps prevent future cases like his.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is still locked up, thanks to a team option that will almost certainly be exercised, through 2020, and Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.