In September, MLB and the MLBPA announced that, in a renewal of a century-old tradition, major leaguers will be heading to Japan for an All-Star barnstorming tour that will be called, appropriately enough, Japan All-Star Series.
The All-Star Series will be played in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagoya, with an exhibition game played against the Yomiuri Giants on November 8th, followed by three games against a Japanese All-Star team in Tokyo from November 9-11, one game in Hiroshima on November 13 and two games in Nagoya on November 14-15. MLB Network will provide live telecasts of the games from November 9-15.
While a few participants were announced in September, this morning the full roster was released:
Pitching and the infield seem a tad weak. The catching trio and the outfielders, however, are pretty spiffy. Not a bad team overall.
Don Mattingly will be the team’s manager. His coaches will Henry Blanco (WSH, Bullpen coach); Fredi González (MIA, Base coach); Edgar Martinez (SEA, Hitting coach); Hideki Matsui (Base coach); Hensley Meulens (SF, Bench coach); Brent Strom (HOU, Pitching coach).
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.