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Report: Kyler Murray ‘leaning toward’ football

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Henry Schulman and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle report that the Oakland Athletics expect their 2018 first-rounder — and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner — Kyler Murray to declare for the NFL Draft.

Does this mean that Murray will choose football over a professional career in baseball? Not necessarily, but a source told the San Francisco Chronicle that he is currently “leaning toward” an NFL career. Previously it had been reported that he was more likely to play baseball than football.

It’s possible that Murray is simply keeping his options open, but the calendar is worth noting: spring training begins in mid-February, the NFL combine is in late February, and the draft is in late April. His stock would likely be much higher in the draft if he has committed to football. At the same time, with the draft in the near future, declaring for it in the run-up to spring training could provide some sort of leverage for him with the A’s, though the form that pressure might take is unclear given that they have control over him for several years if he decides to play baseball. We talked recently about the pros and cons of a football vs. baseball career for Murray here.

Murray hit .296/.398/.556 over 189 at-bats for Oklahoma’s baseball team in 2018. He tossed 42 touchdowns and threw for 4,361 yards for the football Sooners. He projects as a center fielder. Some football minds have suggested he may be too short to be an effective NFL quarterback.

He has a big decision to make. At the moment, though, he’s leaning toward the NFL.

Donald Trump wants Curt Schilling in the Hall of Fame

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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.