Posted December 04, 2013

JAWS and the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot: Jack Morris

Detroit Tigers, Hall of Fame, Jack Morris, JAWS, Minnesota Twins
Jack Morris' epic performance in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series was the defining moment of his career. (AP)

Jack Morris’ epic performance in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series was the defining moment of his career. (AP)

The following article is part of my ongoing look at the candidates on the BBWAA 2013 Hall of Fame ballot. For a detailed introduction to JAWS, please see here.

On October 27, 1991, Jack Morris put together what still stands as arguably the greatest pitching performance in postseason history, throwing 10 shutout innings against the Braves in Game 7 of the World Series. After all, a championship wasn’t on the line when Don Larsen threw his perfect game for the Yankees in 1956 — that was a Game Five. Nine pitchers had thrown shutouts in Game 7s before Morris, most recently Bret Saberhagen for the Royals in 1985, but that was an 11-0 blowout. Ralph Terry had done so in a 1-0 game for the Yankees in 1962, but he threw “only” nine innings. No pitcher had ever taken a shutout beyond nine innings in the deciding game of the World Series.

In conjunction with his 254 regular season wins, that stellar performance has garnered Morris almost enough votes to reach the Hall of Fame, thanks to a slow, steady climb from the 22.2 percent share of the vote he received in his debut on the ballot back in 2000. Not until 2005 did he reach 30 percent, and not until 2010 did he break 50 percent; last year, his 13th on the ballot, he surged to 66.7 percent. His slow ascent towards election mirrors that of Bert Blyleven, who in 2011 was elected by the BBWAA on his 14th turn on the ballot, breaking a 19-year string in which the voters hadn’t elected a single starter with less than 300 wins since Fergie Jenkins in 1991.

Blyleven benefited from a long grassroots campaign that owed a debt to the way an advanced statistical lexicon heightened the appreciation of accomplishments that received less than their due in his heyday. Morris’ growing popularity as a candidate seems like a reaction to that campaign, a return to old-school emphasis on the Ws and things less quantifiable. Not surprisingly, it’s a candidacy that’s seen spirited debate on both sides.

Pitcher Career Peak JAWS  ERA  ERA+
Jack Morris 39.3 30.8 35.1 254 186 3.90 105
Avg HOF SP 67.9 47.7 57.8

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Morris attended Brigham Young University and was drafted by the Tigers in the fifth round in 1976, a banner draft by general manager Jim Campbell and scouting director Bill Lajoie that also yielded ballot-mate Alan Trammell in the second round and rotation-mate Dan Petry in the fourth. Morris went straight to Double-A Montgomery, and made just 29 starts in the minors before debuting with the Tigers on July 26, 1977. In his second start, he struck out 11 Rangers over nine innings while allowing just four hits (the game went into extra innings). In September, Trammell, Lou Whitaker and Lance Parrish all made their major league debuts; that quartet became a fixture by the following season, and would hold together through 1986, when Parrish left via a collusion-throttled free agency.

Early struggles in the rotation led to Morris spending the bulk of the 1978 season in the bullpen and to start the 1979 season in the minors, but when he was promoted in mid-May of that year, he was up for good. Morris went 17-7 with a 3.28 ERA (133 ERA+) for a season worth 5.6 WAR. The latter mark ranked fifth in the league, and would stand as a career-high. That was the first of 12 full seasons which Morris spent in the Tigers’ rotation, a span during which he averaged 33 starts, 13 complete games, 241 innings, 5.9 strikeouts per nine, a 3.71 ERA (109 ERA+) … and just 2.8 WAR. He reached 20 wins in 1983, and topped that with 21 in 1986, dipped below 30 starts only in 1979, the 1981 strike season, and a 1989 campaign in which he spent two months on the disabled list; amid all this, he made four All-Star teams. He learned a split-fingered fastball from pitching coach Roger Craig in 1983 and led the league in strikeouts (232) and innings pitched (293 2/3) — the only time he would lead the league in either category — and finished third in the AL Cy Young voting; his 3.7 WAR that year didn’t crack the league’s top 10.

Morris threw a no-hitter against the White Sox on April 7, 1984, the signature moment in Detroit’s 35-5 start en route to a world championship. Through the end of May he was 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA, but a rough stretch following that — a 6.30 ERA over 14 starts from June through mid-August — as the Tigers ran away with the AL East led to criticism in the media about his level of intensity. At one point, Morris stopped talking to the press until ordered to resume doing so by manager Sparky Anderson. He finished the 1984 season 19-11 with a 3.60 ERA (109 ERA+), then went 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three postseason starts as the Tigers rolled over the Royals in the ALCS and the Padres in the World Series.

Morris tried to test free agency after the 1986 season, in which he’d gone 21-8 with a 3.27 ERA (127 ERA+) and a league-best six shutouts, but because of collusion, he drew very limited interest; even George Steinbrenner toed the line when presented with Morris’ demands. He wound up returning to the Tigers on a one-year, $1.85 million deal via arbitration instead of getting the three-year deal he sought and deserved, and while it worked out well in the short term, that sorry saga would eventually lead to his departure from the Motor City. Via another strong season in 1987 (18-11, 3.38 ERA, 126 ERA+, 4.8 WAR), he helped the Tigers to an AL East flag, though he was rocked for six runs in eight innings as his team was upset by the Twins in the ALCS. After the season, he signed a two-year, $4 million deal that gave him the highest average annual salary for a pitcher.

Morris’ final three years in Detroit (1988-1990) weren’t so pretty. Though still durable enough to average 218 innings even with his DL stint in 1989 due to an elbow injury, his ERA for that stretch was 4.40, and was worse than league average in all three seasons. When the collusion scandal was settled, the 35-year-old was allowed to declare free agency. He spurned the Tigers’ three-year, $9.3 million offer and signed a one-year, $3.7 million deal with the Twins that included incentives and two player options that could take it up to $11 million. He rebounded from a 15-18, 4.51 ERA showing to go 18-12 with a 3.43 ERA (125 ERA+) and 4.1 WAR for the Twins, earning his fifth and final All-Star appearance. Knocked out after just 5 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays in the ALCS opener, he threw eight strong innings in Game 4, and the Twins prevailed in five. They won the World Series opener against the Braves behind his seven innings of two-run ball, but lost Game 4, in which Morris was pulled after six innings of one-run ball and just 94 pitches — a relatively light outing by his standards, but then again, he was on three days’ rest. He would make his Game 7 start on three days’ rest as well, but needed just 126 pitches to complete the job. The Twins won it for him via Gene Larkin’s pinch-single in the bottom of the 10th.

Despite the championship and the hometown-boy-makes-good narrative, Morris opted out of his contract that winter and signed with the Blue Jays. Though he went 21-6, his 4.04 ERA translated to just a 101 ERA+. The Blue Jays won the AL East, the ALCS and the World Series, but Morris wasn’t able to duplicate his postseason magic; chased before completing five innings in two of his four starts, he was roughed up for a 7.43 ERA with 15 walks in 23 innings. That was the beginning of the end for Morris; he was terrible the following season with the Blue Jays (6.19 ERA), excluded from their postseason rotation, and knocked around for a 5.60 ERA with the Indians in the strike -shortened 1994 season. He pitched for the hometown St. Paul Saints in the independent Northern League in 1995, hoping for a return to the majors, but he couldn’t find a deal. He nearly signed with the Yankees in 1996 but was unwilling to pitch more than once in the minors. At 41, his career was over.

Morris’ Hall of Fame candidacy rests largely on his win total, which ranks 42nd all-time, having since been surpassed by Greg Maddux (355), Roger Clemens (354), Tom Glavine (305), Randy Johnson (303), Mike Mussina (270), and Jamie Moyer (267). Morris reached 20 wins three times, and won at least 18 six times, racking up more wins in the Eighties (162) than any other pitcher; Dave Stieb (140) is second. One problem with this line of thinking is that those arbitrary endpoints aren’t particularly more special than others except for shorthanded stereotypes about the period — skinny ties, trickle-down economics, et cetera. While Morris leads the pack in wins for most rolling 10-year periods during his career, he falls to third in the 1984-1993 period behind Roger Clemens and Frank Viola, both tied for the lead at 163. Even with a Cy Young to his credit — something Morris never won — the latter never got any kind of Hall of Fame support, falling off the ballot with 0.4 percent in 2002.

The exaltation of high win totals comes because in a more modern era, such totals are an endangered species because of the move to five-man rotations and the systematic use of specialized bullpens designed to take advantage of late-inning matchups, hence the dearth of pitchers who have surpassed that 254 mark. Via this, Morris’ considerable durability (175 complete games, the 16th-highest total of the post-1961 expansion era and the highest of any pitcher whose career began after the introduction of the DH in 1973) is a counter to the more modern, sabermetrically-driven view of pitcher wins as products of adequate offensive, defensive and bullpen support.

On the offensive score, Morris received above-average support from his teams over the course of his career. We can express a pitcher’s run support in normalized form just as we can ERA+, with 100 representing the park-adjusted league average. Morris’ 106 mark in that category (call the stat SUP+) is no small advantage. Via the Pythagorean Theorem, each extra percentage point difference in run support translates roughly to a .005 gain in winning percentage, or an extra win for every 200 decisions. All else being equal, Morris’ 6.4 percent advantage would translate to a record of 234-206 over the course of 440 decisions (the number Morris had in his career), assuming average run prevention ability. Blyleven, by comparison, received run support four percent worse than league average (96 SUP+), Stieb and Clemens three percent worse (97+). Among the cohort of durable hurlers who won 300 games in careers that ran from the mid-Sixties into the Eighties (Steve Carlton, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Don Sutton), the highest SUP+ from the group is Carlton’s 105, with Sutton’s 104 the only other above-average mark from that group. Of the 59 Hall of Fame hurlers, only 21 had support better than Morris, with Catfish Hunter (112, 10th) and Jim Palmer (108, 16th) the only ones whose careers overlapped that of our hero.

Particularly in the DH league, run support is entirely out of a pitcher’s control. Run prevention, on the other hand, is not, though it certainly requires defensive support. Morris’ .272 batting average on balls in play was 14 points better than the league average during his career (thank you, Trammell and Whitaker), 32nd among the 200 pitchers with at least 1000 innings from 1977 through 1994. Just to cherrypick a few comparisons, Stieb was at .262 (eighth), Clemens at .281 (78th), Blyleven at .285 (117th), Viola at .287 (128th). That support was important, because Morris didn’t dominate opposing hitters by striking them out with exceptional frequency. His 5.8 strikeouts per nine rank 62nd out of 200 with at least 1,000 innings pitched over the full span of his career, and 28th out of 99 with 1,000 innings in the 1980-1989 period. His 1.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio was 46th during that latter period.

Even with that above-average defensive support, Morris’ run prevention ability was hardly exceptional. His 3.90 ERA would be the highest in Cooperstown, supplanting Red Ruffing’s 3.80, compiled from 1924-1947. Morris’ 104 ERA+ would be the second lowest among Hall of Famers, ahead of only Rube Marquard’s 103. Just eight Hall of Fame pitchers have an ERA+ lower than 110; Ruffing is at 109. David Wells, an exceptionally durable pitcher who’s also on the ballot, and who finished his career with 239 wins and an ERA nearly a quarter of a run higher at 4.13, is at 108; for all of his big-game ability (10-5, 3.17 ERA in the postseason), he’s clearly no Hall of Fame-caliber starter.

Morris’ supporters dismiss his high ERAs by noting that they’re distorted by the 5.91 mark he put up over his final two seasons; through 1992, he stood at 3.73, with a 109 ERA+ but “only” 237 wins. This is hardly unique, even among Hall of Famers. Hunter yielded a 4.52 ERA and an 86 ERA+ while battling injuries over his final three seasons; he finished with a 105 ERA+, one percentage point better than Morris. Carlton was rocked for a 5.72 ERA over his final three seasons. Niekro was lit for a 6.30 ERA ERA in his final year. Blyleven posted a 4.35 ERA and a 90 ERA+ over his final four seasons, a span that included a full year missed with injury; he had one stellar year (17-5, 2.73 ERA) and two with ERAs above 5.00 in that span. All of those pitchers elevated their win totals by hanging on, but with the possible exception of Blyleven, none enhanced their Hall of Fame cases. Even if one merely focuses on his good seasons, Morris cracked the top 10 six times in raw ERA, but never ranked higher than fifth, and only four times ranked in the top 10 in ERA+, never higher than fourth.

Supporters have tended to dismiss Morris’s high ERAs with claims that he “pitched to the score.” The research efforts of Greg Spira and Joe Sheehan have long since put the lie to this claim. In studying his won-loss record through 1993 (his second-to-last season), Spira found that Morris was just four wins ahead of his projected record based upon run support. Sheehan, who pored over Morris’s career inning-by-inning via Retrosheet, concluded: “I can find no pattern in when Jack Morris allowed runs. If he pitched to the score — and I don’t doubt that he changed his approach — the practice didn’t show up in his performance record.” Morris’s record is more a product of strong run support than it is special strategy.

As for Morris’s postseason performances, while his Game 7 shutout is certainly impressive, his overall line (7-4, 3.80 ERA in 13 starts) is a reasonable distillation of his regular-season performance, with good starts and bad ones. Teams won it all with his help (1984 Tigers, 1991 Twins), but teams also fell with his struggles (1987 Tigers), or won in spite of those struggles (1992 Blue Jays). He was not exceptionally clutch in the grand scheme of his postseason resumé.

Morris’ relatively unexceptional performance in terms of run prevention and hitter dominance costs him dearly with regards to WAR and JAWS. He ranked among the AL top 10 in WAR five times during his career, but never higher than fifth. His mark for the 1980-1989 period (27.6) ranks 13th, just below Charlie Hough, Nolan Ryan and Teddy Higuera (who didn’t even debut until 1985!), with Stieb (45.6 first) and Blyleven (35.8) second. Morris’ 39.3 career WAR ranks 150th among starting pitchers, between contemporaries John Candelaria and Fernando Valenzuela, surpassing just five out of 59 Hall of Fame pitchers. His peak score ranks 180th, tied with Clif Lee and Felix Hernandez, both of whom are still mid-career, with chances to move much higher. Only two enshrined starters have lower peaks. Via JAWS, he ranks just 127th — higher than in either of the other two standards — but still surpassing just four Hall starters.

Via this view, that’s not a Hall of Fame pitcher. Morris was gritty, gruff, and exceptionally durable, and he saved his bullpens a whole lot of work, but he simply didn’t prevent runs in the manner of an elite pitcher. For all of his extra wins and postseason success, Morris case rests on outmoded barometers and a distortion of the value of one shining moment.

Will he get in? The jump to 66.7 percent in his 13th year gives him a fighting chance, but the incoming flood of qualified candidates — which will include Maddux, Glavine and Mussina next year — doesn’t help his cause. Based upon last year’s total of 573 voters, Morris would still have to pick up 48 votes to reach 75 percent, and he’s got just two years to stand out in an enlarging crowd. It’s not out of the question that he will make it, but it’s no lock.

52 comments
tracejuno
tracejuno

If you need this long to figure out whether he is a Hall of Famer, then he is not a Hall of Famer.

hillbillygreg
hillbillygreg

The bottom line, baseball is about winning, Morris had ice running in his veins, He was the guy you wanted on the mound 7th game, world series. Hall of fame yes ! 254 wins plus a world series pedigree

Steve Larson
Steve Larson

--12 full seasons which Morris spent in the Tigers’ rotation, a span during which he averaged 33 starts, 13 complete games, 241 innings, 5.9 strikeouts per nine, a 3.71 ERA

 

over 12 seasons....those are Averages.....he needs to be in the hall......

JSegura
JSegura

ONE defining post-season moment does not make a person Hall worthy.  Stack up the stats.  Stack up the quotes from managers and players about his clubhouse demeanor.  All noteworthy.  Instead of breaking it down into sections, look at the totality of his accomplishments then compare them to those enshrined.  Also, take into account how baseball has changed over time (DH, Steroids, etc...) in relation to those enshrined and he is borderline Hall of Famer at best....

BernardMcGrath
BernardMcGrath

Tell me your kidding me "Jack Morris may have pitched the greatest World Series game ever"...you must be on drugs. Are you using  A-Roid steroids or maybe Bonds or Sosa's or McGwire boosters? You must be very your to write such nonsence. Gues you never heard of Don Larsen's perfect game in the World series. Go back to sniffing or drinking or whatever you are on.

Vinny Cordoba
Vinny Cordoba

Jack belongs in the Hall. Vote him in already so we can all move on. It's worth it just to see the moral indignation of the stat geeks.

chinmusic11
chinmusic11

The difference maker in Morris' HOF case should be what his managers and teammates said about him.  This is never part of the discussion when stats are the only method of reasoning.  Sparky said he was the best pitcher he ever managed, and every player he played with knew he was the ace and the guy they wanted on the mound to win a game.  This matters significantly with Morris' career opinions, I believe.  If his peers are saying it, shouldn't a sportswriter report it???

DougCrawford
DougCrawford

How many games are 0-0 after nine innings? The merefact that it never happened before doesn't give anybody with a 3.90 career ERA "The Edge" for any HOF voting. One game, no matter how great it may have been, should be the decsion for something so momentous

David-WI
David-WI

 No pitcher had ever taken a shutout beyond nine innings in the deciding game of the World Series. To me...that's the defining "edge" in the debate.

David-WI
David-WI

IMHO...Jack Morris deserves HOF for the simple fact that he is the ONLY pitcher in history to pitch a Game 7 World Series shutout. Baseball writers in general have looked down their noses at the Minnesota Twins for a LONG time. SOME even disrespecting Kirby Puckett with his eye problems :(

mlablanc
mlablanc

Had Morris pitched for the Yankees or Red Sox, he would be a shoo-in, given the bias and parochial nature of the national writers, most of whom are from one of the coasts. Get over yourselves and your narrow, egoistic view of the game. And, Mr. Jaffe, if you were in my Journalism 101 class, I'd grade your essay / opinion piece a C- at best. No offense, just fact. How did you ever get this job? Get back to the basics of journalism. 

BrianOlson
BrianOlson

Morris belongs in the hall and this writer's work belongs in the trash.  If Morris was a Yankee you would be kissing his fanny.

garyrz
garyrz

He was the ace of his team for 15 years. He was the go to guy. Enough said - Morris belongs in the Hall of Fame.

WallacePoulter
WallacePoulter

To me the HOF candidacy starts with a simple question. When he played was he "the man." If he was, such as Morris, Dale Murphy and the previously inducted Andre Dawson then show my why he shouldn't be in the HOF. If he wasn't "the man", and Blyleven is a perfect example of this, then show me why he should be in the Hall. That's it. Start from that basis. I say unless you can convince me otherwise, then Morris should be in. And the argument against is good in a lot of ways; although I think Morris just makes it in...

StephenCurtis
StephenCurtis

What they can't quantify is how much morris meant to his team. No pitcher since him and not many at time he played pitched as deeply into games. he routinely got cgs at twice the rate of justin verlander today and pitched into the 8th in a huge amount of his starts. I think hall of fame is more then just stats. There is an eye test as well. Was morris one of the top pithcers of his era. And the answer is morris despite his era was one of the top 5 pitchers of his era and that to me says hof. 

Beth3
Beth3

Writers shouldn't write about anything!  They may have opinions, but they shouldn't opine.  I hate when they get all mathematic-y with their fancy numbers!  Lastly, none of you should read what I've written or what anyone writes and think about anything that anyone thinks.

gregc
gregc

There are 37 players on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot, and 3 non-players.  Do any of them belong?  Yes, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, but not right away as they should have to wait due to using steroids in the latter part of their careers.  They deserve HOF credentials based on their pre-steroid careers. 

The criterion for HOF should be whether the candidate is an all-time great, who measures up to others.  In Bonds case, his pre-steroid performance is up there with guys like DiMaggio or Stan Musial.  In Clemens case, his pre-steroid performance puts him up there with Bob Gibson.  Every other candidate on the ballot was a very good player, but they aren't on par with the all time greats.  Jack Morris is no Gibson, or even Carl Hubbell.  Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell were very good, but Piazza is no Johnny Bench or Yogi Berra, nor is Bagwell a Joe Morgan or Rod Carew.

Chris69
Chris69

This article is further proof that the Baseball Writers need to be removed as the sole authority for electing members to the BHOF. Journalists in general trend towards being arrogant know-it-alls who think its their job to tell us how we should think. They harbor grudges towards players and often, as in the case of this article, they tend to over think and be clever - so they can present a unique point of view that gets read.

 

Often pure, basic common sense is not their goal as it doesn't sell and doesn't drive their careers forward. They are inspired and driven, and rightly so, to be controversial and adversarial.

 

We need a movement to remove the BWAA being the sole authority to elect BHOF members. I wasn't a big fan of Jack Morris, but he deserves to be in the BHOF  - no doubt about it.

frangooch32
frangooch32

Stat monkeys like this clown ruin the game for me. Let's see, Morris won more than any of his contemporaries, had an epic performance in the postseason, was well known to be a big game pitcher who went deep into the biggest games, and had a no hitter to boot. That's called big time baseball, Jaffe. I've got your JAWS right here. Vote him in.

benback2cu
benback2cu

It must be some life to spends days or weeks preparing a story about why a player should or shouldn't get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  And in the end, what have you done but trotted out a statistical comparison as the basis for membership into a place for which is their is no statistical criteria--none.

 

What's the place called again? Oh, yeah---a hall of "fame."  And just what is fame? In the dictionary I'm reading it's "the condition of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements."  For Jack Morris (or any other baseball player) fame comes down to a series of moments when he was at or near the top of his craft.  Given his longevity in baseball and success in big games (such as the World Series games in which he excelled) Morris seems to have more than most.  If "fame" was only measured statistically, most of the players in the Hall of Fame (almost all of whom had long careers) would be known as much for their epic failures, too--because anyone who plays forever has more of those than guys who didn't.

 

While I'm impressed with this writer's research and scholarship, I'm disappointed he doesn't see the folly of what he's trying to do: use numbers to prove (or disprove) the beauty of athletic achievement.  It's like trying to convince people that flowers or snowflakes must adhere to strict standards of their breed.  Better we do away with the Hall of Fame (or at least its "voting" practices) than to try to deny the worthiness of the memories created by the likes of Jack Morris and others.

ChrisSchons
ChrisSchons

He's a Hall of Famer for that 1-0 WS clincher, his complete games, and his 254 wins. He was a real horse.

Josh_B_N
Josh_B_N

Am I missing something?  I thought Curt Schilling was also supposed to be written yesterday, but I don't see it up anywhere.  Did it get Schilling get bumped to next week?

jcclimbs
jcclimbs

And as for his one shining moment, if Lonnie Smith doesn't get lost on the basepaths, that goes away, too, and Morris is left with a 1-0 loss, a magnificent failure. yes, I'm a Braves fan, but a real one, I suffered through the '70s, when in Sept. we literally could count the number of people in the stands at Fulton County Stadium and meet every one of them in line at the one open concession stand because attendance could and often would be less than a thousand. For a major league game. I'm going to go stick pins in my Jack Morris doll, no way he belongs in the hall. (The Jim Leyritz doll I fed to a lawnmower).

WillieBallgame
WillieBallgame

Thank you, Mr. Jaffe, for cutting through the din. Morris deserves to be in the Hall of the Very Good. No shame in that.

Michael10
Michael10

Like in retribution for Bert Blyleven?  That'll even things out -- two guys who don't belong...

Michael10
Michael10

There's a way to get into the Hall based on what you're buddies thought of you.  It's called the Veterans Committee...

Michael10
Michael10

One game = HOF?

 

Maybe Fernando Tatis and his double grand slam inning should get a closer look...

slogun23
slogun23

 @David-WI Did you even read the article? Morris is NOT the only pitcher to pitch a Game 7 complete game shutout. Perhaps you mean an EXTRA inning Game 7 shutout? And THAT does not make a Hall of Famer. One game should NEVER dictate Hall of Fame status.

W.k.
W.k.

Well, Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history--does that make him a Hall of Fame pitcher?  Bill Mazeroski hit the only Game 7 walk-off homer in World Series history--does that in and of itself justify his enshrinement?

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @Beth3 Writers shouldn't write and readers shouldn't read.   Brilliant.

slogun23
slogun23

 @gregc No offense, but if you don't think Piazza had a Hall of Fame catching career, then you're sadly mistaken. I'm no Piazza fan by any means, but come on. Piazza may not be a Berra or Bench, but he is certainly a Carter, Ferrell, Schalk, Lombardi, Campanella, or Hartnett.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @gregc They deserve to be in but should have to wait?   What kind of logic is that?   Either they are in or the steroid issue keeps them out.   Instead you seemingly want to use the steroid issue against players and then not use it against them.  Time to make up your mind.

tacoman206
tacoman206

 @Chris69 So they're "telling you the way you should think" by disagreeing with you? It seems like you're the won telling people how to think by saying "he deserves to be in the BHOF."

StevenKeys
StevenKeys

 @frangooch32 "Stat monkey," that's a good one.  Baseball practically invented statistics but the sabermetric crowd has run it into the ground, but good.  Then there's a lot of cherry picking of numbers going on too.

 

You wrote it, "big game pitcher."  That may not be everything in baseball (80%?) but throw in the 254 wins and I'd say JM covered all the bases, for election, pretty good.  The Toronto year, well, even the great Sandy Koufax lost it eventually ('66).

 

My guess, Don Sutton & Phil Neikro would've voted in Jack Morris, first ballot.

PaulZummo1
PaulZummo1

 @benback2cu It must be some life spending hours preparing a comment on a well-written story in which you can only complain because the writer has a different opinion than yours of a player's Hall of Fame worthiness. While you provided plenty of snark and derision, what you didn't offer was any substantive reason why Jack Morris should actually be in the Hall of Fame, which puts you in good company with most of the Morris supporters.

TheFlamingoKid
TheFlamingoKid

 @ChrisSchons

 Come on Chris 254 wins should not get you in the HOF. Maybe if he had record setting Ks or 4 no hitters. Just because you are a big Tiger fan should not cloud your vision. We all have to be objective.Maybe his biggest qualification would be conning the Pirates management into that big contract after he was all washed up at age 40 or whatever it was. Then again that maybe is not that difficult they just gave Joel Hanrahan away for nothing or maybe less than nothing. Maybe he was not wortth $7million, but they could have at least  got something for him. Oh I forgot they got someone who had a good year once upon a time , two or three years ago i think it was.Well at least the 4 bums they acquired for him will feel right at home when they meet the fifth bumb, Pittsburgh's GM hired before he was ready because he would work cheap, once labeled by owner Mr. Nutting as part of one of the finest management teams in baseball. So what does that say for the Ownwer's naivite. Stay tuned for when the Nutting family decides it's time for another 5 year plan. Then we see a new GM, one who is willing to work cheap just for the experience. This goes on and on. Their W-L record speaks for itself.

 

StevenKeys
StevenKeys

 @jcclimbs If I were an undecided voter your bitterness would tip me in favor of casting for Morris.  That's just what great ball-players do, they create rancor and lingering resentment in their opponents and their fans by their great play.

 

"(O)ne shining moment (?)," I'd say Jack has more big moments than Sutton, Niekro, Larkin and Dawson combined.

 

And I'd vote in Fred McGriff. 

tdohora
tdohora

@WillieBallgame Four WS rings as the ace of 3 different teams; most dominant starter of his era; most wins in the decade. This is the stuff of a HOF player, not just a "very good" player. The problem with stats and stat geeks is they lose sight of the context in which those stats occur. Jack Morris is a HOF player for the context in which he performed.

Chris69
Chris69

 @tacoman206 Sure, I guess so, probably wasn't the real point I wanted to make.

A writer's job is to be controversial and interesting, or they are out of work. Simple, straight-forward truth isn't their game. They strive to be clever and have clever reasons to think this way or that, and make clever arguments and in the case of the BBWAA ..... they tend to overthink the obvious too much, and get stuck in their clever, controversial opinions. Jack Morris is a no-brainer - when you compare his #s to his contemporaries, and do the same thing through history - all similar examples are in the HOF. Sure he "only' got 254 wins, but in a 20 year stretch, no one got more than that - he had the dominant pitching stats of his era. And any other pitcher with similar dominant stats from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50, etc. is in the HOF.

 

So the Jack Morris case - a no-brainer - who the BBWAA seems to nitpick about and say "Nah, he's close but ....." is proof to me that they aren't worthy of the job on their own. And Jim Rice too. They have shown themselves to be incompetent.

 

hallelujah!

W.k.
W.k.

Ummm...you have seen Koufax's stats for the '66 season, haven't you?

mwr5053
mwr5053

 @TheFlamingoKid  @ChrisSchons Hey, you can blast Pirate management all you want but this article is about "Jack" Morris and for some reason you are confusing him with "Matt" Morris. I'd be embarrassed but that's just me....

StevenKeys
StevenKeys

 @TheFlamingoKid  @ChrisSchons You're cherry-picking stats, TF-Kid, like most sabermetric adherents.  By itself, of course "254 wins" doesn't punch a ticket to Cooperstown, but it reads like ChrisSchons is considering much more. 

 

Voters are suppose to take into account the entirety of a man's work when deciding on HOF election, and that includes a tremendous CG total for his era and a close-to-stellar PS resume for Jack Morris.

PaulZummo1
PaulZummo1

 @tdohora  @WillieBallgame My favorite thing about people who deride "stats geeks" is that they too like to use stats, they just use really poor ones. The "ace" of four World Series winning teams? I'll grant you the 1984 Tigers and 1991 Twins, but he was hardly the ace of those Jays staffs, and in particular was awful during the post-season. The most dominant pitcher of his era? He was never the most dominant pitcher in any year he pitched. In the first half of his career he was inferior to pitchers like Seaver, Carlton (even in their later years) and others, and in the second half of his career he was dwarfed by the likes of Maddux, Clemens, Stieb and others. 

W.k.
W.k.

So you pick one bad start --six whole innings--in a World Series-- in a year where a guy went 27-9 pitching with that arthritic elbow (have someone read one of those Koufax books to you, and that fact is explained)--and compare it to an entire essentially lost season?  Words can be fun and informative, but you have to have a handle on how to use the language.

StevenKeys
StevenKeys

 @W.k. Yeah, I have.  Have you, W.k?  I guess I'll have to walk you all through it.

 

Check out Sandy's '66 post-season.  Dodgers got swept by BAL and Sandy went 0-1, 4R in 6 (1 ER) and just 2 S0.  Not terrible numbers but not Koufax-like and maybe an indicator he'd "lost it."  He retired after that Series.  

 

Try seeking out one of the many books written on Sandy's career.  I'm guessing all of 'em explain in some detail how his arm gave out and the arthritis.  Words can be fun, and informative.

 

Jack's final PS (TOR '92) was worse, 0-3 and with overall ERA around 7.00.  He wen 7-12 in '93 and didn't pitch in PS (baseball-reference.com). 

 

 

tdohora
tdohora

@WillieBallgame @tdohora Yeah, WS Rings ... you do know that baseball teams do them to? You must not be much of a baseball fan if you don't. Or maybe your team has never won the WS. If you are interested, check out http://worldseriesrings.net