Posted December 31, 2013

JAWS and the 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot: My 10 (very hard) choices

Hall of Fame, JAWS
Alan Trammell, Tigers

Is there room for JAWS favorite Alan Trammell on this year’s loaded ballot? (Jerry Wachter/SI)

There’s no such thing as a perfect Hall of Fame ballot. That’s particularly true this year. Due to a backlog of qualified candidates — one that’s years in the making, and only partially due to the split within the electorate over how to handle those linked to performance-enhancing drugs — the 2014 BBWAA slate contains more viable enshrinees than an individual voter can fit into his or her allotted 10 slots. More than at any time since the return of annual balloting in 1966, even. Having spent weeks laying out the hard choices that the voters face, it’s time to winnow the field down to 10 for my own ballot.

Officially, I don’t have one. While I’m a member of the BBWAA, I’m still seven long years away from being allowed to vote. Thankfully, the hours I put into my annual ballot reviews has translated into voters as esteemed as Peter Gammons and Ken Rosenthal incorporating my work into their individual thought processes, and they’re hardly alone.

In any case, I can illustrate the difficulty of the task voters face by undertaking the exercises necessary to slim my virtual ballot down to fighting shape. Of the 36 candidates, 14 exceed the JAWS standard at their position. Nine top the career, peak and JAWS standards across the board, five more exceed the standard in two of those three categories, and one other does so in one category (denoted by the bold numbers below). Ranking the players by the margin between their JAWS and the standard at their position yields the following (see below for an explanation of the “Class” column):

Player Yrs Career Peak JAWS  Margin Class
Barry Bonds 2 162.5 72.8 117.7 64.5 3
Roger Clemens 2 140.3 66.3 103.3 41.9 3
Greg Maddux 1 106.8 56.3 81.6 20.2 3
Jeff Bagwell 4 79.5 48.2 63.8 9.8 3
Mike Piazza 2 59.2 43.1 51.1 8.0 3
Frank Thomas 1 73.6 45.3 59.5 5.5 3
Curt Schilling 2 79.9 49.0 64.5 3.1 2
Alan Trammell 13 70.4 44.6 57.5 2.8 2
Tim Raines 7 69.1 42.2 55.7 2.5 2
Mike Mussina 1 83.0 44.5 63.8 2.4 2
Tom Glavine 1 81.4 44.3 62.9 1.5 2
Rafael Palmeiro 4 71.8 38.8 55.3 1.3 2
Edgar Martinez 5 68.3 43.5 55.9 0.9 2
Larry Walker 4 72.6 44.6 58.6 0.5 2
Mark McGwire 8 62.1 41.9 52.0 -2.0 1
Craig Biggio 2 64.9 41.6 53.3 -3.7 0
Sammy Sosa 2 58.4 43.7 51.1 -7.0 0

I’m not going to rehash the individual cases; if you’ve missed any, see here. There’s no Jack Morris, Lee Smith or Jeff Kent among my bunch, since all fall shorter of the standards at their positions than any of the above.

Note that I’ve included two players in that table who don’t meet the standard in any of the three categories, Biggio and McGwire. The former, who spent significant parts of his career as a catcher and an outfielder, is within a few runs of the combined standard for up-the-middle players (65.7/42.0/53.9) and has 3,000 hits, a qualification that more or less guarantees him a spot in Cooperstown anyway. Ironically, had he not tumbled to an awful -2.1 WAR final season as he surpassed 3,000, he would top that standard on career and JAWS fronts.

McGwire is very close to the first base standard (64.9/42.2/53.5) on peak, and his JAWS score exceeds the median among enshrined first basemen, which is what’s illustrated in that far-right column labeled Class. Last year, I examined the ballot in light of a nearly-annual request from a small subset of readers that I used the median score instead of the mean; I called those players whose scores exceeded the median but not the mean Class 1, those who exceeded the mean Class 2 and those who exceeded the mean using only BBWAA selections — thus eliminating from comparative consideration any player elected via the Old Timers or Veterans Committees — Class 3.

Rather than clutter this column up with another table showing those benchmarks, I’ve posted them here. I’ll add only that the wider variation in scores from position to position is one reason why I’ve rejected this process. Among this group, McGwire is the only Class 1; meanwhile there are eight Class 2 players and six Class 3 players. In other words, that alternative way of looking at the field isn’t enough to help me pare down to 10, which means that I have to start making some hard choices.

First off, it’s quite reasonable to exclude Palmeiro, one of four players with 3,000 hits and 500 homers but the only player on the ballot suspended for failing a drug test. The alleged infractions of the other candidates connected to PEDs date to the period before Major League Baseball introduced its testing regimen, and as I’ve written several times (including at length in the Baseball Prospectus book Extra Innings), I strongly believe that’s a distinction worth making; I’m not going to penalize players when MLB did not. Note that if I were to go the “law and order” route to eliminate not only Palmeiro but also Bonds, Clemens, Sosa and McGwire, that would still leave me 12 candidates.

It’s tempting to save two spots by eliminating Bonds and Clemens, not only the ballot’s most controversial players, but two unlikely to go over the top this year given their debuts last year at 36.02 and 37.6 percent, respectively. However, the PED distinction I’ve laid out above is a principle worth standing by, particularly given the two players’ otherwise overwhelming credentials. Speaking of such credentials, I could take a game-theory approach and save myself a slot by not voting for Maddux, since he’s a lock to get in anyway, but I’m not a fan of a strategy that perverts the process so drastically.

Particularly in this crowd, it isn’t even necessary to invoke PEDs when it comes to McGwire and Sosa given where they are in relation to the JAWS standards. I can drop them from my ballot without guilt, bringing the field down to 14. The good news is that leaves me only 1,001 separate combinations of 10 candidates to weed through.

If I were to base my vote on the top 10 players according to either career WAR or peak WAR, that would eliminate Piazza, Biggio, Raines and Martinez, but Piazza’s a catcher — the best-hitting one ever, by the way — who can’t be compared to the rest of the slate without adjusting for that (a mistake one well-intentioned voter made last year). That he, Raines and Martinez still clear their respective position standards on all three fronts can’t be ignored, which is all the more reason to reject either tack. If I draw the line at the top 10 by margin, that eliminates Glavine, Martinez, Walker and Biggio, which at least accounts for a player’s standing relative to position, though it leaves out two of the most high-profile candidates, one with more than 300 wins, the other with more than 3,000 hits.

By my measures, it’s clear that despite his hit total, an outstanding career that included seven All-Star appearances and last year’s highest percentage of the vote (68.2 percent), Biggio has less justification for a vote than the others remaining. As much as I hate to exclude any of “my” 14 players, I’m starting with him.

Next — and this one is even more agonizing — comes Trammell, who in his 13th year on the ballot but has never exceeded 36.8 percent of the vote, less than half of what he needs for enshrinement. Statistically, he belongs in the class with the great ’80s shortstops who are already enshrined (Cal Ripken, Robin Yount, Ozzie Smith), and his case is the equal of 2012 enshrinee Barry Larkin, but he has no chance of gaining entry via the BBWAA before his eligibility runs out. If I’m treating this vote as real, I’d prefer to use it on one of “my” players who actually has a legitimate chance at gaining election. That such an assertion runs counter to my elimination of Biggio only points out how garbled this process has become. In any event, those cuts trim my list to 12.

Speaking of cuts, this is about as much fun as deciding which toes I’d prefer to lop off to fit into my shoes, at least if I were among the extra-digitally gifted. Come to think of it, I may have been accused of that at some point in my long history of ballot evaluations.

At this point, the logic I’ve adhered to throughout this process strongly suggests the top six players from the table above — Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Bagwell, Piazza and Thomas — should have my vote. Not only do they clear the bar by the widest margin, they rank among the top 10 all-time at their positions. Given that Raines ranks eighth among leftfielders, and has been on the ballot the longest from among my remaining options, he gets my vote as well. So that’s seven spots spoken for, leaving me five players to consider for three spots.

Spoiler alert: it’s darts from here on out. Among the pitchers, Glavine has the wins, the two Cy Youngs and the position as a pillar in the Braves’ dynasty. Schilling has the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in modern history and the best postseason resume of any pitcher this side of Bob Gibson. Mussina has 270 wins, a top-20 strikeout total and the second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio in modern history, not to mention a strong postseason resume. The Moose may be out of the woods with regard to my original concern of him dropping off by receiving less than five percent; based upon last year’s vote total, he needs 29 to survive, and he’s already received public support from 27 voters who say they included him, that from a sample representing around 14.0 percent of the electorate.

As for the two remaining hitters, Martinez not only has a case as the best designated hitter in history but accrued enough value even given the significant DH penalty built into WAR to surpass the average enshrined third baseman. Walker was a fantastic hitter who put up eye-popping numbers and won an MVP award, though both were aided by playing in high-altitude Colorado. WAR adjusts for the scoring environment in which he played, and while he clears both the peak and JAWS bars, his shorter career and problems staying healthy, which together limited him to just 8,030 total plate appearances, make him the easiest of the remaining players to eliminate. Which isn’t saying much, particularly given that I fear that he’s in danger of missing the five percent cutoff. He has banked just nine of 80 published votes so far, though his percentage of support has been in the low 20s in his previous three years. He made my ballot by the skin of his teeth last year, but this time, he’s off.

Eliminating Walker leaves four candidates for three spots. As strong a candidate as Schilling is, the current reality is that in his second year of eligibility, he  isn’t going to surge from last year’s 38.8 percent to anything close to 75 percent, nor will he disappear from the ballot. Thus he’s my final cut, leaving my ballot as follows:

On: Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Martinez, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Thomas

Off, with sincere regrets: Biggio, Schilling, Trammell, Walker

I don’t even have an official vote, and while I’m proud of my 10 selections, it still pains me not to give the thumbs-up to four candidates whom I supported last year — or in Trammell’s case, have supported since before JAWS had a name — and have recommended without reservation this time around as well. That’s the way it crumbles, cookiewise.

I know many voters have faced similar quandaries. I can only hope that by next year, the BBWAA and the Hall of Fame have reached an agreement to expand beyond 10 spots, because with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Gary Sheffield newly eligible, this problem isn’t going away anytime soon.

88 comments
taiwan
taiwan

I agreed with all the 8 candidates completely, the other two excluded being Clemens and Bonds. I'd replace them with Biggio and Trammell. The "exit polls" pretty much had Bonds and Clemens. They won't fall off the ballot. But Alan Trammell might. Also, Biggio was very close last time. I'd give him a chance to get elected so we have one less candidate to worry about next year.


I really like Jaffe's logic about voting Mussina and leaving out Schilling based on the fear that Mussina may not even make 5%. According to Baseball Confidential program, the guru at predicting inductee for HOF predicted that only Maddux will make it, and I looked his prediction list and he had Mussina projected to receive only 7%!  I hope this guy was completely wrong. It's an outrage if Mike Mussina doesn't even make 5%. If Mike Mussina is out then what's the point of even voting for Jack Morris and Curt Schilling, both of whom I considered inferior to Mike Mussina?

SoxArmy
SoxArmy

I understand Jay's stance on voting for the steroid guys like Clemens and Bonds due to a lack of policing by MLB, but were I in his position I could not conscience it.  While I agree the lack of enforcement helped encourage cheating, it did not make it right.  What's more, the effect it had on other excellent players who might have had a strong Hall case otherwise was powerful and apparent.  How much more solid would McGriff's case be; indeed, how much more productive might he have been in his career, were he not compared to or playing against juicers?  Same goes for Martinez, Raines, and Biggio.  It is a travesty of justice to reward the cheaters over guys who played clean.  I know the BWAA is not the moral authority over MLB players, but maybe somebody should be.

MichaelC
MichaelC

I like the concept of WAR and how it tries to determine value and production - all-around, from hitting, fielding, base-running, etc. But it should only be used to supplement analysis of players, not be an end-all. 


Ben Zobrist registered a MLB-leading 8.8 WAR in 2011 but does 20-81-.269 look impressive? He OPS'd .822. Sure he walked, he scored runs, and he played different positions ... kind of a fantasy baseball hero. In the past five years, only Miggy and Longoria have higher cumulative WAR than Zobrist - better than Votto, Cano, McCutcheon, Beltre, Pedroia, Braun, etc. But in those five years, he's hit 89 home runs, drove in 402 runs, scored 432 runs, and his averages .269/.369/.446 doesn't jump off the page. During those five years, he's gained a grand total of 48 MVP votes.


He does a lot of different things well - not great, just well. And with one more solid season, he'll have higher WAR in SEVEN years than Steve Garvey (19 years), Juan Gonzalez (17 years), Albert Belle (12 years), and Dave Parker (19 years) compiled in their entire careers. 

canadianox
canadianox

Steroids don't belong in the Hall of Fame. If they are, give Ben Johnson his gold medal back.

huskymuskyhunter26
huskymuskyhunter26

To anybody leaving Bonds, Sosa, et al. off their ballot, then we had better see Frank Thomas on each of your ballots. For those who believe that using PEDs unofficially disqualifies one from consideration for the HoF, then Big Frank is the flip side of that same coin. With nary a whiff of steroid stink around Thomas, what he accomplished becomes even more amazing -- especially if you accept the notion that he compiled those stats against PED-pumped pitching. (How many 94-MPH-fastballs did he face that should have been a much more hit-able 89 MPH?)

I think Thomas is Hall of Famer no matter what happens with the tainted stars, but given the obvious impact of steroids on others' stats (and longevity), the Big Hurt ought to be a unanimous, first-ballot selection (and ditto Jim Thome in a few years, based on the same 'roidless rationale).

JosephBagadoughnutz
JosephBagadoughnutz

baseball HOF is a joke.  by using the logic and criteria of current knuckle heads, 70% of the HOFers before 1980 would be gone.   this is simply the sports media with nothing better to do.

Chuckster
Chuckster

Clemens, Bonds should not be on the list right now.   Maddux, Glavine are and should be locks.  Probables Piazza, Mussina, and Raines,

GT500456
GT500456

It's almost sacreligious to mention the name "Clemens" in the same sentence as the name "Maddux".


Greg Maddux made all of us ordinary guys think we had a chance to pitch in the Major Leagues!

wilfredo38
wilfredo38

If Jack Morris gets into the hall of fame, then put  Mike Mussina in there as well. The fact that Jack Morris had a 3.90 is not the only thing that excludes from the hall of fame, the guy only won 254 games, Muss won 270 and his ERA was better than Morris. 


The Hall of fame without Pete Rose, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds is not a hall of fame. 

wilfredo38
wilfredo38

Jack Morris had his moments, but the guy is not a hall of famer. Tommy John was hall of fame caliber, as well as Jim Kaat, and both of them still out of the hall.

MurcerFan
MurcerFan

Jay, I can't believe that you could possibly include Bonds and Clemens.  These players are CHEATERS.  Capital C, capital H, capital EATERS.  It doesn't matter that there wasn't a specific regulation about steroids at the time.  Think about it...  If I was able to come up with a new, revolutionary small device that could be surgically planted in my arms that allowed me to consistently hit balls 600 feet or more and I then went out and had a career in which I hit over 900 home runs--even if there was no specific regulation against what I was doing--would you vote for me for the Hall of Fame???  Of course not!  It's ridiculous to think that anyone would.  BECAUSE IT'S CHEATING!  It wouldn't matter if I ever got caught.  It wouldn't matter if MLD initially turned a blind eye toward my doing it.  It's still CHEATING.  And would this really be that much different from guys injecting stuff in their arms?  No...it wouldn't  By your logic, if someone uses a new (or even old) way to cheat that's not specifically in the rule books, then it's okay.  Is that what you're saying?  That's preposterous.  Incidentally, I've never read all the rule manuals of major league baseball, but I'll bet if you look hard enough there's probably some general language somewhere that prohibits any and everything that would give a player or team an unfair advantage over another.  That would certainly make Bonds and the rest of the PED guys ineligible--even by your own poorly-thought-out logic.  Bonds' case in particular is very, very disturbing.  This is a guy who at age 35 was a shoo-in for the Hall, but he went on to be the worst cheater in baseball history and because of his cheating, fraudulently eclipsed the two most beloved records in the sport.  Not only did he cheat to do this, but he dirtied the game in doing so.  Bonds should be taken out and flogged (figuratively speaking).  So should Clemens, A-Rod, Sosa, etc.--all of them are disgraces.  Hopefully, most Hall of Fame voters have a better grasp on common sense morality than you do and will NEVER allow any of these charlatans into baseball's Hall of Fame.  I'm sorry if I sound a little mean toward you, but you're just flat-out wrong.  If I were Commissioner Selig, I would reinstate Aaron and Maris as the record holders.  And do the same thing for any other records where there is clear evidence of cheating.  Leave the stats of Bonds, Sosa, etc in the game-by-game statistic logs--just don't acknowledge them as records.  I hope the Commissioner has the courage to do this before he leaves office.

Jai2
Jai2

Clemens is a cheater. If he makes the HOF and Edgar Martinez doesn't there is no justice in this world

HeadlineSurfer
HeadlineSurfer

Alan Trammel was a gamer and should be in the Hall of Fame, period end of story. Imagine the 1984 World Series-winning Detroit Tigers without him or pitcher Jack Morris...

Vinny Cordoba
Vinny Cordoba

Here's hoping Jack Morris gets in just for the sheer entertainment value of watching people have a meltdown over it. He's like everyone's favorite whipping boy. I've never seen anything like it. And all he did was pitch very good baseball for a long time.

parkbrav
parkbrav

As interested as I am in sabermetrics, I'm still skeptical. Numbers only get you part of the story. Sabermetrics conveniently ignores how those numbers get posted in the first place. As in just about anything, there's always a right way and a wrong way to get numbers.

Sabermetrics should not be the only reason someone does or does not get into the Hall of Fame. Entry has to be more holistic. Have they honored the game? What did they do for their franchise? the game? Their city?

decredico
decredico

a nation hooked on drugs being upset about athletes using drugs has to be one of the high points of american sanctimony

ak_tatiracanal
ak_tatiracanal

Who is a true Hall Of Famer and who isn't?

If cheating is one of the reasons why someone isn't elected to the Hall, since it skews the numbers, how will you ever rectify that?

Players are still cheating, so in 15 to 20 years, do you lump all these current players together and not let any of them in the Hall because if Ryan Braun was caught cheating, maybe they all are, or do you change the criteria all together?

I think in the coming years, the numbers a player puts up will be less emphasized and more subtle and things will be more important.

gymviking
gymviking

I understand the statistical argument against Jack Morris being in the Hall of Fame. He simply doesn't have the regular season numbers to beat, for example, Mike Mussina.


But, if you based your evaluation on winning the World Series (the ultimate goal of the baseball season) and being a player highly responsible for the success of the team, then as the Ace of three different World Series champion organizations, Morris would top the list of all the players above. 

jb22
jb22

@MichaelC He plays defense really well.  Defense is a thing.

Michael10
Michael10

@canadianoxWhile we're at it, why don't we release O.J. Simpson and reinstate Richard Nixon?


Hey, if we're assuming the rules of one system applies to every system, why not go crazy...

JeromeMaida
JeromeMaida

@wilfredo38You don't have a clue.....Yes, Morris's ERA is a bit high for HOF but a huge reason for that - and having fewer wins...is that he almost always finished the eighth inning and had a ton of complete games....You are taking his stats in the context of when he pitched and how he was used.

Michael10
Michael10

@wilfredo38Neither John nor Kaat were HOF-caliber either. If they were, we'd have to consider guys like Rusty Staub, Harold Baines and Julio Franco as well...

bbliksteen8
bbliksteen8

@MurcerFanOh boy... lets go through this wormhole you just made. This chip you propose... if you design and implant it what difference is there between this and say weight training or film study. Through your own hard work and intelligence you have made yourself better. 

Now what if someone else designed it and surgically implanted it you say? Lets consider the story of Dr. Frank Jobe. One day a pitcher walks into his office with a torn UCL. He proposes to replace the torn ligament with one from his forearm. That pitcher goes on to win 164 of his 288 wins after that surgery. ~30% of BBWAA think he belongs in the HOF. So if this procedure is ok? why? Is it because without it his career would have been over due to a human/bodily imperfection? So what about the person who gets Tommy John in high school before he has actually torn his UCL? performance ENHANCING or performance ENABLING? Does it matter? 

So what about someone who's career is about to end from a different human imperfection... like aging. Just because its common and happens to 100% of people doesn't mean its not a bodily defect. So we now need to define what is and is not an acceptable defect. What if what appears to be aging could be instead some type of fixable body or brain defect that was whose effects were mitigated by P"E"D use. 

What about money? If my family has the money to train myself to be the best ever from birth? Should stats have some type of familial money adjustments? Is money Enabling or Enhancing? What about Kryptonians? Or Radio-active spider bites? Or an enhanced super soldier dispatched from the military? And i haven't mentioned HOFers that actively promoted and encouraged racist segregation, obviously creating a benefit to them. That's gotta be performance enhancing right? And I haven't gone into amphetamines either. The physical effects from those aren't a placebo effect that's for sure. 

All of this is not to convince you that you are wrong. Its to show you that this wormhole is too large for any answer to be correct. So imposing your morality, and idea of what is and isn't cheating, as absolute really doesn't make much sense.

Michael10
Michael10

@HeadlineSurferImagine the 1997 World Series-winning Florida Marlins without Charles Johnson or Kevin Brown, who combined for 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. Morris and Trammell were worth a total 9.1 wins in 1984. Dwight Gooden alone produced 13.2 wins the following year.


One ring does not a Hall of Famer make (Lonnie Smith has three, and missed a fourth by a single game...)

Michael10
Michael10

@Vinny CordobaJack Morris was the Joe Carter of starting pitchers (Morris is most often touted as the winningest pitcher of the 1980s, but few realize Carter was the most prolific slugger -- HRs, RBIs -- of the pre-steroid decade leading up to the '94 strike). Both were very good players that contributed at each stop in a long career -- with high-profile postseason moments to boot -- but neither was ever an elite performer.

tracejuno
tracejuno

@Vinny CordobaWhile I don't think Morris should be in the Hall, I certainly like your comment. Why can't people just acknowledge that he was a very good, at times terrific, pitcher?

cmageeaus
cmageeaus

@decredico 

I don't see this argument being made often enough -- and it IS an argument, not just a snippy comment. Many readers will read "drugs" and think of legal issues, but the American population is loaded with drugs whether it be for depression, cholesterol or the "performance enhancing" issues surrounding erectile dysfunction, a condition that used to be called "getting old".  Those drugs, not at all incidentally, sponsor sporting events along with more popular drugs like alcohol. We've all seen athletes promote the performance enhancing aspects of caffeine laced energy drinks. Sports reflect the broader culture; this is a culture of drug use. You may not like it -- I certainly do not -- but liking or disliking does not change facts. Judging an athlete for drug use is judging them for being fairly common folks. Granted, all this does not answer the question; it merely asks it in a different form.  Should HOF athletes be considered a product of the broader culture or do we expect them to stand outside/above it?

Michael10
Michael10

@gymviking If Morris was considered the ace of any of those teams, it was in name only. Teammates Willie Hernandez and Dan Petry were both more valuable to Detroit's 1984 championship run (Hernandez won the Cy Young that year; even Petry fared better in the voting than Morris). Kevin Tapani and Scott Erickson (Cy Young runner-up) were more valuable to the Twins in 1991; Juan Guzman and Jimmy Key (and even reliever Duane Ward) to the Jays in 1992. The following season, Morris was so horrible he was excluded from the postseason roster -- the Jays won the Series without (despite) him...

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@gymviking Morris was a career 4-2 with a 2.96 ERA in the World Series with 7 games started..hardly Hall worthy..

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@gymviking BUT the post-season isn't what makes you a Hall of Famer...if that was the case, Curt Schilling, Pepper Martin, Allie Reynolds, etc. would be shoo-ins..and Morris isn't even in the top 15 in career World Series wins or ERA.

taiwan
taiwan

@JeromeMaida The statistics have already proven that Jack Morris didn't "pitch to the score" as Jaffe pointed out. It's true he pitched long innings to save the bullpen. Another research showed that sometimes he gave up 5 or more runs early and stayed in the game. This proved that he didn't give up runs because his arms was tired from pitching deep into the 8th.


His stats showed he was an average pitcher who pitched for a very good team that gave him a lot of run support. His post season ERA is similar to his regular season career. But people keep talking about Game 7. By that token Don Larsen should have been in HOF for his perfect game. No. You look at one's career as a whole.


The funny thing is Bert Blyleven, Roger Clemens, and Jack Morris all had career overlap. Most people don't realize it, thinking that they belong in totally different era. They are from different era, but not by much.

Michael10
Michael10

@JeromeMaida@wilfredo38So he should be a Hall of Famer because he pitched into games well beyond the point of effectiveness? Morris's ERA is horrible even for the era he pitched in -- especially in comparison to peers who were similarly used. Statistically, his closest comparison was fellow starter Dennis Martinez -- who fell of the ballot on his first try.

gymviking
gymviking

@PAZSKY That analysis only works if you ignore the 240+ innings (yeah, each of those seasons)  that he pitched and the 58 wins he had during the regular season to get them there. 


C'mon, Yankee fan. I expect you, of all people, to understand that winning a Championship is what it is all about. Flags are flying in three cities forever because Jack Morris was there. If he wasn't, no flag. 


Oh, and you say Mike Mussina's ERA and Walks/Innings pitched were better than Morris.....I say yes, but Morris pitched over 240 innings 10 times (and came close another time).. Clemens, for all his steroid-connected glory, got there 8 times, Maddux, in his first-ballot glory, got there 7 times, and Mussina, twice. 

gymviking
gymviking

@PAZSKY It wasn't the point that he should be voted in ONLY on his post season work. My point was that if you consider what he did on championship teams,combined with his regular season numbers (and he did win more regular season games than any other pitcher in the 80s) then you will begin to understand why Morris deserves consideration. 


And if you look at the names above, which obviously deserve consideration, none of them, with only Schilling coming close, did as much to help multiple teams win Championships. And none of them won as many.

JeromeMaida
JeromeMaida

@Michael10@canadianox@decredicoYes, because using the writers' warped morality, Mantle showing up hungover and not able to perform at his best is just good0natured fun, but someone taking stuff that will make them work out longer and harder and improve their performance is somehow cheating the game.

GeoffreyHolland
GeoffreyHolland

@gymviking @PAZSKY The Jays would have easily won the Series without Morris. He did nothing in the post season for them, and they could have easily replaced his regular season numbers.

Momus3
Momus3

@gymviking @PAZSKY I hope you're not counting his post-season with the Toronto Blue Jays in this because he was complete garbage for them in very game he pitched.


For a guy who people hype for his ability to "pitch to the score" and "find a way to win", he managed to not win a single one of his 4 starts in the 1992 post-season while putting up a putrid 7+ ERA while giving up over 6 walks and 2 home runs every 9 innings.  


howboutthis?
howboutthis?

@gymviking @PAZSKY Jack just doesn't stack up. Peak well below Saberhagen, Hershiser and Gooden. Gave up league average amount of runs over the course of his career. Schilling has a much better case.

Chessmaster
Chessmaster

@gymviking@PAZSKYThe reason you DON'T figure it the way you suggest, is that unfairly favors players on winning teams. HOF is an individual distinction. There are elite players who never even saw a WS. So you look to the unbiased stats to try and find his true value. Even W/L records are deceiving for pitchers, but there's no denying ERA or strikeouts. Post-season accomplishments may be icing on the cake, but shouldn't be the main course. Not to say ANY of these candidates isn't worthy, just that there are only 10 slots open this year.