Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, December 03, 2012

BLS: Jack Morris says his career goes beyond Game 7 of ’91 World Series, by ‘gosh’

Cybernetics of Cybernetics Competition… I believe we have a winner!

“I’m optimistic but I’ve also come to terms with that it’s an important lesson life: You don’t always get what you want,” Morris said. “No. 1, it’s an honor to be honored every year and, two, I’ve been kind of a controversial figure in the Hall of Fame because of the cybernetics (sic) guys, the numbers guys, vs. the guys who use … call it ‘the eyeball test.’ You know, ‘Were you there? Did you ever see me pitch?’ “

Robot-like numbers-crunchers aside, Morris realizes the benefit he gets from those who remember his career highlights, notably Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, when he threw a complete-game shutout against the Braves in what many believe is one of the best performances in postseason history. But even Morris’ shining moment, what he calls “the crowning achievement” of his career, has a downside.

“I think there’s a lot more to my career than that, too,” Morris said. “I kind of chuckle inside when people always talk to me about that. And it’s like, ‘Gosh, I pitched a lot of baseball games.’ I threw three one-hitters, I threw a no-hitter. And they don’t even talk about those.”

...“I’ve been through this a long time and I understand it,” Morris said. “December’s always a month when the talk starts all over again. The longer this goes on, the more I realize how much responsibility the writers have. It’s not an easy thing for them to do. And more importantly, I think they all take it serious. They take a real hard look. I respect it more today than I did, say, 10 years ago.”

Repoz Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:14 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4315372)
I'm sorry, cybernetics are pale imitations of cybergenics!
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4315380)
Well Jack, if you can get past the Cybermen, you'll still have to fight the Daleks.
   3. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4315381)
Too bad it's probably unintentional, because 'cybernetics' would actually be funny if he meant it that way...
   4. DA Baracus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4315395)
I threw three one-hitters


Well congratulations on achieving that along with Bob Welch, Danny Darwin, David Cone, Mike Scott, and Silvio Martinez.
   5. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4315410)
I’ve been kind of a controversial figure in the Hall of Fame because of the cybernetics guys

Morris' numbers suffered after he joined the Blue Jays and pitched in the Skynet.
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4315412)
In fairness to Jack he's right. One of the frustrations with the "in or out" debate (and he certainly falls on the "out" side of the line) is that the arguments often obscure a hell of a career. Guys like Morris or Rice or really any of these guys that make the ballot had pretty damned good careers with a lot to be proud of. I can see it being frustrating for a guy like Morris.
   7. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4315415)
Well congratulations on achieving that along with Bob Welch, Danny Darwin, David Cone, Mike Scott, and Silvio Martinez.


So RA Dickey made 67% of his HoF case in back-to-back starts this past season?
   8. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4315418)
I’ve been kind of a controversial figure in the Hall of Fame because of the cybernetics guys

Morris' numbers suffered after he joined the Blue Jays and pitched in the Skynet.


Yeah, but he never took any of that php stuff that everyone else was taking...
   9. DA Baracus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4315430)
So RA Dickey made 67% of his HoF case in back-to-back starts this past season?


He made 67% of his Jack Morris HoF Case™ but of course until he pitches a shutout while the other guy happens to pitch a shutout in the playoffs he has no chance.
   10. SG Posted: December 03, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4315451)
The Cybernetics guys have nothing on the the Dianetics guys.

I threw a no-hitter. And they don’t even talk about those.”


Bud Smith and Jose Jimenez feel your pain.
   11. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 03, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4315465)
I’ve been kind of a controversial figure in the Hall of Fame because of the cybernetics (sic) guys

Extremely well-played.
   12. morineko Posted: December 03, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4315501)
Philip Humber and Dallas Braden pitched perfect games, but nobody's talking about them in the HoF.

Anyway, he was functionally equivalent to Kevin Tapani in 1991 except for the Famous Game 7. Tapani had a pretty good Game 2, but nobody talks about that either (probably because of Game 5. Ugh.) Morris finished behind Scott Erickson in the Cy Young voting presumably because of those traditional stats, the wins; despite Tapani being better than either of them, he only had 16 of those and finished 7th in the voting.

/advocating for lost causes since 1991, or "try being the Kevin Tapani fan in a junior high full of girls with pictures of Scott Erickson and Chuck Knoblauch in their lockers"
   13. SG Posted: December 03, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4315508)
Extremely well-played.


Is a poor vocabulary really something to be celebrated?
   14. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4315525)
I’ve been kind of a controversial figure in the Hall of Fame because of the cybernetics (sic) guys, the numbers guys, vs. the guys who use … call it ‘the eyeball test.’ You know, ‘Were you there? Did you ever see me pitch?’ “

Partly true now but, again, less than 25% of the voters put him on their ballot in 2000. That had little/nothing to do with sabermetrics. As of 2004 he was still only at 26%, just 2% ahead of Garvey and nearly 10% behind Lee Smith, 14% behind Gossage and 34% behind Sutter. The high vote totals of Sutter, Rice, Gossage and Smith are an indicator of how little influence sabermetrics was having on the vote. (Blyleven had climbed to 35% just ahead of Morris.)

Sabermetrics has next to nothing to do with Morris not being in the HoF. He's not in the HoF because he failed the eyeball test with a large number of voters. So did Blyleven of course but sabermetrics was able to play a big part in getting him across the line.
   15. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 03, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4315531)
Sabermetrics has next to nothing to do with Morris not being in the HoF. He's not in the HoF because he failed the eyeball test with a large number of voters. So did Blyleven of course but sabermetrics was able to play a big part in getting him across the line.

No, but almost all the blabbery and controversy comes from the cybernetics crowd, which is what Morris said. It's not as though there's some Nixonian silent majority out there for whom Morris in the Hall of Fame is akin to hippies running loose dropping acid, rooting around in the mud at Woodstock, protesting wars and such.
   16. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4315538)
The cybernetics guys? Does Norbert Wiener have a ballot?

Wait ... Separated at birth?
   17. Bruce Chen's Huge Panamanian Robot Posted: December 03, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4315547)
Wow, what a moron.
   18. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 03, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4315564)
No, but almost all the blabbery and controversy comes from the cybernetics crowd

"Pitch to the score" isn't blabbery of the first rank?
   19. LargeBill Posted: December 03, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4315583)
“I think there’s a lot more to my career than that, too,” Morris said. “I kind of chuckle inside when people always talk to me about that. And it’s like, ‘Gosh, I pitched a lot of baseball games.’ I threw three one-hitters, I threw a no-hitter. And they don’t even talk about those.”


Jack, That isn't the problem. Your problem IS the rest of your career beyond those four or five games. The highlights are fine and warrant celebration when people look back on the Tigers of the 80's and the 91 Twins. However, the hold up to you being enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame is the other 98% of your career.
   20. Moeball Posted: December 03, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4315585)
Bud Smith and Jose Jimenez feel your pain.

Was at the Bud Smith no-no against Padres in September 2001. It was one of those no-hitters that kind of sneak up on you. It was the 6th inning before we realized Smith hadn't given up any hits. Rickey! walked a couple of times and stole a base so I was remembering someone had gotten on; just hadn't realized no one reached via hits. Smith walked 4 in the game and didn't look that overpowering.

I was one of the people who "actually saw" Jack Morris pitch - that's why I know he doesn't belong in the HOF. I've made more detailed analysis in other Morris threads in the past but they don't need to be repeated here.
   21. pikepredator Posted: December 03, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4315594)
I gotta agree w/ Walt and The Id. It's a fact that when Morris was first on the ballot, the voters agreed that he was NOT a HOFer - no real discussion or question about it, he just didn't feel like one. Then, the stat guys agreed and broke down his clear lack of HOF credentials. Then, the electorate slowly started shifting. Why?

Did the HOF electorate change their minds just to make sure they disagreed with those new-fangled numbers? Or, in light of the cyber crowd's discussion, did they honestly re-evaluate Jack's career and realize they hadn't recognized his greatness until many years after his retirement?

It's as confusing as those same "old-school" voters deciding that dingers are more important than defense & base-running/total package baseball in the AL MVP vote.

Maybe someone needs to invent a new uber/junk stat that promotes Lee Smith for the Hall, so the voters won't support him anymore . . .
   22. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: December 03, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4315606)
One of the things I regret abOut the hof debates is that I constantly have to read about Morris as though he wAs terrible. He's become this line in the sand so people feel they have to underscore his non all time great status in a way they don't do for say Dave stewart.

Jack Morris is probably not a deserving hall of famer. He was also awesome
E and if your team found a way to pick him up in his prime you would have been super stoked. Plus he had a great moustauce.
   23. Matthew E Posted: December 03, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4315624)
I don't say that Morris was terrible. I do say that in the '80s when the Jays faced the Tigers, they'd often do a lot better against Morris than against Petry or Terrell or Tanana or whoever else they had at the moment. So, yeah: I was there. I saw him pitch. And I don't think he's a Hall of Famer.
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 03, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4315625)
Bud Smith and Jose Jimenez feel your pain.


Wasn't Jimenez' no hitter actually the game the SABR convention attendees went to in 1999?
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: December 03, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4315647)
One of the things I regret abOut the hof debates is that I constantly have to read about Morris as though he wAs terrible. He's become this line in the sand so people feel they have to underscore his non all time great status in a way they don't do for say Dave stewart.


In addition, discussion of Morris' career (positive or negative) detracts from discussions about other pitchers' careers. For example, the career of Greg Maddux is very interesting but because his HOF case is slam-dunk, I hardly ever read any articles/discussion about his career anymore.
   26. morineko Posted: December 03, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4315650)
I think the thing is that a lot of the Morris for HoF support seems after-the-fact; most of us remember him as "pretty good" but not "super-awesome" and then you get younger fans like me who saw him at the end and recall him as "good, but not as good as Tapani or Erickson or Key or Stottlemyre or Stewart."
   27. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4315659)


Did the HOF electorate change their minds just to make sure they disagreed with those new-fangled numbers? Or, in light of the cyber crowd's discussion, did they honestly re-evaluate Jack's career and realize they hadn't recognized his greatness until many years after his retirement?


I think a major factor is that voters realized the 80's are somewhat underrepresented by HOF'rs, and Morris (with the most wins in the decade) is someone you can pretty easily cobble together an eye test HOF case for. Very good prime, a couple of huge moments, and he was a horse who led a decade in W's. Also, in fairness, Jack Morris was just plain LOOKED like a Hall of Famer, especially in Game 7 of 91.

So, yeah, there's probably some backlash against the stathead community. I think it's also that Morris is a narrative candidate, much in the way Rice was (though I frankly think Rice had a significantly stronger case.)
   28. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4315687)
I think the thing is that a lot of the Morris for HoF support seems after-the-fact; most of us remember him as "pretty good" but not "super-awesome" and then you get younger fans like me who saw him at the end and recall him as "good, but not as good as Tapani or Erickson or Key or Stottlemyre or Stewart."


As #27 says, the main thing Morris had going for him was that he was a horse... You were going to get 250 IP and 35 starts out of him and they were going to be decent-to-good 250 innings. 250 IP and 35 starts wasn't all that rare in the 80s, but doing it for 10-15 years was starting to become so. You had Fernando flaming out after about 5 seasons... followed by Hershiser, who could stay healthy... Gooden, who fell back to earth in a haze of coke... Stieb, who always seemed to be more the hardluck case... then bits an pieces of Saberhagen here, Viola or Key there, etc.

Morris was a fine pitcher, but an awful lot of his value was just tied up in the idea you lock solid count on him to make 35 starts a year, throwing a lot of innings of pretty good baseball. Whether due to changes in the game or whatever - the 80s just happened to be when such a thing just started to become a lot rarer than it had been previously.
   29. Bob Tufts Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4315702)
A 21 win 1992 with an ERA+ of 101? Is that the lowest ERA+ for a 20 game winnein Morris' era? I know that Spahn had an 98 ERA+ when he won 21 in 1960.
   30. Sweatpants Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4315711)
Joe Niekro won 20 games in 1980 with an ERA+ of 93. There might be others, but Morris' 92 is still exceptional in that regard.
   31. DA Baracus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4315715)
A 21 win 1992 with an ERA+ of 101? Is that the lowest ERA+ for a 20 game winnein Morris' era? I know that Spahn had an 98 ERA+ when he won 21 in 1960.


It's the 7th worst since 1961.
   32. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4315722)
A 21 win 1992 with an ERA+ of 101? Is that the lowest ERA+ for a 20 game winnein Morris' era? I know that Spahn had an 98 ERA+ when he won 21 in 1960.


According to BBRef Stan Bahnsen's 1972 season with 21 wins and an ERA+ of 88 is the "winner." Niekro is the only other one below 100 then Morris. The full list of 20 wins and ERA+ of 105 or worse since 1970;

Bahnsen
Niekro
Morris
Carlton 1971 - 102
Splitoff 1973 - 102
Merrit 1970 - 103
Andujar 1984 - 105
Andujar 1985 - 105
Cuellar 1970 - 105
Wood 1974 - 105
   33. zenbitz Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4315783)
cybernetics
...

Robot-like numbers-crunchers aside


You see, Ray Di Pierna THIS IS A DOG WHISTLE... for you!!!

Actually, it's more like a bat signal. Kinda the opposite of a dog whistle.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4315920)
Wood 1974 - 105

also 19 losses. No that's not a "double record" as he lost 20 the year before with a 116 ERA+. 76 losses in 4 seasons -- now that might be a record.
   35. LargeBill Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4315948)
34. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4315920)
Wood 1974 - 105

also 19 losses. No that's not a "double record" as he lost 20 the year before with a 116 ERA+. 76 losses in 4 seasons -- now that might be a record.


76 losses in 4 years? Nope, not a record. At least three pitchers had 76 (Neikro, Dickson, Mulcahy) and Vic Willis had 92 losses in a four year stretch.
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4315970)

Never saw Morris pitch to the score.

   37. Bob Tufts Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4316019)
Only saw Morris pitch live twice:

4/20/1983. He pitched to the score, blowing a 6-1 lead in a game the Royals won 8-7. Brett went 4-5, 7 RBI and 3 HR's.

5/13/1983, he went 8 innings and lost 5-2 (giving up 5 runs in the first two innings).
(Also my last day in the majors).
   38. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 04, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4316120)
Brett went 4-5, 7 RBI and 3 HR's.

Just awesome.
   39. DA Baracus Posted: December 04, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4316125)
4/20/1983. He pitched to the score, blowing a 6-1 lead in a game the Royals won 8-7. Brett went 4-5, 7 RBI and 3 HR's.


George Brett hit to the score.
   40. BrianBrianson Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:39 AM (#4316154)
What about when he heroically got himself left off the postseason roster in '93, allowing the Blue Jays to win the World Series? Shouldn't he get credit for that?
   41. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:05 AM (#4316156)
Joe Niekro won 20 games in 1980 with an ERA+ of 93. There might be others, but Morris' 92 is still exceptional in that regard.

Yes, but Joe Niekro was the greatest clutch pitcher in history. That's a lot for anybody to live up to.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
robneyer
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(802 - 3:26am, Aug 30)
Last: Swedish Chef

NewsblogRockies' Troy Tulowitzki bent on playing shortstop: "I will retire before I move"
(17 - 3:14am, Aug 30)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogRobothal: Tension growing between Astros' manager, GM
(40 - 3:11am, Aug 30)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogWhat's Wrong With Baseball?
(16 - 3:06am, Aug 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-29-2014
(44 - 3:03am, Aug 30)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogDavid Justice Says Put Barry Bonds in Baseball Hall of Fame Despite Steroid Use Late In Career
(156 - 2:28am, Aug 30)
Last: Jimmy

NewsblogJesus Montero gets heckled by Mariners cross checker during rehab stint
(49 - 2:24am, Aug 30)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogIndians Sign Russell Branyan
(13 - 2:13am, Aug 30)
Last: Lindor Truffles

NewsblogWatch a Japanese baseball player try to hit a 186 mph fastball (Video)
(20 - 1:31am, Aug 30)
Last: Born1951

NewsblogAdam Jones says he was joking about 'airport' comment at social media event
(15 - 11:47pm, Aug 29)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogJonny Venters Tears UCL, Facing Third Tommy John Surgery
(18 - 10:29pm, Aug 29)
Last: BDC

NewsblogFG (Zimmerman): Alex Gordon, UZR, and Bad Left Field Defense
(43 - 10:22pm, Aug 29)
Last: BDC

NewsblogPosnanski: Alex Gordon and the M-V-P chants
(61 - 9:51pm, Aug 29)
Last: SOLockwood

NewsblogAngels beat Athletics, Oakland protests game after obstruction call
(30 - 9:18pm, Aug 29)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(6226 - 9:10pm, Aug 29)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

Page rendered in 0.5046 seconds
52 querie(s) executed