To Tweequote Jon Heyman on this…“i dont believe this for 1 sec, but i like @EyeOnBaseball guys, so ... their case against jack morris”
18. Jack Morris; SP; Tigers, Twins, Blue Jays, Indians; 1977-1994
...Here’s the problem: Morris wasn’t great at anything but racking up innings and wins (as the beneficiary of mostly playing for winning teams). He wasn’t great at run prevention (3.90 ERA, good for a 105 ERA-plus—meaning only five percent better than average in the era), keeping guys off base (1.30 WHIP) or taking pressure of his defense by striking guys out (5.8 K/9, in addition to a lackluster 1.78 K/BB ratio).
In terms of the postseason, let’s not be fooled into thinking Jack Morris was Curt Schilling. Morris was 7-4 with a 3.80 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, a low strikeout rate and a lackluster K/BB ratio in 13 career postseason starts. Yes, he had the unbelievable 10-inning shutout in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, but overall Morris in the postseason was what he was in the regular season. He was a grinder who occasionally came through with a big-time gem for his team.
If you really, truly believe that Morris “pitched to the score” (that is, got a big lead and then needlessly allowed baserunners and runs on purpose—as if any pitcher would actually do that) and that only wins/losses matter, then you can discuss his 254 wins—which is still only good for 42nd of all-time, hardly a travesty to leave out of the Hall.
If you believe there’s more than meets the eye here and look deeper, you realize Morris was a good pitcher with incredible stamina who was blessed to garner lots of wins due to circumstances. We should respect his outstanding moments and his ability to eat so many innings in so many different seasons for his teams, but that doesn’t mean we have to enshrine him.
I also find it curious that some BBWAA members now talk about how if you “saw him pitch, you knew.” That’s interesting, because Morris never finished higher than third in Cy Young voting. He only received Cy Young votes in seven of his 18 seasons. He also only received 22.2 percent of the vote his first year on the ballot and dipped down to 19.6 percent the next year. Not only that, but he was only an All-Star five of 18 seasons. Where was the respect at the time from the managers around baseball?
Simply: How did so many guys who watched Morris pitch treat him for years as merely a good, but not great, pitcher yet now believe he’s an easy Hall of Famer? What happened in the past decade? It’s hard to figure.
The good news for all the Morris supporters: You can probably rest easy. When a player reaches more than 2/3 of the vote with at least two years left on the ballot, he’s a veritable shoo-in. I fully expect Morris to get in on this election.
Would we vote for him? Snyder: No (15); Rosecrans: No (19); Perry: No (21)
Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM | 22 comment(s)
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