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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Murray Chass on Baseball: SANTO IN; MILLER, MORRIS STILL OUT

Weeeee! More fun than watching Chass vein-throbbingly berate Hal Bodley into voting for Jack Morris!

This brings me to Jack Morris, a pitcher I have believed for years should be in the Hall but who has failed to receive more than 53.5 percent of the writers’ vote in his 12 years on the ballot.

Bert Blyleven, a pitching contemporary of Morris, was elected last year in his next-to-last year on the writers’ ballot. He benefited from the new use of sabremetrics in gaining election, publicly proclaiming one particular practitioner of sabremetrics for showing why he belonged.

As readers of this site know, I am not a fan of statistics such as WAR and VORP. I use statistics, but the old-fashioned ones have worked for me and most other writers who have covered baseball for years and are not relative newcomers to the baseball beat.

I saw Blyleven pitch, and I saw Morris pitch. If I had to pick one or the other to pitch one game or regularly in a rotation, Morris would be my man. He might not have sabremetrics in his favor, or even a sterling old-fashioned earned run average (3.90), but the only statistics he pitched for was to allow fewer runs than his team scored.

It was no accident that Morris was the most dominant starting pitcher in the 1980s, gaining more victories than any other pitcher in the decade. But forgive me; I am using a statistic that some viewers of the game now proclaim is the least relevant barometer of a pitcher’s success.

Wins no longer count. According to proponents of this cockamamie idea, there are too many variables that render wins meaningless. The name of the game used to be winning. Now it’s a quality start or a good WAR rating.

Give me a pitcher who can emerge from a game as the winning pitcher.

Repoz Posted: December 08, 2011 at 06:32 PM | 86 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, tigers

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   1. Textbook Editor Posted: December 08, 2011 at 06:54 PM (#4010518)
WHY DO WE LINK TO THIS DINOSAUR, MR. PRESIDENT?
   2. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#4010528)
Give me a pitcher who can emerge from a game as the winning pitcher.


Well, that would be Blyleven, 287 times to Morris's 254.

I mean, as long as Chass has deemed context irrelevant.
   3. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:03 PM (#4010537)
Why does everyone keep hitting me, said the pinata...
   4. Boxkutter Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#4010543)
He's correct that Marvin Miller should be in the HOF though.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:09 PM (#4010545)
Officials keep saying they have done what they can to enhance the election chances of the 93-year-old Miller, but they have only ensured his repeated rejection, not election, by stacking the voting committee with owners and other management executives, few of whom will vote for him out of spite for what he did to them and for the players.


I thought the committee was stacked with too many Jim Palmers. Or was it Tom Verduccis.

Miller missed by one vote, so whatever stacking the HoF was trying to do, it came perilously close to failing at this mission, a mission that exists only in the clouded brains of Murray and Marv.
   6. Endless Trash Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#4010552)
Wins no longer count. According to proponents of this cockamamie idea, there are too many variables that render wins meaningless. The name of the game used to be winning.


You are conflating team wins with pitcher win points. Stop doing that.
   7. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#4010554)
BTW, I had a lengthy email exchange with Chass a couple years ago on Morris. Short story: He thinks Morris is a HOFer, but Mussina is not. Morris was more dominant, you see.
   8. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#4010569)
I thought we didn't link to bloggers?
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#4010578)
He's correct that Marvin Miller should be in the HOF though.


You konw what they say about a broken clock being right?
   10. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#4010579)
Besides, there's a law of nature that speaks to this: If Bowie Kuhn, then Marvin Miller.
   11. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#4010582)
publicly proclaiming one particular practitioner

That's some bad writing.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#4010583)
He's correct that Marvin Miller should be in the HOF though.


Of course he's correct, but Marvin Miller's failure with one Veteran's Committee has nothing to do with Santo's election by an entirely different Vet's Committee (nor does, of course, Morris' failure with the BBWAA). It's just another opportunity for the old man to rant.
   13. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#4010584)
Does anybody else get support based on the 'pitch to the score' rationale exclusively?
   14. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#4010591)
Dear Mr. President,

There are too many bloggers nowadays. Please eliminate one.

PS I am not a crank.
   15. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#4010593)
publicly proclaiming one particular practitioner

That's some bad writing.


There are other examples as well. And didn't Chass once get on someone for bad writing?
   16. TomH Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#4010597)
........... wins losses
Pitcher A 324 292
Pitcher B 287 250
Pitcher C 254 186
Pitcher D 270 153

All active at mostly the same time. Which ones do you want in the HoF based on wins, Mr Chass?


(Ryan Blyleven Morris Mussina)

Trivia question: how many times did Jack Morris lead his league in wins outright?
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#4010605)
I've long been wondering why Repoz keeps posting this same Chass column on the same tired subject over and over and over again, but then it hit me.

If Repoz publishes just three more of these Chass tirades about Morris, and keeps his punch card, he gets to be a Submarine Captain, and he'll get a free sub and a Captain's hat! He then gets to bang Elaine, and who knows what other treats might follow?
   18. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:48 PM (#4010606)
BTW, I had a lengthy email exchange with Chass a couple years ago on Morris. Short story: He thinks Morris is a HOFer, but Mussina is not. Morris was more dominant, you see.


I wonder how he feels about Pettitte, seeing as how Andy has the most wins in the 2000 aughts.
   19. just plain joe Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#4010610)
publicly proclaiming one particular practitioner

That's some bad writing.

There are other examples as well. And didn't Chass once get on someone for bad writing?


He is chanelling his inner Spiro Agnew.
   20. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#4010616)
I've long been wondering why Repoz keeps posting this same Chass column on the same tired subject over and over and over again,


Well, I've long been wondering why you keep posting this same tired comment about every Chass column over and over and over again.

What is your complaint, exactly? It's a column about baseball. We link to columns about baseball for discussion purposes here.

You're not obligated to pop into the thread, you know. I notice you never choose that option.
   21. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#4010617)
At least Chass is an environmental troll; he's recycling the exact same argument he made last time the topic came up.
   22. Guapo Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#4010619)
Morris v. Blyleven- Game 1

A no-decision for both, but Texas beats Detroit. This was Morris' 2nd major league start. Bert 1, Jack 0.



Morris v. Blyleven- Game 2

The rivalry resumes six years later. Blyleven shrewdly departs the game before Morris, allowing Jack to tire in the late innings and eventually surrender the lead. Bud Anderson gets the win for Cleveland. Bert 2, Jack 0.

Blyleven v. Morris, Game 3

Jack uses Bert's strategy against him, leaving after 6 innings with the lead. Blyleven completes the game for Cleveland, but all for naught. Jack's on the board. Bert 2, Jack 1.

Blyleven v. Morris, Game 4

An epic battle between these gentlemen. Morris surrenders a HR to Andre Thornton, Blyleven surrenders a HR to Lou Whitaker. There's a man on base when Whitaker hits his. Bert 2, Jack 2.

Blyleven v. Morris, Game 5

Opening Day 1985. Blyleven is knocked out in the 5th inning, but Cleveland still has a late lead. However, the bullpen coughs it up and Jack surges ahead. Jack 3, Bert 2.

Blyleven v. Morris, Game 6

Morris dodges Blyleven for all of 1986 and 1987, but Bert finally catches up with him. The Dutchman leaves in the 6th with a comfortable 4-0 lead. Morris goes the distance and throws 139 pitches, but it's all for naught. Jack 3, Bert 3.

Blyleven v. Morris, Game 7

The two giants battle again, and this time Blyleven is wearing an Angels uniform. The Bengals touch up Bert for 3 early runs and Morris never looks back. Jack 4, Bert 3.

Blyleven v. Morris, Game 8

It's getting late, so Blyleven forces the rematch 5 days later. Morris falls apart in the 3rd inning and we're tied up again. Jack 4, Bert 4.

Blyleven v. Morris, Game 9

Independence Day 1992, and it's time for our final matchup. Morris is now a Blue Jay. The Angels score 4 in the first inning against Morris, but Toronto comes back to tie it 6-6 and Blyleven is again knocked out of the box in the 5th inning. Two late Toronto runs give Morris the clinching victory. Jack 5, Bert 4.

Whaddya know, Morris was better than Blyleven.
   23. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#4010621)
publicly proclaiming one particular practitioner


What's wrong with alliteration? Its far better than onomatopoeia in my book.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#4010629)
I wonder how he feels about Pettitte, seeing as how Andy has the most wins in the 2000 aughts.


Ron Guidry for the HOF, most wins from 1977-1986.... there is no reason that a decade has to start or end with 00. How about Viola for 1984-1993? I mean if one decade is the criteria then why focus on just 0-9?
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:12 PM (#4010633)
Ron Guidry for the HOF, most wins from 1977-1986.... there is no reason that a decade has to start or end with 00. How about Viola for 1984-1993? I mean if one decade is the criteria then why focus on just 0-9?


This argument actually doesn't work against Jack. He had the most wins for six straight 10-year periods.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#4010636)
I've long been wondering why Repoz keeps posting this same Chass column on the same tired subject over and over and over again,


Well, I've long been wondering why you keep posting this same tired comment about every Chass column over and over and over again.

What is your complaint, exactly?


What do you mean, "complaint"? Just three more articles like this and I get a free sub and a captain's hat myself!
   27. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#4010638)
Chass:

Maybe Ron Santo belongs in the Hall of Fame, but I never voted for him in the 15 years he was on the writers’ ballot and neither did most of the voters.


And neither did the voters put Morris in. Chass seems to be citing vote totals when it suits his argument.

And just to note this comment of his:

But Hall officials persisted in their effort to have new members elected and kept changing the voting format. Now they have succeeded with Santo, who received 15 of the committee’s 16 votes. Too bad. Election to the Hall of Fame should be based on career performance, not sympathy.
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#4010640)
It's a column about baseball. We link to columns about baseball for discussion purposes here.

Murray Chass writing about baseball is like John Rocker writing on immigration. I have to wonder why you'd worry about what either of them has to say on either subject.
   29. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#4010644)

I wonder how he feels about Pettitte, seeing as how Andy has the most wins in the 2000 aughts.


FWIW, I had a conversation with a friend* a few months ago about the relative merits of Morris and Pettitte as HOF material. He cited the two as the HOF borderline for pitchers. Morris as "in" for his heroics, and Pettitte as "out" due to hGH. I wish he posted on BBTF.

* The sort of fellow who listens to sports talk radio at work. I think he's fairly representative of a large swath of fans. His position on sabermetrics is something akin to Jon Huntsman on climate change: he's aware of it, accepts its validity, but is mostly unwilling to really alter his policy to accomodate it for a variety of reasons. I wonder how prevalent this view is amongst voters?

EDIT: I mean BBWAA voters, not presidential. We have polling data for the latter.
   30. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#4010646)
Now they have succeeded with Santo, who received 15 of the committee’s 16 votes. Too bad. Election to the Hall of Fame should be based on career performance, not sympathy.


Oh good Lord!
   31. cardsfanboy Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#4010651)
This argument actually doesn't work against Jack. He had the most wins for six straight 10-year periods.


I know, but do you think any of his supporters are actually savvy enough to bring this up? I mean if they are relying on the old decade argument, it's very likely they haven't actually done any research on the matter.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#4010653)
Oh good Lord!


Yeah, that's classy stuff Murray.
   33. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#4010655)
This argument actually doesn't work against Jack. He had the most wins for six straight 10-year periods.


Chass's intern is going to find that quote and Murray will use Morris's 60-year peak as evidence.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:27 PM (#4010659)
I know, but do you think any of his supporters are actually savvy enough to bring this up? I mean if they are relying on the old decade argument, it's very likely they haven't actually done any research on the matter.


Not really, but I just don't think stooping to that level is a terribly worthwhile debating tactic.
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: December 08, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#4010671)
Not really, but I just don't think stooping to that level is a terribly worthwhile debating tactic.


I'm just taking their point and showing how ridiculous it is as the primary argument.
   36. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: December 08, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#4010688)
What's wrong with alliteration?

It kills sentence rhythm and sounds ridiculous.
   37. Vance W Posted: December 08, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#4010700)
I once helped a professor on a book project. Because I knew he was a particular stickler for section headings and would surely change anything I contributed, I amused myself by using nothing but allteration: "Present Policies Perpetuate Palestinian Problems" and "Israeli Intransigence Invites International Ire." The Prof tossed out just about everything else I wrote and kept the alliterative headings.
   38. salvomania Posted: December 08, 2011 at 09:15 PM (#4010701)
Morris dodges Blyleven for all of 1986 and 1987....

Whaddya know, Morris was better than Blyleven.


Surprised you missed this one: the REAL Game 2, of the 1987 ALCS that is, in which Bert "beat" Morris 6-3.

Morris allowed all 6 runs, and Blyleven left in the 8th, with he score the same as the final.

For good measure, Blyleven, on three day's rest, was also the winning pitcher in the clinching Game 5, while Morris didn't pitch after Game 2.
   39. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 08, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#4010703)
Nattering Nabobos of Negativity
   40. TDF, trained monkey Posted: December 08, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#4010723)
Morris needs to start changing alot of minds if he's going to make it. He needs another 21% of the votes in 3 years, and he's gained only 31% since his first ballot.

Of course, you have to completely ignore his entire body of work other than "pitcher wins" to make an arguement for him, but still.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 08, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#4010728)
I once helped a professor on a book project. Because I knew he was a particular stickler for section headings and would surely change anything I contributed, I amused myself by using nothing but alliteration: "Present Policies Perpetuate Palestinian Problems" and "Israeli Intransigence Invites International Ire." The Prof tossed out just about everything else I wrote and kept the alliterative headings.

I'll take a hundred headings like that over "Open Final Lands on Venus", "I'll Be E-ing You", "For Fair Workers, Life Isn't All Fun and Games", and "In Short, Ripken a Hit at Third", just a few of the tens of thousands of plum pitiful pun headlines that the Washington Post has tortured its readers with over the past 20 years.
   42. CFiJ Posted: December 08, 2011 at 09:54 PM (#4010746)
What's wrong with alliteration?

It kills sentence rhythm and sounds ridiculous.


Beowulf disagrees.
   43. A triple short of the cycle Posted: December 08, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#4010749)
I'm with cardsfanboy on this. ____ has the most ___ of the ___s, where only 10 percent of all 10-year periods matter, is really narrowminded.
   44. Endless Trash Posted: December 08, 2011 at 10:01 PM (#4010758)

Does anybody else get support based on the 'pitch to the score' rationale exclusively?


Grant Fuhr.

Oh sorry.
   45. . Posted: December 08, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#4010798)
He is chanelling his inner Spiro Agnew.

With all the nattering nabobs of negativism keeping Morris from his Hall of Fame destiny, who can blame him?
   46. Swedish Chef Posted: December 08, 2011 at 10:27 PM (#4010800)
It kills sentence rhythm and sounds ridiculous.

You're clearly not a fan of Viking skalds.
   47. . Posted: December 08, 2011 at 10:28 PM (#4010802)
Opening Day 1985. Blyleven is knocked out in the 5th inning, but Cleveland still has a late lead. However, the bullpen coughs it up and Jack surges ahead. Jack 3, Bert 2.

Snow in Detroit. Chris Pittaro's major league debut. Ernie (Nacho) Camacho blows the save.

When the Cleveland writers get on Pat Corrales's case about why he left Camacho in, Corrales simply notes, "Because he's our ####### closer, that's why."

Good times.
   48. mex4173 Posted: December 08, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#4010803)
Now they have succeeded with Santo, who received 15 of the committee’s 16 votes. Too bad. Election to the Hall of Fame should be based on career performance, not sympathy.


And how do you feel about not making Clemente wait 5 years? Or Lou Gehrig? Or Joss, or Youngs. Or NeL players.
   49. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: December 08, 2011 at 10:32 PM (#4010807)
Why does everyone keep hitting me, said the pinata...

Because you keep giving us candy, replied everyone.
   50. BrianBrianson Posted: December 08, 2011 at 11:01 PM (#4010832)
Two outta three ain't bad.
   51. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 08, 2011 at 11:17 PM (#4010851)
I'm with cardsfanboy on this. ____ has the most ___ of the ___s, where only 10 percent of all 10-year periods matter, is really narrowminded.


But the point is, that doesn't apply to Morris. He's not like Mark Grace, who had the most hits in the 90s (but, in all likelihood, not any other 10-year stretch). Morris did it six times, so the comparison to Guidry or Viola doesn't work.
   52. Spahn Insane Posted: December 08, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#4010877)
What's wrong with alliteration?

It kills sentence rhythm and sounds ridiculous.


Indeed. Avoidance of alliteration is always advisable.
   53. Spahn Insane Posted: December 08, 2011 at 11:43 PM (#4010881)
Now they have succeeded with Santo, who received 15 of the committee’s 16 votes. Too bad. Election to the Hall of Fame should be based on career performance, not sympathy sadism.

FTFY.
   54. Rob_Wood Posted: December 08, 2011 at 11:51 PM (#4010892)
Taking the bait for the umpteenth time ...

Why does a dolt like Chass have a HOF vote and people like us do not? Can someone construct a baseball knowledge quiz that demonstrates that he is unqualified?? Jeez, can someone construct a baseball knowledge quiz that demonstrates that he is QUALIFIED???

Most of the traditional sportswriters I have come in contact with have all seemed baseball savvy (e.g.,,knowledge of baseball history, able to place performances and personalities into a proper perspective) and genuinely willing to embrace (or at least become familiar with) the new-fangled statistics. Guys like Harry Jupiter, Glenn Dickey, Leonard Koppet, Dave Newhouse, Art Spander, and Ray Ratto. Murray Chass pales, pales I say, to the sportswriters I have met in the San Francisco Bay Area over the years.
   55. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 12:52 AM (#4010949)
Why does everyone keep hitting me, said the pinata...


Because you keep giving us candy, replied everyone.

Where will it all end, knows Repoz!
   56. Don Malcolm Posted: December 09, 2011 at 12:56 AM (#4010955)
Actually, Rob, Murray is familiar with the new-fangled statistics. He just likes to tilt this particular windmill...in the way that Repoz (who gets paid by the number of posts) likes to tilt it, the way Andy likes to tilt Repoz, etc., etc. etc. Murray gets off on being unloved and would suffer more if he weren't being periodically excoriated here. Hell,, Repoz might be able to double-dip on this (if he's not already).

The actual point that should be made about this is that there are HUNDREDS of other articles written about Santo etal that never get posted here. There is no such thing as "BTF unfiltered," even with the theoretical capability for anyone to post a link.

Morris needs to start changing alot of minds if he's going to make it. He needs another 21% of the votes in 3 years, and he's gained only 31% since his first ballot.

And this is the year that will determine if a whole regiment worth of statheads will blow up their mom's basements on a certain catastrophic January day. Hold on to your heads, kiddies!
   57. The District Attorney Posted: December 09, 2011 at 01:00 AM (#4010957)
Why does a dolt like Chass have a HOF vote and people like us do not? Can someone construct a baseball knowledge quiz that demonstrates that he is unqualified?? Jeez, can someone construct a baseball knowledge quiz that demonstrates that he is QUALIFIED???
Honestly, I'd imagine if you gave all the BBWAA voters a test on the business of baseball, the history of the game, etc., Chass would be in an extremely high percentile.

He's just an old man who A) learned, and took it for granted, for decades that baseball worked a certain way; and B) unwillingly lost the nationwide voice that he enjoyed most of his life, doesn't have a whole lot relevant left to say, yet still wants attention.
   58. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 01:01 AM (#4010958)
Why does a dolt like Chass have a HOF vote and people like us do not? Can someone construct a baseball knowledge quiz that demonstrates that he is unqualified?? Jeez, can someone construct a baseball knowledge quiz that demonstrates that he is QUALIFIED???

Most of the traditional sportswriters I have come in contact with have all seemed baseball savvy (e.g.,,knowledge of baseball history, able to place performances and personalities into a proper perspective) and genuinely willing to embrace (or at least become familiar with) the new-fangled statistics. Guys like Harry Jupiter, Glenn Dickey, Leonard Koppet, Dave Newhouse, Art Spander, and Ray Ratto. Murray Chass pales, pales I say, to the sportswriters I have met in the San Francisco Bay Area over the years.


It's pretty simple. He did his time, and in truth he's probably more versed in baseball history than the great majority of writers, and probably the great majority of people here. That's easy to overlook when we read the sort of garbage he's been writing over the years.

Of course saying that he has lots of baseball knowledge and writing experience doesn't speak to his colossal lack of judgment, perspective, or simple curiosity about new metrics---Chass is to the late Leonard Koppett what McDonald's is to a 4-star restaurant---but unfortunately those aren't the sort of things that are also required to obtain a ballot. But then you asked a question, and I've tried to provide an answer.

EDIT: cokes to Don and our local DA
   59. Rob_Wood Posted: December 09, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#4010995)
Here is a historical baseball player quiz that I imagine that most on this site would do better than the bulk of BBWAA HOF voting members (Murray Chass included).

1. RHP who went 21-5 as a rookie for the 1947 New York Giants. Retired in 1956 with 122-89 record. Was the SF Giants pitching coach from 1961-71.

2. AL 3B from 1908-24 with BoSox, A's, and Indians. Retired with 1931 hits and a .289 batting average. Drove in deciding run in final game of famous 1912 World Series.

3. Great control pitcher for Pittsburgh Pirates from 1907-26. Retired with 194-140 record. Won three games in 1909 World Series.

4. First major leaguer to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season. This left fielder accomplished it for the 1921 St Louis Browns with 39 HR and 37 SB.

5. LHP from 1912-33 for Phillies and Reds. Held NL LHP wins record until Warren Spahn surpassed his 266 career wins.

6. Chicago Cubs regular catcher from 1902-08.

7. Detroit Tiger RHP with great curveball from 1930-43. Retired with 194-138 record. Won two games (including the final game) in the 1935 World Series.

8. Pittsburgh Pirates LHP from 1912-24. Most career wins ever for Pirates with 202.

9. AL right fielder from 1935-51 with A's, White Sox, and BoSox. Finished with .291 batting avg and 2138 hits and 89 HR. Was a notable ML hitting coach from 1952-70.

10. AL SS/3B from 1941-55 mainly for Browns and BoSox. Power hitting shortstop led AL in HR in 1945 and retired with 247 home runs.
   60. The District Attorney Posted: December 09, 2011 at 02:21 AM (#4011030)
Maybe, but I think the relevant thing is how he'd do relative to the other writers, and I think it'd be quite well. It'd be interesting to know how any of the permutations would turn out, in any event.
   61. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 09, 2011 at 02:28 AM (#4011037)
Nine out of 10. #7 actually pitched through 1946.
   62. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:16 AM (#4011097)
Here is a historical baseball player quiz that I imagine that most on this site would do better than the bulk of BBWAA HOF voting members (Murray Chass included).


Why would this quiz qualify one to be a HOF voter?
   63. mex4173 Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:20 AM (#4011099)
   64. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:55 AM (#4011131)
Surely you mean "It ruins rhetorical rhythm and reads ridiculously."
   65. DanG Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:44 AM (#4011162)
Most wins for a quarter century!
1975-99

Rk            Player   W   L W-L%
1        Jack Morris 254 186 .577
2      Roger Clemens 247 134 .648
3    Dennis Martinez 245 193 .559
4         Nolan Ryan 233 206 .531
5       Frank Tanana 224 215 .510
6        Greg Maddux 221 126 .637
7          Bob Welch 211 146 .591
8      Bert Blyleven 207 175 .542
9     Orel Hershiser 203 145 .583
10     Charlie Hough 203 210 .492 
   66. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:52 AM (#4011171)
Got all but #8 & 9 - forgot that Moses ever played for anyone but the A's. And like Ray, I have no idea how knowing any of this by itself would qualify anyone to vote for the HoF. OTOH it might be handy to know if you're going on a quiz show.

Relative to other writers, I think Chass might do okay, but other than the first and the last questions, which involve players within his living memory (he's in his early 70's), I wouldn't bet even money he'd get any of them. These aren't exactly slam dunk questions.
   67. DanG Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:15 AM (#4011183)
Most pitching WAR, 160+ Wins, debut 1963+, eligible for the HOF

Rk            Player  WAR ERA+   W     IP From   To
1      Rick Reuschel 66.3  114 214 3548.1 1972 1991
2        Kevin Brown 64.8  127 211 3256.1 1986 2005
3         Luis Tiant 60.1  115 229 3486.1 1964 1982
4         Tommy John 59.0  111 288 4710.1 1963 1989
5      Jerry Koosman 58.8  110 222 3839.1 1967 1985
6         David Cone 57.5  121 194 2898.2 1986 2003
7       Frank Tanana 55.1  106 240 4188.1 1973 1993
8       Chuck Finley 55.0  115 200 3197.1 1986 2002
9    Bret Saberhagen 54.7  126 167 2562.2 1984 2001
10        Dave Stieb 53.0  123 176 2895.1 1979 1998
11    Orel Hershiser 51.5  112 204 3130.1 1983 2000
12      Kevin Appier 50.4  121 169 2595.1 1989 2004
13     Dwight Gooden 47.6  111 194 2800.2 1984 2000
14     Mark Langston 47.1  108 179 2962.2 1984 1999
15   Dennis Martinez 46.9  106 245 3999.2 1976 1998
16         Jimmy Key 45.7  122 186 2591.2 1984 1998
17     Mickey Lolich 45.6  105 217 3638.1 1963 1979
18       Wilbur Wood 44.9  114 164 2663.1 1963 1978
19        Ron Guidry 44.4  119 170 2392.0 1975 1988
20       Frank Viola 43.9  112 176 2836.1 1982 1996
21         Vida Blue 43.8  108 209 3343.1 1969 1986
22         Bob Welch 41.9  107 211 3092.0 1978 1994
23       Jack Morris 39.3  105 254 3824.0 1977 1994 
   68. Moeball Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:36 AM (#4011198)
People, we are rehashing old stuff on the Jack Morris arguments. So, because I just got home from a long day at work and am tired (and lazy!), I'll join in the rehashing by reprinting my comments re: Morris from a thread back in July:

OK, seriously now. Let's look at Jack Morris. I'm not going to look at WAR since most of the Jack Morris supporters aren't going to. That kind of statistical evaluation is not going to make Jack's case.

Just looking at W-L record, which is one of his strong suits, his best 5-year peak (gosh darn you, Sandy Koufax!*) was from 1983-1987. Over that period Jack was 94-54, an average record of about 19-11. That's pretty impressive and Blyleven certainly never had a run like that. Jack had a reputation for being able to "pitch to the situation". I think that started even before the Game 7 of the '91 WS which was, let's face it, as clutch a performance as you're ever going to see.

That being said, how did Jack actually do during his peak period when given poor run support, defined here as 2 runs or less per game? After all, it was Blyleven and Ryan, etc. losing a bunch of 2-1 games that got people talking about how they were just 0.500 pitchers who couldn't "find a way to win" the tough games like the truly great pitchers can. You know, "If your team only gives you one run, the really good pitchers get the shutout."

So how'd Jack do? From '83-'87 his record in games with poor run support was...oh, I'm sure it was really good, based on his reputation...wait for it...8 wins, 35 losses.

8-35.

Yikes. I thought for sure he'd be at least close to 0.500, but a winning % of 0.186? Ouch.

Here are some specific seasonal highlights:

1983 - won 20 games (20-13 overall), finished 3rd in Cy Young voting. He was an outstanding 20-3 when given at least 3 runs per game. That means his W-L record when getting less than 3 runs per game was...0-10. That's right, zero wins all season when getting less than 3 runs in a game. This included games such as July 9 where he was given a 1-0 lead vs. Oakland but gave up 3 runs in 8 innings and lost the game 3-1. Or September 5 where he was given a 2-0 lead against Cleveland, couldn't hold it, wound up giving up 3 runs in 7+ innings and was stuck with a 3-2 loss. Or September 17 when he duplicated that feat, being given a 2-0 lead against Boston only to give up 3 runs in 8 innings and losing the game 3-2. Now, giving up 3 runs in 8 innings isn't pitching poorly - you're going to win most of the time with that kind of performance. Funny, now I sound like one of the Blyleven defenders, because Bert had a lot of games like this in his career. At any rate, going 0-10 when getting poor run support doesn't sound to me like someone who can "pitch to the situation".

1984 - went 19-11 for the greatest Tigers team ever. Clearly was one of the reasons they were so outstanding that season. Went 18-6 when given 3+ runs/game, 1-5 when getting less than 3 runs. What the heck, Detroit ran away from the league that year, I don't see how this really means anything although again I wouldn't exactly say going 1-5 when getting poor support is evidence of "pitching to the situation". BTW, I did see Jack's no-hitter on TV that April. It was a Saturday Game of the Week as I recall and he was in top form that day. It foreshadowed what kind of season it was going to be for the Tigers...

1985 - was 16-11 overall for the season. Was 14-4 when given 3+ runs; 2-7 when given less than 3 runs of support. These 7 losses in low support games included 5 times just in August and September alone where he was given 1-0 or 2-0 leads and couldn't protect them, getting pinned with the losses. On the one hand, this doesn't sound like "pitching to the situation" and being able to win the important games at key parts of the season to me. On the other hand, in a reversal of 1984, in '85 Detroit finished 15 games behind Toronto so I don't know if going 7-2 in these tough games instead of 2-7 would have really helped the team much anyway. Had Morris gone 21-6 instead of 16-11 the Tigers still wouldn't have made it to postseason play that year.

1986 - went 21-8 overall and finished 5th in the Cy Young balloting. Was a stellar 18-2 when getting 3+ runs/game; only 3-6 when getting less than 3 runs/game of support. Now, this is one of the years you could say Jack pitched some brilliant games down the stretch as the Tigers were trying to catch the Red Sox and Yankees. All 3 of his wins in poor support situations came during the last 2 weeks of the season, a 1-0 10-inning gem and two wins by 2-1 scores. All 3 were complete game victories. That's big time clutch, no argument there. Of course, this means he was 0-6 when getting poor support before September 22, but, hey - I think this season we can say Jack did just fine.

1987 - finished with an 18-11 record in '87. Was 16-4 when given 3 or more runs of support, only 2-7 when getting less than 3 runs. As you will recall, this was the year Toronto led the division right up until the final week of the season and then somehow blew it to the Tigers. So there were a lot of pressure packed games down the stretch, the kind that pitchers like Jack Morris find a way to win so their team will be able to make it to the playoffs. So how'd Jack do? Let's see...9/2/87 vs. CLE pitched CG 2-1 win, that's strong...9/12/87 given 2-0 lead against MIL, couldn't hold it, lost game...9/28/87 was given 0 runs of support, gave up 3 runs in 8 innings, lost game...10/3/87 given 2 runs to work with, gave up 2 runs in 9 innings, got a ND (ooh, a Blyleven specialty!)...September and October W-L record during the most critical time of the season: 1-2 with a ND. Uhm, that doesn't exactly sound like a guy who found a way to win the most important games of the season to help his team make the playoffs. It sounds like, well...Bert Blyleven.

Sorry, folks, I actually liked Jack Morris. I thought he was a fine pitcher and certainly one you would want pitching for you in a big game. But I'm just having a difficult time seeing any factual numbers that say he was HOF good.

Hey, let's look at 1992, too. I mean, Jack went 21-6 that season, finished 5th in the Cy Young voting. Helped Toronto win a championship, right? So he really must have been Mr. Clutch for them, yes? Hmm...went an almost perfect 20-1 when given at least 3 runs of support. That means he was...1-5 when getting less than 3 runs. That's really difficult to defend as "pitching to the situation".

It's funny how while everybody remembers Game 7 of the 1991 World Series (brilliant clutch pitching by Jack Morris), nobody at all seems to remember that he pitched in the postseason for Toronto the following year as well. I mean, everywhere Jack went, teams won championships, right? (DET '84, MIN '91, TOR '92 and '93) Since Toronto won the WS over the Braves in '92, Jack must have led the way, just like in '91, correct?

Uh, here are the numbers for the '92 postseason:

Game 1, ALCS vs. A's: fell behind 3-0 by the 2nd inning, Toronto clawed back to tie the game at 3, then Morris gave up the 4th run to lose, 4-3 (although he did pitch a CG so he gets credit for gutting it out as best he could - but he still didn't get the job done). Toronto trails in series 0-1.

Game 4, ALCS vs. A's: With Toronto now up 2 games to 1, Morris had a chance to redeem himself. After being given a 1-0 lead, he gave up 5 runs in the 3rd inning and put Toronto behind 5-1; had to be pulled from the game in the 4th inning. This is an example of Jack "pitching to the situation", right? Only giving up a lot of runs when he has a big lead? Fortunately for Jack, Toronto came back to win the game in extra innings, 7-6 - no thanks to Morris.

Game 1, WS vs. Braves: Given 1-0 lead in the 4th, he can't make it stand up and gives up 3 runs in the 6th, ultimately losing the game 3-1. Toronto is down 1 game to none.

Game 5, WS vs. Braves: Toronto wins 3 straight games since Jack's loss in Game 1 and now has a chance to clinch the WS. Hey, this is the clinching game of the whole season here and who better to have on the mound than Jack Morris? Jack responds by giving up 7 runs by the 5th inning, Toronto has no chance to win this one, eventually losing 7-2.

Do any of these postseason performances even remotely sound like great clutch pitching? Yes, Jack Morris helped Toronto get to the '92 playoffs but, let's face it folks, the Jays won the championship that year in spite of Jack Morris, not because of him.

Listen, Jack Morris was a stud for the Tigers in the 1984 postseason and we all know about his heroics for the Twins in 1991, too. I get that. But if you're going to include his good clutch performances in the postseason as important criteria for his HOF candidacy, you've got to include the bad ones, too. And as we've just observed, there were plenty of those bad performances to see.

"Pitching to the situation" is often used to describe Morris as a defense of his relatively high ERA compared to other HOF-candidate pitchers. You know, if he had an 8-0 lead in a game he would relax and give up 5 runs, but making sure the game never got out of hand. But "pitching to the situation" also means a pitcher has to be able to work with what he's got. If the team only scores 1 run for you, you'd better pitch a shutout. Well, Jack Morris did that on one really famous occasion. But that was the exception in his career, not the rule.

Finally don't forget the '87 ALCS disaster against the Twins, either. The Tigers were heavy favorites to beat Minnesota and Jack's one and done performance that year was Game 2 - he was given a 2-0 lead and proceeded to give it all back and then some, allowing 6 runs and ultimately losing the game 6-3. Oh, and the pitcher who outdueled him in this October pressurecooker? That would be Bert Blyleven.

*Koufax is both the main reason we tend to look at 5-year peaks (his run from '62-'66 finishing off his career was amazing)and why people still think HOF-worthy pitchers can "find a way to win" even with poor run support. From '62-'66 Koufax had a record of 27-24 when given less than 3 runs in a game to work with. He's the only pitcher I've found that had a winning record (or even close to a 0.500 record) under those circumstances. You might find a pitcher every now and then who has a winning record one season even with poor support, but not over a 5-year period. Plus Sandy had those great World Series performances such as a 2-1 win over the Yankees in Game 4 of the '63 WS to clinch the sweep, or the Game 7 2-0 shutout of the Twins in '65 (on short rest, no less). People really believed all Sandy needed was a run or two and that would be enough to win. In his case that might be true, but it doesn't hold true for any other pitchers in major league history, and I've checked just about all of them, from Cy Young to Greg Maddux and from Christy Mathewson to the Johnsons (Walter & Randy).
   69. Stevey Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:03 AM (#4011253)
I know I'm way late to this discussion, and I'm sure most people here have seen this article, but if I introduce even one person to this article, this post is worth it

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1815
   70. Stevey Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:04 AM (#4011254)
I know I'm way late to this discussion, and I'm sure most people here have seen this article, but if I introduce even one person to this article, this post is worth it http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1815
   71. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 11:31 AM (#4011272)
Moeball, if you can figure out a way to do it without wasting too much of your time, you should send that post #68 to every sportswriter in the country. AFAIC that's the sort of game-specific analysis that can't be fudged, avoided or refuted. To amend the old cliche about the late Bear Bryant and apply it to Murray Chass, you took his'n and beat his'n. Very well done.
   72. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 09, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#4011284)
Career records:

Morris - 254-186 .577
Blyleven - 287-250 .534

Career records by run support:

Morris:

0-2 runs - 17-109 .135
3-5 runs - 97-64 .602
6+ runs - 137-9 .938
3+ runs - 234-73 .762

Blyleven:

0-2 runs - 39-162 .194
3-5 runs - 119-80 .598
6+ runs - 128-6 .955
3+ runs - 247-86 .742

Morris had a far better overall winning%, but Bert was much better with 0-2 runs, identical with 3-5 runs, and slightly better with 6+ runs. The difference in their overall records is entirely a function of Bert having 75 more decisions with 0-2 runs of support and 12 fewer decisions with 6+ runs. Give Bert the same number of decisions as Morris in all three categories (and keep the subset winning% the same), and his overall record is 260-180.

Now, the question is, does a Bert Blyleven with a record of 260-173* 3824 IP 118 ERA+ get into the Hall?

edit: *That's 7 fewer decisions than Morris, who went 3-4 as a reliever. Morris the starter went 251-182
   73. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 09, 2011 at 02:19 PM (#4011295)
Give Bert the same number of decisions as Morris in all three categories (and keep the subset winning% the same), and his overall record is 260-180.


That should read 260-173 of course. I fixed the second one but not the first.
   74. Blastin Posted: December 09, 2011 at 02:57 PM (#4011317)
So long as we're posting Sporcle quizzes, I made this silly little one yesterday about MLB sons who outproduced their fathers.

(The WAR used is bWAR, but I didn't JUST use WAR.)

Enjoy.

http://www.sporcle.com/games/Justinpbg/making-dad-proud-mlb
   75. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#4011331)
So long as we're posting Sporcle quizzes, I made this silly little one yesterday about MLB sons who outproduced their fathers.


Good one. I got them all, with about a minute to spare.
   76. Blastin Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#4011422)
I was considering writing "pitched to his son at 2011 HR Derby," as that was more memorable than his career. Heh.
   77. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#4011436)
I was considering writing "pitched to his son at 2011 HR Derby," as that was more memorable than his career. Heh.

An easy one: What HoFer decked his 14-year old son in a pre-game BP session after he'd hit the previous pitch up against the LF wall?
   78. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#4011462)
So long as we're posting Sporcle quizzes, I made this silly little one yesterday about MLB sons who outproduced their fathers.

I missed Scott Spiezio, because I can't spell. Missed one other, but got the rest.
   79. BDC Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#4011486)
Nice quiz in #59, Rob. I'll give myself 9½ – I first guessed Johnny Antonelli for #1, then hedged my guess by thinking it might have been the actual answer. Got the rest no problem. Actually I feel great about the quiz, because damn if I can name a single member of half the current National League teams. Hooray for long-term memory!
   80. Moeball Posted: December 09, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#4011845)
Miserlou - thanks for showing the win% for Bert & Jack. By my
calcs, if Bert had the same % of starts with poor, medium and good support as Jack did, Bert would have ended his career with over 320 wins and we wouldn't be having this discussion today.
   81. . Posted: December 09, 2011 at 09:49 PM (#4011868)
Morris doesn't need to be better than Blyleven to be a worthy Hall of Famer.
   82. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 09, 2011 at 10:21 PM (#4011903)
But if Blyleven is NOT a worthy HOFer, then Morris certainly does need to be better than Blyleven to be worthy. Or did you forget that this was a Chass thread?
   83. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 09, 2011 at 10:22 PM (#4011905)
if Bert had the same % of starts with poor, medium and good support as Jack did, Bert would have ended his career with over 320 wins and we wouldn't be having this discussion today.

Morris doesn't need to be better than Blyleven to be a worthy Hall of Famer.


No he doesn't. One thing the Morris supporters (or Blyleven naysayers) bring up is that Jack made the most of his opportunities, or that Bert didn't. To some extent, that's true.

No Decision% of starts based on run support.

Morris:

0-2 - 9%
3-5 - 21%
6+ - 22%

Blyleven:

0-2 - 9%
3-5 - 26%
6+ - 28%


Not only did Morris get a higher percentage of starts with favorable run support, but he converted more of them into decisions.

If Bert had had the same ND% as Morris and kept his subset winning percentages the same, he'd pick up another 19 wins, and have an overall 306-261 record. He'd basically be Phil Niekro, and probably would have gotten in the Hall in about the same number of ballots.
   84. Moeball Posted: December 09, 2011 at 10:27 PM (#4011913)
81 - agreed, one doesn't have to be better than Bert to be HOF caliber. Contrary to popular opinion, Bert wasn't a borderline HOFer - he should have lasted no more than a couple years on the ballot before being inducted. There are several worthy HOF pitchers who weren't as good as Blyleven. Unfortunately, Jack Morris isn't one of them.
   85. Daunte Vicknabbit! Posted: December 09, 2011 at 10:45 PM (#4011946)
No, SBB, but he should probably be more impressive than Don Sutton (first name that comes to mind).
   86. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 09, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#4011992)
No, SBB, but he should probably be more impressive than Don Sutton (first name that comes to mind).


I think the point is, the old side-by-side Jack vs. Bert comparisons that were made around here for years aren't really relevant any longer, because Bert's a genyouwine Hall of Famer. Jack vs. Tommy John or Jim Kaat or any of the many other Cooperstown outsiders with better resumes is more appropriate.

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