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Article: A Hall Without Jack Morris Is No Hall at All

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#81 darin617

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 05:21 PM

Jack Morris is not a HOF pitcher. High era 3.90 and a K/9 that any current Twins pitcher would kill for 5.6K/9 does not make you think of a pitcher deserving of the HOF. If he was worthy how many Cy Young awards does he own? The answer zero. So you can't even say he was ever the best pitcher in any season of his career. I am not a Morris hater just telling it the way I see it.
I would like to thank him for the 2 World Series games that he won as a Twin.

#82 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 05:28 PM

I always enjoy following the debates on controversial candidates - I hear different perspectives, and I learn.

I do not view Morris as a Hall-of-Famer. I see him as a good pitcher who had some great, even historic, moments. But my view of a Hall-of-Famer is a guy who showed consistent excellence over a long period of time. I'm a lot more moved by 10 great seasons over the course of a decade than 10 great innings on one October day.

It seems to me that the case for Morris is based on the "feel" test - the BBHOF version of Potter Stewart's "I can't define it but I know it when I see it" test for obscenity. (I do not consider the silly "pitch to the score" rebuttals to his chubby ERA worthy of consideration.) He was a guy who was thought of as an ace and a big-game pitcher for a long time. So people think he belongs. A lot of voters use the "feel" test. For example, Dan Shaugnessy with his decision not to vote for Biggio (though he made a feeble attempt to justify it with stats by saying that Biggio only had one 200-hit season, so he wasn't a dominant 2B like Roberto Alomar, ignoring the fact that Alomar never had a 200-hit season.)

I get where people are going with that. Some guys just have that superstar aura about them. But the problem with taking that into account in HOF voting is that often times that's a product of things like their personality or media hype that have little to do with how good they actually are. I guess I wouldn't totally object to that being considered a little bit, maybe to push a borderline candidate in.

But that kind of stuff is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

#83 old nurse

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 06:15 PM

Randy Johnson is in a different stratosphere than Morris and the others mentioned here. Same era, but dominant, unlike Morris. There are 38 pitchers between Randy Johnson and Morris. And there are 24 pitchers between Morris and the closest Hall of Famer (Jim Palmer.) And, yes, Gooden and Viola (and Wells and Stieb) were true Aces (unlike Morris) in Morris' time but they are not in the Hall as well.


The argument put forth was Morris was one of the best pitchers of his era. While there are some overlaps in the careers of players Randy Johnson defined the 90's, not the 80's. For the pitchers that pitched during the 80's people can manipulate the statistics to show that within his age group he was a top pitcher for a longer period of time than most. In this thread I have not advocated that Morris be elected or later selected for HOF. I thought I clearly said the statistics would show that for the Morriscontemporaries, they all were good but not great.

Fielding independent type pitching statistics were most preferred when talking of the shortcomings of Twins pitchers this winter. For Morris the runs allowed formula is preferred as it shows him in worse light.

#84 Alex

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 06:52 PM

Fielding independent type pitching statistics were most preferred when talking of the shortcomings of Twins pitchers this winter. For Morris the runs allowed formula is preferred as it shows him in worse light.


It does?

Career ERA: 3.90 Career FIP 3.94

Could you explain how FIP shows him in a better light? He ranks 659th amongst starting pitchers with more than 1000 IP.

#85 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 06:58 PM

I don't really get worked about Hall of Fame votes, for a great many reasons. But one of the things to keep in mind with the Hall of Fame (in other sports as well) it is really the Hall of the Famous. There were contemparies of Brooks Robinson whose numbers are roughly comparable, they just didn't happen to play for as good of a team or put on an incredible World Series defensive performance just when TV was becoming big.


I'm curious about this. Could you elaborate? I never saw Robinson play but only heard people rave about him, which makes sense given his absurd 78 career WAR.

#86 OldManWinter

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:26 PM

I am curious.

Does anyone have access to attendance figures when Morris was pitching compared to others.

What wwas Morris' contract compared to the best AL pitchers of his era?

#87 Thrylos

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:45 PM

I'm curious about this. Could you elaborate? I never saw Robinson play but only heard people rave about him, which makes sense given his absurd 78 career WAR.


Have you seen Ozzie Smith play? Very similar defensively but with better bat and most of his years hitting against the raised mound. His nickname? "Human Vacuum Cleaner". Hope that helps.
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#88 Thrylos

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:47 PM

What wwas Morris' contract compared to the best AL pitchers of his era?


This is as relevant as Barry Zito's contract compared to the best AL pitchers of his era or Mike Hampton's contract compared to the best NL pitchers of his era.

Edited by Thrylos, 10 January 2014 - 09:00 PM.

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#89 Thrylos

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:59 PM

I am curious.

Does anyone have access to attendance figures when Morris was pitching compared to others.


Sure. As far as the 1991 Twins go, you can find them all here. Not that much difference in home games than other pitchers. Weekends have more attendance than weekdays. Record attendance in '87 with around 55K people was in a game that Mike Smithson started. On a Friday. Means nothing. Really.
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#90 stringer bell

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:46 PM

Really good discussion here. I fall in the no-Jack camp and think the arguments against Morris are pretty compelling. While a deeper look at stats advanced Blyleven's case, the same deeper look at Jack's numbers didn't improve his chances. Morris was a very good pitcher for a long time and had the classic mythic moment in the '91 series, but neither the dominance and counting numbers are there. As the Pig mentioned, it isn't right to compare his situation to Puckett's. Kirby was megapopular inside and outside of clubhouses and Morris was more akin to AJ. That Morris got as close as he did to election is kind of a last gasp of traditionalists IMHO.

#91 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:25 PM

Have you seen Ozzie Smith play? Very similar defensively but with better bat and most of his years hitting against the raised mound. His nickname? "Human Vacuum Cleaner". Hope that helps.


Well, I know that much about him. Just curious about who these similar players were to Brooks.

#92 CRArko

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 06:29 AM

Well, I know that much about him. Just curious about who these similar players were to Brooks.


Maybe Gary Gaetti during the year or three stretch he was at the top of his game. Robinson did it for much of 20+ seasons.

#93 old nurse

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 07:07 AM

It does?

Career ERA: 3.90 Career FIP 3.94

Could you explain how FIP shows him in a better light? He ranks 659th amongst starting pitchers with more than 1000 IP.


In relation to other pitchers career wise Morris looks better by the methods assessing pitchers based on FIP than on runs allowed. Please notice I did not say based on the statistic fip. If you haven't through the tread noticed preferred statistics and look at what they are based on, so be it. Sorry for the confusion.
1000 inning pitched will not as a starting pitcher get you elected into the hall of fame so why are you ranking pitchers based on that? Different eras, different runs scored, different approaches to hitting. The statistics are the same but the game changes.

#94 Alex

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:02 AM

In relation to other pitchers career wise Morris looks better by the methods assessing pitchers based on FIP than on runs allowed. Please notice I did not say based on the statistic fip. If you haven't through the tread noticed preferred statistics and look at what they are based on, so be it. Sorry for the confusion.
1000 inning pitched will not as a starting pitcher get you elected into the hall of fame so why are you ranking pitchers based on that? Different eras, different runs scored, different approaches to hitting. The statistics are the same but the game changes.


Using the acronym "FIP" and then saying you're not referring to the statistic is confusing to me. If you have some measurement you are using that shows he was a HOF and not just a very good pitcher, why don't you actually use it rather than vaguely refer to it?

I have read the statistics in the thread and others and there are all sorts.

How many innings do you want? What stats do you want? I redid the sort for 3K innings which left me with 132 pitchers. Morris is 116th in FIP, 117th in BB/9, 119th in HR/9, though he does come in 29th in K/9.

The bottom line is that it doesn't matter what statistic you use, Morris is can not be considered a hall of fame pitcher, unless you're willing to open up the Hall to a lot of other pitchers.

#95 biggentleben

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:13 AM

This.

Jack Morris is already memorialized in the Hall of Fame for having one of the greatest World Series pitching performances in one of the greatest World Series games in one of the greatest World Series in baseball history. He was not one of the greatest pitchers of all time. So he is already in the Hall for exactly the reason that he should be.


Exactly. Morris is in the HOF for the one reason he actually should be in - 1991. His 1984 performance was good too, but his 1987 and 1992 postseason performances were equally horrid as his 1991 and 1984 performances were good. In fact, his postseason ERA is 3.80, basically equal to his 3.90 career ERA. So Morris was the same pitcher that he was during the regular season in the postseason. He just happened to be up in the rotation for a very memorable game 7 in 1991 and pitched well in half the postseasons that he appeared.
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#96 cmathewson

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:20 AM

I'm curious about this. Could you elaborate? I never saw Robinson play but only heard people rave about him, which makes sense given his absurd 78 career WAR.


Since he is widely considered the best player ever at his position, finding comparable third basemen in his era should be doubly challenging. I would say Mike Schmidt is comparable offensively, but an era later. And he was no Brooks Robinson with the glove.

In his era, players had good years over there. Pete Rose played there some, for example. But no one played there consistently with the kind of excellence that Robinson did. I would say the 78 WAR is actually low, because it does not take into account plays he made that have never been made in the history of the game.
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#97 Jim H

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:20 AM

I'm curious about this. Could you elaborate? I never saw Robinson play but only heard people rave about him, which makes sense given his absurd 78 career WAR.


I am not sure what you are looking for here, and I was not trying to imply Brooks Robinson does not belong in the Hall, he certainly does. I am not going to look this up, but 3 3B of his era who had good stats and good defensive reps were Ken Boyer, Clete Boyer, and Frank Malzone. This era's offensive stats were rather depressed which is when you look at the raw stats that Brooks had, you might not be that impressed.

What "made" Brooks was the 1966 World Series. As great the Baltimore pitching staff was, it was largely a pitch to contact staff. They allowed a lot of hard contact in that Series but most it seemed to be in Brooks' direction and he made a number of incredible defensive plays. I believe he had some clutch hits as well. I do remember watching at least part of the series on TV. I think it was the a little later when the games were played at night. So would I have had to watch the games in study hall or on the weekends.

Edited by Jim H, 11 January 2014 - 12:03 PM.
wrong year


#98 cmathewson

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:24 AM

Exactly. Morris is in the HOF for the one reason he actually should be in - 1991. His 1984 performance was good too, but his 1987 and 1992 postseason performances were equally horrid as his 1991 and 1984 performances were good. In fact, his postseason ERA is 3.80, basically equal to his 3.90 career ERA. So Morris was the same pitcher that he was during the regular season in the postseason. He just happened to be up in the rotation for a very memorable game 7 in 1991 and pitched well in half the postseasons that he appeared.


Yes, and as I have said, his '91 postseason ERA could have been much higher if Lonnie Smith had not been deeked by Chuck Knoblauch and Greg Gagne. He is in the HOF now in part because of luck, which is one of the things the HOF celebrates. The story of that game is complex and wonderful. The HOF is a hall of great stories.
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#99 biggentleben

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:30 AM

I think the 80's was a great era of baseball. For one thing, it was pre-steroids. Atleast the game was pure. I gotta get back to work. Signing off. Peace.


No, no it wasn't. There were reports of anabolics in the dugout in the minors during the 1981 strike. There are many beat writers of the time who are starting to admit seeing anabolics in the early 80s. The mid-90s brought around PEDs that were safer and didn't take away from basic baseball skills like the old anabolics did, but don't kid yourself that steroids weren't not only in baseball in the 1980s but also being used throughout the league at some level.
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#100 Jim H

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:34 AM

Since he is widely considered the best player ever at his position, finding comparable third basemen in his era should be doubly challenging. I would say Mike Schmidt is comparable offensively, but an era later. And he was no Brooks Robinson with the glove.

In his era, players had good years over there. Pete Rose played there some, for example. But no one played there consistently with the kind of excellence that Robinson did. I would say the 78 WAR is actually low, because it does not take into account plays he made that have never been made in the history of the game.


Ken Boyer, in particular is quite comparable. He won 5 gold gloves and had a decent bat. Ron Santo's career overlaps with Brooks' as well. He of course is in the Hall. It could also be noted that Harmon Killebrew played about 1/3 of his career at 3rd and was a much greater offensive player than Brooks if only adequate at 3rd.

Edited by Jim H, 11 January 2014 - 11:38 AM.