Comments on: POLL: Jack Morris and the Hall of Fame This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Matt Young Fri, 16 Jul 2010 13:22:12 +0000 Well put. To me the crime is some here don't even want to acknowledge him as a borderliner but will say Brown should go in. Perhaps that's a small minority, but it exists. It's almost like some want to look just at the numbers in some sort of vacuum without context. YEs, his one game can be overblown, but Morris was more than one big game! I don't believe Jack pitched to the score necessarily, but he was a bulldog, workhorse, a great gamer and he had "it", evidenced by when needed, he was also an ace. Yes the stats, specifically his high ERA and WAR, should hurt him, but to say the guy isn't even a borderliner is nothing short than ridiculous. I suspect those that think he isn't a boderliner never had the chance to see him pitch throughout the 80's, when as you say, he was known as one of the best starters in the game. Trammell should already be in and Whitaker should be getting lots of play but has already been dropped. The big stats of today's middle infielders is certainly hurting these guys.

By: RACope Thu, 15 Jul 2010 04:08:10 +0000 1. #153: Leo Durocher's autobiography was titled, "Nice Guys Finish Last" so he kinda-sorta did say it.

2. I don't think now you can discount the 1991 WS classic. The bloody sock game quite possibly pushes Schilling over the top in his candidacy. I'm not saying you should weight the '91 game with any significance, but I don't think you can argue that the Schilling-Sock game will not be weighted with significance when he is eligible and therefore discounting Morris' is dangerous.

3. Jack Morris pitched the bulk of his career in one of, if not the most, difficult periods to define in baseball: the 1980s.

4. Jack Morris was not a nice guy during his playing days. I don't believe he was ever at risk of being considered the Sean Casey of the '80s.

5. He WAS the winningest pitcher of the 1980s. If the Hall of Fame were defined by only the 1980s he would be in, no questions asked. He would be the first pitcher chosen.

6. His ERA/ERA+ makes it difficult to say he's a Hall of Famer, but it also makes it extremely difficult to discount his wins.

7. His teams' records when he started a game was 302-224 (.574). A replacement pitcher (for those teams he was on) would have compiled a record of 289-237 (.549). I realize this is the now frowned upon 'wins over team', but the difference between .549 and .574 is a significant difference in a 1980s AL East finish.

8. In the 1980s, he lost a handful of wins because of the 1981 strike, played for a wretched 1989 Tigers team and still managed to average 16.2 wins per season. When he pitched, the Tigers won 190 games and lost 141 (.574). A replacement Tiger pitcher (and there were a lot of serviceable ones on those teams) would've won 174 and lost 157 (.526).

9. This is hazy I realize, but if you were attempting to create a dynasty with the full knowledge of a player's future longevity and statistics, and that league were to start in 1980, what starting pitcher in either league would you take before Jack Morris?

10. Is Jack Morris a Hall of Famer? I won't lose sleep over him not being in, but what I find interesting is that there is a huge focus on individual statistics/metrics (and thus the argument against Morris entails: wins don't mean anything, he was average, etc.). If you take that argument (and that's fine with me) then one of his teammates during that time has to be in: Lou Whitaker. You can't have both.

11. Lou Whitaker is 83rd all time in WAR (better than many great HOFers, but better than Morris and Trammell for sure); played in the hard to define 1980s and consistently gets lost in these "Does he deserve it?" debates.

12. So, finally, if you discount Morris' wins and the fact that his teams did play better when he started (it's a fact) and say he's not a Hall of Famer for that reason, then I believe you have no choice but to say Whitaker is a Hall of Famer. If Whitaker's not a Hall of Famer (because WAR and other stats don't adequately portray his 'true' performance, then Morris has to be a Hall of Famer.

13. Right?

By: largebill Tue, 13 Jul 2010 17:48:31 +0000 "RobertL Says:
July 12th, 2010 at 10:59 am

I haven't read all of these posts (there are just too dang many). But the one thing I am noticing is a plethora of posts reliant on the stats (many of which weren't even invented or paid attention to by real baseball people -- not stats geeks like us -- during Mt. Morris's career). "

Huh, what do you mean? "Not invented yet or paid attention to by real baseball people during Morris' career"??? Biggest knock on him is his high ERA. Some mentioned ERA+ (which just attempts to neutralize to conditions) and other stats, but his high ERA (basically just runs he allowed) is the main knock on him and ERA is nothing new. I suppose the second most cited stat was WHIP. WHIP sounds new but isn't. Walks aren't new. Hits aren't new. Innings Pitched isn't a new stat. All WHIP showed us is that Morris allowed too many Walks and Hits for the number of innings he pitched for him to be considered a great pitcher.

This has nothing to do with the media being spiteful over past mistreatment by Morris. He is getting far more HoF consideration than other similarly qualified pitchers.

By: RobertL Mon, 12 Jul 2010 15:59:45 +0000 I haven't read all of these posts (there are just too dang many). But the one thing I am noticing is a plethora of posts reliant on the stats (many of which weren't even invented or paid attention to by real baseball people -- not stats geeks like us -- during Mt. Morris's career).

Here's the bottom line. Morris deserves to get in. (Who else from those great mid '80s Tigers teams should? Parrish? Puhleeze! Gibby? Great in the clutch, but v. inconsistent. Tram or Sweet Lou? Perhaps the best keystone combo since Tinkers and Evers, but they've likely missed their chances, particularly with the loads of power-hitting middle-infielders who've come down the pike since their heydays!) Even if you look at his teammates in Minny or Toronto, there are only a very few who even deserve candidacy. Morris deserves it because when you needed a win, he'd get you a win. And trust me, folks, the W is the >ONLY< stat that really matters. All the rest is gravy, useful for analysis but useless in the standings.

Now, here's the facts, Jack. Morris the Cat will not get in (at least unless the vets' committee eventually chooses him. That's the case because he had such abyssmal rapport with the press. He wasn't dubbed Mt. Morris for nothing; he was usually good for one or more public eruptions per season, and that is extremely off-putting to the media (they'd even prefer being given the silent treatment -- at least they can write/say what they want without fear of retribution).

So -- long story short -- Jack Morris will get into the HOF if and only if the veterans' committee sees him as deserving, long after his real eligibility has expired (hopefully, not after he has). He was a very savvy and bulldog strong pitcher who pitched to the game situation, his team's place in the standings (or the post-season) and need for a win. If you ever have a chance to watch/listen to a game when he's the analyst, pay attention. He knows the game way, way better than any of us, and it shows. His situation demonstrates that Durocher may have been right: nice guys do finish near the bottom (not last, he never actually said that; what he actually said was, "The nice guys are all over there, in seventh place, not in this dugout"). But nasty guys don't get the writers' votes for the HOF!

By: Matthew Cornwell Sat, 10 Jul 2010 03:17:13 +0000 Correct regarding Ricky R. Same as I mentioned with Niekro - WPA does not account for defense behind the pitcher or park. So Rueschel is getting pounded by WPA for his terrible defenses and for pitching in Wrigley. WAR sees Rueschel as being hurt to the tune of about 70 runs by his defenses -one of the worst career marks in baseball history. That would equal about 50% of the runs he prevented compared to an average pitcher. Add in those 70 runs and watch WPA skyrocket.

And lets not underestimate for a second the impact defense has on a pitcher's numbers. Guys have been known to have 30 points of ERA+ added by incredible defenses in given seasons. Horrid defenses cost Rueschel about 6 points off of his career ERA+ and outstanding defenses helped Jim Palmer gain about 7-8 ERA+ points. And there are many others too: Niekro on the negative side and Whitey Ford on the positive side for example. We cannot ignore these factors when comparing/ranking/evaluating pitchers - it impacts too many guys too largely to ignore it.

By: Matt Young Fri, 09 Jul 2010 17:10:31 +0000 Oh, I got it, 4.0 is it --didn't realize it was that bad. I thought that had to be his best year or something. That's abysmal.

By: Matt Young Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:28:50 +0000 Sorry, I don't see his career WPA listed? I see the 4.0 listed, but when I go to career there's no total WPA?

By: Johnny Twisto Fri, 09 Jul 2010 15:43:37 +0000 Matt, those numbers are on each player's advanced stats pages. Kaat's was 4.0.

By: Matt Young Fri, 09 Jul 2010 15:39:00 +0000 Anyone know what Kaat's WPA is? Maybe I've missed it multiple times, but I don't see it listed. Thanks in advance.

By: Matt Young Fri, 09 Jul 2010 13:38:54 +0000 Thanks guys --I remember Rick Reuschel quite well and the Cub, Pirate, and Giant teams he played on. While he was certainly on some bad teams with bad defenses, seems to me, as JT alludes to above, that there's perhaps some over-adjustment for the bad defenses he played on thus leading to the high WAR.