Biomechanical Robotic Android Intended for Nocturnal Sabotage, Troubleshooting and Efficient Repair  

 
Politics and other Pastimes
 
 
 
Favorite Blogs: Right Wing News

Conservative Grapevine

Lucianne

Allman's Stove

Ankle-Biting Pundits

Kitty Litter

Radio Patriots

Pam Meister aka Blogmeister USA

Third Wave Dave

Lucky Dawg News (Hiatus)

And You Thought You Were Cranky?

Songbird

Dodo David

On Wings of Eagles

Alive and Kickin' Oldies

A Rose By Any Other Name

Airborne Combat Engineer

American Protest

Anonymous Opinion

Astute Blogger

The American Scratchpad

La Shawn Barber

BlackFive

Blue Crab Boulevard

Lorie Byrd

Captain's Quarters

Carol Platt Liebau

Rudy Carrera

CentCom

Chicago Ray

Chief Brief

Christian Conservative

Combs Spouts Off

Conservative Comet

Constitutional Public Radio

Crazy Politico

CrosSwords

Church & State

Danegerus

Decision '08

Richard Delevan

Dynamo Buzz

Eating Arizona

EckerNet

Educated Shoprat

Fear & Loathing

Flopping Aces

Gawfer

GeosciBlog

GOP and the City

Granddaddy Longlegs

Hell's Freezing Over

Here There and Back Again

Hillary Needs a Vacation

Hot Air

Hugh Hewitt

Illumination Inc.

In My Taxi (Liberal)

In the Right Place

Irish Pennants

Jackson's Junction

Jihadophobic

JREFForum Conspiracy Theories

Leather Penguin

Graham Lester

Liberty or Death

Little Bit Tired, Little Bit Worn

Lone Star Pundit

Marathon Pundit

Mark In Mexico

Twin Cities Chess

Memeorandum

Michelle Malkin

MilTracker

Molten Thought

Moonbattery

Mr Media Matters

Mrs Media Matters

Neander News

New Hampshire Insider

Neo-neocon

NoonzWire (Alex Nunez)

No Pundit Intended

The Nose on Your Face

Punch

Slugger O'Toole

Pajamas Media

Pajama Pack (AKA L-Dotters Blog)

Partisan Pundit

Passionate America

Pink Flamingo

Please Make It Clear

Polipundit

Politburo Diktat

Poor and Stupid

Radio Equalizer

Reaching for Lucidity

Real Ugly American

Regime Change Iran

Right-Wing & Right Minded

Right Wing Nuthouse(AKA Superhawk)

Satire & Theology

Fred Schoeneman

Sister Toldjah

Small Town Veteran

Roger L. Simon

David B. Smith

Shock And Blog

Some Soldier's Mom

Stolen Thunder

Stop the ACLU

The Strata-Sphere

Tel-Chai Nation

Texas Rainmaker

The Kingpin 68

Time Cannon

Tinkerty Tonk

Valley Greaser

Viking Pundit

Weapons of Mass Discussion

Wilkesboro Square

Wizbang

Tim Worstall

WuzzaDem

Ya Libnan (Cedar Revolution)

Add to Technorati Favorites
 
 
Saturday, January 14, 2012
 
The Case for Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame

Jonathan Burnhardt does an excellent job of summarizing the case against Morris, so I thought I'd spend a little time summarizing the pro argument.

Let's start with this bit:
Morris racked up 254 wins, which ties him for 42nd all-time. The milestone he needed to reach was 300, and he fell far short. Additionally, he had only three 20-win seasons (1981, 1986, and 1992) over the course of his career.
Winning 300 games is indeed a milestone, but it's a milestone that guarantees induction, not a minimum requirement.  Morris' 254 wins ranks him 42nd all-time currently, and he was higher at the time he retired.  But let's take a closer look at who won 300 games, by decade of birth:


1851-60 Pud Galvin Tim Keefe Hoss Radbourne Mickey Welch
1861-70 Cy Young Kid Nichols John Clarkson
1871-80 Christy Mathewson Eddie Plank

1881-90 Walter Johnson Pete Alexander

1891-1900
 Lefty Grove



1901-10



1911-20 Early Wynn


1921-30 Warren Spahn


1931-40 Phil Niekro Gaylord Perry

1941-50 Steve Carlton Nolan Ryan Don Sutton Tom Seaver
1951-60



1961-70 Greg Maddux Roger Clemens Tom Glavine Randy Johnson









As you can see, there was a 300-game winner born in almost every decade between the 1850s and the 1960s.  There were four 300-gamers born in the 1940s and 1960s, but none in the 1950s.  Why is that?

Here's my theory.  The period from about 1975-1985, when the pitchers born in the 1950s had the heart of their careers, was a time of great change in baseball.  Free agency had arrived.  In the past, teams had an incentive to keep their players healthy and rested, because they knew they could keep them for a long time to come.  After 1975, that no longer became the case, and with salaries skyrocketing, teams quite naturally wanted to get their money's worth.  As a result, they worked their players quite hard.

By the time the players born in the 1960s came along, free agency had been established for quite awhile.  In addition, the role of the starting pitcher began to change dramatically.  No longer was he expected to complete his games; instead an outing of 6-7 innings was considered adequate.  Teams developed middle relievers who were not mediocre pitchers in the past, and the closer almost always came in to finish the game unless it was a blowout.

Proof? Let's look at the 300-game winners born in the 1960s.  Greg Maddux, a terrific pitcher, completed 109 games in his career.  Roger Clemens finished 118.  Tom Glavine got the handshake from his catcher only 56 times, while the Big Unit avoided an early shower in 100 games.

Jack Morris completed 175 games.  Put another way, he completed more games than Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine combined.  Morris finished in the top eight in the American League in complete games every season from 1981-1991 except 1984, and usually in the top five.

Another way to look at it is innings pitched per game started.  Jack Morris pitched 7.26 innings per game started. Clemens averaged 6.95 innings per outing, while Johnson managed 6.86, Maddux 6.77, and Glavine 6.47.

I don't have any stats to give you, but I would be willing to bet that Morris' career ERA was quite a bit lower in the early innings than it was late in the game.

And the point about 20-win seasons?  Well, they've become increasingly rare for any pitchers at all.  Greg Maddux only won 20 twice in his career, Clemens five times (three of which came after his suspicious late-career resurgence), Glavine five times, and Johnson three times.  So the three 20-win seasons are actually a point in Morris' favor, not something to be held against him.

Burnhardt notes:

So if he's not in by the old stats, and he's not in by the new stats, and his playoff stats are inconclusive, then what is the statistical case for putting Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame?
It's this:
3824 IP
Jack Morris pitched a lot of innings. A whole lot of innings. Once he became a full-time starter, Morris averaged 229 IP per season, and he was among the top three in innings pitched in the 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1990, and 1991 seasons. Now, these numbers look more impressive in 2012 than they did in the 1980s because of how the game and the use of starting pitchers has changed, but in 1983, Morris topped out at 293 innings pitched—the man was a workhorse, and not getting injured is as much a physical talent as any tool in baseball.
 Yes, but it does lead to burnout eventually.  Let's examine the age at retirement for the four 300-game winners born in the 1960s.  Maddux made it to age 42, Clemens to 44, Glavine to 42, and Johnson to 45.  Morris retired at 39.  Clemens didn't have 300 wins at age 39, he had 293, and there's a sizable asterisk next to his name.  Glavine had 275 at that age.  Randy Johnson had only 230 wins at a comparable age.

What about the guys born in the 1940s: Carlton, Ryan, Sutton and Seaver?  Well, there, paradoxically, Morris suffers from being underworked.  Let me explain.  Prior to the 1980s, most teams had a four-man rotation, but almost all went to five starters right around the time Morris was starting his career.  His career high in games started was 37 (twice).  Ryan had consecutive seasons of 41 and 42 games started (which, by the way were the only two seasons where he won 20 games).  Carlton had five seasons where he started 38 or more games, Sutton had 4 (and only one 20-win season).  Tom Seaver was comparable to Morris in starts, although obviously more effective.

The point is not that Morris is the equivalent of any of these guys.  All of them were better than Morris, with the arguable exception of Don Sutton.  The point is simply that Morris' record is a product of the circumstances of his era.  Compared to other starting pitchers that were born in the 1950s, Morris clearly belongs on the top shelf.  Bert Blyleven, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year, had 33 more wins.  And 64 more losses.  I believe Frank Tanana is third in wins among players born in the '50s; he had 14 fewer wins and 54 more defeats.  Really, the only pitcher born in that decade I would rate above him is Dennis Eckersley, and that's obviously a quite different story.

Morris also has several positive asterisks.  He won 7 postseason games.  He was clearly the ace pitcher on three different World Series champs;  that's gotta count for something.  He threw a no-hitter in a nationally-televised game in 1984.  He was the World Series MVP in 1991 and wouldn't have been a bad pick in 1984.
0 comments links to this post

 

 
  Endorsements: "11 Most Underrated Blogs"--Right Wing News

"Brainster is the Best"--Allman in the Morning FM 97.1 Talk (St. Louis)

"This is blogging like it oughta be"--Tom Maguire (Just One Minute)

"Quite young and quite nasty"--Civil Discourse Bustard (One out of two ain't bad)

Contact Me: pcurley (at) cdwebs (dot) com

Brainster in the Media

Howard Kurtz's Media Notes: May 27, 2005

Slate Today's Blogs:

March 16, 2005

May 9, 2005

June 3, 2005

Cited for Breaking the Christmas in Cambodia story (at Kerry Haters):

Hugh Hewitt: KerryHaters was on this story a long time ago. How could the elite media not have asked these questions before now?

Ankle-Biting Pundits: Our friends Pat and Kitty at Kerry Haters deserve the blog equivalent of a Pulitzer for their coverage of Kerry's intricate web of lies regarding Vietnam.

The Weekly Standard

Les Kinsolving

Greatest Hits

What If the Rest of the Fantastic Four Were Peaceniks?

Lefty Bloggers on Gay Witchhunt (linked by 16 blogs including Instapundit)

Kitty Myers Breaks Christmas in Cambodia

Brainster Shows Brinkley Says No Christmas in Cambodia

Explanation of the Blog's Name

Power Ratings Explained



blog radio

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Archives


 
  This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.  

Phoenix Commercial Properties

Window Cleaning Phoenix

Leather Goods, Leather Craft

Home  |  Archives