Tag:Jack Morris
Posted on: November 30, 2011 4:37 pm

On 2012 Hall ballot, it's no, no and no

The first (and easiest) part of the Hall of Fame voting process is crossing off the names that obviously don’t fit.

This year, it's far too easy.

I counted 13 new names on the 2012 ballot that was announced Wednesday. It took me about 13 seconds to realize that I won't be voting for any of them.

Jeromy Burnitz? Bill Mueller? Tony Womack?

No, no, no.

Vinny Castilla? Brian Jordan? Bernie Williams?

No, no, no.

And here's my problem: I only voted for two guys last year (Robbie Alomar and Jack Morris), and one of them (Alomar) got in.

That leaves me with one holdover (Morris) and no newcomers. That leaves me with one name on my ballot, and it leaves me with one big question:

If I'm only voting for one guy (voters can pick up to 10 names), am I being too picky?

I don't know the answer yet. I've got a month to figure it out, because the Hall ballot must be postmarked by Dec. 31 (with results announced Jan. 9).

If I decide that my standards have been too strict, the two guys I'm most likely to add to the ballot are shortstops Barry Larkin and Alan Trammell. Both have good (and similar cases), and they were the last two players I eliminated a year ago.

I'll look at other names, too.

I'm not sure yet. It's going to take a lot of time, and a lot of thought.

A lot more than 13 seconds.

Posted on: May 17, 2011 3:18 pm

Killebrew: 'A lot like Ernie Harwell'

The Twins family gathered at Target Field Tuesday afternoon, saddened by the death of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.

"He was a lot like Ernie Harwell," said ex-Twin and ex-Tiger Jack Morris.

Morris and Killebrew were among the ex-Twins who have become a more common sight around the team in recent years, thanks in large part to efforts by club president Dave St. Peter.

And Morris said Killebrew cared deeply about the team, right to the end.

"He was more worried about how [manager Ron Gardenhire] was holding up and whether Joe Mauer was going to play than he was about how he was doing," Morris said. "Some of the guys who went to see him last week said that, that he asked, 'How's Gardy doing? How's Mauer?'"
Posted on: May 17, 2011 3:10 pm

Gibson: Never an All-Star, now All-Star coach

Yes, it's true, Kirk Gibson never played in an All-Star Game.

But the way people in Detroit remember it, you might want to put an asterisk by that. The way they remember it, one big reason Gibson never made it to the All-Star Game as a player is that he didn't want to.

Now he's going to the 2011 All-Star Game, as a National League coach. Gibson's Arizona Diamondbacks are hosting the game, and NL manager Bruce Bochy invited Gibson to join the coaching staff. This time, Gibson accepted.

Should Gibson have been an All-Star as a player?

Sure. In 1985, he had 18 home runs and 61 RBI at the All-Star break. But the Tigers sent six other players to the game, and Gibson took the time off.

"His excuse was that it's better I stay healthy for the club to win a world championship than to play in a meaningless game," longtime teammate Jack Morris remembered. "I think Gibby has figured things out [now]. I think if he had to do it over again, he'd go to the All-Star Game."

Posted on: January 3, 2011 4:27 pm

At WAR with (some of) the readers

Of all the e-mails I got on last week's Hall of Fame column -- by far the most I've even received for anything I've written -- one stood out.

"I'm really concerned," Steve wrote, "with any Hall of Fame voter who writes something to the effect of 'When I hear so-and-so's name, do I think Hall of Fame?' This is a very superficial way to approach such an important decision. We have mountains of data. Surely, you can be more analytical than this."

Surely, I can. Surely, I have been.

And I still believe that one of the questions about any Hall of Fame candidate should be 'When we watched him play, did we think Hall of Fame?'"

That's why the Hall has handed voting duties to members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. That's why voting is restricted to members who have covered the game for at least 10 years.

If we wanted the Hall of Fame selections to be totally objective, we could come up with standards.

500 home runs, 300 hits, 90 WAR, whatever you want.

Meet the standard, you're in. Don't meet it, you're out.

Or we could form a committee of statisticians to decide.

We could. We don't. We ask baseball writers, the guys who saw these players play, which ones were Hall-worthy. We ask them to apply their standards, and we guide them only by saying that "voting shall be based on the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."

The rules also say that "no automatic elections based on performances such as a batting average of .400 or more for one (1) year, pitching a perfect game or similar outstanding achievement shall be permitted."

If you don't like that system, that's fine. But that is the system.

And maybe the best thing about it is how much it allows us to argue about it.

I'm not going to print all 53 e-mails (more than 6,000 words' worth) I got over the last week, but I do want to share some of them, along with a few responses. I will say that it was somewhere near 50-50, with a little less than 50 percent agreeing with me and a little more than 50 percent calling me a total idiot.

Since this is my blog, I'll start with a few who agreed:

From Tevis: "I normally don't agree with most of your articles, but when you wrote this one I felt compelled to say thank you. I am one of the many Giants fans that loved Barry Bonds. [But now] it's obvious he cheated, and if I had known back then, I would have voted to sit him down or kick him out."

You want to know how passionate people are about the Hall of Fame? It caused a Giants fan to agree with me. That should tell you everything.

From Bob: "You are so right about [Jack] Morris. I can't believe he isn't already in. No-brainer. I hope the other voters have the same intellect as you."

And I hope the other readers have the same intellect as you.

From Lawrence: "I just want to thank you for taking serious your Hall of Fame vote. I and most of my friends have lost respect for baseball since the steroid era of tainted broken records. The only way those players should be mentioned is with several asterisks next to their names. But voted in? No way."

We can argue about this forever.

From Steve: "I was wondering if you were going to take some grief for that [column]. It's too bad it wasn't well received. I thought it was a heartfelt portrayal of the challenges all fans are facing when recognizing the achievements of players during the steroid era."

Full disclosure: Steve is my cousin. But Tevis, Bob and Lawrence are not.

From Tyler: "Cheating is not a good standard for in or out. Cheating probably should keep you out, but not be a guarantee. [Bill] Belichick cheated, and he's still a Hall of Famer in football."

I'll stick to baseball. Cheating is a good enough standard for me. If you cheated the game, I'm not voting for you.

From Eric: "I understand you are stating your opinion, but to vote for Jack Morris and not Bert Blyleven, you're insane."

Tough call on Bert, I'll admit, and I strongly suspect he's going to get in without my vote. As for Morris, I stand by my vote. He deserves to be in.

From Adam: "Why no Barry Larkin? He fits all of your criteria."

I know I've said I won't say why I didn't vote for anyone, but I broke that rule for Blyleven and I'll break it again for Larkin, since I didn't vote for him last year, either (before I began to exclude suspected steroid cheats). Larkin is a very tough call for me, very comparable to Alan Trammell, and for now I have come down just slightly on the no side. I will continue to consider both of them seriously every year, until they get in or are no longer on the ballot.

From Jerry in Sydney, Australia: "Just forgetting about the steroid era and the players who played then is just wrong. The game was played on the field, and everyone was cheating."

I'd hate to believe that everyone was cheating. But if I did believe that, I'd have to turn in a blank ballot.

From Seth: "Why do you feel you're the arbiter of justice for the Hall of Fame?"

I don't feel I'm the arbiter of justice. I'm a voter because they sent me a ballot, and after many hours of consideration, I filled it out the fairest way I could.

If that's not analytical enough for you, well, it'll just have to do.

Let the discussion continue.
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:29 am
Edited on: June 11, 2010 12:10 pm

3 to watch: The 2 days till Strasburg II edition

Until further notice, every Stephen Strasburg start is going to be worth watching. Thus, until further notice, every Stephen Strasburg start will be part of 3 to watch.

Strasburg II will be Sunday, and while there may have been a more-anticipated debut-plus-one, we can't remember one.

So who made the best second start ever?

A few candidates, with the help of baseball-reference.com's play finder :

-- Clay Buchholz, Sept. 1, 2007, for the Red Sox, against the Orioles. He threw a no-hitter. We really don't need any more candidates, do we?

-- Wilson Alvarez, Aug. 11, 1991, for the White Sox, against the Orioles. He threw a no-hitter, too. So there can be a debate, after all. Or maybe this just means we need to make plans for Strasburg's first start against the Orioles.
-- Burt Hooton, Sept. 15, 1971, for the Cubs, against the Mets. He was knocked out of the game by the Cardinals in the fourth inning of his debut, but Hooton rebounded with a complete game three-hitter, with 15 strikeouts.

-- Dick Selma, Sept. 12, 1965, for the Mets, against the Braves. A four-hit, 10-inning shutout for a 1-0 win, with 13 strikeouts. But only 13,500 turned up at Shea Stadium to see it, so it must not have been the most-anticipated Game 2 (and only 5,981 turned up at Wrigley Field for his next start, so the 10-inning shutout must not have been big news nationwide).

-- Tim Fortugno, July 25, 1992, for the Angels, against the Tigers. I must have been at this game, and yet I have no memory of it. A three-hit shutout, with 12 strikeouts.

-- Randy Johnson, Sept. 20, 1988, for the Expos, against the Cubs. The first of his 212 double-digit strikeout games, a 9-1 complete-game win.

-- Jack Morris, July 31, 1977, for the Tigers, against the Rangers. Morris, who belongs in the Hall of Fame, pitched nine innings and allowed two runs. Bert Blyleven, who many believe belongs in the Hall of Fame, pitched nine innings and allowed two runs. Maybe if one or the other had gotten the win, it would be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame.

On to 3 to watch:

1. Remember when Jake Peavy was supposed to be a Cub? Remember when the White Sox were supposed to be good? The White Sox aren't good, but at least Peavy gets a trip to the North Side, for White Sox at Cubs, Friday afternoon (2:20 EDT) at Wrigley Field .

2. Remember when Daisuke Matsuzaka last faced the Phillies? (Hint: It was only three weeks ago.) He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. The Phillies believed they were terribly unlucky that day, because they hit so many balls hard. We'll see, because they get another chance at Dice-K, in Phillies at Red Sox, Saturday afternoon (4:10 EDT) at Fenway Park .

3. Remember when nobody would have cared about a Nationals-Indians game? Now, it's big enough that TBS changed the schedule to show Nationals at Indians, Sunday afternoon (1:07 EDT) at Progressive Field . Any idea why? Must have something to do with the guy starting for the Nationals. Strasburg is one reason to watch this game. Catcher Carlos Santana, the Indians super-prospect who was called up Friday, is another.

Posted on: September 29, 2009 4:04 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2009 7:01 pm

Morris 'torn' between Twins and Tigers

DETROIT -- Jack Morris wants the Tigers to win the American League Central.

Jack Morris also wants the Twins to win the American League Central.

Monday, Morris was a Tiger, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the World Series he helped win. Tuesday, he was a Twin, working radio for the crucial day-night doubleheader the two teams played at Comerica Park.

Between games? Morris visited both clubhouses, and both managers.

"Believe me, I'm torn," he said. "I want to go talk to [Tigers second-game starter Justin] Verlander and wish him the best. I want to go talk to [Twins second-game starter Brian] Duensing and wish him the best.

"I'm not going to talk to either one of them, because I'm afraid to."

Morris grew up in Minnesota. He spent most of his career with the Tigers, and played for current Tigers manager Jim Leyland in the minor leagues. He won the 1991 World Series with the Twins, and he still lives in the area.

In talking about Tuesday's first game, a 3-2 Twins win in 10 innings, Morris referred to the Twins as "we." But he also admitted that there were times during the game that he found himself briefly pulling for the Tigers.

So which team is he going with?

"The winner," Morris said. "My team's going to win. Right now, I'm pulling for the Twins to tie it up, and take it to the last three games [of the season]."

Pulling for that, and wishing he was still young enough to pitch in this series -- for either team.

"You feel that cool air," the 54-year-old Morris said. "These are the times you really want to be out there."

With Tuesday afternoon's win, the Twins pulled within one game of the Tigers, with three games remaining in the series, and six games left in the regular season.

Category: MLB
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