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January 8, 2013

Jack Morris Responds to Critics

We're on the eve of the Hall of Fame announcement and, it would seem, we're inching closer and closer to the inclusion of Jack Morris among those enshrined.

And, like almost anything, plenty of people are against it.

I've often wondered what the former pitcher thought about his detractors.  Well...wonder no more.

"If I sense anything from the writers that have always been anti-Jack, they're pointing to the fact that I'd have the highest ERA in the Hall of Fame," Morris told MLB Network Radio. "Let me ask you this: When did we decide that earned-run average was more important than wins?"

What Morris is referring to, of course, is his career 254 victories and, of course, three World Series rings.

"I want to know any general manager, any coach or any player that bought into the fact that earn-run average was more important than wins," the Mustached One continued. "If they would've told me that when I was in the minor leagues, I'm sure I could've been among the league leaders in ERA. That wasn't my objective."

Here's the deal...dude had a pretty long stretch of being victorious.  Let's not dispute that.

From 1979 to 1992, Morris managed to string together 233 of his career 254 victories.  That's more than 40 more than Bob Welch, the next guy in line, and his 192. And for the record, Morris' 254 wins is more than Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal and Whitey Ford among plenty of others.

In the 80s alone…Morris won a decade best 162 games, compiled a .577 winning percentage and exhibited his amazing consistency by finishing in the top ten of the Cy Young Award voting in half of the decade’s contests. He finished in the top five in 1991 and 1992 as well.

Ah, but then there's that pesky 3.90 ERA.

He never led the league (much less came close to it) and make no bones about it, he gave up a ton of runs. However, his teams produced behind him and regardless of his ERA, Morris virtually always managed to stay below the league average.

Morris was, arguably, one of the stronger starters of his era and, really, isn't that how a guy should be judged?


Anonymous said...

"Morris was arguably one of the stronger starters of his era"

This is absolutely true, and that's why he's not a Hall-of-Fame pitcher.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about the comment. Shouldn't guys be judged by the era in which they competed?

Anonymous said...

Jack Morris was the dominant pitcher of the 80's,not even close,the dude is hall of fame or no pitcher is.Dale Murphy was the dominant regular player of the 80's too,If your the games best in your era is that not hall of fame?? Voters are total idiots

Mike Lewis said...

As a long-time baseball fan, I would agree that Jack Morris was one of the best pitchers of his era. Ironically, that stands for E.R.A. as well....he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, as does Dale Murphy and soon to be John Smoltz...just because you don't play for New York, Boston or L.A. you should not have to fight to get in...your play, INTEGRITY and record should do the talking!

Anonymous said...

The point is that somebody who is only "arguably one of the stronger starters of his era" is not a Hall of Famer. You wouldn't refer to Pedro Martinez or Roy Halladay like that.

Anonymous said...

your getting hung up on the word "arguable". jack morris is a HOF'er. period.

Anonymous said...

Are you guys who thinks he's a HOFer all from Detroit?

Harry S said...

Jack haas an ERA higher than many pitchers because he pitched so many innings to save a weak bullpen. Also, when the Tigers scored a ton of runs, Jack was not interested in shutouts, just winning. He won a World Series seventh game by pitching ten shutout innings. Jack pitched as well as he had to.

Mike Lewis said...

No, I am from Georgia and a Braves fan!

Anonymous said...

Yes...I am from Detroit.....and yes....if he wore Yankee Pinstripes,Jack wouldve been in on the first or no later than his 2nd try.And by the way.....Trammel and Whitaker shouldve gone in ALONG time ago as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious who has the highest ERA in the Hall of Fame right now?
I believe Red Ruffing at 3.80 then Ted Lyons 3.67, and Jesse Haines 3.64. Looking at their stats they have nothing on Morris... Morris has a better SO to W ratio, more SO, better W/L ratio and whats the difference between 3.64, 3.67, 3.80ERA vs 3.90. Im from California and I'm not a Tigers fan. I didnt like seeing him play against my Angels or Red Sox the guy deserves after 18 years to be in the HOF... stop with all the hating

Anonymous said...

3 rings 3 different teams and he was the ace of each of those staffs took the ball gave you 7-8 strong innings every 5th day there reallly should be only one debate on this issue.......what has taken so long to get him in there. as for the comment about trammel and whitaker tram similar numbers to ripken without the streak. whitaker similar to morgan and biggio and sandberg and he didn't even get 5% on the first ballot that's a joke.

Mike R. said...

Are you suggesting that Morris purposely gave up runs to "pitch to the score."

A pitcher's goal is to give up as few runs as possible. If that wasn't Morris' goal than he definitely does NOT belong in the Hall of Fame

I can cherrypick postseason stats too by the way. How about a year after his ten inning shutout in which he tried to singlhandedly lose the World Series to the Phillies?