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Your ignorant Jack Morris quote of the day

Dec 24, 2012, 8:30 AM EDT

Jack Morris

All of these now, it seems, come with required name-calling. But sure, it’s the anti-Jack Morris types who lack civility and all of that jazz.  This from Bill Madden:

I have no idea what Jack Morris’ career WAR is, any more than I have any idea what WAR itself is. I only know that the vigilante sabermetric brigade using all its advanced statistic formulas to contrive the case that Morris was somehow not a dominant No. 1 pitcher, probably never saw him pitch. I did, at least 40 times between postseasons and when Morris’ Tigers were in the American League East, and never once was he not the best pitcher in the game that day.

I love Madden’s use of the word “vigilante.” The definition of vigilante is a person who takes the law into their own hands and refuses to respect the established structures of power and justice. I don’t think he just threw that word out there as a lazy synonym for “obnoxious” or “hostile” or something. It clearly galls Madden that the Hall of Fame police force — the BBWAA — is being questioned, and he truly believes that non-BBWAA people making Hall of Fame assessments is akin to roving mobs and villagers with torches. Indeed,  think that motivates a great number of these reactionary takes. For years guys like Madden were considered authorities about something. While they still are authorities with respect to many things — they are in the clubhouse after all — player assessment is clearly not one of them. It’s probably pretty scary for them. Poor dears.

Anyway, to Morris. As a kid growing up going to games at Tiger Stadium and catching Morris on WDIV-TV several times a year, I saw Jack Morris pitch far more than the 40 times Madden did. I may have been young, but since Madden is admitting not to know what a pretty well-accepted metric is, I don’t think his current knowledge base and my seven year-old through 21 year-old knowledge bases were that different.

For the bulk of that time I was actually rooting for Morris, so if anyone was going to consider him “the best” on the days he pitched, it was going to be a kid like me. But even through I wore those kid fan glasses I did not believe he was always “the best pitcher in the game that day.” I know this because I saw him face Ron Guidry, Roger Clemens, Dave Stieb and Frank Viola. Or why he didn’t cover Tigers games when Dan Petry pitched, because Peaches was better than Morris for several years too. Maybe Madden was always sick those days? Hard to say.

In any event, the numbers for Morris are pretty simple. The only ones using numbers to “contrive” a case about Morris’ Hall of Fame candidacy are the people like Madden who must find a way to make him look like a Hall of Famer when the numbers really say he is not one.

152 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jessethegreat - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Jack Morris “hall of fame MLB player” not happening.
    Jack Morris “hall of fame jerk” every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  2. rgledz - Dec 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Sheesh…super sensitive sabermetric geeks. Get your feelings hurt much? That was quite the expansive follow up to a quote that most of us would never have even seen. Put your pocket protector back in, secure your digital watch and move on.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      And your reading comprehension skills are lacking, actually I think you probably did not bother actually reading the preceding comments. The primary arguments against Morris are not based on Sabermetrics.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        Plus, by far, the longest posts in this article’s comments section are by someone very clearly not Sabermetrics-friendly.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        THe real problem with alll the MOrrris hate is that it distrcts poster s from the Real enemy – Jon Heyman.Notice snot not even a simple arch commment about Heyman’s relatioonship with Scottt Boras.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 25, 2012 at 2:14 AM

      Geeks with pocket protectors and digital watches! That is comedy gold! Those pasty nerds probably live in their parents’ basements too

  3. vikesfansteve - Dec 25, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Put Jack Morris into the search feature on HBT and there are at least 23 articles where Craig repeats his Jack Morris isn’t HOF worthy rhetoric. There are many more articles where he just mentions him. That is a Ray Finkle type obsession. Laces out. It seems to be all stemming from the fact Morris made the Braves his Nancy boy. Kind of sad really. Get over it already. The Indians players should all hate the umps for practically handing the Braves the World Series by calling Glavines and Maddux’s pitches a minimum of 5 inches off the plate strikes. Don’t believe me go back and look at the replays of that WS on That’s the real undeserving tragedy that Cleveland fans everywhere should be bemoaning as much as Craig does his weird fascination with Morris.

    • paperlions - Dec 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      Except, of course, it isn’t rhetoric. Using information to demonstrate fact (that Morris’ career bears no resemblance at all to a HOF career and that many many contemporaries of Morris that no one considers HOF worthy were better pitchers than he was) and support an argument is not rhetoric.

      Ironically, but not surprisingly, it is you and those that use narrative and ignore facts to support of Morris’ candidacy that use rhetoric (i.e. the undue use of exaggeration or display) in their efforts.

      • vikesfansteve - Dec 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        What the fuck are you talking about, I’m saying Craig is a weirdo wearing a skin suit made out of Morris’ hide after keeping him in a well in his basement yelling at Morris to put the lotion on its skin. That’s how weird 23 posts about the same guy is. Try reading and understanding before coming across like you are smarter than everyone else and talking down to them when that’s not even what was said.

      • paperlions - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM

        Words mean things. If you don’t know what they mean, then 1) you aren’t saying what you think you are saying, and 2) you will be confused by people responses because of a) the fact that you didn’t say what you thought you said and b) you just generally have a problem with understanding the relationships between words and their meanings.

      • cur68 - Dec 25, 2012 at 2:57 PM

        Translation of paperlion’s comment to vikesfansteve:

        “You are a boob who doesn’t know what the word “rhetoric” means. There are many boobs like you who, for some reason, have a hard-on for Jack Morris and use rhetoric, as opposed to facts, to support this stance.”

        Translation of what vikesfansteve means in the above reply to paperlions:

        “I, vikesfansteve, do not know what “rhetoric” means and am using it incorrectly in my original diatribe (which is another word I don’t know the meaning of) but I’m going to e-yell @ ‘lions in the hopes that he won’t notice any of this. My hard-on for Jack Morris has lasted for more than three hours and I should seek medical help.”

        I hope this clears up any lingering miscommunication between you two. Steve, see a doctor before that thing falls off. Cheers.

      • mangounchained - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        Except it isn’t rhetoric??? Please look up the definition of rhetoric before you say something so moronic. Using information to demonstrate fact and support an argument is, in fact, rhetoric.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM

      Or…it could be that Jack Morris’ candidacy for the Hall of Fame is controversial. Craig is a blogger. He takes others’ articles or editorials and makes commentary on them. The fact that Morris’ candidacy is controversial, with many ardent supporters as well as many opponents, means a lot of articles are written about him and thus Craig gets a lot of material about which to make commentary.

      As far as your assumption that Craig hates Morris over one epic game, that requires he ignore the fact he was a Tigers (and Morris) fan before he was a Braves fan. He even alludes to that in this post. But, hey, believe any nonsensical thing you like.

  4. vikesfansteve - Dec 25, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Neither of you understand what rhetoric means, as in Craig is trying to use his words to inform, persuade or motivate people to follow his point of view. In at least 23 different articles. That is Bellvue type of stuff.

    Also, Why are you talking about my dick Cur?

    • raysfan1 - Dec 25, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      It’s only “Bellevue type of stuff” if he writes his op ed pieces about Morris de novo. He doesn’t. He makes comments about others’ articles. There are aloof articles the last few years about Morris for the reasons I’ve already listed. Making such commentary is his job. As blogs do involve op ed and not just factual reporting, of course he tries to influence the readers toward his opinion. That also is his job.

      • vikesfansteve - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        Dipshit, he has done 23 articles on Jack Morris, saying the same thing everytime. 23! Comprehend what you read dummy.

  5. truwarier90 - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    sabermetrics are for fat nerds that got no game and cant play ball. I saw jack dominate wing rings with the tigers, twins, and blue jays, in fact in they are showing a repeat of the 1992 series on sportsnet in canada, and once again you can view morris’ greatness and be a WITNESS to history.

    • paperlions - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:49 PM

      You couldn’t have witnessed those things, because they didn’t happen.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      The 1992 World Series where he went 0-2 with an ERA of 8.44? You are reliving that “greatness?” I already witnessed that history once, thanks. It wasn’t just the World Series in which he stunk though, the ALCS wasn’t much better for him at 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA.

      Morris’ career ERA was 3.90. His career postseason ERA was 3.80. The highest career ERA of any pitcher in the Hall of Fame is 3.598–Herb Pennock. Sorry, Morris just wasn’t as good as you remember, and your citing the 1992 postseason is downright funny.

      If Morris gets elected, and he just might, it will be because of the 1991 World Series, which was indeed epic, and a lot of rose-colored memories.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:39 AM

      Only fat nerds like Zack Greinke and Brandon McCarthy could like math

  6. truwarier90 - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    morris has three rings, i did witness those things, the man is a legend in history, won a world series in two different countries, morris is a pimp. brought the first world series to canada, pitched clutch in game 7s, what else do you want? I think its the stache that bothers voters.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:25 AM

      He brought the first World Series to Canada? How? Jimmy Key was the star pitcher of that series, not Morris. In fact the only two games the Braves won were against Morris. Key was 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA…just slightly better than Morris’ 8.44 ERA and 0-2 record.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:30 AM

        ActuallyKey was a better pitcher than Morris period. Pity injuries cost him so much time during his career and ended it early too.

      • cur68 - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:23 AM

        @raysfan1: I’m glad you said that and I’m sorry I missed all of this. Jimmy Key in the ’80’s WAS a better pitcher than Morris. He deserves more credit for that but people like to shout “Morris was the best pitcher if the ’80’s” without even checking to see how he compares to guys like Key. And 1992? Morris was AWFUL.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:55 AM

      BTW, he only pitched in one game 7 in his career. It was a truly spectacular performance, to be sure.

      He also pitched well in the 1984 postseason. However, his two other postseason appearances–1987 and 1992– we’re awful. I witnessed those things too, but apparently remember them better than you.

  7. truwarier90 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    morris was a clubhouse leader in ’92, him and big daddy winfield brought the team together and got them serious for a playoff run, In fact, if morris was puerto rican or dominican, tim mccarver would be ranting and raving about how morris is legendary like clemente and was a mentor for younger latino pitchers like anibal sanchez, ricky romero, etc.

    • cur68 - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:33 AM

      Were you alive in 1992? Doesn’t seem like it. You certainly weren’t watching Jack Morris do anything if you were. I certainly was. I was in my early 20’s and enjoying the hell out of that year. Except for Jack Morris’s starts. They were ulcer causing. If he didn’t get 7 runs of support/game he would have lost A LOT. He was tragically bad. And Morris was the leader, eh? I thought that was Carter, Alomar, Olerud and Cito Gaston? I remember the pitchers, too. Duane Ward and Tom Henke were who the kids went too. Not once do I recall any of them citing Jack Morris as an influence. He not only was a burden due to all the run support he needed, but Morris was obnoxious, too.

      Oh, and FYI: Citing Tim McCarver raving is not helping your case.

      • nathanallen09 - Dec 26, 2012 at 11:01 AM

        guess you didnt watch the 1992 season very much, he had a 1.22whip which is pretty good and had 6 complete games 1 shutout against roger clemens, If you want to hate on someone on the jays roster at that time, how about todd stottlemeyer the usesless 1st round draft pick that some how made more money than jimmy key and dave stewart in their careers combined..

      • raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        Yes, Morris was pretty good in 1992, but his teammates Jimmy Key and Juan Guzman were both better that year. He was a dominant pitcher in 1981 and from 1983-1987 and had another dominant year in 1991. That ain’t peanuts. It’s not so much that Morris deserves no love as that there are many who grossly over-value his contributions at times.

      • cur68 - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:57 PM

        Buncha nerds! Buncha stats quoting NERDS! I know what I SAW, man. He suuuuuuuuuuucccckkkkkkkked.

        (I don’t see why the anti-saber folks get to have it all their own way. I can call names and an engage in rhetoric with the best of them. I’m +8 WAR at that).

    • paperlions - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      See, this is rhetoric….the things people use to demonstrate that it is rhetoric are called facts.

      Morris simply wasn’t dominant in the 80s, he was a slightly above league average pitcher. The only thing he did was to throw more innings than anyone else (mostly because, by chance, few pitchers had careers that spanned that particular 10 year span), he also had the best run support of anyone. Otherwise, he was a solid durable pitcher, who was never considered the best pitcher in his league a single year (thus the failure to ever finish better than 3rd in CY voting, doing that twice). The list of pitchers who were better than Morris in the 80s is long, and included forgotten men such as John Tudor.

  8. truwarier90 - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    jack morris was an epic and historic pitcher, he was right up there with eck,rocket roger, david cone, d-stew, and dave stieb as top pitchers during the mid 1980s-mid 1990s as dominant lock-down pitchers.

    • cur68 - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:25 AM

      All of those guys are much better than Morris. Look it up.

      • paperlions - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        He doesn’t have to….he “witnessed” it. Last night I witnessed orcs, goblins, and giant wolves harassing a bunch of dwarves, that was more realistic than stating that Morris was a dominant pitcher.

  9. nathanallen09 - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I hardly doubt you ever watched jack morris… in 1992 he pitched a 9 inning 4 hit shutout for the jays as they hit (4hrs and clobbered) roger clemens (joe carter hit a bomb to the 2nd deck in left center field)
    jack morris was not sandy koufax or nolan ryan…. but he was the winningest pitcher of the eighties, and he was the opening day starter for more teams consecutively then anyone else in baseball history. Opening day starters are regarded as the “ace” of the staff and he did it for more teams than anyone else as well. (he also averaged 242 IP per season for his entire career) know your facts before you leave dumb coments and pretend you know what your talking about because you watched moneyball or read bill james handbook

    • raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      Jack Morris was a very good but not great/dominant pitcher. In 1992 he did go 21-6 but with a 4.04 ERA thanks to a lot of run support. He finished 5th in the Cy Young voting that year despite being the third best starting pitcher on the staff–Jimmy Key had a 3.53 ERA but only a13-13 record due to not having nearly as much run support, and Juan Guzman was 16-5 with a 2.64 ERA. Key and Guzman vs Morris in 1992 are good examples of how the win-loss record really is not a good way of evaluating a pitcher. Once the playoffs that year arrived, the Blue Jays won in spite of Morris being on the staff–he had a flat out awful 8.44 ERA and went 0-2. Oh, and that shut out you mentioned? Yep, he did have that one shut out in 1992, but only one.

      • nathanallen09 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        Jack morris was named opening day starter (best on the team) 14 seasons that still is a record
        did you know his career era before the seventh innings is under 3.1 (where as after seven its over 7) if he played in todays times where starters are ruled by pitch counts and 7 inning games then he would have much more highly touted “stats”. He was indeed awful in the post season in 1992, but in the regular season (60 more IP than guzman & 24 more than key) jimmy key and morris had almost identical statistical seasons asside from win total and innings pitched. (key was also maybe most underated pitcher of his era) Jack morris saved bullpens, won games & did not chase personal stats or acolades, he will deserve his induction when he gets in. in 1983 he tossed 293 innings with 20 complete games, something we will never see ever again with todays pitch counts ect.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        I agree Key was underrated.
        Morris: 4.04 ERA, 101 ERA+, 1.25 WHIP, 1.65 K/BB ratio
        Key: 3.53 ERA, 115 ERA+, 1.22 WHIP, 1.98 K/BB ratio
        Morris and Key did have identical strikeouts per 9 innings, but otherwise Key was the clearly superior pitcher across the board.

        Thanks for the ERA before and after 7 innings tidbit, I hadn’t see that before. I’d have taken it as axiomatic thata starter would be worse in late innings when tired, but that is quite dramatic. However,seeing as one of the points in his favor for being elected to the HoF is his ability to effectively chew up innings, his being that bad after the 7th seems to belie that. It also makes me wonder how the breakdown would come out compared to other pitchers of his time.

      • nathanallen09 - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        the whip’s are almost identical, era and era+ are mostly luck based on team defence/luck
        whip is better indicator of good pitcher than era. as much as i like baseball reference in terms of stats it is still incomplete, but he did chew up innings, he was a bulldog not his fault if in the 9th inning he had lots of runs on the board and he gave up a couple and still earned a W.
        Blyeven is in the hall and he was only an opening day starter once. very undervalued in his time as well. but if you like baseball reference look up how much todd stottlemeyer made in his career, that pisses me off more than anything, useless pitcher….. Morris will get in this year, the bigger shame is that BBWAA are a bunch of hypocrites who are now on a steroid bandwagon and will shun ppl like palmeiro bonds clemens. when 25 years before them players used anphetamines ect… if people thing that 90% of all pro sports dont use something they are delusional… the stakes are way to high not to

      • raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        We aren’t that far off each other really, Nathan, although I don’t put a whole lot of weight to being the opening day starter. However, I think Morris will get elected this year and that it will not be a travesty. We agree about the PED issues. I do still say that Jimmy Key was the better pitcher.

      • nathanallen09 - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        i thought key was a great and undervalued pitcher but didnt last long into games, could be no confidence in his managers or his pitching ability. I think there are 2 pitchers from morris era who should have got more recognition…. David Cone, Dennis Martinez.

  10. truwarier90 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    morris brought leadership and was the emotional backbone of the team, he rallied the clubhouse and had a ray lewis-esque locker room speeches that got guy focused, also i think the media doesn’t like him, because he didn’t kiss their but like jeter, clemens, schilling, etc.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      Since when do clubhouse “rah rah” speeches ever become common knowledge? I’ve anywhere that he had that kind of presence on that team either–please cite your source if you aren’t just making that up.

      Last yer Morris got 67% of the vote for the HoF. He’s likely eventually getting in despite being a very good although not truly great pitcher. The writers do not hate him. You must not read much, however, to think that they love Clemens who will be very lucky together even 50% of the HoF vote after the whole PED fiasco.

  11. truwarier90 - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    clemens wont get in due to the PEDs, but thats a different story, Morris’ greatness is personified because he didn’t use PEDs, he didn’t have big time PED sluggers like canseco, mcgwire, bagwell, paul o’neill, palmeiro, arod, etc.

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