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Jon Heyman wants Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame and won’t let the facts get in his way in order to make it happen

Jan 7, 2013, 8:59 PM EDT

jack morris

UPDATE: Since this post went up Heyman has updated his column to take out the lines about Blyleven and Stewart. No explanation in the column of course. And it changes little, actually. He may call it an oversight, but it’s a case of him wanting to believe something so badly that the facts ceased mattering at some point.

8:59 PM:¬†Jon Heyman put up his Hall of Fame column this afternoon. For years he has pushed hard for Jack Morris for the Hall. He has long overstated Morris’ merits in my view, but it’s gotten to the point now where he’s simply making crap up:

He was thought good enough to be the ace on teams that had Bert Blyleven and Dave Stewart, and to receive Cy Young votes in seven seasons. I can’t allow his vast accomplishments to be re-evaluated downward by a new emphasis on different numbers.

Jack Morris and Bert Blyleven were never teammates. Jack Morris played one season with Dave Stewart. In that one season — 1993 — Morris was 7-12 with a 6.19 ERA. It’s possible that Heyman is calling Morris the “ace” of that 1993 Jays team because he got the Opening Day start, but he didn’t distinguish himself at all that year, he was out of the rotation by early September and was left off the postseason roster. Some ace.

Heyman has an agenda. He wants Morris in the Hall of Fame. He is so committed to that agenda that he will mislead his readers in order to make it happen. Because this can’t just be a mistake, right? Because it takes approximately five seconds in order to get that stuff right and we know someone given the privilege of making baseball history in the form of a Hall of Fame vote is not going to just dash it off without careful consideration and due¬†diligence, right?

  1. tomemos - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    “a new emphasis on different numbers”? What, like ERA?

    • drewsylvania - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      If Heyman emphasized ERA, it’d be an improvement over his column.

      • tomemos - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:14 PM

        If he emphasized ERA, he’d realize that Morris would have the worst ERA in the Hall, coming from a pitching-heavy era.

    • scatterbrian - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      Perhaps losses, as in third-most losses in the 80s?

      • chomsky66 - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:14 PM

        or wild pitches? Morris led the American League in WPs SIX times (and the majors three times). He’s 13th all-time in wild pitches. So while it’s been proven he didn’t “pitch to the score,” he certainly pitched to the backstop.

    • weavahvbc - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      ERA isn’t important – morris said it himself when calling into one of the MLB network’s shows. only wins matter, and if ERA was so important, he *could* have had a better ERA.

  2. cur68 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Hey, don’t let the facts cloud your judgement on a popular stance, man. Its suddenly all the rage to turn Jack ‘Effin Morris into a Baseball God when he was pretty average in most meaningful respects. Stick with the narrative.

  3. chill1184 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Heyman and facts? Since when does Heyman have those?

    • alexo0 - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      Heyman and facts? Since when does Heyman use those?

    • hep3 - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      As Joe Magrane once opined to Jon Heyman on the MLB Network, “If Chico Escuela would have played five more years for the Mets, Heyman would vote for him for the Hall of Fame.”

      Heyman needs to retire with his Hall of Fame vote.

  4. bobhorner - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    Hey, we don’t need you pulling out your new fancy stats to ruin Jack Morris’ 1993 season!

  5. schlom - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    I’d like to know when Heyman first voted for Morris. I doubt that he’s been voting for him since he was first eligible (more likely that he’s just voted for him the last few years) although even if he has it still wouldn’t make him any less full of s**t.

  6. psunick - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Are you the only person who is even worthy of submitting a ballot, Craig?
    You really are coming across quite self righteously, dontcha think?

    • tomemos - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      How is it “self-righteous” to point out that a voter is simply lying, or grievously confused, in explaining his ballot?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:32 PM

      Sorry if expecting Hall of Fame voters to not simply make shit up makes me come off as self-righteous, friend.

      • hgfrombc2 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:21 AM

        Enough already. The fact is, Heyman has a vote and can use it as he sees fit, given that the guidelines are pretty subjective:

        5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

        Stop playing Bill O’Reilly to his Keith Olberman (or vice versa), and use this forum for something other than a fruitless rant. Direct your outrage (directly) toward the body that decides who the HOF voters are. If you already have, post that letter/e-mail and the response(s) you received.
        And, yes, I am a life-long Tiger fan, but couldn’t give two shits whether Morris makes the Hall or not. If I had one, my vote would go to Alan Trammell/Lou Whitaker.

  7. frank433 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    So, everybody wants Jack Morris in the hall, but friggin Sweet Lou Wittaker isn’t even on the ballot anymore?

    THAT, ladies and gentleman, is a bigger injustice.

    • kirkvanhouten - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      Or that Heyman had the opportunity to vote for Trammel and didn’t.

      Do Tigers fans just curse angrily every time the HOF is mentioned? I mean, to have one of the greatest double play combinations of all time together for 19 years yet get no respect….

  8. joshfrancis50 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Misleading readers doesn’t even help. Just makes him look like an ass.

  9. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    I almost want Morris elected just so I don’t have to see all the people argue for his induction year after year then I realize it will just be better when he finally comes off the ballot altogether. Something tells me the Veterans comittee will end up putting him in eventually though.

    • ptfu - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      Yeah, electing Morris just seems like something the VC would do. Then again, I’ll bet that several worthy candidates will fall off this year’s crowded BBWAA ballot, placing them within the VC’s realm. The BBWAA logjam could trickle down to the VC. Morris could get blocked again and the debate would rage on!

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        Oh geez don’t say that! Well then hopefully all the John Heymans’ out there retire soon to spare us all their arguments every year.

  10. raulduke11 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Great piece

  11. legacybroken - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Since when did ERA become some obscure statistic? Then again its Heyman who long has ceased to be relevent and now exists solely as a walking Scott Boras ad.

  12. kappy32 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Heyman doesn’t let facts get in the way of anything he says. The only thing more ridiculous than his writing is the hardcore man-crush he has on Derek Jeter.

  13. simon94022 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Just remember: no matter what them gol darned new fangled statisticals say, Jack Morris and Jim Rice are solid Hall of Famers. Pie Traynor was the greatest third baseman in the history of the game, way better than those Schmidt and Brett characters. The greatest first baseman ever was Gil Hodges. And they don’t make umps like Hank O’Day anymore.

    Guys like Clemens, Bonds, Bagwell? Punks! None of them could have cracked the roster of the 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers, unquestionably the Greatest Team of All Time.

    Now please take your modernistical automated electronic slide rules and … get off my lawn!

  14. uuddlrlrbastart - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    I think my favorite part is “he was thought good enough.” Because when I think Hall of Fame, I think of players who were thought good enough.

  15. tpxdmd - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    He actually changed it to delete the Blyleven and Stewart line. Without an editorial note to point out he changed it. Nice.

    I really like this “Detractors point to a less-than-glowing career 3.90 ERA, but his career is better summarized by a great decade (most wins of the ’80s) and great moments (his Game 7 performance in 1991 for his hometown Minnesota Twins was maybe the best pitching performance under the circumstances in decades).”

    I think it is very fair to say that Morris really did pitch the best Game 7 in the 1991 World Series for his hometown Twins. Not just in decades but ever. So good on you there, Heyman.

  16. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    I dare Heyman to attempt to make an argument where Morris was a better pitcher than Dave Stieb. Actually I dare anyone because the attempts would amuse me.

  17. tfbuckfutter - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I used to have no opinion of Jack Morris.

    I now hate him with a passion. One of the most pedestrian pitchers I never really watched play in my opinion. I hope he never gets in the Hall and kind of hope he gets gonorrhea.

  18. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Not sure how is more over-rated today
    Morris or Notre Dame

    • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      Who*

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:19 PM

        If you didn’t correct that we’d have no idea hat you were talking about.

  19. butchhuskey - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    The thing about Jack Morris is that people voting for him always say things like “He was an ace! I saw it with my own eyes!” or “You had to be there- I saw Jack Morris pitch and people who don’t think he’s a Hall of Famer never saw him pitch.”

    By that logic, none of these sportswriters can comment on the greatness of Babe Ruth. After all, I’m pretty sure none of them actually saw him play.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      Adding on to this, those same sportswriters who actually saw Morris pitch* never considered him as great as he was. He never came close to a CY award or an MVP award, only made 5 ASG’s…

      *Craig has pointed this out numerous times, but it still bares repeating.

  20. mnwildfan15 - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    I want a hat

  21. wpjohnson - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Morris has no business in the Hall of Fame other than as a paying visitor. If he is elected, the Hall will diminish in stature.

  22. crackersnap - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    “…a new emphasis on different numbers”

    First the Trout/Cabrera debate, now the Morris dialog. Is this recent rage against knowledge and information becoming the new narrative in baseball?

    It feels like we have many individuals who have long had control over the relationship between baseball and its fans, and they are becoming ever more petulant that their world view is losing its historical place atop the sports mountain. It’s going to get tiresome before they surrender.

    • tomemos - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      I’ve said it before: Jack Morris is going to be the first HOFer elected out of spite.

      • paperlions - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:42 AM

        I think Jim Rice was also elected out of spite…..and an argument can be made that Andre Dawson was as well.

  23. rgledz - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Craig…..why do you hate Jack Morris so much? Why has it become your personal goal to discredit and destroy everything Jack Morris?? I don’t even think he should be in the HOF, but dear God you write a post every week about how undeserving he is. We get it! You don’t think he should be in the HOF. I wouldn’t even know about these pro Jack Morris articles if I didn’t see your post ripping them to shreds. If you are ever up for a Pulitzer, Jack Morris should start a blog and post weekly how undeserving of it you are.

    • ptfu - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:54 AM

      This article is really about Jon Heyman ignoring/fabricating facts, not Jack Morris. Craig’s going to be snarky about people who write silly things, regardless of topic. That’s who he is. ‘Tis Hall of Fame election season so of course there are lots of HOF articles out there to mock.

    • tomemos - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      Craig doesn’t hate Morris, he hates the nonsense (and in this case, fabricated) arguments made to support his candidacy. Which is to say, Craig hates Jon Heyman, as all decent people do.

  24. joerymi - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    We might actually live in a world where Jack Morris is in the HOF and Roger Clemens isn’t. I feel like Rod Serling is going to pop-up on the screen.

  25. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Don look now, Craig, but Scott Miller also is jumping on the Morris bandwagon.

    http://www.cbssports.com/columns/story/21511881

    “Morris worked eight or more innings in 52 percent of his starts over 14 seasons. That is dominant, Hall of Fame stuff.”

    According to Mr. Miller, if you can pitch 8 innings 50% of the time, regardless of the results, you are “dominant”. That makes no sense, so let’s agree to disagree.

    • crackersnap - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:41 AM

      Good Heavens. Miller’s lists of reasons are so ridiculous, even to this 56 year old dinosaur, that it defies any rational response. Maybe Miller would respond to similar silliness, and should consider that over the course of Morris’ 18 year career his own contemporaries only put him on 5 All Star teams.

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