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Lou Whitaker does not endorse former teammate Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame

Jan 5, 2014, 8:56 PM EDT

Jack Morris

Former Tiger Jack Morris is up for election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his 15th and final year. Morris has made a surge in popularity among voters in the Baseball Writers Association of America, and as a result, has become a proxy in the ongoing debates between fans of traditional baseball statistics and fans of Sabermetrics.

Lou Whitaker, who played second base behind Morris on the Tigers from 1977 to 1990 (and is not a known Saberist), doesn’t think the right-hander is Hall of Fame-worthy, at least not ahead of himself and shortstop Alan Trammell, per Tony Paul of The Detroit News.

“Jack Morris was no better than Alan Trammell-Lou Whitaker,” Whitaker said during the interview, audio of which was posted on DetroitSportsRag.com and confirmed by MLB Network Radio co-host Jim Bowden. “If we didn’t make the plays, and we didn’t come up with the big hits, Jack Morris wouldn’t be where he was, or where he is.”

[...]

“If Jack deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, Alan Trammell deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” said Whitaker [...]

Whitaker received only 2.9 percent of the vote in 2001, knocking him off the ballot for good after just one year. Trammell is in his 13th year on the ballot, but has never exceeded 36.8 percent. Morris got 67.7 percent last year, just shy of the 75 percent threshold.

According to Baseball Reference, Whitaker’s career 74.8 WAR would be the fifth-highest among Hall of Fame second basemen (min. 75% games at 2B), behind Eddie Collins, Joe Morgan, Nap Lajoie, and Charlie Gehringer.

Trammell’s 70.3 career WAR would tie for the sixth-most among Hall of Fame shortstops (min. 75% games at SS), behind Honus Wagner, Cal Ripken Jr., Ozzie Smith, Luke Appling, and Arky Vaughan, and tied with Barry Larkin.

Morris, at 43.8 career WAR, would rank 37th among 46 Hall of Fame starting pitchers (min.75% games started). The only pitchers he would best that did not pitch in the Dead Ball Era are Lefty Gomez, Bob Lemon, and Catfish Hunter.

Whitaker has a point.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Perhaps he does, but about what pitcher could you not say the same things about the fielders behind them? Bugs Bunny?

    • riotpunch26 - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      Steve Nebraska

    • buddaley - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:48 AM

      In a way, that is the point. Progressive analysis tries to evaluate players in context and ask the question what credit do we give to the pitcher’s skill and what to the factors apart from him-the defense behind him, the run scoring in the era, the ball park, the offensive support he receives et al. Whitaker is reflecting that approach to some extent.

      • Old Gator - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        bud: problem is, Whitaker isn’t really looking at this like a statistical analyst. What he says may be distantly analogous to a spreadsheet approach but an analogy is not identity. He’s coming from the gut, and making it sound like sour grapes instead.

      • buddaley - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        You may be right, Old Gator. I don’t know how Whitaker thinks. I do agree that his statement can be read as “sour grapes” although I am not sure that is the case either. He may have been focusing on the qualifications of Trammel (and himself), and it came out sounding resentful. Or he may really understand that Morris’s record is really a result of being on a good team rather than him being an extraordinary pitcher.

        As an aside, I would not be surprised were he resentful that he was dropped from the ballot. Perhaps from a public relations standpoint, it is creates a negative image. And he certainly does not come across as saintly in his generosity of spirit as Posnanski paints Buck O’Neill. But if he is simply an ordinary person, the lack of appreciation he received in that HOF vote would justify his feelings.

    • stex52 - Jan 6, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      We’re win-win here. I see three choices:

      1. Elect Jack Morris to the HOF.
      2. Don’t elect Jack Morris to the HOF.
      3. Run Jack Morris out and lynch him from the nearest tree.

      Any way we go, I hope never to hear about Jack Morris on a baseball blog again.

    • f.verd - Jan 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      She loves me, she loves me not…none of it really matters until the Hall of Fame becomes legitimately recognized because it is based upon what happened on the field — not what happened off the field. Until Pete Rose is enshrined, they’re all p…ing in the wind.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        Until Pete Rose is enshrined,

        Please explain why someone who broke the cardinal rule of baseball, lied about it for twenty something years, only to “come clean” after he wrote a book saying he cheated (aka to profit off the book sales). He also lived with a steroid dealer.

        Tell me again why he should get his ban overturned?

      • Kevin S. - Jan 6, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        Two different questions.

        I do not believe Pete Rose should have his ban overturned.

        I do believe the Hall should rescind its rule making all members of the banned list ineligible for enshrinement.

      • f.verd - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        Are all those “thumbs downers” fans who actually believe that all present Hall of Famers were saints off the field? Wakee Wakee…

  2. President Charles Logan - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Lou Whitaker , stfu .. you were a pedestrian at best .

    • raysfan1 - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      Perhaps Whitaker would have been best served to remain silent as this comes off as sour grapes; but if you think his play was in any way “pedestrian,” then you do not understand baseball.

      • President Charles Logan - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:14 PM

        then why isnt he in the hall of fame ? .. he’s playing the race card most likely. maybe Jack Morris said something when they were team mates that he didnt like. he needs to stfu and respect the process.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        he’s playing the race card most likely

        Try reading the article before making a dumbass comment like this.

      • Jason Lukehart - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:51 PM

        @Logan: Playing the race card by saying Alan Trammell belongs in the Hall of Fame?

        You’re either misguided and baseball-ignorant, or something worse.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:02 PM

        1.8% of all major league players are in the Hall of Fame, meaning 98.2% of them are not. Now you are implying that to avoid being pedestrian, one must be in the Hall? Just stop.

        BTW, Whitaker was one of the 10 best 2B ever.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:12 AM

        Strawman arguments from the brain of a scarecrow.

    • weaselpuppy - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:21 PM

      at least get the saying correct.

      Oh, and you are completely wrong.

      Other than that, carry on spreading Dumb.

    • cur68 - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      Lou Whitaker was not pedestrian. He was outstanding at baseball. HOF worthy at baseball. Jack Morris was merely above average.

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Try reading the article or even going to BRef and looking at Sweet Lou’s career numbers. He kicked ass.

      And Alan Trammell? At LEAST as good as Sweet Lou.

      • normcash - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:27 PM

        That Trammell and Whitaker aren’t in the HOF is a continuing scandal….

      • cur68 - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:31 PM

        Normy, how do they even call it “The Hall of Fame” anymore? There’s no legitimate reason NOT to have Trammell and Whitaker in there. I’m never going there: there’s just no point. All the best guys I grew up watching are getting snubbed while a pedestrian pitcher like Morris is getting a marching band playing for him. Jeez. The HoF is a joke.

    • titknocker - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      You’re and idiot. guy hit .270 for his career racked up 2300+ hits and won a couple gold gloves.

      Far from pedestrian

      • normcash - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:08 AM

        Anybody think if Trammell and Whitaker played for the Yankees they’d not be in the HOF?
        Of course they would.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:35 AM

        Red Sox here, but I don’t understand NormCash’s comment. Playing in New York doesn’t help borderline Hall of Famers — or Mattingly and Hernandez would already be in.

        Unworthy Yankee players from the past have been enshrined, but that’s because they won World Series titles riding on the backs of Mantle and Berra. In the current era, I don’t see any evidence that playing for a New York team helps one’s chances. I would guess Pettitte will make a good showing in a couple years (among the borderline cases).

      • dfj79 - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        “Anybody think if Trammell and Whitaker played for the Yankees they’d not be in the HOF?
        Of course they would.”

        Not necessarily, no. Graig Nettles and Willie Randolph both had 65+ WAR and neither came close to making the Hall (Willie, like Lou, was one-and-done).

        Ron Guidry, who was unquestionably more dominant at his peak than Morris and every bit as accomplished except for his career win total, never got even 10% of the vote.

        Tommy John had two of his three 20-win seasons for the Yankees and had better career numbers than Morris, but never got half the Hall support that Morris ended up getting.

        Like 18thstreet, I’m a Red Sox fan, but it’s not clear to me that playing for the Yankees helps get borderline guys into the Hall of Fame.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:46 AM

      I’m pretty sure you meant he was pedestrian, not “a” pedestrian. As in, run-of-the-mill, as opposed to ‘commuted to the ballpark by walking.’

      You teabaggers are fun.

  3. jacobk621 - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Are u serious ?? Jack Morris game 7 twins vs braves ,,, nuff said !!!

    • paperlions - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      That is actually the only thing you can say.

    • johnnysoda - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:16 PM

      I guess Don Larsen should be in the Hall of Fame, too, considering he had one great World Series game as well.

      And Whitaker is correct. Him and Trammell were much better players, and neither one has gotten close to the Hall. Morris isn’t deserving, no matter how poetic you are about him.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      Jack Morris ’92 WS, 10.2 IP, 10 ER, 3 HR, 8.44 ERA….nuff said

      • cktai - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:23 AM

        I find that with this sort of crowd it is also important to mention the 0-3 record in 4 starts.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      If you are going to cherry pick ONE game to elect someone to the HOF, let me present to you: Game 2, 1987 ALCS, started by the VERY FREAKIN’ SAME Jack “OMG look at my Post season record” Morris:

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN198710080.shtml

      For those who don’t want to look, Morris gave up 6 runs in 8 IP (he pitched to that score, BTW) and lost to good old Bert Blyleven.

      So sick of Jack Morris.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        for his entire body of work in the post season: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/morrija02.shtml#pitching_postseason::none

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:22 PM

        I like KenTremendous’s Jack Morris HoF rebuttal case:

        http://deadspin.com/vote-for-jack-morris-and-shut-up-about-game-7-already-1480464849

      • halfthemoney - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:12 PM

        To be honest, I’d rather give Mickey Lolich some HOF love. His 1968 post season alone was better than Morris’ entire post season career.

  4. pike573 - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    That’s how I would rank them… Whitaker-Trammel-Morris

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      Trammel, Whitaker, … hit by bus… Morris

      • cur68 - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        Yep. “Lucky to even be discussed in the same breath with Trammell and Sweet Lou Whitaker” = Jack Morris.

  5. Minoring In Baseball - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Tram and Lou are not generally considered HOFer because they played their entire career for the Tigers. Players that are loyal are not generally not favored for some reason, despite their stats. If they had jumped to the Yankees or Dodgers toward the end of their careers, then they would be better known. Their stats are very consistent with other middle infielders already in the HOF. I do think that Morris is legitimate, too, based on his stats as a whole.
    http://minoringinbaseball.com/

    • paperlions - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:29 PM

      Nah, that’s not it.

      Trammel and Whitaker have been overlooked because they were good at everything but not exceptional at anything. In general, fans and HOF voters are far more impressed by being great at one thing and bad at everything else (e.g. Frank Thomas) than being very good at everything resulting in being a more valuable player (e.g. Trammel, Whittaker, Lofton, Edmonds).

      • zzalapski - Jan 6, 2014 at 1:27 AM

        Agree with your general gist, but Frank Thomas was great at hitting for power *and* drawing a walk. Also, he ranks above Trammell, Lofton, and Edmonds in WAR among positional players (B-Ref), even with his crappy defense and negligible baserunning.

      • paperlions - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:48 AM

        WAR is a counting stat. On a per PA basis, each of those guys were as valuable or more valuable than Thomas. To use an extreme example, Jack Morris had more WAR than Mariano because he pitched more, not because he was better.

        The point is that those guys were actually every bit as good as Thomas, but because he did one thing really well (hitting) but sucked in the field or on the bases he is considered a slam dunk HOFer whereas the other guys will not make it, with 2 of them falling off of the ballot on the 1st vote.

        There is really no legitimate argument that uses all phases of the game that makes Thomas’ career that much different than any of those guys.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

        The point is that those guys were actually every bit as good as Thomas, but because he did one thing really well (hitting) but sucked in the field or on the bases he is considered a slam dunk HOFer whereas the other guys will not make it, with 2 of them falling off of the ballot on the 1st vote.

        Piggybacking off this comment:

        bWAR:
        Thomas – 73.6
        McGwire – 62.0 (another person who did two things really well, power and patience)
        Trammell – 70.3
        Whitaker – 74.8

      • paperlions - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        McGwire and Thomas are even closer via fWAR, in which McGwire put up 91% of Thomas’ WAR in only 76% of his playing time (i.e. McGwire was a much better player because he was an equal hitter and better fielder/runner, he just didn’t stay healthy as well).

      • jcsgonzo22 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        @ Paperlions – You’re seriously underrating Frank Thomas. The guy was an absolute force, and he had much more value with his “bat alone” than anyone you mentioned. Offensive value comes in many forms, and The Big Hurt was a Big Plus in most offensive categories, maybe look up his stats again, then come back and revise your post because you’re a FOOL. The fact that he could post such a high War rating with his other limitations is a testament to how dominate his bat was. Had he even been neutral as a fielder and base runner his WAR would have easily been in the 100′s. His D was considered acceptable in his prime ( although he could never throw ) I think many people judge him on his appearances at 1B when he was no longer committed to playing 1B, or post prime
        ( After he hurt his ankle 1B went by the way side )

        Also you’re acting like 1st Base is where they put the best fielders. 1B has always been a position for run producing sluggers. Did Trammell, or Lou carry the team with offense? No, I thought so. You should take another at Franks stats before you go around comparing his value to a 2B and SS. What you’re attempting to do is stupid anyways. There’s a reason the HOF evaluates players against there peers. It doesn’t make much sense to try and compare the value of well rounded middle infielders to a slugging run producing 1B.

        LOL, Yeah Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker are in the same class as one of, if not the best right handed hitter in the last 30 years. Your an absolute moron, I’m tired of stat boy turds like you who act like every guy was drafted as a 5 tool player. You defined the HOF yourself when you said its filled with guys who do 1 thing exceptionally, exceptionally being the KEY WORD, and Frank Thomas was an exceptional hitter during the 90′s and even a couple seasons in his later years.

        You’re a stat boy who only sees the game on an “All Around” value scale which is BS. I bet you think Mike Trout should have won the last 2 MVP Awards too. WAR is overrated – Real value lies, as it always has with Average, Hits, HR’s, Runs, RBI, SB’s, OBP. everything else is just a combination of other stats, or a convoluted fan graphs. How do you evaluate so much when every hitter was pitched to differently each AB – it’s all BS.

        Another thing about Thomas is he was robbed of one of the greats single seasons ever by the strike in 1994. He also had his fair share of injury problems losing around 3 full in 2001, 2004, & 2005 seasons to injury – that’s probably at least 100 HR and 200 more RBI he would’ve posted. I think he also stuck around longer, playing until he was 40 because of that, he wanted to reach 500 HR but and it cost him probably 10 points on his lifetime average – In his prime Big Frank posted averages of .320 plus with regularity ( and the OBP’s were always exceptional. Trying to say McGwire was in same league is BS, especially since one guy was a known cheater, and the other was always considered to be clean.

  6. nsstlfan - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Jacobk621, one game does not make a hall of gamer it is a career accomplishment. If it was one game David Freese is a first ballot hall of gamer

  7. andreweac - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    Did they play defense to the score better than Morris?

  8. thebadguyswon - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    If any of you haven’t, please look at Jack Morris’ career stats and explain how in god’s name those are the numbers of a Hall of Famer. I knew he wasn’t good enough and then today I looked at his career stats. They were even worse than I thought.

    An average pitcher who had some fantastic starts in huge postseason games. Nowhere near an elite player.

  9. smillr58 - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Quit whining so much… It’s just a game.

  10. jrobitaille23 - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    I guess I am not surprised posters on this site think Lou and Trammel are HOF. But if they are to make it then you have to also induct guys with similar careers like Dwight Evans, Ellis Burks, Don Mattingly, and hundreds more..but you can’t because they just aren’t amongst the best to ever play the game. Maybe among the best Tigers. They were great players for sure, but HOFers? Not even close and the amount of votes they received are on point

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 5, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      What’s wrong with Dwight Evans for the HoF? he’s a lot more justifiable than Rice/Dawson

    • Reflex - Jan 5, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      Except those guys did not have similar careers at all…

    • weaselpuppy - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      completely incorrect.

      The players you mention played premium offensive positions. Mattingly had a short peak and short career and 35th or so for 1b.

      Burks ranks around #30-40th for CF with a negative career defensive value and only 3 seasons that look anything like an All Star level season (two in the juice era, one which in Colorado). There are at least 6 CF I’d put in over him that aren’t in yet. Maybe 8 or 9. The HOF only has 18 CF.

      Evans is a guy who deserves more consideration. Power bat, consistent, good arm (but no range), very good OB skills….but still doesn’t rank amongst his RF peers as well as Tram or Lou rank among theirs.

      Tram and Lou’s ranks among their positional peers place them in the top 10 of all time.

      Jeter better than Tram? Landslide yes? essentially the same WAR and JAWS, within 1 point.

      Ryno than Lou? Lou outpaces him not by a tiny margin in WAR, same JAWS.

      First ballot big market guys vs middle market guys with the same value who fall off the ballot in their first year or never get 50% of the vote.

      Hundreds more? Bad at math too huh?

      Trolls….

      • jrobitaille23 - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        Who exactly were these amazing right fielders that played during Evans’ time that you don’t think he matched up well with? I am a Red Sox fan and I even question Jim Rice getting in. Rice getting in makes it the Hall of Very Good. His induction brought out a lot arguments most supporters pointing out that anyone who is among the league’s best for 10 years deserves to get in. If that is a viable argument then Dwight Evans deserves it.

        Lou Whitaker’s numbers for a 19 year career just don’t get it done. Across the board he is good not great. His name should never be brought up by anyone except fanboys like you.

        Alan Trammel makes a better case but his numbers still aren’t there. If not for the outlier season of 1987 where everyone hit better he was an average hitter albeit at a premium position.

        Apparently more voters agree with me because Lou had zero chance and Trammel did well but fell short.

        I mentioned Mattingly because he DOMINATED both offensively and defensively and was THE best 1B for 6 seasons. Sure his career was shortened and his numbers were affected due to injuries but Mattingly for those 6 years was as good an offensive and defensive 1B as you will see in history. You simply cannot claim that about Evans, Trammel, Whitaker, Burks and hudreds of other great but not HOF worthy players.

        Fanboys….

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        Lou Whitaker’s numbers for a 19 year career just don’t get it done. Across the board he is good not great. His name should never be brought up by anyone except fanboys like you.

        Reposting this, one’s a HoF’er, the other isn’t. Pick the one who is:

        .285/.344/.452 – 114 OPS+; 403 2b, 282 HR, 761 BB, 1260 K; 59.5 oWAR (bref)
        .276/.363/.426 – 117 OPS+; 420 2b, 244 HR, 1197 BB, 1099 K; 67.0 oWAR (bref)

        Alan Trammel makes a better case but his numbers still aren’t there. If not for the outlier season of 1987 where everyone hit better he was an average hitter albeit at a premium position.

        Trammell is a career 110 OPS+ hitter at a position that wasn’t known for hitters. Cherry picking a bit of stats here, but if you remove his first year (not a full time player) and his last three years which he played only half a season each, he becomes a 115 OPS+ hitter. That’s slightly worse than future HoF’er Derek Jeter (117 OPS+). Then throw in that Trammell was actually a good defensive SS vs Jeter’s awfulness, and you get their similar bWAR #’s (70.3 for AT vs 71.6 for DJ).

        Apparently more voters agree with me because Lou had zero chance and Trammel did well but fell short.

        This is awful appeal to authority when Kevin Brown has a far better case for the HoF than Jack Morris. Yet Brown dropped off in the first year and Morris is in his 15th. Also, Ron Santo was never elected via the BBWAA and he was more than deserving. [Never mind the picks of Dawson and Rice for the HoF].

      • weaselpuppy - Jan 6, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        Reading comprehension troll…..Lou and Trams peers are ALL TIME, as were Evans, not during their era. But, that being a different but interesting discussion;

        Having grown up and watched all of them, I will say that Evans benefitted from an era weak in RF while Tram was fighting it out every year with Ozzie, Ripken, Yount and Larkin. This is why he is getting fewer votes, because the BBWAA has some stupid notion about overloading that era at that position. No matter that Tram transplanted to 1945-1975 would have been the best SS in MLB. (I’ll save you the outrage, as Ernie Banks played more 1b than ss)

        Whitaker’s era peer was Sandberg, though he caught the back end of the Other Jobbed 2b, Bobby Grich. Carew was Grich’s main peer, but played more 1b than 2b and stopped playing 2b after age 29, keeping his defensive decline mitigated from his legacy.

        Evans era peers were the Reggies and Dave Winfield. Reggie Smith was a midpoint of Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield, both of whom were better players than Evans. Smith is in about the same boat as Evans IMO. Parker in that era not a consideration. That was a down era for RF when you look at the era preceding ( Aaron Robinson Clemente Kaline) or just completed ( Bonds, Ichiro, Guerrero Sheffield Sosa).

        Evans struggles against his own era peers. Lou and Tram fit top 10 all time. Anything more you want to be wrong about, keep on typing…

      • jrobitaille23 - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        “Evans struggles against his own era peers. Lou and Tram fit top 10 all time. Anything more you want to be wrong about, keep on typing…”

        Top 10 at their position huh? So dumb and probably doesn’t deserve a response but here goes

        SS

        Ripkin
        Ozzie
        Jeter
        Vizquel
        Larkin
        Banks
        Wagner
        Arod
        Yount
        Appling
        Cronin
        Rollins

        and a few more guys I never heard of that would put Tramell squarely in the Tejada, Nomar non deserving list. Tulo will soon join that list

        Whitaker lmao!!

        Hornsby
        Sandberg
        Joe Morgan
        Alomar
        Frisch
        Jackie
        Eddie Collins
        Nap Lajoie
        Gehringer
        Cano
        Pedroia (yes, RoY, MVP, 3 GG, 2 rings, with a whole second half of his career to come)
        Mazerowki
        Nellie Fox
        Kent
        Biggio

        I mean, really?

        and it isn’t my argument that if you are one of the best at your position for a decade that it gets you in. I am saying it was argued that way for Rice.

      • weaselpuppy - Jan 6, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Addressing your lists, with facts and some measurements of players that account for era etc. bWAR, JAWS (designed to smooth the peak vs career length skew in some players)

        Ripkin-first off, it’s Ripken. WAR rank-3 JAWS-clear top 5 SS

        Ozzie-WAR-8 JAWS-8. 87OPS+ (13% below average, making him the 19th out of 22nd ranked hitter among SS in HOF. Loved watching him play. Clear HOF as a glove man, plus his speed.

        Jeter- Hasn’t stopped yet, so numbers could go down.WAR-10th(one spot and one win ahead of Trammell, JAWS12th, one point and spot BEHIND Trammell) Great hitter. terrible fielder. Great post season player. Not a top 5 SS all time.

        Vizquel- Not eligible to be voted on yet. WAR rank-29 JAWS 41. Great glove. Very good basestealer. Would be worst hitting SS to enter HOF if elected.

        Larkin-WAR-12, JAWS 13- nice player. HOF worthy. Stats extremely similar to Trammell, a shade better with the stick and on the bases, worse with the glove (dWAR)

        Banks- played at 1b more than SS which he stopped playing after age 30. If included, WAR rank 14 JAWS-7. Raked HR, no speed, no OB skills. HOF, but after age 30 was a pretty meh player for a 1b

        Wagner- Stud. Top SS. WAR-1 JAWS-1

        Arod-Stud. Cheater. Scumbag. 84 more games at 3b makes him a 3b for his career. WAR-2 JAWS-2 SECA-1 (Steroid Enhanced Centaur Ahole)

        Yount-JAWS-5 WAR-5. Peer of Tram, a small bit better too. 45% of his career at less demanding OF position evens this out for me.

        Appling-WAR7 JAWS-8. Not much power or speed. Lower than TRammell on defensive score. HOF player for sure.

        Cronin-WAR 16 JAWS 16- Average HOF by both stats. Fine player.

        Rollins-yet to finish but will add to his totals a bit, but clearly in decline phase WAR 37 JAWS 38. OPS+below 100. not HOF material.

        Trammell- WAR 11 JAWS 11 (counting Banks and ARod) Defensive value- dWAR career rank? 20 against all SS in history, 11 against all HOF SS, a couple who are terrible HOF choices, none of which are on your list besides Ozzie and Ripken. Which is my point. We saw so many HOF SS in the 80s he gets overlooked,. but historically would have dominated other eras.

        So in review- Same numbers as Larkin, same value as Jeter and Ozzie, more value than the average SS already in the HOF. Better fielder than all but 20 SS in history.

        Whitaker lmao!!

        Hornsby- WAR 1 JAWS 1 Best 2b ever

        Sandberg-WAR11 JAWS 9- Almost exact WAR/JAWS values ofr average of all HOF 2b. Ranks lower than Whitaker in both. Ranks behind Whitaker in defensive value.

        Joe Morgan-WAR 4 JAWS 4-Greatest post WW2 2b non Jackie Robinson division

        Alomar- WAR 12 JAWS 13- Had 10 GG yet 1/7th the defensive value score for Whitaker. Those scores are a bit wonky…but not off by 85%…

        Frisch WAR 9 JAWS 8- 2nd highest defensive score for HOF 2bmen. Fine HOF, criminal HOF voter.

        Jackie-WAR 10 JAWS 11- Did that in 10 years mostly nont during his peak. Top 5 talent at 2b all time.

        Eddie Collins WAR 2 JAWS 2 Inner circle HOF

        Nap Lajoie-WAR-3 JAWS-3 Inner circle HOF

        Gehringer-WAR-5 JAWS 6 (Carew)- Clear upper tier HOF

        Cano-Not yet finished. Clearly better bat, defense not as good by the numbers(would have to compile 150% more value through his decline years than his peak years to reach Whitaker’s defensive value) WAR-19 JAWS 20. HOF bound most likely barring injury

        Pedroia (yes, RoY, MVP, 3 GG, 2 rings, with a whole second half of his career to come). WAR 41 JAWS 30-Lou won a RoY too, btw. Same OPS+ as Whitaker, btw. Heckuva fielder too. Has a shot at the hall if he continues trajectory…50/50ish though.

        Mazerowki- Worst HOF induction in last 20 years including Rice. WAR 46 JAWS 51. Worst hitting HOF 2b by a wiiiiide margin. best defensive score among HOF 2b (guess who would be 7th?) Jack Morris is a better HOF candidate.

        Nellie Fox WAR 24 JAWS 22- Top 5 fielding 2b. 3rd worst HOF 2b hitter.

        Kent- WAR 18 JAWS 18- Hits HR. Bout it. Whitaker far better fielder, better OB, better runner(by a bit). Not much HOF love here.

        Biggio-WAR 14 JAWS 13- Has all the pretty round numbers and really was a heckuva player. No issue with him in the Hall. More value in legs and longevity, Whitaker with equal stick and better glove (Biggio ebded with a negative defensive value at 2b, longeveity did that but not an elite fielder in any case).

        Whitaker- WAR 7 JAWS 12. 7th best fielding value among HOF 2b. 10th OPS+ among HOF 2b.

        Facts are mean.

  11. nightrain42 - Jan 5, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Not so sure bout Lou, but definitely agree with him about Tram. I personally don’t think Jack belongs

  12. redwings248 - Jan 5, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    I watched all 3 of them play at tigers stadium, and sweet Lou is right!!

  13. rgledz - Jan 5, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Hardball Talk readers do not endorse Bill Baer to win a Pulitzer. He’s a no talent hack that sounds way too much time ripping on Jack Morris and he’s kind of annoying.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:04 AM

      Feel free to request a refund for your subscription to HBT, since you are obviously forced to read this site.

      Also, I noticed you didn’t say Bill was wrong though…

  14. weaselpuppy - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:11 AM

    but I will say the headline is completely misleading. Whitaker is clearly saying that he and Tram are better and More Deserving, not that Morris isn’t or that he shouldn’t be in.

    muckraking on a slow news day.

  15. crackersnap - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    I wonder whether or not the Detroit coaching staff, or front office personnel, ever made mention to Whitaker, or even Trammel for that matter, that it was important to prevent their opponents from scoring runs? We already know from Morris that they never told him any such thing.

  16. joegeshel - Jan 6, 2014 at 1:09 AM

    The Hall of Fame voters are inconsistent with reality. Most have coastal vision. If Morris pitched in winning 3 World Series with either the Dodgers, Yankees, or Red Sox, he would be in long ago. Statistics notwithstanding. The same is true for Trammel and Whitaker. They were far better for a longer time than any double play in history. And individually they were better than all but a few infielders. Very few. But the word “Fame” in Hall of Fame means where you played and not how you played. It is forever thus. Now you know!

  17. 6kings - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:03 AM

    That doesn’t sound like the Champion Lou Whitaker. What does your metric say about what he just said? How does it rate in the VCHI? (Virtual Club House Impact)

  18. keltictim - Jan 6, 2014 at 6:37 AM

    I am admittedly lacking in knowledge about this situation. From what I gather from the posts Morris had 1) slightly above average stats 2) good saber numbers. Does that some it up? If that’s accurate then I say no hall. I know a lot of you guys live those saber numbers but IMO, saber numbers are not good indicators of a career. This is only my opinion but they seem to be cherry picked, interesting, made up, stats used to validate an argument. The teams that win championships seem to not really live and die by saber alone. I still believe the regular stats combined with intangibles are the best way to determine a players value. My proof, the athletics. For all their saber stat based players what have they won? On the flip side look at the Red Sox. They built a team based on old fashioned stats and good “club house” players. Yes in sure some of the players had great saber numbers but I see that as mere coincidence. Good players are going to have done good saber numbers and some good players are gonna have done bad saber numbers. Is Shane Victorino a good saber guy? Idk. What I do know is he was a great teammate, and that chemistry combined with his good “regular” stats made him a great choice for the sox. Same as johnny Gomes, same as David Ortiz. I know you saber guys are gonna shred my argument with a bunch if dazzling saber stats, and that’s fine, maybe you’ll change my mind. Right it wrong it’s only my opinion.

    • cur68 - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:10 AM

      Morris’s SABER numbers are slightly better than his counting stats. That is all. Neither gets him in the HoF. SABER stats are not made up. Not anymore than ERA or BA. Its just math. The Red Sox built what they did by using outstanding SABER analysis coupled with a big bankroll. There’s this guy. Bill James. A true stat and SABER guy. He’s famous for it. He WORKS for The Red Sox. Is on their payroll for his statistical analysis.

      The difference between The Red Sox and The A’s is bankroll. The A’s are trying to win it all with a small bankroll, SABER and scouting. The Red Sox are showing you what can be done with a big bankroll, SABER and scouting.

      These are not my opinions. These are facts.

      • cktai - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:26 AM

        SABR*

        (it was just too tempting to resist, sorry)

      • cur68 - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:29 AM

        I’m sleepy. Up all night. Thanks.

      • yahmule - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        It’s cool, man. Anybody can make a mistake SIX times.

        ;~)

      • cur68 - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        If you stay up all night, yep.

    • Reflex - Jan 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      1) Morris had a slightly above average career by traditional metrics. He was a good pitcher for a long time. But never great.

      2) His SABR numbers are about the same, good pitcher, long career, never great.

      3) The Red Sox are one of the top three teams in the game for using SABR approaches to players. Its pretty much them, the Rays and the Athletics for the most use of advanced statistics. The Indians are probably fourth. The difference between the RS and the A’s is payroll, they can afford to pay for SABR numbers while the A’s are a combination of SABR and finding undervalued attributes known as “Moneyball”. The Red Sox can afford to get the guy they need regardless of his price so long as he fills the statistical needs they have identified. The A’s understand the statistics but have to find the needed stats at the cheapest possible price. The Rays are in the same situation. As a result neither of those teams can maximize a SABR strategy like the Red Sox can.

      Most of the top teams in the league over the past decade have been primarily SABR teams. Red Sox, Cardinals (since Moz left), Rays, etc.

  19. rdillon99 - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    I’m sure that at some point in his life, Whitaker did walk along a street… but his baseball abilities were much more than pedestrian.

  20. buddaley - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    It is unusual for someone to agree with a viewpoint while at the same time reversing the arguments and information that those with whom he agrees use and make. You agree with most sabermetric thinkers that Morris is not a HOFer, but every statement you make is the opposite of what those people say. And of course, your information about teams such as the Red Sox is nearly the reverse of what is true as is your interpretation of the A’s and your interpretation of Morris and the sabermetric view of him.

    It is like you are through the looking glass or in Seinfeld’s bizarro world.

    Your first statement, however, is entirely correct.

  21. benrob99 - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    F%@* WAR. I’m so sick of you stat nerds killing baseball. None of the 3 should be HoFers. But when you tell me that you have a stat that says Trammell is as good as Jeter or Whitaker was as good as Sandberg that’s when I tell you that you’ve lost your damn mind.

    • nategearhart - Jan 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      And when you learn to stop handling debates like a child then the rest of us might give a rat’s ass.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Whitaker was as good as Sandberg that’s when I tell you that you’ve lost your damn mind.

      Pick the HoF’er:

      .285/.344/.452 – 114 OPS+; 403 2b, 282 HR, 761 BB, 1260 K; 59.5 oWAR (bref)
      .276/.363/.426 – 117 OPS+; 420 2b, 244 HR, 1197 BB, 1099 K; 67.0 oWAR (bref)

    • raysfan1 - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      Would you like some cheese with your whine?

      Do you realize 29 of the 30 MLB teams utilize advanced stats with their scouting? #30 is the Ruben Amaro “led” Phillies. Guess baseball is almost completely ruined for you.

      Seriously, though, how does one person’s way of understanding and enjoying baseball have a thing to do with you? Is anyone forcing you to read “stat nerds’” posts?

    • jrobitaille23 - Jan 6, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Ben, stop trying to argue with stupid. It’s rampant on here

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        It’s a lot easier to feel intelligent when you ignore everyone’s rebuttals to your inane postings.

  22. grumpyoleman - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    So the Red Six will win the World Series every year until Bill James dies

    • raysfan1 - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Expressed like someone who does not understand variance/probability/chance.

      I know of exactly zero prominent proponents of advanced metrics that does not think old-fashioned scouting is still important.

      Plus, of course, almost every team nowadays uses advanced metrics as part of player analysis.

      • grumpyoleman - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        Expressed like someone who spends too much time only looking at stats and doesn’t understand there are many things besides advanced metrics or even advanced scouting that determine how individual players or teams perform.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:43 PM

        On the contrary, I have never once said or implied that assembling a winning team is not a complex thing. It requires traditional scouting, understanding the psychology of each player, metrics, leadership, health and even luck…and each of those could be broken down into many facets.

        It is you, with snide derision of metrics, who clearly is willfully ignorant of how most organizations develop their teams. Nobody who truly understand statistical analysis would ever assert they could field a championship squad every season. Nobody who understands MLB team construction fails to understand that every team not called the Phillies already makes heavy use of advance metrics and statistical analysis in their scouting departments.

  23. irishdodger - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Trammell is a HoFer. Normcash is right, if Trammell & Whitaker played for the Yanks they’d be shoo-ins.

  24. sportsfan18 - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Jack, NOT a HOF

    Lou, NOT a HOF

    Alan, DEFINITELY a HOF

    There are currently 22 shortstops in the HOF.

    Alan’s batting average is .285 (same as Robin Yount’s by the way). That would place him above 9 others HOF shortstops and tied with Robin Yount.

    Alan’s on base percentage is .352% (HIGHER than Robin Yount’s by the way). That would place him above 11 of the 22 HOF shortstops.

    Alan has 2365 hits (well behind Yount) but that is more than 13 HOF shortstops.

    Alan has 185 home runs, that is more than 18 of the 22 HOF shortstops.

    Alan has 1231 runs scored, more than 9 of the HOF shortstops.

    Alan has more stolen bases than 12 of the HOF shortstops.

    Alan is low on RBI’s with only 1,003 but that is still more than 5 of the HOF shortstops.

    Also, Alan received MVP votes/points in 7 different seasons.

    Alan is not the best shortstop ever or near the top but he is a HOF shortstop. He does not lessen the standards of shortstops in the hall. He fares very well overall compared to the shortstops in the hall.

    Many shortstops in the hall don’t have the stats that he does actually.

    • jrobitaille23 - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      you are cherry picking stats and then cherry picking players to compare those stats to. He played in a bandbox, hit above average for a SS but considering his ballpark, not that great, and he was a great defender. He is a fringe candidate and if you are going to let guys like Rice is, you might as well let Trammel in. But if you cast a vote for him instead of Bonds, Clemens, Thomas, Raines, or Maddux then you are making a mistake as those players are truly among the greatest to play the game.

  25. tsrblue - Jan 6, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    At least Jack Morris stood up for the national anthem!!!!

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