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Jack Morris on 15th and final Hall of Fame snub: “I’m tired of getting scrutinized by writers.”

Jan 24, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

Jack Morris

Jack Morris missed out on the Hall of Fame for the 15th and final time a little over two weeks ago. For someone who came so close — within eight percent of the 75 percent threshold in 2013 balloting — it might seem frustrating, but it sounds more like a relief to Jack Morris. Morris, though, says he is tired of being under the microscope. Via Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press:

“I’m relieved,” Morris said. “I’m glad. I’m tired of getting scrutinized by writers.”


“Fifteen years ought to be long enough for anybody, you know?” Morris said. “If it’s not going to happen in 15 years, it’s not going to happen.”

Morris can still enter the Hall of Fame starting in December 2016, if the Veterans Committee deems him worthy. It’s hard to see Morris getting snubbed again by the Veterans Committee, particularly since Gil Hodges is the only player to get more than 50 percent of the vote to not eventually get into the Hall of Fame, according to Tom Tango. Tony Oliva had the second-highest vote percentage among snubs at 47 percent.

  1. rickybobby4102 - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    I should think it an honor to be criticized for my baseball career in discussions regarding the Hall of Fame.

    • Kevin Gillman - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      How does it feel being scrutinized at work by every higher-up, when you think you’re doing well? One thing Jack did do that many people don’t understand is he gave the bullpen a night off almost every game. In a 162 game season, it’s a big deal, but no, he just isn’t “worthy” of the Hall of Fame.

      • anxovies - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        All I remember about him is that nobody on the other team seemed very pleased when it was his time to pitch in the rotation.

      • paperlions - Jan 25, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        He averaged 7.1 IP/start over his career.

        He averaged less than 1 out more per start than Dave Steib (6.87 IP), 1 out more per start than Tanana (6.71 IP), about 1/3 of an out more per start than Kevin Brown (6.99 IP), and about 1/3 of an out less than Steve Rogers (7.19)…..those are just random non-HOF pitchers I pulled that are contemporaries of Morris.

        He really didn’t last longer than games than most decent starters during that time period.

      • Kevin Gillman - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:49 PM

        Ask the players in his day their thoughts on the man. I am not just saying jibberish, I am just repeating what others had said about him during his time. Let me ask you this, what was his ERA from innings 1-3, then 4-6, then 7-9. My guess is many of those runs did come in innings 7-9, but you also remember it was a different age, and time in those days. They didn’t have baseball-reference, or the internet nitpicking each and every pitch Jack threw, like they can now.

      • Kevin Gillman - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:08 PM

        And by the way Paperlions, Jack averaged 7.1 innings, and Verlander has averaged 6.66 IP in his career, and he is by far the better pitcher than Jack was. But Verlander’s WHIP is 1.1, and Jack’s was at 1.2. Jack also averaged just about 7.5 IP as a Tiger, it was later on in his career that his IP went down, but then again you would figure that, with age. But there is a reason why Sparky gave Jack the opening day nod for what, 6 years? Because he was reliable, and the Tigers’ best pitcher.

      • dfj79 - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        Kevin, here are the Morris ERA splits you were wondering about:

        Innings 1-3: 3.94
        Innings 4-6: 4.01
        7th inning on: 3.64

      • paperlions - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        Kevin, you ask players of his day whatever you want and their perceptions still don’t change facts. People often think things that aren’t true: confirmation bias is a powerful emotional-cognitive force, and if one doesn’t ever bother to actually use objective measure, you are doomed to fall prey to it.

  2. wlschneider09 - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    I was so hoping we were finally done with Jack Morris/hall of fame posts.

    • 78mu - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      C’mon. The guy had the most wins of any pitcher during the 1980s. If that doesn’t scream Hall of Famer, what does.

      Of course, if that’s the case, the real inductees should be his parents for timing his conception so that his peak years were in that decade.

      Whoops! I forgot to add that he was so good he could pitch to the score.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    It’s a good thing he didn’t say he wanted to be relieved in all those major postseason games like specifically that one that is the only one that is ever mentioned.

  4. hardkor07mn - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    As a twins fan, I will never forget the 91 series. If it were up to me, you would be in just because of game 7 alone. It was amazing, incredible and awesome! Thanks for the memory Black Jack! I will never forget it.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      Thank you.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Just so we’re clear….I was thanking you for reinforcing my above point.

    • tuberippin - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:44 AM

      Don’t worry. The Veterans Committee will make certain that Jack Morris gets in almost entirely because of the 1991 World Series.

      But on the bright side, the VC has elected far worse players to the HOF in the past (High Pockets Kelly, anyone??).

      • cogitobaseballergosum - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:38 AM

        High Pockets nearly gets in on nickname alone. All he had to be was an above average player and he was a lock.

    • Cris E - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      And Gene Larkin too. HoF for both of them. Man, what a game…

    • gonderfan - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      As a White Sox fan, I will never forget the last game of the 1962 season. 19-year-old rookie center-fielder Brian McCall hit two home runs against the Yankees in his first big-league start, an 8-4 win over the 1st place Yankees. The White Sox finished 5th,and McCall got only one more start in his major league career, but if it were up to me, he would be in the Hall just because of game 162 alone. It was amazing, incredible and awesome (to this 8 year old, anyway). Thanks for the memory, Brian! I will never forget it.

      • yahmule - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        That is one of the crazier stat lines in history. Thanks.

      • gonderfan - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        I guess by ‘crazy stat line’ you mean going from a +286 OPS one year to a -61 the next… Brian McCall is an artist (I discovered that about ten years ago when I looked to see what had become of him), and quite an interesting guy. Besides being the first of 3 teen-age center-fielders to hit two homers in a game (I didn’t know that until just now!) (Griffey Jr and Harper have followed him), and besides the lasting memories I have of listening to his big game on my transistor radio, here are a couple of articles about him, his art, and his baseball:

        And his Wikipedia entry:

    • happytwinsfan - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      i hate to say it but i guess the people who say jack’s career stats don’t quite get him in the hall are right, but you sure are right about that game.

      jack was a home town boy made good coming home, who delivered the biggest win in twins history, which was also one of the best games in one of the best world series ever.

      i believe he gave up about 8 hits in that game and i don’t know what the pitch count was going into the tenth but i bet it was around 130. after the game twins catcher brian harper said that some of morris’s warm up pitches in the tenth didn’t make it to the plate, but he still willed himself through that inning. morris didn’t win that game with pedro or clemens type talent, he won it with average talent and bull dog determination. the fact that morris never had pedro or clemens type talent is why he didn’t make the hall, but the fact that he did what he did without it, is the best thing about him.

      • happytwinsfan - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        this was meant as a reply to hardkor7mn

  5. chszebras84 - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    To me if you can say a name of a player that played 20 yes ago and say that was a great player . To me he should be in. Just like Steve Garvey

    • cohnjusack - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:58 PM

      The “just like Steve Garvey” part was what really made this a wonderful post.

      …because I absolutely cannot fathom any justification for putting Steve Garvey in the Hall of Fame.

      • yahmule - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:34 AM

        Definitely first ballot for the Slam Hound Hall of Fame, though.

      • chszebras84 - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:02 AM

        So you think Tony Perez should be in how ? Because Steve Garvey numbers are better then his.

      • chszebras84 - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:06 AM

        So you think Tony Perez should be in HOF ? Because Steve Garvey numbers are better then his.

      • pastabelly - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:05 AM

        “…because I absolutely cannot fathom any justification for putting Steve Garvey in the Hall of Fame.”

        Well, he was a judge on the Gong Show in the 1970s. So there.

      • yahmule - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        Yeah, but if we induct Garvey for that, then you have to put Jamie Farr in, too. Slippery slope argument.

      • cartographer0 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Perez: .279/.341/.463 = 58.9 WAR
        Garvey: .294/.329/.446 = 37.8 WAR

        You prefer counting stats?

        Perez: 379 HR, 1272 R, 1652 RBI
        Garvey: 272 HR, 1143 R, 1308 RBI

      • raysfan1 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Thanks, cartographer. I was just about to call out the completely false assertion that Garvey’s numbers were better than Perez’.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:04 PM

        When Steve Garvey was playing, he was the very definition of a Future Hall of Famer. That’s what everyone called him.

        Now there was a man whose haircut your could set your watch to.

    • Reflex - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Fernando Valenzuela. Orel Hershiser. Dwight Gooden. Darrell Strawberry. Bo Jackson.

      Why aren’t they in the HOF already? I can clearly remember their names, their baseball cards, their stats and how awesome they were. By your standard they are all HOFers!

      …incidentally I also remember Kevin Maas and Phil Plantier, but then I hoarded a bunch of their rookie cards so I may be a little bit influenced by that. But I remember their names so they are in dammit!

      • cohnjusack - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        Ahh Phil Plantier. The proud subject of the dumbest baseball prediction I ever heard, compliments of my older brother circa 1997.

        “Naaah, the Cardinals probably won’t try trade for McGwire since they just got Phil Plantier.”– My Idiot Brother

    • 18thstreet - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      I know a lot of players from 20 years ago. I read your comment, and Pete Incaviglia’s name came to mind (though I had to look it up and check on the spelling). And then I thought of Brook Jacoby for some reason. And Pedro Guerrero.

      If I’m reading your comment right, because we remember their names from 20 years ago, they are all Hall of Famers. Someone, please tell me I’m not reading your comment right.

  6. nymets4ever - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    I’m not familiar enough with Morris’ career to have an opinion on whether he belongs in the HOF, but I still agree with his main point. Fifteen years of no-talent suit-wearers trying to tear your life’s work down has got to be tiring.

    • yahmule - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      To be fair, a lot of these guys consider polo shirts and Dockers to be dressing up. That Men’s Wearhouse number in the closet is reversed for weddings, funerals and job interviews.

    • happytwinsfan - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      “I’m not familiar enough with Morris’ career to have an opinion on whether he belongs in the HOF”

      refreshing to see someone acknowledge that they don’t know everything about everything and therefore aren’t entitled to come to some bombastic judgement about everything and anything. i should probably hold myself to that standard more then i do.

      i agree with the second part of your post too, except i’d add that morris must be feeling disappointed and saying that he’s relieved it’s over is a way of covering up that disappointment.

  7. raysfan1 - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    The article was far less negative than the headline appeared to indicate it would be, for which I’m glad.

  8. nsstlfan - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    One game does not make a Hall of Famer. If that was the case then David Freese would be in first ballot for game six of the 2011 World Series

    • nbjays - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      And Don Larson would be in long before Freese.

  9. baseballisboring - Jan 25, 2014 at 2:12 AM

    Even though I’m vehemently against Morris getting in the Hall, I can understand that it must be really irritating to read article after article about how overrated you are, and that you don’t belong in the Hall, etc., even though those are counter balanced by articles to the contrary. Morris is really an innocent bystander of this whole argument.

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      While true to some extent, if a large panel of “experts” convene and 50-70% of them repeatedly express a view (e.g. a vote for the HOF) that demonstrates that they think I was a lot better at something than I was….I wouldn’t mind if they kept doing it. Usually, witnessing someone think you are better than you are never grows tired. The problem here is that Morris thinks he was much better than he was, and that opinion largely is based on what the writers think of him (i.e. their votes).

  10. mtr75 - Jan 25, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    I don’t know what the big deal is. Is the criteria for getting into the hall now being very good? This is a guy who never won a Cy Young, led the league in wins twice (once with 14), led the league in strikeouts once, had a career 3.90 ERA and 254 wins. Yawn. Next! I’m sure it’s Biggio fans whining about this.

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      I can’t recall a single proponent of Biggio’s HOF case liking Morris for the HOF. Simply put, they are diametrically opposed statistically.

      Biggio, when compared to other leadoff men offensively and other fielders defensively, ranks among the best.

      Jack Morris does not rank among the best pitchers in any way.

      • mtr75 - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        Biggio doesn’t even remotely rank among the best among lead off hitters offensively. That’s simply untrue. And he won 4 gold gloves in 20 years. Let’s stop trying to make the guy a cross between Rickey Henderson and Ozzie Smith. I mean seriously, both of your statements are just a joke.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:50 PM

        Try looking stuff up before commenting. I’m done with you.

      • mtr75 - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:20 PM

        In other words everything I said is correct and you surrender? Understood.

      • mtr75 - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:30 AM

        Classic surrender response. I guess you can’t disprove anything I said, huh? Next time just don’t respond, you won’t make a fool of yourself.

    • cohnjusack - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      Yes, because the Hall of Fame cases of Biggio and Morris are so similar…

      In fact, I would say a pretty vast majority of those who are against Morris in the Hall are for Biggio. Biggio’s case is pretty well loved in the sabermetric community and based on things like positional scarcity, OBP, lack of double plays, stealing bases at a high success rate. Not exactly things the Jack Morris crowd champions.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        Do you think there’s a hitter who matches up with Jack Morris’s case? I wonder if it’s even possible, but there’s no one on the current ballot who comes to mind. I mean, the Morris Argument* is “His statistics may not be that impressive and he didn’t win many awards, but for 15 years, there was no pitcher you wanted more in a big game more than him. And he came through, like in 1991 World Series.”

        * I do not endorse this argument.

        Is there a hitter who maybe never won any MVP awards, didn’t put up eye-popping stats, but is still doing well on the ballot? Tony Perez is probably the closest hitter I can think of who matches up a bit with Morris. He’s in because he was a clutch hitter on great teams.

  11. thebadguyswon - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    So the Vets Committee would put Morris in and not Gil Hodges….guess they’re a bunch of idiots too.

  12. paperlions - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    The Veterans committee is nothing like the old veterans committee in which players lobbied for their buddies and traded votes. Once all of that was put to a stop, the horrible choices by the veteran’s committee stopped. Heck, the new version of the committee took forever to elect a top 10 3B, who was the 3rdnd best 3B all-time when he retired, behind only Eddie Mathews and Brooks Robinson….of course, the writers screwed up his vote as well. I don’t think the assumption that Morris will fly through the Veteran committee process is justified….those guys should be far more aware that he was about the 5th or 6th best player on most of his teams, and most of the guys that were better than him (e.g. Darrell Evans, Trammell, Whittaker, Lemon, Parrish, Gibson…just from the Tigers).

  13. drewsylvania - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Don’t blame him. Sometimes you just want to be left alone.

  14. wpjohnson - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Maybe he shouldn’t have spent so much time “pitching to the score” if, indeed, that really happened. It sound s like an excuse for giving up a lot of earned runs. So, again, I will say that Morris was and is no Hall of Famer.

  15. yahmule - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Does anybody here who thinks Jack Morris should think he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame?

    • abaird2012 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      I feel a lot more like I do now than I did when I got here.

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      Assuming you mean, does anyone think that Morris should have a realistic opinion of his career which shows that he is nothing like a HOF pitcher, yes, I think that….it isn’t hard at all for any player to look at the numbers and see how they stacked up….and if Morris bothered to look at the numbers (even traditional ones) rather than listening to the fawning BBWAA members, he’d have a hard time convincing himself that he belonged in the HOF when there are dozens of clearly better pitchers than he was that have never sniffed the HOF (and shouldn’t have).

      • yahmule - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        If you had the exact same career as Jack Morris, you would want to be in the Hall of Fame. If you say differently, you’re a liar.

      • paperlions - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        If I had the exact same career as Morris, and looked at all of the guys that put up far better numbers than me that are not in the HOF, and that I pitched during a pitchers era, and that my ERA would by FAR be the highest of any pitcher in the HOF, I would realize that I don’t belong in the HOF.

        Not everyone is a self-centered narcissist. Some people understand very well exactly how good they are at things and how they compare to others.

        Do me a favor and stop projecting and calling me a liar because I don’t think the way you do.

  16. American of African Descent - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    The writers did not “snub” Jack Morris—a snub implies that he belonged in the first place.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      Thanks AAD, and I’ll add that to snub is to disdainfully reject, usually with the intent of insulting the snubee. Perhaps some voters had that in mind, but most who didn’t vote for him probably just didn’t think he deserved the honor of being included with the likes of Gibson, Koufax and Feller, you know, the very best of all time.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:16 PM

        Or Catfish Hunter and Don Drysdale. You don’t have to be Bob Feller to be a Hall of Famer.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:39 AM

        18thstreet, I did not intend the three names to be a comprehensive list, just examples of the very best of all time. Hunter and Big D would also make my list.

  17. johnnycantread - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Morris should have taken a page out of ex-NFL player Harry Carson’s book.
    Carson told the HOF voters that he wanted his name removed from the ballot… and they elected him!
    Reminded me of “Red” Redding in “The Shawshank Redemption”: “So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time.”

  18. Minoring In Baseball - Jan 25, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    I think he had a career worthy of being in the HOF, especially next to some in the past that I don’t think should have made it in. Just my opinion though, as I do think that wins and championships mean something.

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