Let's start with arguments against Morris. The first thing you hear is "he only won 254 games". Only 254 wins?! No active pitcher has had 250 wins since Jack retired over five years ago.
Originally Posted by Freakshow
Not exactly a long amount of time, and Wins are not the end-all . . .
Everyone else, even those with weak W-L pcts (Rixey .515, Lyons .531), has been put in eventually.
. . . nor is W-L pct
Another strike against Morris is he never won a Cy Young award. Again, many hall of fame pitchers never did. Relying partly on retroactive surveys, there are at least 10 pitchers in the Hall who were never their league's top pitcher (Haines, Bender, Pennock, Marichal, Willis, Lyons, Niekro, Sutton, Ryan and Plank);
Pennock probably was the best pitcher in his league in 1925, Willis in 1899 AND 1901, Lyons in 1927, Niekro in 1974 AND 1978, and Ryan in 1977.
The most glaring weakness in Jack's credentials is his lifetime ERA. At 3.90 it his higher than any pitcher in the Hall. There are several points to note about this:
· Some of this was the manager. Sparky would leave Jack in to be pummeled even if he didn't have his good stuff that day, just because he was his workhorse and his ace.
He might have left him in but he only led the league in CG once
· Morris and Blyleven are the first serious Hall candidates to pitch over 2750 innings in a DH league. Without the DH, Jack's ERA would be under 3.50.
How do you figure this?
· The league's ERA during Jack's career was 4.09. So, although 3.90 isn't great, it's easily better than average.
His ERA+ is 105, which I believe would be the worst in the Hall
· When the veterans committee finally stops messing around and elects Wes Ferrell, Morris will not have the highest ERA in the Hall. Ferrell was a six-time 20-game winner who compiled a 4.04 ERA in the heavy-hitting AL of the 30's.
So heavy-hitting that Ferrell's ERA+ is much higher, 117.
· Jack was hit hard at the end of his career. Before his last two years, his ERA was 3.73. One hall of famer (Red Ruffing 3.80) has a higher ERA than that.
So since they made one mistake ...
That's not really surprising and it demonstrates how Morris is truly qualified to join the ranks of the immortals.
There are other unique distinctions in Jack's resume. Morris was THE workhorse pitcher of his generation, completing the highest percentage of his career starts. From 1975 to 1999, the leaders in complete game percentage (minimum 300 GS) were: Morris (33.2%), Steve Rogers (32.8%), Blyleven (32.5%), Steve Carlton (29.5%), Ron Guidry (29.4%), Mike Torrez (28.2%).
If you're using CG to complain that Morris was left in too long, should you be using it as a positive then?
Seven hall of famers have shorter careers and lower percentages than Jack: Hunter, Haines, Hoyt, Drysdale, Bunning, Waddell and Marquard. Two others (Newhouser and Vance) have much shorter careers and only slightly higher percentages. Three others (Lyons, Faber, and Willis) have much lower percentages and only slightly longer careers.
The "mistake" comment above
Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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