Sports Reference Blog

Speaking our Piece About Jack Morris

Posted by admin on December 5, 2013

I don't think it's a secret that the sabermetric case for Jack Morris is an especially thin one.  A ranking using WAR has him about the 25th best player on the ballot.  But we hear all of these stats about how much of a workhorse Morris was.  Here is an example from Tom Verducci.  Now it's true that Morris pitched into the 8th the most of his era, but when he did he was actually way below average among of group of pitchers who pitched 100+ outings of that length.

Morris worked deep in the games, but it was largely due to usage rather than effectiveness.   When he went 8 innings he was league average, when he went five innings he was league average.  The chart below shows the number of innings completed by the starter per start.  So the "0" row is not all first innings, but just the games they didn't make it out of the first inning.  Their complete games would be in the 9 row.  Now there is a value to pitching late into games and Morris should be credited by that value, but it certainly looks to me that a big reason Morris went late into games was the astronomical run support he was getting not because he was pitching so much better than the average pitcher.  Note that for outings last one inning or longer Morris' RA is WORSE than league average for every single outing length.

All AL SP's 1975-1997 Jack Morris Frank Tanana (1975 on)
completed innings % of all GS W-L% RA tmAvgRS % of all GS W-L% RA tmAvgRS % of all GS W-L% RA tmAvgRS
0 1.3 0.000 89.23 4.86 0.6 0.000 64.80 5.67 1.5 0.000 83.45 5.38
1 2.7 0.000 29.29 4.61 1.1 0.000 33.48 4.33 2.0 0.000 31.30 4.73
2 4.2 0.000 18.00 4.62 2.5 0.000 20.90 4.00 3.6 0.000 19.13 4.10
3 5.9 0.000 13.06 4.60 3.2 0.000 13.81 5.24 3.6 0.000 13.23 4.60
4 8.0 0.001 10.00 4.52 6.3 0.000 12.39 4.58 5.1 0.000 9.80 4.61
5 14.0 0.412 6.45 4.94 5.7 0.375 8.79 4.50 9.9 0.324 6.91 4.94
6 18.4 0.504 4.78 4.62 12.3 0.540 5.78 5.80 17.2 0.500 4.95 4.78
7 18.4 0.637 3.43 4.51 21.3 0.730 3.94 5.88 21.9 0.633 3.51 4.70
8 12.3 0.545 2.93 3.75 19.5 0.413 3.86 3.83 15.1 0.368 3.00 2.86
9 14.1 0.842 1.68 4.91 26.0 0.867 1.77 4.53 18.8 0.880 1.48 4.97
10 0.5 0.713 1.88 2.76 1.3 0.250 2.44 2.14 0.4 0.000 0.90 0.50
11 0.1 0.667 1.63 2.54 0.2 1.64 3.00 0.4 1.000 0.82 2.50
12 0.0 0.667 1.59 2.75 0.2 3.00 5.00
13 0.0 0.59 2.57 0.4 0.00 1.50
14 0.0 0.750 1.77 4.25


It seems to me if the basis of your argument for Morris in the HOF was that he pitched deep into a lot of games (and was about avg in those outings) then you have a pretty weak argument.  The summary of our view is that Morris was a pretty good pitcher on very good teams, but really is not a whole lot better than someone like David Wells or Frank Tanana.  And certainly not better than Mike Mussina or Kevin Brown.

95 Responses to “Speaking our Piece About Jack Morris”

  1. Horace Steenblatter Says:

    How did 0.001% of starters get a win in a start of 4 innings? I thought the starter always had to go 5 innings to get the win. I was thinking perhaps a rainout, but in a rainout the losing team should still have to hit in 5 innings.

  2. Jesse Says:


    This is probably the game.

  3. Brad Says:

    So the two pitchers you mention that he is not better than are listed on the ELO meter as the #30 and #52 pitcher of all time... Mussina and Brown (you have Morris at 100).

    Lets look at Mussina vs. Morris first removing 1991 for Mussina and 77 & 78 for Morris (seasons which neither started more than 13 games). The powerhouse run producing machines that Morris played for averaged 4.64 runs while Mussina's crappy teams only averaged 5.23. Morris' teams won 1340 of 2538 (.528) and Mussina's 1500 of 2686 (.558). So clearly Morris had the advantage of playing for 4 playoff teams while Mussina only 9. Morris accounted for 18.66% of his teams wins vs. Mussina's 17.73% of his. So if anyone benefited getting wins from being on good teams it was Mussina not Morris.

    Morris stuck around two seasons too long to get his last 17 wins. Before those seasons his career ERA was 3.73 which is only .05 higher than Mussina's.

    Speaking of ERA, on average the NL's ERA is about .40 less than the AL. Kevin Brown's AL vs. NL numbers are quite fascinating. He started 247 games in the AL and 229 in the NL. His ERA's were 3.93 and 2.60 respectively. He pitched in the NL from age 31-38. Morris' ERA was actually lower than Brown's AL ERA. Morris never got the benefit of ever facing a pitcher in regular season. No easy outs like the NL pitchers.

    The bottom line is that Morris is a borderline HOF. Sabermetrics hate him because his numbers aren't pretty. I can see that, but most of his teamates and managers saw the value that you can't put in numbers. I understand (don’t agree with) the belief that "you can't pitch to the score", but that is because sabermetrics can't quantify it. The game isn't played in a vacuum. Pitchers and batters have to deal with all of the circumstances and situations surrounding them during a game. One or two seasons of luck can happen, but over the course of 550 games things tend to even out. Jack Morris might not be a clear HOFer, but ask the managers of his era who they would want to start a game 7 for them.

  4. Charles Saeger Says:

    @3: The answer to your rhetorical question would have been "Roger Clemens." No manager of the era would have been upset at having Jack Morris start game 7 for them (and the one time he did had pretty good results, to put it mildly), but nobody in the 1980s suggested that Morris was the best pitcher in baseball. There was always Fernando or Gooden or Clemens or Stewart or Hershiser or Carlton or Saberhagen who was head and shoulders better than Morris, and nobody even thought twice about the matter. I'm not even going to sabermetric darlings like Blyleven or Stieb; the Cy Young voters made it clear that they always regarded at least two other pitchers were better than Morris, who got a whopping 6 first place votes over his whole career. They even voted for La Marr Hoyt over Morris, which was stupid at the time and stupid now but they still did it. Speaking as someone who watched baseball through the latter half of his career quite a bit, I can't once remember anyone suggesting that Morris was the best pitcher in baseball. Not even after Game 7 (though the announcers took for granted then that Morris would go to the Hall).

    Want an honest comparison to Mussina (who also was never the managers' top choice, with only 3 Cy Young Award first place votes)? Even throwing out his last two seasons, his ERA is only 9% better than league. Mussina's ERA is only a bit lower, but relative to league, he was 23% better because hitters went wild during Mussina's best years. That also explains the gap in run support too. He does not compare well to Mike Mussina; your comparison is apples-to-oranges since it takes them out of context. Morris's foes scored 4.49 runs per nine overall, Mussina's 4.94. Using the park, role and fielding-adjusted numbers on this site, that becomes 4.46 for Morris and 5.16 for Mussina (the Yankees of his era had unusually bad fielding for such a good team, evidenced by its shortstop).

    Morris isn't a good HOF candidate, even though he will get in eventually, maybe even a soon eventually. His won-lost record, while lucky, is just too good; voters love that, and pick almost any pitcher who gets 250 wins. But really, he's Dennis Martinez with a better-timed spotlight (Morris pitched his no-hitter when the Tigers were starting 35-5; Martinez pitched his for a crappy Expos team). And nobody wants to put Martinez in the Hall.

  5. Bip Says:


    You can't just throw away Brown's NL numbers because pitching in the NL is easier. It is easier, but it's not 33% easier. Had Morris pitched in the NL, His career ERA would not be 2.60.

  6. Brad Says:


    I originally had written "besides the obvious Clemens", but I took it out because I wanted others to figure it out. Regarding the others like Hoyt and Saberhagen that got Cy Youngs... Who votes for those awards? Not the players or managers. The Goodens, Hoyts, Stewarts and Valenzuelas all were great pitchers for a few seasons. They didn't have the durability that Morris had. Morris completed 33% of the games he started. I couldn't find any pitcher with a higher percentage from 77 forward (Morris' first year). Blyleven was 35% for his career, but from 77 on he was only 29%. The league average from 77-94 was 15%.

    I really don't have a problem if he doesn't make it to the HOF. It's just that the HOF is already broken and if they are going to keep him out because of 3.90 then I have a huge problem with people putting pitchers like Brown and Schilling in. Schilling is another pitcher that had a much lower ERA in the NL than the AL (3.30 to 4.00).

    I will admit I want him to make it, but only because of players like Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker that got screwed. Joe Morgan is the greatest 2B of all-time. Compare his numbers with Whitaker's. They are almost identical except for SB's and BB's, but he was a much better fielder despite winning 2 less GG's. Whitaker and Trammell had career WAR of 75 and 70. Paul Molitor was a first ballet HOF (deservedly so) and his WAR was only .5 more than Whitaker and that is with 2 extra seasons.

    As I said the HOF is broken when players like Whitaker are dumped from the ballot after 1 year. I am not going to feel any regret if a borderline player like Morris makes it.

  7. Brad Says:


    I was not suggesting Morris would have been a sub 3 ERA if he pitched in the NL, but I am just tired of the articles ripping Morris as a pitcher. Morris was a RH pitcher that played in a LH friendly park for most of career and never benefited facing a pitcher with runners in scoring position and two outs. If you don't feel he deserves the HOF fine. He was my favorite pitcher because he won the big games. He also lost some, but he wasn't going to go down without a fight even when he didn't have his best stuff. I never really thought he was good enough to make the HOF, but when Mussina, Brown and Schilling are brought up as HOF worthy I feel like I need to defend a pitcher that gets slammed by sabermetrics all the time.

  8. Charles Saeger Says:

    Trammell is still on the ballot, so why not lobby for him?

    Gooden and Hershiser lasted 75% as long as Morris, but had patches where they were brilliant. Frank Tanana lasted as long, but was outright outstanding at the outset until his arm went out. Morris had no stretch in his career anywhere near their top streaks. As for complete games, there was Ryan, Palmer, Blyleven, Seaver ... the main issue is the timeline.

    Anyone who thinks Schilling and Brown are in the same category as Morris is insane. You keep harping on the DH, but that's minor (about 0.4 runs/game) compared to the huge gap in runs scored that started around 1993. The majors went past 4.5 runs/game only three times in Morris's career: 1987, then in 1993-1994, when Morris was pretty much done anyways. For Brown and Schilling, that means only 1986 and 1988-1992 had runs scored below that. They each exceeded the run environment in which they pitched by over a run, while Morris just barely was better than average.

    And again, what about Dennis Martinez? The man's stats are very close to Morris's, yet he's nowhere near the argument. He's so close in raw stats and value that if you take Morris, you can't possibly exclude Martinez.

    Morris isn't a borderline candidate. He was a good pitcher, but clearly no cigar. He's basically Dave Parker on the mound.

  9. Charles Saeger Says:

    @8 Morris's parks didn't work for or against him. Tiger Stadium was a mild pitchers' park for most of the Eighties for some reason.

    The very idea that Morris is even remotely comparable to Mussina, Schilling or Brown is just mind boggling. They beat their run environments (that is, the runs scored for the year by their foes, which adjusts for the DH which you seem to think is a major consideration—Mussina was also a career AL pitcher, FWIW) by a run. Morris beat his by a quarter of a run. They had careers of comparable lengths. The idea that Morris was a good a pitcher—that is, did as good a job as they did at preventing the other guys from scoring runs, the pitcher's job—as they is just not so.

  10. Brad Says:

    Dennis Martinez? Another pitcher that played in the AL and NL. Another example of a major difference between the two leagues. While not as glaring a difference as Brown, it was still almost a whole run better in the NL (3.13 to 4.11).

    During those 8 years (86-93) in the NL for Martinez, the NL starters ERA was 3.81 while AL starters was 4.22. And the thought that Martinez pitched for crappy teams. His teams winning % was .560. Those crappy Expos still played at a .515. Morris finished games at a 50% higher rate than Martinez.

  11. Chris Witt Says:

    When I saw the headline show up in my SI news feed about Morris belonging in the HOF, my first thought before clicking to read it was "I'll bet this is another awful Verducci column..." Sure enough, it was.

    Another glaring example of why I vowed to stop reading him a few months ago.

  12. Charles Saeger Says:

    Uh ... Martinez pitched his no-hitter for an Expos team that won 71 games. Morris pitched his for a Tigers team that won 104.

    The grand total of difference from the DH rule about 0.40 or 0.50 points of ERA. Much like Morris, Martinez beat the runs scored rate of his foes by only about 0.3 runs -- 4.13 versus 4.45. (Morris is 4.27 vs. 4.49 league, but that doesn't account for the fact that Martinez pitched in pitchers' parks.) That takes into account the DH rule. (The reasons for the whole run in Martinez's case is due to the fact Martinez drank himself out of Baltimore, then, when he came back to the AL, the hitting explosion was going on. I don't want to get all fogey but are you even old enough to know this? Martinez's comeback from the bottle was a big story in that era.)

    You clearly don't get what's going on here, or are just being dishonest and ignoring it. We're already taking into account the DH rule when we're figuring these things. And not only the DH rule, there are other things like the fact that the later pitchers pitched in an environment where nobody finished their starts, and runs were being scored at a much higher rate, a full run a game difference at points.

  13. Mr. Baseball Says:


    Forget about WAR, or Sabermetrics or the rest of that nonsense.

    Quite simply, it goes like this:

    "When in doubt, throw him out".

    Jack Morris is remembered for ten innings he threw on a late October night in 1991. He was not a HoFer yesterday, he is not a HoFer today and he sure as hell won't be a HoFer at any point in the future.

    Case closed.

    Mr. B.

  14. Brad Says:


    I get the table. It just is a "lets find a meaningless stat" to say Jack Morris doesn't belong in the HOF. The idea that everything can be quantified is incorrect. He did what he had to do to win. Why does it matter that he got run support?

    Regarding the no hitters? They are an anomaly. Lot of luck involved unless you strike most everyone out. How many line drives or hard hit balls were there in the games? You are looking at a small sample size (one game) trying to say pitching a no hitter with the expos is harder than with the tigers.

  15. Brad Says:

    Mr Baseball,

    The best argument yet. As I have stated, not saying he is a HOF, but don't tell me Schilling or Brown belong then.

  16. JS Says:

    Anyone who wants to vote for Jack Morris over the many other qualified pitchers who have been snubbed is a disgusting retard. BY EVERY MEASURE Jack Morris falls short of many others. And, yes you CAN quantify it with statistics. Anyone who says that worthiness for the HOF can't be quantified with statistics is stupid and retarded and should just shut up and has no right to speak in HOF debates!

    We will start with the most basic, Wins.

    Most wins by a pitcher not in Cooperstown:

    Greg Maddux 355
    Roger Clemens 354
    Tom Glavine 305
    Randy Johnson 304
    Tommy John 288
    Tony Mullane 284
    Jim Kaat 283
    Mike Mussina 270
    Jamie Moyer 269
    Jim McCormick 265
    Gus Weyhing 264
    Andy Pettitte 256
    Jack Morris 254

    If your argument is that "I don't care what his ERA was, Morris won ballgames." Well then, EVERY one of those 12 pitchers above him was a better pitcher. I know that Maddux, Glavine, and Johnson will cruise into the HOF easily so in a way, they aren't really part of this debate. But what about Roger Clemens? No pitcher of Jack Morris' ilk should EVER get into the HOF if Roger Clemens is left out.
    And for all you Morris dick suckers, would you also vote for, Tommy John, Tony Mullane, Jim Kaat, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Gus Weyhing, Jim McCormick, and Jamie Moyer?
    Because if you don't advocate for all of those guys then you have NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to advocate for Jack Morris on the basis of "well he was a winner."

  17. BBall Says:

    I was lucky enough to see the careers of both pitchers. Morris passes the "eye test" a bit better than Schilling does. Schilling's numbers became greatly enhanced once he joined his 2000s teams (Arizona from '00 to '03; and the Red Sox teams from '04 to '07. Before that, he was 105 - 89 in his years with the Phillies (as well as a few games with Houston & Baltimore). His time with Arizona was spent there when they were among the winningest teams in the league - as was his time with Boston. In Arizona, he never (or rarely) faced the other team's best pitcher - that was Randy Johnson's job. Johnson was, by far, the best pitcher on that team. In Boston, in '04, Pedro was the marquis pitcher - '05 he wasn't even in the Starting Rotation, '06 was the only year (at 15 - 7) that he was the best pitcher on his team (even then, the "ace" was Josh Beckett). '07 he was 9 - 8, pitching behind Beckett, DiceK, and Wake. I realize that the pitcher pitches against the other team, but wins are gained much more easily when your team doesn't face their best pitcher; a little something that this "sabremetrics" crap leaves out. Wins DO COUNT - in fact, it's pretty much how you become a champion. Morris is borderline, Schilling - no way. As for the Game 7 argument that I saw before, despite Jack's incredible Game 7 Performance vs. Braves in '91, there are quite a few better choices if you had to go with one guy for one game. Just from those that I've actually seen pitch, Clemens, Seaver, Johnson, Carlton, Koufax, Palmer, even the guy that started vs. Morris, (Smoltz), I would take before either Morris or Schilling. Maddux has pitched in enough "big games" to show that he wasn't great in "big games". Regular season, he's one of the best pitchers of all-time, but not in the postseason. Schilling was very comparable to Mickey Lolich (check it out). Lolich finished his career on some awful teams - his last two years in Detroit the team was 72-90 and 57-102. He then went to a mediocre Mets' team, and a bad Padres team to finish his career. Had he gone to the best teams in each league, I'm sure his numbers would've been quite a bit better. As it was, Lolich finished at 217 - 191 - If he had gone to the best teams in the league, that record would have been more like 234 - 174. Schilling won 106 of his 216 games while hand-picking among the best teams in the league, each with a first-ballot Hall-Of-Fame ace (Johnson & Martinez). Schilling was a great post-season pitcher, but so was Lolich - and although it doesn't matter now in the AL, Lolich could hit! Hey, it counts. Yeah, I'd say those two are two of a kind; and like Tommy John (who wasn't as good as either of them, IMHO), they don't belong in a Hall of the very best pitchers ever. Make it the Hall-of-Very Good, and they're in; but not the Hall-Of-Fame. Getting off the subject a bit, but Koufax, despite his four-year dominance, doesn't belong, either. 165 wins? Mattingly dominated as a batter four four years, and didn't (nor should he) come close. Get away from 1963-66, and check out the whole career - match his ten year career to the first ten years of Juan Marichal's career, and you'll see that Juan was just as good; and then Marichal went on to dominate for 8 more years! Longevity is part of the Hall-Of-Fame discussion. Guidry was 170 - 91 - Koufax was 165 - 87 - Koufax pitched in the most pitcher friendly home ballpark in L.A. and with Hall-of-Famer Don Drysdale. No such luck for Ron. There are factors that make the "sabermetrics" points moot. Back to the original point - Morris is very, very close.

  18. JS Says:

    Moving on, we will now get into some more advanced statistics, which all you Morris jockers will probably be too stupid to understand, but you should try to wrap your feeble mind around them anyway.

    The next statistic is Adjusted Pitching Runs. This measures how many runs a pitcher prevented versus the league average pitcher. It adjusts for the league ERA as well as for the ballpark. So there doesn't need to be any stupid arguing over DH league or no DH league with this statistic.

    Most APR by a pitcher not in Cooperstown

    Roger Clemens 708
    Greg Maddux 531
    Randy Johnson 496
    Pedro Martinez 485
    Curt Schilling 354
    Mike Mussina 345
    Mariano Rivera 334
    John Smoltz 327
    Tom Glavine 310
    Roy Halladay 310
    Kevin Brown 307
    Tommy Bridges 272
    Johan Santana 268
    Tim Hudson 266
    Tony Mullane 264
    Bret Saberhagen 253
    Billy Pierce 250
    Dave Stieb 236
    Roy Oswalt 235
    Urban Shocker 234
    David Cone 231
    Silver King 227
    Bob Caruthers 226
    Jimmy Key 225
    Andy Pettitte 224
    C.C. Sabathia 223
    Jim McCormick 222
    Kevin Appier 221
    Nig Cuppy 208
    Harry Brecheen 207
    Eddie Rommel 204
    Jack Stivetts 204
    Dizzy Trout 204
    Dolf Luque 203

    After that there are MORE THAN 190 other NON-HOF pitchers between 200 APR and
    Jack Morris 88

    A pitcher's job is to prevent runs. A Hall of Fame pitcher ideally should be able to prevent runs at a much better rate than average. Morris was unable to do that. He saved more than 100 FEWER runs than such lesser lights as Kevin Appier, Bret Saberhagen, Jimmy Key, David Cone, Urban Shocker, Tommy Bridges, Dizzy Trout, and Dave Stieb.

    And Morris isn't even close to such underrated pitchers as Billy Pierce, Kevin Brown, Tony Mullane, Mike Mussina, John Smoltz, and Curt Schilling. So unless you Morris jockers are willing to vote for Pierce, Brown, Mullane, Mussina, Smoltz, and Schilling BEFORE you vote for Morris, then you had better shove it.

  19. BBall Says:

    JS: Pedro Martinez won 219 Games. I really hope that you don't believe that Glavine (86 more wins) was better than Pedro! As for Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Jamie Moyer (my friend went to college with him, great guy!), and Andy Pettitte - my response would be "you're just joking, right?" Glavine probably will, and probably should get in. Like you said, Maddux, Clemens, & Johnson should be no-doubters (Maddux and Johnson will get in on the first ballot). Everyone else on that list (I don't know Tony Mullane, Jim McCormick, or Gus Weyhing) except Mussina should have no chance. I think Mussina is borderline. Consistently great for many years. Going to the Yankees never hurts, but he was great with Baltimore, too. As for Morris; I don't know how old you are, but if you saw all of those guys pitch, he was better that all but the 300 game winners and Mussina; he really is borderline.

  20. JS Says:

    Quoting BBall "I was lucky enough to see the careers of both pitchers. Morris passes the "eye test" a bit better than Schilling does."

    Oh really? How many of Curt Schilling's 569 regular season games did you attend? How many of Morris' 549 games did you attend? Did you happen to notice that when Curt Schilling was on the mound he prevented 354 more runs than an average pitcher would have prevented, while Jack Morris only prevented a paltry 88 runs? Did you happen to notice that Schilling's winning percentage was .597 compared to .577 for Morris? Did you happen to notice that Schilling was a stellar 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in the playoffs, while Morris was only a pretty fair 7-4 3.80 in the playoffs? No? Were you too sleepy and you fell asleep during those games?

    This is why the "eye test" is messed up and anyone who tries to base a HOF selection on this kind of junk is foolish. The statistics tell you what happened. You cannot claim that one guy "looked" like a HOFer and another guy didn't. That is beyond blockheaded. That is beyond feeble.

  21. JS Says:

    I didn't say that Pedro Martinez wasn't an elite pitcher. Read my other post. Pedro Martinez was 485 pitching runs above average while Jack Morris was only a paltry 88 runs above average. In order to get in the HOF as a pitcher, you either need quantity (number of wins) or quality (runs above average). Pedro Martinez qualifies as a quality pitcher. Tommy John, Jim Kaat, and Jamie Moyer all exceed Morris in quantity of wins. Morris falls short on BOTH quantity and quality.

  22. JS Says:

    You say "I don't know how old you are but if you saw those guys pitch...." Blah, blah, blah. It doesn't matter how old I am. I am old enough to read a Baseball Encylopedia or an internet website like Baseball-Reference, which tells me 100 times more about the players' careers than "seeing them pitch" ever could. The only thing that matters for a HOF debate is the player's cold, hard statistical record at the end.

    Moving on, here are the leaders in Wins Above Replacement for pitchers not in Cooperstown

    Roger Clemens 140.3
    Greg Maddux 106.8
    Randy Johnson 102.1
    Pedro Martinez 84.0
    Mike Mussina 83.0
    Tom Glavine 81.4
    Curt Schilling 79.9
    Jim McCormick 75.8
    Rick Reuschel 70.0
    John Smoltz 69.5
    Kevin Brown 68.3
    Tony Mullane 67.8
    Luis Tiant 66.7
    Roy Halladay 64.7
    David Cone 62.5
    Charlie Buffinton 62.2
    Tommy John 62.0
    Wes Ferrell 61.6
    Andy Pettitte 60.8
    Bob Caruthers 60.6
    Bret Saberhagen 59.2
    Urban Shocker 58.7
    Chuck Finley 58.4
    Jack Quinn 58.4
    Eddie Cicotte 58.0
    Frank Tanana 57.9
    Dave Stieb 57.2
    Mariano Rivera 57.1
    Tim Hudson 57.0
    Orel Hershiser 56.8
    Jack Powell 56.8
    George Uhle 56.0
    Jim Whitney 55.7
    Kevin Appier 54.9
    Bucky Walters 54.2
    Mark Buehrle 53.9
    Jerry Koosman 53.8
    Wilbur Cooper 53.7
    David Wells 53.6
    Billy Pierce 53.4
    Dwight Gooden 53.2
    Al Orth 52.7
    Larry Jackson 52.2
    Babe Adams 52.0
    Silver King 51.9
    Ted Breitenstein 51.5
    Jim Kaat 51.4
    Kenny Rogers 51.4
    Johan Santana 51.4
    Tommy Bridges 51.1
    Jack Stivetts 50.9
    Mark Langston 50.7
    Dizzy Trout 50.6
    Jamie Moyer 50.4
    Carl Mays 50.2
    Wilbur Wood 50.2
    Eddie Rommel 50.0
    Tommy Bond 49.7
    Jimmy Key 49.6
    Dennis Martinez 49.3
    Mickey Lolich 49.1
    Jesse Tannehill 48.7
    Emil Leonard 48.6
    Doc White 48.5
    Bobo Newsom 48.2
    Ron Guidry 48.0
    Nap Rucker 48.0
    George Mullin 47.7
    Dolf Luque 47.6
    Frank Viola 47.4
    Bob Shawkey 46.7
    Murry Dickson 46.6
    Hippo Vaughn 46.4
    Lon Warneke 46.2
    Red Lucas 46.1
    Vida Blue 45.5
    Brad Radke 45.5
    Steve Rogers 45.1
    Noodles Hahn 44.6
    Carlos Zambrano 44.6
    Milt Pappas 44.5
    Larry French 44.3
    Claude Passeau 44.3
    Bob Welch 44.2
    Bartolo Colon 44.1
    Jack Morris 44.1

  23. JS Says:

    Baseball is about winning, not about who "looked" like a good pitcher in the eyes of disgustingly ignorant fans who don't know how to read statistics.

    WAR is an approximate measure of how many WINS a player was above that of a replacement player. Jack Morris is tied for the 85th rank in WAR of Major League pitchers not in Cooperstown.

    Jack Morris had fewer wins above replacement than Brad Radke, Steve Rogers, Vida Blue, Frank Viola, Mickey Lolich, and Jimmy Key. I know none of you Morris jockers would even think of voting for those other guys, so how can you justify voting for Morris?

    I am not saying that all the guys ahead of Jack Morris in WAR should be in the HOF, but forced to choose, I would gladly vote for Mike Mussina, David Cone, Tommy John, Bret Saberhagen, Wilbur Wood, Mark Langston, Chuck Finley, Jim Kaat, Ted Breitenstein, David Wells, Billy Pierce, Jack Powell, Bob Caruthers, Curt Schilling, Jim McCormick, Tony Mullane, Kenny Rogers, and Jamie Moyer before I would consider voting for Jack Morris.

  24. JS Says:

    There is yet one more statistic to present. And that is Win Probability Added. This measures the winning impact of every play that the pitcher was involved in, using play-by-play data. This statistic tends to benefit closers the most because they get saves in high leverage situations. Note the high rankings of Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, and Joe Nathan.

    Here are the best pitchers in WPA not in Cooperstown since 1950 (play-by-play data only goes back to 1950)

    Roger Clemens 77.7
    Greg Maddux 59.4
    Mariano Rivera 56.6
    Pedro Martinez 53.7
    Randy Johnson 53.2
    Mike Mussina 40.6
    John Smoltz 40.5
    Roy Halladay 38.0
    Billy Pierce 35.9
    Tom Glavine 35.5
    Curt Schilling 35.3
    Trevor Hoffman 34.1
    Kevin Brown 33.4
    Joe Nathan 31.6
    Tim Hudson 30.3
    Bret Saberhagen 28.6
    Johan Santana 28.5
    Kevin Appier 26.6
    David Cone 25.4
    Luis Tiant 25.2
    C.C. Sabathia 24.8
    Tommy John 24.7
    Jimmy Key 24.6
    Andy Pettitte 24.2
    Roy Oswalt 24.1
    Jon Papelbon 24.0
    Troy Percival 23.6
    Ron Guidry 23.5
    K-Rod Rodriguez 23.2
    Vida Blue 23.0
    Felix Hernandez 22.1
    Dave Stieb 22.0
    Tug McGraw 21.5
    Jerry Koosman 21.4
    Tom Gordon 21.3
    Lee Smith 21.3
    Tom Henke 21.3
    Ellis Kinder 21.1
    Dwight Gooden 21.0

    (Then 52 other pitchers between 14.5 and 20.9) and then
    Jack Morris 14.4

  25. BBall Says:

    JS: I see in your latest list that you have Dave Stieb. Stieb pitches at the same time as Morris, and if he didn't get hurt, he'd likely have been a Hall-of-Famer. Well on his way, but got hurt in his early thirties. Hung on to pitch a bit with their WS winning team, then it pretty much was over from there. Halladay was great, but may need a couple more years. I'd put him in now, but he's close. As for the runs prevented, maybe it's just me, but I think having Ozzie Smith as your shortstop will help prevent more runs than having Derek Jeter. I'm a big Yankees fan, but Jeter NEVER was a great defensive shortstop. Those types of things aren't factored in. I realize that I could never comment on Bob Feller, Warren Spahn, etc; but I think the "eye-test" also counts. If you've actually seen these players play (or pitchers pitch), I think that many would see that Schilling (way up on the APR list) was not as good as Mussina, Glavine, Smoltz, Halladay, Santana. Maybe on a level with Saberhagen, another guy who didn't walk anybody (like Schilling). Statistics are all that we have to compare players of different eras, yet you really can't compare them, can you? Is anybody going to win 511 games again? I really doubt that Cy Young was the best pitcher of all-time. No one is breaking Hack Wilson's single-season RBI record (191). Does that mean that Hack is a 'better RBI machine than Miggy? Baseball wasn't played beyond the Central Time Zone until 1958. Day Ball until the late 40s (most games were day games until the seventies). No doubleheaders (scheduled) in the past 30-plus years. High Mound in '68 - Gibson 1.12 ERA - McLain 31 wins. SEVEN pitchers with ERA under 2.00 in 1968. Does that make those pitchers the best ever. Heck, I'll take Maddux' 1.63 in the steroid era. Is Kershaw 2013 (1.83 ERA) better than Kershaw 2012 (2.53), and Kershaw 2011 (2.28), or is it just that the steroid era is now fading fast. who would you rather have on your team? A pitcher that goes 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA, or a pitcher that goes 17 - 7 with a 2.33 ERA. The first pitcher was 2010 Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez (King Felix as he is called). THe second pitcher is Clay Buchholz, who finished SIXTH in the Cy Young Debate. SIXTH! He pitches his home games in FENWAY PARK! His ERA+ (another made-up stat) is 1.87 (League leading) to Hernandez' 1.74. I guess "voters" went with the WHIP (another sabermetrics stat), where Hernandez was at 1.057 to Buchholz 1.203. By the way, Cliff Lee's WHIP was 1.003 for the season, including a WHIP of 0.945 while pitching for Seattle, and compiling an 8 - 3 record for the Mariners. Cliff finished Fifth in the voting. It was already pre-determined who would win the award before the voting came out. If Lee can go 8 - 3 with a better WHIP, and an ERA that was 2.34 - just 0.07 more than Hernandez, why can't Hernandez win games? the prior year, Greinke's numbers were so much better (an ERA of 2.16 compared to 2.49; a WHIP of 1.073 to 1.135; ERA + of 205 to 171), but Felix had his best year 19-5, so the powers that be used the 2009 season as reason to give Felix the Cy Young in 2010, even though his overall numbers didn't blow away any of the competition. Buchholz would've been the winner before the sabrematricians used whatever numbers they liked, and (I'm a Yankees fan) Buchholz deserved it! Like I've said, sabremetrics has aplace, but it is a minor place, not a major place. It can be used if two people are close for an award, but 17 - 7 (2.33), and 13-12 (2.27) is not close. WIN THE DAMN GAME! The closers for each pitcher that year: Seattle - David Aardsma 3.44 ERA, 1.168 WHIP, 115 ERA+ -- Boston - Jonathan Papelbon 3.90 ERA, 1.269 WHIP, 112 ERA+ -- Seems that the Mariners' closer's numbers were better across the board that the Red Sox' closer's numbers. - just a case of who we want to give the award to. Moving on to MVP Award (AL) for this past year. Miggy got the award again, but didn't Trout deserve it? That's what the Sabermatricians say. Sabermetrics only exists to skew an argument in the direction that the sabermatrician wants it to go. Me, being an old-timer, I guess, thinks that Chris Davis should have won the award. I like the 53/138 that kept the O's in it. Can't argue with Miggy, that 62 points higher in BA does count - slugging pct. close at .636/.634 in favor of Miggy, but I'd have trouble voting for a guy (Trout) who wasn't close in HR/RBI/BA at 27/97/.323 - just too big a difference - Miggy was at 44/137/.348 - I still like the basic numbers the best - hits, runs, batting average, HR, RBI. Once again, the eye-test. I'd rather have my pitcher pitching to Trout with the game on the line. In fact, I'd walk Miggy to get to Trout - no knock on Trout, one of the most exciting players in the game - maybe THE most exciting, but not the MVP.

  26. JS Says:

    The bottom line is that If you don't consider Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown, Rick Reuschel, Tommy John, Jamie Moyer, and Billy Pierce to be Hall of Famers, then Jack Morris is NOT a borderline HOFer.

    Jack Morris isn't even close to the HOF standard if Schilling, Clemens, Mussina, Brown, Reuschel, John, Moyer, and Pierce are snubbed from Cooperstown.

    And yes, statistics CAN measure a pitcher's ability to "pitch to the score" Win Probability Added (WPA) does exactly that and Jack Morris didn't do very well in that statistic. Check the chart above. Morris was at 14.4. According to WPA, Jerry Koosman, Bret Saberhagen, Ellis Kinder, David Cone, Kevin Appier, Tom Gordon, Dave Steib, and Dwight Gooden all did a better job of "pitching to the score" than Morris. Are any of them HOFers? If not, then how can you attempt to prop up Morris on the basis that he supposedly "pitched to the score"?

  27. JS Says:

    You make a good point about Ozzie Smith's defense vs. Derek Jeter's defense and how that might affect a pitcher's stats. However, what I'm sure you didn't know is that Wins Above Replacement already has a component that factors in and adjusts for team defense behind a pitcher.

    In fact, that's why Rick Reuschel ranks so surprisingly high in WAR at 70.0. When he pitched for the Cubs, the team defense behind him was horrible and it caused his ERA to inflate through no fault of his own. That masked the fact that he really was an excellent pitcher. Morris for much of his carreer had Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, and Chet Lemon fielding balls behind him much of his career. They were above average fielders. Reuschel tops Morris in WAR 70.0 to 44.1. So how can you even think of voting for Morris if Reuschel is not in the discussion?

  28. JS Says:

    Again, what do you mean by "seeing a player pitch"? How many of Curt Schilling's 569 games did you actually attend in person or watch on TV, or listen to on the radio?
    Jack Morris had stronger run support (4.82 runs per game in his starts) than Curt Schilling (4.68 runs per game) during his career and yet Schilling still had a better winning% (.597 to .577). If Morris passes your "eye test" and Schilling doesn't then you must be blind.

  29. largebill Says:

    JS, I'm not sure if you are getting through to any of the Morris advocates (they are pretty resistant to to logic and facts) but you definitely provided some entertainment. I'm not a fan of using wins & losses to measure pitchers because of all the factors outside their control that affects the awarding of wins. Your argument in #18 is one I may steal over the next month or so.

    Keep trying to educate the masses. Might get through to some.

  30. largebill Says:

    As far as the silly "seeing a player pitch" argument, it is laughable. How many of us now alive watched Ruth play ball? How many of us are able to state that Ruth was a great player (greatest in my opinion)? We can recognize Ruth's greatness because we review the stats and see how thoroughly he dominated his league. Those stats that some people sneer at are merely the record of what happened during those games (both the ones we watched and the ones we didn't).

  31. JS Says:

    Quote: "If you've actually seen these players play (or pitch), I think many would see that Schilling (way up on the APR list) was not as good as Mussina, Glavine, Smoltz, Halladay, Santana."

    Well, first of all you're changing around the argument here. I was arguing about Schilling vs. Morris. I didn't say that Schilling was necessarily better than all those other guys you mentioned, even though Schilling clearly does belong in the HOF. Schilling ranks higher in APR, but Mussina, Glavine, Smoltz, and Halladay rank higher in WPA and Mussina and Glavine are slightly higher than Schilling in WAR.

    Secondly, and this is the point you don't seem to understand is that thinking that you "see" something that isn't true doesn't make it true. Your baseball observations have to be backed up with cold hard statistics in order to make them believable.

    You CAN compare players from different eras. Statistics make it easy. ERA+ is not a "made up stat". It is simply a useful statistic.

    You say that Miguel Cabrera deserved the MVP over Mike Trout but you are wrong. And ironically, your argument for Cabrera is entirely STATISTICAL. You say "I'd have trouble voting for a guy (Trout) who wasn't close in HR/RBI/BA" Oh really? NOW you want to break out the statistics only when it suits your side argument?

    Well guess what, I saw Trout play and I could just "see" that he was better. How's that?

  32. JS Says:

    Mike Trout led the AL in WAR in both 2012 and 2013. He would have been a good choice for MVP in either of those years. Now let me be clear. I'm not saying that Trout was the only valid choice in either of those years. I think you can make an argument for Cabrera, if you want, based on the fact that the Tigers were more successful and therefore that the wins that Cabrera contributed (even if they were slightly fewer) had more impact because they were the difference in the Tigers making the playoffs whereas the Angels were way out of contention.

    That type of argument I can listen to and debate. But the argument has to START with the advanced statistics such as WAR, OPS+, fielding runs, and Win Probability Added.
    Or if you aren't familiar with those, at least try to look at something besides BA/HR/RBI. Batting average is far inferior to On-base-percentage and Slugging Percentage. It's much better to look at a player's total extra base hits than just his homers. And looking at Runs Scored is essential in addition to RBIs. Trout had more runs scored in both seasons even though Cabrera had more runs batted in.

    But this is what dummies do. When they want to vote for their guy they beat their chest and trot out whichever statistics seem to support their argument the best. And when someone argues against their point of view with statistics, they declare all statistics to be meaningless.

  33. JS Says:

    Quote: "Sabermetrics only exists to skew an argument in the direction that the sabermetrician wants it to go."

    This is a disgustingly baseless and false claim! You are gross and sick and disgusting and putridly ignorant for suggesting such a thing! Sabermetrics exists only to discover the pure truth! The sabermetrician's goal is to correct and inject truth into arguments that have already been skewed by morons who don't understand anything about how to analyze baseball!

  34. BBall Says:

    A lot of those numbers in the sabermetrics community can be optained by being just above mediocre for a long time. Hudson's good, but is he better than Guidry? No way that McGraw was better than Gooden. Papelbon doesn't belong in the same sentence with Guidry. Relief pitchers get a little too much credit. That's because almost all of the starters are looking into the dugout now after six or seven innings. Halladay was one of the few throwbacks - lots of complete games. It's much easier to hit a pitcher the third or fourth time around. A closer (should) sees everybody once. No need to pace yourself. You should be better throwing nine innings at the rate of one inning at a time. The quarter-mile (440 yds.) record is 44.5 seconds, but the two-mile run record is nowhere near 8 x 44.5 seconds (5 minutes 56 seconds); no, the two-mile record is over two minutes slower than that, at a ridiculously fast 7:58.6 (that's back-to-back sub 4-minute miles - try running ONE MILE in 5 MINUTES!). That's because they can't go all out the whole time, just like a starting pitcher. A starter might have to pitch 8 innings to the closer's one. They have to pace themselves. This is why the reliever has an edge in all stats vs. the starter. Mark Buehrle, even with a perfect game and a no-hitter isn't nearly as good as David Wells (Dave's got the perfect game, but not the extra no-hitter). Lee Smith was very mediocre for a very long time, but this stat tells me he's better than Gooden??? Kevin Brown was a great numbers compiler, just not a great pitcher. An apple-merchant in the postseason, too. Brown's ERA in the AL was 1.33 runs higher and his WHIP was a poor 1.356 over 11 seasons!!! IT's a little different when the pitcher bats, and in the run-saving NL games, the shortstop is a .250 hitter. Eight & Nine spots are a picnic. Not so in the AL. Tim Wakefield pitched 17 seasons in a tougher division, in a tougher ballpark to pitch in, and his WHIP was 1.339. WOW! See how all of a sudden the eye-test comes back. When I think of Kevin Brown, knee-jerk is "He's Charlie Hough". Almost to a man, everyone will tell me "Are you kidding ?" Then they give me all kinds of runs saved numbers, and lo and behold, his WHIP is BETTER than the great Kevin Brown. You can twist statistics to a point, just like I just have. Is Kevin Brown a Hall-of-Famer? Well, stats say he's worse than Charlie Hough. Worse than Tim Wakefield, Worse than Jake Peavy. Just depends on which stats you use. brown is nowhere near the pitcher Morris was; yet the saber stats will tell you he was. WAR is another made-up stat. This guy is worth x number of wins against his replacement. WAR says Joe Morgan was a better player than Mike Schmidt. WTF? Seriously? Morgan is a great all-time player - what he isn't is Mike Schmidt. George Brett better than Pete Rose - What??? Oh, that's right, Pete bet on baseball. Rose is among the greatest players of all time. Gary Sheffield better than Carl Yastrzemski??? better than Cal Ripken??? WAR says so, so it must be true. Toby Harrah was a better player than Joe Torre - better than Jeff Kent, better than Vlad Guerrero, better than HOF-er Ryne Sandberg. A lifetime .264 hitter (Harrah), better than those guys - must be true, WAR says so. Find youself an older fan, your dad perhaps, and tell him that Kevin Brown was a better pitcher than Jim Palmer, That Brown was better than Juan Marichal: Chuck Finley was better than whitey Ford and Mariano Rivera, and the immortal Kenny Rogers was better than Ron Guidry - Finley better than Koufax. Hey, WAR says so. I like these new numbers. I like the way that it confuses the masses into believing what they saw isn't true. If Morris is SO BAD, how the hell did he get to be on the precipice of the Hall-Of-Fame to begin with? We can continue with these created stats, using any formula you'd like - how about this beauty BABIP - Batted Balls in Play - Nobody that I've ever seen hit the ball HARDER than Mike Piazza, yet there are detractors because he was lucky enough to have a high BABIP. Those balls should, over time, find fielders, the stats say. No, he hits the ball THAT HARD! I was at the game (by the way, since you are so interested, I've seen over a thousand games in person, and hope to be at many more) when Piazza lined a ball off the Shea Stadium Right Center Field wall for a SINGLE! He wasn't slow. He just hits the ball that hard. No matter what the made-up stats tell you, he's the best hitting catcher of all-time. Batting Average (EASY) H/(AB - BB - HBP - SF - SH). Can't play with that stat - don't need a computer or a "factor" to figure it out. Hits (EASY) Add one to the total every time there is a clean base hit. Runs (EASY) Add one every time player safely touches home plate. Doubles, Triple, Homers, RBI, Walks - ALL EASY - No Factor required. WAR - Well, now we need a formula to tell us who is better. WPA - Tell a REAL Baseball Fan - ANY TEAM - just somebody that actually watches the games - that you had a better probability of winning with Keith Foulke, Lee Smith, Randy Myers, Todd Jones, Chuck Finley - any of those guys - than you did with Jack Morris. When they are done laughing, ask them how often those other names even come into discussion regarding the Hall-Of-Fame. Yet all have a better WPA than Morris. Go out and actually WATCH a game. Play the game if you can. You don't have to be great at it; just play it, so you understand it better. You're up 8 - 1, late in the game, runners on second and third, no one out, Grounder to short, let 'em score, let runner go to third, throw to first to get the out. Run scores, pitcher charged with a run, WPA would go up for the batter, down for the pitcher. You're up 2 -1, late in the game, infield in, grounder to short, throw home to cut the runner, run doesn't score, WPA goes down for the batter, up for the pitcher. You do play to the score when you actually play the game. The computer doesn't know that. The computer can't tell you if the ball is wet, and/or your grip on the ball may not be sufficient enough to make a hurried throw home, instead of the more deliberate throw to first. IT's a great game, and now the math geeks can enjoy it, too. That's what makes a great world. But in the final analysis, the team that scores the most runs still wins. Mike Trout had a GREAT YEAR in 2012 - a TRULY GREAT YEAR! A WAR of 10.9 for the season, with 30 HR, 83 RBI, .326 AVG., .963 OPS, 129 Runs Scored, walked 67 times, and Struck Out 139 times. That's an even better year than the year Ted Williams had in 1941 - when Ted had to settle for 37 HR, 120 RBI, .406 AVG., .553 OBP, 1.287 OPS, 135 Runs Scored, walked 147 times, but they did strike Ted out 27 times. What's that you say? Ted's year looks just a bit better? Can't be - WAR says Mike is 10.9, and Ted is only 10.6. HMMM! Must have been a ton more runs scored in '41 - Avg. Runs Scored in '41 was 738 per team - Avg. Runs Scored in '12 was 721 per team. I guess we must be missing something. Maybe the computer geeks can tell us why Mike's year was better than Ted's. In fact, we can just ask the computer who was better, no need to actually watch the game.

  35. JS Says:

    You are a stupid idiot to say that WAR is a "made up" stat. You don't even know what you are talking about. All statistics were created by people. Batting Average is a "made up" stat. Every stat is "made up" if you want to look at it that way.

    No statistic is a perfectly exact measure. I never said that one player's season was absolutely better than another players season just because of a very small difference in WAR.

    These statistics aren't coming from "the computer". "The computer" is only a tool used to make calculations. The statistics are created by smart statisticians who understand what things contribute to winning in baseball.

    I don't know why you are dragging the starter vs. reliever debate into this because it has nothing to do with Jack Morris. Morris fails to stack up to other starters.

  36. Fuggin Goons Says:

    For those posters who said Jack Morris won only because he was on good teams should realize without him those teams would never have gone to the post season. He was the best pitcher in the 80's so that is an era and we can compare only those from that era they played against others from that era.

    300wins should not be the criteria to make the HOF. All I heard was Nolan Ryan was not a Hall of Famer because he was wild. Then he pitched long enough into his mid forties to get the magic number. He was the most feared pitcher along with Bob Gibson I ever witnessed. He sold out all his road starts because everyone wanted to see this famous star before he had 50 wins in his career. Good thing he won 300 games or you nay Sayers would be saying similar trash about him. 7 no hitters or not.

    Luis Tiante, Mickey Lolich and Tommy John all should be in the Hall. Lee Smith is the best closer after Mariano Rivera.

    war is the most foolish saber matrix for pitchers. It does not measure all facets of the game. Jack Morris saved his bullpen and his team. He was the best pitcher in all winning game situations and won games like it was a chess match, so he was the Bobby Fisher of baseball

    Vote Jack Morris into the Hall of Fame or get a clue and start watching games and not just read sabey box scores and stop sounding like snotty nosed accountants whose only athletic trait is raising your prissy little middle fingers at old time knowledgable baseball fans and experts!

  37. Ranjit Says:

    BBall, where are you getting those WAR numbers? According to Baseball Reference, Joe Morgan has 100.4 WAR to Schmidt's 106.5, Sheffield has 60.4 to Yastrzemski's 96 and Ripken's 95.6. Toby Harrah (51.6) has fewer WAR than Torre (57.4), Kent (55.2), Guerrero (59.9), and Sandberg (67.6). I can only conclude that you are wildly making claims without bothering to do a quick check on your (gasp!) computer or that you only looked at offensive WAR, and failed to look two inches to the left at total WAR, which combines offensive and defensive WAR.

    As for the Trout/Williams comparison, Williams played left field while Trout mostly plays center. Trout came to the plate 33 more times than Williams and stole 49 bases with 5 caught stealing, compared to 2 and 4 for Williams. Most importantly, Trout is rated by BR as being worth 2.1 WAR on defense, compared to -0.9 for Williams. All these things add up to cancel out Williams' clear advantage as a hitter and give Trout a very narrow WAR lead.

    Finally, JS has made some very good points on Morris. So far, your main response to JS's lists showing Morris ranking below tons of non-Hall of Famers has been to say that the fact that Morris rates so low is proof that the stats are wrong because you know he was better than those guys. Is that all you've got?

  38. Walt Coogan Says:


    I don't think that Morris' Hall of Fame case is that strong, but WAR is indeed a "made up stat" in the sense that it is a contrived metric, an inherently flawed formula—with inherent biases—that purports to determine a player's complete value. Batting average, conversely, is a very limited measure, even if people have historically overvalued it. Batting average does not purport to measure a player's overall value, just the rate at which he records hits per at-bats.

    WAR is worth looking at, but you need to be a critical thinker, not someone maintaining religious faith in contrived metrics and supposed "smart statisticians." WAR's results often make sense, but if you examine it long enough, you'll find hundreds or thousands of results that don't make sense, too. It's not the end-all of anything and should never replace a real argument or serve as a real conclusion. It's just a possible cue or reference with which to cross-check matters. The case against Morris should not rest with WAR or even possess much of anything to do with WAR, aside from some framing and a cursory context. The case against Morris should be that while he constituted an above-average and sometimes All-Star-worthy starting pitcher who could front a good starting rotation and chew up innings, there was nothing historic about his career in terms of run prevention. Over nine prime seasons from 1979-1987, Morris posted an ERA+ of 116, meaning that, again, he amounted to an above-average and sometimes All-Star-caliber innings eater, but hardly a perennially excellent pitcher. For a point of comparison, consider three other starting pitchers on the ballot. Tom Glavine's ERA+ from 1991-2002 was 134; Mike Mussina's ERA+ from 1991-2003 was 129; and Curt Schilling's ERA+ from 1992-2004 was 134. Obviously, Morris pales in comparison. Nor can Morris' lack of a higher ERA+ (or, to phrase matters another way, better run prevention) be blamed on inadequate or mediocre defense. From 1979-1987, the Tigers ranked among the top nine teams in all of major league baseball in Defensive Efficiency (the percentage of balls put into play that a defense turns into outs) every season. From 1981-1987, the Tigers always ranked in the top five in Defensive Efficiency, leading all of baseball in 1981 and 1983 and finishing in the top three for five straight years from 1981-1985. Indeed, with Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker in the middle infield, Lance Parrish at catcher, and Chet Lemon in center field starting in 1982, that defensive efficiency makes sense.

    If Morris had amounted to a better pitcher in his prime, then with those terrific defenders up the middle, he should been in the prime ERA+ range of Glavine, Mussina, and Schilling, or at least not too far behind. Instead, he proved significantly worse—still All-Star-worthy often enough, but hardly elite historically.

  39. Walt Coogan Says:

    Why use RA instead of ERA?

    Just curious.

  40. Walt Coogan Says:


    Why was Morris the best pitcher of the eighties? Was he really better than Nolan Ryan or, say, Dave Stieb? The numbers don't support that conclusion.

  41. JS Says:

    Batting Average IS a made up stat and it is far worsely designed than WAR. It was Henry Chadwick or someone around that time who made up batting average. What is a "hit"? That's a made up stat. Someone arbitrarily decided that a "hit" means that there was no "error" on the play, while reaching base on an "error" doesn't count. But an "error" is just another made-up stat. If a player hits a ball really hard and it's to hot for the 3rd baseman to handle that is usually an error. But all those "hits" that trickle by Derek Jeter that other shortstops would field are hits. And then again the definition of "error" varies from scorer to scorer.

    But the value of reaching base on error is exactly the same as a hit, and so the batter should get credit for it, which Batting Average doesn't recognize.

    Also, the concept of an "At Bat" is totally made up. Who decided that walks, hit by pitch, and sacrifices should not count at all? Also, at various times they flip-flopped over whether Sac Flies counted as at-bats or not.

    And who decided that singles should count the same as home runs? And who decided that a single with the bases empty should count the same as a 2-run single with the bases loaded?

    You see, a lot of you are just too stupid and feeble minded to understand that all statistics are originally outlined and defined by a human statistician. "The computer" doesn't just spit out a bunch of numbers that it "made-up" in your words.

    Statistics like WAR, which you are too feeble minded to understand, you declare as "made-up" and meaningless. Statistics like batting average, which you are too feeble minded to see the weakness of, you declare as a deity.

  42. JS Says:

    Anyone who said that Jack Morris was the best pitcher of the 1980's is just a jackazzhole.

    Most WAR, pitchers, 1980-1989

    Dave Stieb 48.5 10
    Bert Blyleven 38.1 10
    Roger Clemens 35.7 6
    Bob Welch 35.3 10
    Fernando Valenzuela 33.1 10
    Orel Hershiser 32.9 7
    Bret Saberhagen 32.3 6
    John Tudor 31.3 10
    Dwight Gooden 30.7 6
    Charlie Hough 30.6 10
    Nolan Ryan 30.6 10
    Jack Morris 30.5 10

    So, Jack Morris was no better than the 11th best pitcher of the 1980's. And 4 pitchers surpassed him without even getting the benefit of pitching all 10 years of the decade. Bret Saberhagen, Dwight Gooden, and Roger Clemens were all better in 6 years than Morris was in 10.

  43. JS Says:

    Accusing critical-thinking statisticians of having "religious faith" in WAR is absurd. Real statisticians already KNOW that no statistic is 100% perfect or exact.

    If you notice, I presented 4 statistics of different types, Wins, APR, WAR, and WPA for pitchers. Each of them shows that Jack Morris is substantially behind many pitchers not in Cooperstown.

  44. JS Says:

    There's nobody on here who is saying that Jack Morris wasn't a good pitcher or that he only won games because he was on good teams. But getting good run support certainly inflated his win total ahead of many pitchers who were just as good, but who aren't being considered for the HOF.

    That is what you dummies just don't understand because you are too stupid. The relevant question for the HOF isn't whether Jack Morris was a pretty good pitcher (which he was), the relevant question is whether he was better than dozens of other pitchers who aren't even being considered as serious HOF candidates (which he clearly was NOT).

  45. JS Says:

    I find it funny that idiots think that anyone who knows how to read statistics is someone who never watches games. I watch at least 70 ballgames a year in person and I also PLAY the game myself as player-manager of an amateur team.

    Analyzing statistics helps in all facets of designing strategies for playing baseball. I understand the game and how it is really played 100 times better than all you idiots who supposedly watch the game but somehow can't understand why statistics are important.

  46. KT Says:

    I personally think Jack Morris belongs in the HOF.
    I need someone to explain to me how a pitcher (Burt Blyleven) who had 250 losses in his career and and frequently wasn't even the ace of his staff can make it and Jack Morris can't.
    I call this the Burt Blyleven test. Using this test almost every pitcher alive makes it into the HOF.

  47. Marc W Says:

    I love stats like the next guy, but what a lot of people don't get is the brilliance of Morris. In a game where it required him to go 10 innings and not allow a run he would rise to the occasion and do just that. In a game where his team scored 10, he would allow 7 to 9 runs. He pitched to his competition. No one had more wins in the 80's than he did. Full disclosure, I'm not a Tiger fan, but you can see that there is definitely a bias against players from that franchise during that era. Look at Whitaker, who's numbers are very close to Joe Morgan's. He got bounced off the ballot real fast. Now I'm not sitting here saying he was a lead pipe lock for the HOF, but I am saying he deserved more consideration and I wonder why he didn't get it.

  48. largebill Says:


    I rarely call people names on the internet, but you're testing me with your level of ignorance. Morris was no where near as good a pitcher as Blyleven. Wins and losses are great stats - FOR MEASURING TEAMS. However, they are ridiculous stats to use to measure individuals players. Tennis is played one on one. Baseball is a team sport. A starting pitcher can be credited with a win for games when he pitched poorly and can be charged with a loss for games he pitched great. Normally over course of a career a pitcher's bad wins & good losses balance out. However, that is not the case for every pitcher. Morris was the benefactor of exceptionally run support and Blyleven did not have great run support. Believe Blyleven lost the most 1-0 games of any starter since Walter Johnson. A starting pitcher's job is to limit the opposing team from scoring by limiting how many reach base. Based on how they did the pitcher's primary job Blyleven was much, much, much, much, much better than Morris. To believe otherwise takes a level of ignorance not normally found past the 3rd or 4th grade.

  49. largebill Says:

    #47 MarcW, I have backed Whitaker (and Trammell) for the Hall of Fame. However, it is silly to suggest that Whitaker's "numbers are very close to Joe Morgan's." Morgan reached base over 800 more times. That's a lot of difference. Whitaker was a very good and steady player who had a career to be proud of and would be a worthy Hall of Famer. However, he was hurt in the eyes of the voters by not having any exceptions seasons that jumped out like Morgan's back to back MVP seasons where he lead his league in OPS each year. Morgan has a score of 15 in the black ink test (time leading league in a category) while Whitaker only had one point of black ink (games played in strike shortened year). Same with grey ink (times in top five in categories) Morgan 131 & Whitaker 31. Not close by any measure.

    Regardless, even if Whitaker was much better than Morgan it would have no bearing on Morris' case. We don't right a wrong (Lou and Alan being short changed) by committing another wrong (inducting a slightly above average pitcher).

  50. Hank Says:

    "Morris dick suckers"...what a classy comment section.

  51. JS Says:

    I am sick of all these disgusting lies about the supposed "brilliance" of Jack Morris. He DID NOT pitch to the score and you have offered no evidence of it. He had a highly inflated win total because he happened to play on a team that scored a greater than average amount of runs for him.

    Lets look at actual figures:

    Breaking it down into hi leverage, medium leverage, and lo leverage situations per the splits pages on baseball-reference, here is how Morris held opposing batters in each situation:

    .315 .379 .694 lo lev
    .313 .379 .692 med lev
    .310 .385 .695 hi lev

    Morris' effectiveness was almost exactly the same regardless of whether it was a more critical or less critical situation.

    Here is another split of how Morris held opponents during various score differentials:

    .319 .373 .692 tied score
    .314 .379 .693 within + or - 4 runs
    .310 .389 .699 up or down by at least 5

    There is hardly any difference here. If Morris really did give up 7 or 9 runs every time his team scored 10 there would be a huge difference in this chart. It is totally ludicrous to suggest that Morris was just slinging easy meatballs every time he had a big lead. The evidence doesn't bear this out.

  52. Timmy Pea Says:

    The same people that want to keep Morris out will jump on the Pettitte bandwagon in a few years.

  53. JS Says:

    And what the fu*k is your point? Morris should be out, Pettitte should be in. It's as simple as that.

    WAR APR WPA Playoff W
    60.8 224 24.2 19 Andy Pettitte
    44.1 88 14.4 7 Jack Morris

    Andy Pettitte was a better pitcher in every facet of the game. I'm certainly not saying Pettitte is the best pitcher not in Cooperstown, but Morris significantly lags behind Pettitte in career quality.

  54. KT Says:

    To the joker who thinks Blyleven was the greatest pitcher ever. When you are not the ace of your staff and can't even lead your own team in wins you are not a hall of famer (except in this case when you are).
    Isn't that the job of the starting pitcher? Get a win for the team? When you have as many losses as Blyleven I can't say you were a "great" pitcher. How can you be "great" when you led the league in losses (see 1988). Blyleven never deserved the hall. Morris.....maybe.

  55. largebill Says:

    No one is saying "Blyleven was the greatest pitcher ever ." Most intelligent people are able to see he was a much, much better pitcher than Morris. Being far better than Morris does not make someone the "greatest pitcher ever." Blyleven is probably one of the top 25 starters. Morris is not in the top 100. I don't get why Morris supporters even bring up Blyleven. Bringing up a better pitcher doesn't help his case.

    As far as losses go, as we've tried to explain earlier, wins and losses are a great stat for measuring TEAMS. However, it is silly to think only one player deserves credit for a win or blame for a loss. Take almost any legitimate argument made for Morris and Blyleven blows him out of the water. "Jack was a durable workhorse." Okay, but Blyleven threw more than a thousand more innings and they were of much better quality (3.31 ERA to 3.90). For the "Jack was great in post season argument" (which is based mainly on one game) it turns out the Bert was actually better in the post season as well (2.47 ERA compared to 3.80 ERA).

    It just isn't even close. Just stop.

  56. JS Says:

    Someone has just tried to claim that he can't say that any pitcher with as many losses as Blyleven was a great pitcher.

    Well take a look at this list.

    Most Losses, pitcher, Major Leagues

    1. Cy Young 316 Hall of Famer
    2. Pud Galvin 308 Hall of Famer
    3. Nolan Ryan 292 Hall of Famer
    4. Walter Johnson 279 Hall of Famer
    5. Phil Niekro 274 Hall of Famer
    6. Gaylord Perry 265 Hall of Famer
    7. Don Sutton 256 Hall of Famer
    8. Jack Powell 254
    9. Eppa Rixey 251 Hall of Famer
    10. Bert Blyleven 250 Hall of Famer
    11. Robin Robers 245 Hall of Famer
    12. Warren Spahn 245 Hall of Famer
    13. Steve Carlton 244 Hall of Famer
    14. Early Wynn 244 Hall of Famer

    Of the top 14 in losses, 13 are in the Hall of Fame. By your warped definition, the HOF voters must have really blown it because no pitcher with as many losses as Blyleven can be a great pitcher under your asinine standard, right?

    The Cy Young award is named after the pitcher who lost more regular season games in the major leagues than anyone else.

  57. Marc W Says:

    I know a lot of you all rely heavily on stats and metrics and I get that the are important. I also feel that baseball is a very emotional game and when you reduce it purely to stats you just miss something. It's why I can't sit here and say that Gil Hodges was the best fielding RH 1B ever. I've heard people say it. He won the first 3 GG's issued and probably would have won 10 more if the award was out earlier, but I can't be sure, because I didn't see him play with my own two eyes (and BTW, I wish he was in the HOF).

    Now when comparing Morris to Blyleven my eyes said that both were real good pitchers. Morris was just better in big games. Since I really started paying close attention to baseball around 1970 I feel confident that my eyes saw both in their primes. When Morris came to town I wanted to spend my money to see him. When Blyleven came to town it wasn't that big of a deal. I felt that same way with Don Sutton or even Tom Glavine. I would always get a ticket to see Palmer, Catfish, Gibby, Carlton or Marichal

    IMO, Morris was a guy I paid to see and that's important to me. Its JMO. There isn't a right or wrong answer.

    If someone asked you, "If you had a game 7 to win, who would you want on the hill ?" Would Morris' name come to mind ? Would you hesitate one bit to give him the ball ? Would you feel the same way about Blyleven or Sutton ?

  58. James K. Says:

    How did that whole clutch Jack Morris big-game pitcher stuff work out in 1992, by the way? Didn't he kinda singlehandedly keep Atlanta in the World Series?

    Toronto Blue Jays pitchers not named Jack Morris in the 1992 World Series: 4-0, 7 ER in 45 IP (1.40 ERA)

    Jack Morris in 1992 World Series:
    0-2, 10 ER in 10.2 IP (8.44 ERA)

    Yes...he gave up more runs than the rest of his team did. But let's vote him into the HOF on the basis of his amazing big game pitching. Despite the fact that the dude has a 3.90 ERA. I'd rather elect Chris Carpenter...and I really, really don't want to elect Chris Carpenter

  59. Walt Coogan Says:

    @41, 43

    No, you're the feeble-minded one. First, I didn't say that the statisticians that you laughably venerate were not critical thinkers, I said that people like you needed to be critical thinkers.

    Second, I actually made an argument against Jack Morris, but evidently, you did not read it or your reading comprehension skills are too weak. Instead, you just offered a knee-jerk reaction, full of distortions and propaganda, because someone challenged your Holy Grail. Again, a construction such as WAR constitutes a cue or a frame of reference, not a real argument.

    Your lack of reading comprehension and intelligence are stunning. You come on here acting like a tough-talking bully, but you're a moronic punk who grossly distorts matters. Indeed, please post your IQ and your educational resume, JS.

  60. Timmy Pea Says:

    Stat nerds that still watch South Park in their 40s and play GTA with their grand-kids cannot stand to be disagreed with. The f-bomb comes out and names are called for sure.

  61. Timmy Pea Says:

    @53 JS - There was one geek, on some blog, years ago that did a so called "study" that said there was no way Morris pitched to the score. That one retard is now quoted every time Morris is brought up. Andy Pettitte has a life time 3.85 ERA and he played on better teams than Morris and he used PEDs.

  62. David P Stokes Says:

    @ Marc W: The problem with what you posted is by that standard, almost anyone who ever played the game belongs in the Hall--everyone is someone's favorite player, even if it's just his own mother. To say that "Jack Morris was one of my all-time favorite players, and I'd love to see him enshrined", well, that's fine. There's nothing stupid or vile about that. It's not a convincing arguement; in fact, it's not an argument at all--as you yourself more-or-less point out, it's just an emotional reaction. Again, nothing wrong with that, but it's meaningless to people who weren't Morris fans (or Tiger fans). We need something more solid and objective if we're going to agree that Morris deserves in.

  63. BBall Says:

    JS: Where do we start - We stupid (posts 16, 18, 35 & 41), disgusting (posts 16 & 23), retarded (post 16), Morris d*** s****** {post 16 (it would be nice to know that kids could enjoy these discussions, too)}, that should just shut up (post 16), because we are blind (post 28), blockheaded (post 20), feeble minded (posts 18 & 41), disgustingly ignorant (post 23), dummies (post 32); so gross (post 33), sick (post 33), and putridly ignorant (post 33), idiot (posts 35 & 45), morons (post 33), that we should just shove it (post 18); and have no right to speak (post 16)? As for jockers (posts 18 & 23), and jacka******* (post 42), I really must admit that I really don't understand what those words are.
    This is a forum for discussing the merits of Morris as a Hall-of-Famer. When others disagree with your opinion, don't take it personally; it's just a discussion. Acting like a tough guy doesn't make you a tough guy; nor does it make your point any more believable than it would be otherwise. In fact, whenever you see two people arguing, it's usually the one that's talking the loudest that is losing the argument. Keep it clean, not mean.

    Ranjit: You are correct, my friend. I did not look at the correct WAR, using offense only. But even in total WAR, Toby Harrah should be close to Joe Torre or, especially, Jeff Kent.

    I also think that maybe comparing Mike Trout to Ted Williams, and trying to do it in a favorable light, is a bit premature. Mike's a Jersey boy. I hope he has a GREAT CAREER. I just really don't think at this point that it would be fair to even assume that he'll be Ted Williams. And I'm talking about the Ted Williams numbers that come even after he put YEARS in two wars (WW II and Korea). Among the Greatest Ballplayers of all-time, and a truly GREAT American. A real-life John Wayne (movie actor that was always the hero in the 40s, 50s, & 60s).

    Let's just go over these wonderful "saber-stats" one at a time, as I get time. I've already discussed wins, so let's get to the next post in chronological order - # 18 - the great Adjusted Pitching Runs. In this wonderful stat, the saber-people have decided how one run differs from another, and that will tell us which pitcher was better.

    It really isn't fair to you if you haven't seen these guys pitch {BTW, Phillies' season ticket package holder for many years, saw Schilling pitch in many, many, games - including a rehab at Scranton, when they were the Phils' farm team. I actually met, and talked with him, in the right-field stands of Lackawanna Stadium (Scranton), where he was signing autographs after his rehab start. Seemed like a nice guy - only met him once. He was, overall, the Phils' best starter from 1992 to 2000. There were years that others were better (Tommy Greene, Danny Jackson, Robert Person), but over the nine-year haul, when he was on the Phils, he was the "ace". Numbers weren't bad - 101 - 78 3.35 ERA. Right after (or actually, during) the 2000 season, Schill went to the D'Backs, and became the # 2 starter behind Randy Johnson (among the best ever, although not with the Yankees). The last 4 years, he spent with the Red Sox, behind Pedro (another first-ballot HOFer), in 2004, where had a great first year, and then two of the next three ('05 & '07) were mediocre years for a great team. He seemed to find the "magic elixir", and became a better pitcher after age 34. Or maybe, it's just that he pitched behind two all-time greats; whatever the case, a BORDERLINE HOFer, IMHO on the outside}.
    Yet, Saber-wise, this guy is an all-time great.

    So here are some of the things that APR tells us:

    Schilling at 354, was a better pitcher than:

    Bob Gibson at 341 - Not a Chance
    Jim Palmer at 340 - No WAY!
    John Smoltz at 327 - I doubt it.
    Gaylord Perry at 298 - Sorry, nope.
    Steve Carlton at 267 - They're kidding, right?

    I never saw Feller pitch, but APR says that he, also, is worse than Schilling, at 325.

    Now, getting away from Schill, who was a damn good pitcher, let's move on to some even more ridiculous APR comparisons.

    APR is an accumulating stat, a compilers dream (to be fair, so are wins & strikeouts), so I'll try to keep the amount of years that a pitcher played, similar.

    I'll also keep it to the guys that I saw pitch (missed Marichal's first couple of years, and Sandy's first six years). I realize that actually "seeing" the game means nothing, and I also realize that if I was lucky, I only saw about 10% of the games that were pitched by those outside of the New York & Philadelphia area, but sometimes actually "seeing" something helps.

    Bret Saberhagen (16 years) at 253, was better than:

    Dave Stieb (16 yrs.) at 236 - Not Really

    David Cone (17 yrs.) at 231 - the true "hired gun" was very much like Saberhagen.

    Andy Pettitte (18 yrs.) at 224 - Andy, though not a HOF-er was at least as good in 16 years, obviously even better in 18.

    Ron Guidry (14 yrs.) at 185 - simply a better pitcher than Brett

    JUAN MARICHAL (16 yrs.) at 236. - One of the All-Time GREATS. Another guy that you should ask someone that's seen him. Check his stats against Koufax, FACTOR (you guys LOVE that word) in his longevity, and see what you've got!

    There are quite a few more, like Koufax (only 12 years pitched) at 241, and Nolan Ryan (27 years pitched - 11 more years to "save runs") at 216, we could go on for awhile.

    I don't think that I could seriously have a conversation with my baseball buddies, and bring up the "saber-fact" that SABERhagen was better than Marichal, or in fact, any of those guys. This isn't just to pick on Brett - the same APR "metrics" say that Tim Hudson's 15-year career, thus far, was better than all of those guys, and Saberhagen. Tim's at 266. His 15 years, according to saber stats, were better than Fergie Jenkins' 19-year career (246). Steve Carlton, on EVERYONE'S LIST (of course, those that "saw" him, which I realize doesn't count to those that didn't see him, of all-time greats - a GREAT PITCHER on some bad Phillies' teams (including 27 wins on a 59-win team - I know wins aren't important to everybody, but I kinda like that stat), finishes just one saber-point ahead of Hudson, with 9 more years pitched to accumulate points.
    Don't get me wrong, Tim's great - never had a year where he didn't win more games than he lost (I know, I know, there I go with that silly "wins" stat, again); at 205 - 111, he's well on his way to possible enshrinement. But he's not, nor will he likely be, Steve Carlton.
    One thing that doesn't pop up in saber stats - the press HATED Steve Carlton. Those are the guys that vote for the Hall-Of-Fame, and even those guys voted him in at 95.6%. Yeah, he was THAT good. You wouldn't know it from APR, though .

  64. Ranjit Says:

    First, I agree with you BBall that there is no need for anyone on either side to attack other posters here personally. After all, we’re debating about a baseball player, not the existence of God or something.

    To some extent, I think that the Morris debate is a kind of stand-in for the larger baseball debate about stats. However, I think that it would be cruel at this point to hope Morris doesn’t get in, given how close he is. He seems like a perfectly decent guy, and, if I had been a GM in the 80s, I would have added him to my team in a heartbeat. He doesn’t come close to being a qualified Hall of Famer, but I’m ready to move on. I think that we stats people should focus more on getting “our” guys in than keeping the others out, no matter how mystifying the Morris candidacy may be. To that end, I’d love to see a “Morris in, Schilling out” person compare the two and argue why Schilling should be the one who is excluded. I’ll grant you Morris, even if I don’t grant your arguments for him; now justify keeping Schilling out.

    To BBill’s questions about Adjusted Pitching Runs, the answer is simple: no stat is perfect. This is something that everyone intuitively gets about “traditional” stats, but somehow the new ones are held to a higher standard. Look at strikeouts for example. Does anyone really think that Don Sutton (3574) was a better pitcher than Pedro Martinez (3154), Warren Spahn (2583), or Bob Feller (2581)? How about ERA? Was Orval Overall (2.23) better than Greg Maddux (3.16)? Maybe hits? Craig Biggio (3060) had more than Bonds (2935), Ruth (2873), or Williams (2654). Bob “Fats” Fothergill had a much higher batting average (.325) than Hank Aaron (.305). None of this renders these stats useless or deserving of ridicule. They all tell us something, but not everything. The new stats do the same, except they look at different facets. They don’t replace the old order; they add layers, detail, and sometimes entirely new dimensions to it.

    To paraphrase Bill James I think (who may have been paraphrasing someone else for all I know), a statistic that contradicts everything you know is probably wrong, and a statistic that confirms everything you know is probably useless. That’s a good thing to keep in mind before dismissing any statistic, new or old, as garbage.

  65. JS Says:

    Statistics such as Adjusted Pitching Runs are very useful. The problem is that I think you are misinterpreting the meaning of statistics like APR and therefore you aren't fully understanding the debate.

    APR doesn't "tell us who's better" it tells us an educated approximation of how many earned runs a pitcher saved versus the hypothetical league-average pitcher. Just because one pitcher like Curt Schilling has more APR than some other pitchers that you thought were better doesn't mean that the statistic is wrong.

    APR is a measure of how many runs a pitcher saved compared to a league average pitcher. There is no doubt that Curt Schilling was further above average during his career than Steve Carlton. Schilling's ERA+ was 127 vs 115 for Carlton. (Carlton had a few below-average seasons at the end of his career that dragged down his number). But Steve Carlton pitched nearly 2000 more innings, and was also a better hitter than Schilling, so actually Carlton comes out above Schilling in WAR. Carlton had a WAR of 90.4 against 79.9 for Schilling.

    Again, just because a statistic doesn't agree with your subjective emotional observations doesn't mean that the statistic is wrong. Do you even know how APR is calculated? I would bet that you probably don't. Therefore you are not really in a valid position to criticize the statistic until you learn more about it.

    Toby Harrah was a very good player who was very underrated. A batter's job is to create runs. Toby Harrah did just that. He got on base 3302 times (1954 hits, 1153 walks, 132 reached on errors, and 63 hit by pitch) and scored 1109 runs. Plus he played 3B/SS/2B during his whole career and those are important defensive positions.

    Getting back to the original theme of this thread, Jack Morris was a good pitcher and I'm not arguing with that. But if your personal HOF standard sets the bar so that Jack Morris clears it, then Curt Schilling has got to be a shoo-in. Schilling had 266 more APR (354 to 88) and 35.8 more WAR (79.9 to 44.1). I will fully grant you that statistics like WAR and APR are not exact and are sometimes subject to some internal inconsistencies and degrees of error. But even if the margin of error is as high as 25% in both directions that still leaves Schilling pretty well ahead of Morris.

    I'm not really sure what your knock is against Schilling being a great pitcher. He had the highest career SO/BB ratio (4.38) of any pitcher since 1885 and he prevented runs at a well above league average rate.

  66. Timmy Pea Says:

    @64 "we’re debating about a baseball player, not the existence of God". Guys like are JS are the same guys that use foul language and gutter phrases when discussing Tim Tebow or other athlete's religious beliefs. I mean Christian beliefs, he would never knock Islam or Jews. He's a breed so smart and arrogant that you couldn't possibly disagree with him.

  67. tomfromnorton Says:

    JS, please don't throw out WAR numbers like they are tested and proven numbers and should always 100% be taken at face value. In my opinion, they are very much a work in progress and can't be used as the definitive number when trying to compare player's value (as much as many of you out there would like to think so). Just for one example, (using Carlton vs Schilling) look at the WAR number for Carlton in 1982 vs Schilling's number for 2006. They both received 5.5 for the year but if you review the numbers, it shouldn't even be close as Carlton dominated in just about all of the raw numbers excluding walks. To me, the WAR statistic in a tool but is not even close to being the end all be all.

  68. BBall Says:

    FWIW, Bill James has done a great service. The saberstats add new thinking to the mix, albeit, at times, greatly flawed.

    I just read an article by James, extolling the virtues of his system, and telling us who had the 30 best pitching careers.

    Of course, you may, or may not know, that this is the same Bill James that wildly defended Penn State and Joe Paterno in the scandal that rocked University Park. Check out the article written by Craig Calcaterra, regarding James' interview on ESPN Radio.

    Calcaterra states that James was quoted as saying (when asked a question by host Doug Gottlieb) that it was quite common to shower with boys 40 years ago. This, obviously, was in defense of Sandusky showering with young boys.

    Really, Sorry, can't buy that one played competitive sports (Baseball, Football, Hockey) for many years; and I'm not far from James' age. Never once showered with young boys. There may be a poor place where that's necessary, but certainly not at Penn State, nor at any major college run football camp. As the writer stated - in part, "You’re being a contrarian because you like being a contrarian" Interesting article about the sabermetrics' groupies leader.

    Interested in reading it ?

    On to one of the most laughable attempts to bring us all over to the "bright" side, all of us "stupid (to paraphrase JS) morons" who still won't drink the magic potion, us that still believe that seeing is believing.
    To be fair, I have to concur with Ranjit. Stats aren't perfect. It is good to get many different points of view. And on another point, when it gets down to Schilling, it won't be easy to make a case to keep him out. I do tend to believe what I've seen, even though that is a very small sample size. For instance, a pitcher JUST retired that was among the best there was during his career. I was able to see (mostly on TV), maybe 5 - 10 % of his games, perhaps a bit more, since I almost always watch the Yankees and Phillies when they are on at night (weeknights). Roy Halladay - Now I think, and this is just from watching, that Roy was a better pitcher than Curt. There is no way that his saberstats will match up, but if I've gotta take one, really, no contest. The HOF debate for Roy could be interesting, as well. Knee-jerk is no-brainer, but 203 is a low number of wins to get in. As the game becomes more and more specialized, with relievers in from the seventh inning on, 250 wins is going to be the new 300. This didn't affect Roy, though, as much as anyone else during his time. He's the active (well, as of today, no longer active) leader in complete games. Interesting, but on to Bill James' "30 best pitching careers"

    Like just about all Bill James' saberstats, these are filled with "FACTORS". Even though almost all of James' saberstats widely benefit strikeout pitchers (what the hell do dimensions of the park matter in a strikeout?), yet Bill throws the factor in anyway. I'm not sure, but I know there are quite a few apostles of James out there - Does wind factor in? Game-time temperature? Not easy hitting a ball out any ballpark when it's 35 degrees outside. Tough to hit in the snow - Snow, being white in color, can interfere with the sight of the ball (off-white in color). Years ago, people SAT in the black bleachers section of Yankee Stadium. It wasn't black then, and some of those people had light colored shirts, again making it tough to see the ball. Does that mean that Mantle, DiMag, et al were even better? Is that in Bill's "factors"? Maybe it is, I don't know. Pull the ball at the polo grounds, and even I, at my age, could hit one out; no chance in center on my best day, hitting from the mound. So if you're a McCovey like hitter (dead pull), it was easier to hit 'em out than it would have been for a guy like Piazza who hit many opposite field HRs (Both "Stretch" and Mike never played in the polo grounds, BTW - just using those guys for example). If the park as a whole is "factored" in, then pull-hitters have an advantage there. LOts of flaws when you start to factor.

    Here's lowlights from Bill's entertaining list:

    Bert Blyleven (6th) had a career that was better than:
    Schilling (8th) was, according to James, better than all of the below, except for Maddux.

    Greg Maddux - 7th
    Bob Gibson - 9th
    Steve Carlton - 10th
    Ferguson Jenkins 11th
    Gaylord Perry 13th
    Sandy Koufax 17th
    Jim Palmer 18th
    Juan Marichal 27th!!!

    You can compare others on the list, as well - I liked David Cone, but he's quite obviously, no Hall-of-Famer. Palmer & Marichal are deserved HOFers (Look at Marichal's numbers, and tell me why it took him 3 years to get in)."

    Here's another great "contarian" argument. Bill wants to extol the virtues of this great "sabersystem" to tell you who the Cy Young winner should be.

    Let's go to some great examples that he cites:

    1961 - Bill says that Camilo Pascual should have won the award. There was only one award until 1967 - it was the best pitcher in baseball, not one for each league.

    let's compare these numbers (actual Cy Young winner in CAPS):

    Pitcher W L .PCT ERA
    Camilo Pascual 15 16 . 484 3.46 - Bill's "winner"
    WHITEY FORD 25 4 . 862 3.21 - Bill says "fifth best"
    Juan Pizarro 14 7 . 667 3.05 - Bill's # 3 Guy
    Sandy Koufax 18 13 . 581 3.52 - Bill's # 2 Guy
    Jim O'Toole 19 9 . 679 3.10 - Bill's # 4 Guy

    LAUGHING YET - 25 and 4, better ERA than #s 1 & 2, what are we using here? Oh, I get it, it's that sub-.500 win .pct - Saberguys hate wins.

    You could pitch with a college team behind you, if your numbers are as different as Pascual's and Ford's (in this year's example), there is a clear winner - and it's not Bill's guy.

    1982 CY YOUNG AWARD (Vuckovich, winner, in BOLD)

    Pitcher W L .PCT ERA
    Floyd Bannister 12 13 . 480 3.43 - Bill's "winner"
    PETE VUKOVICH 18 6 . 750 3.21 - Bill calls Vuk "undeserving candidate")
    Dave Stieb 17 14 . 548 3.25 - Bill's # 2 Guy
    Jim Clancy 16 14 . 533 3.71 - Bill's # 3 Guy
    Jim Palmer 15 5 . 750 3.13 - Bill's # 4 Guy
    Dennis Eckersley 19 9 . 679 3.10 - Bill's # 5 Guy

    Still seems to me like you saberguys LOVE those sub-.500 pitchers, and hate, absolutely hate, WINS!

    This guy's better than George Carlin. Crackin' me up.

    Last one (I can't take much more):

    1996 CY YOUNG AWARD (HENTGEN, winner)

    Pitcher W L .PCT ERA
    Roger Clemens 10 13 . 435 3.63 - Bill's "winner"
    PAT HENTGEN 20 10 . 667 3.22 - Bill says "second best"
    Juan Guzman 11 8 . 578 2.93 - Bill's # 3 Guy
    Kevin Appier 14 11 . 560 3.62 - Bill's # 4 Guy
    Ken Hill 16 10 . 615 3.63 - Bill's # 5 Guy

    Maybe I'm finally on to something - Sabermatricians HATE Wins. All three of Bill's examples include Cy Young winners with below .500 records, all three totally disregard wins.

    So, we come up with stats like "park factor" to make our case for a sub-.500 pitcher.

    Bill even pushes it to the max, saying that "no one deserved it" among the winners from '56 to '62.

    The winners, and next best line, were:

    In 1956, Don Newcombe won with a record of 27 - 7 (.794), 3.06 ERA, and with a 0.989 WHIP (I thought you guys liked that one - I'm not such a fan, give up 6 hits in the first; single, triple, HR, triple, double, HR, and it's 6-zip. No-hit the club the rest of the way, don't walk anybody, finish the nine, and you're 0.666 WHIP. You gave up 6 runs, but you looked great out there)! Saberstats call you "one of the best, ever!"
    Next best stats in '56 was Whitey Ford at 19 - 6 (.760), 2.47 ERA, with a 1.201 WHIP. what do the sabreguys do now? They love the WHIP, but they hate the win. Well, because Bill doesn't think Newk deserved the award, I guess his feeling is know; we saberguys HATE the win more than we LOVE the WHIP. I guess Whitey pitched in a bandbox (Yankee Stadium?), while Newk pitched in Yellowstone (Ebbets Field?).
    No, no, that's not it; this year, we actually like ERA - so we'll take Whitey - never mind those silly 8 extra wins, never mind the WHIP (usually the saberguys friend), we don't want Don, so this time ERA wins.

    We can go on and on, but it has become quite obvious that the purpose of these stats is to de-value the win.

    Just like MLB, out here in Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken/Met League land, the parks have different dimensions. Yet the best pitchers are usually still the best pitchers.

    Obviously, a very extreme example, but lets go with the Ks/BB stat. OK, pitcher "A" strikes out 10, walks 2, gives up 7 hits in a 9-inning game, for a wonderful 5.0 K/BB ratio, a stellar 1.000 WHIP. The walks are in the fourth & seventh innings, and are followed by dingers, and the other five hits, which come after a two-out error, are single, double, triple, single, triple, in consecutive at-bats. The guy on third is Rod Carew (sic), and he steals home. "A" Pitcher gives up 2 runs in the fourth, and 2 runs in the seventh, and six runs in the eighth for a 10-run "QUALITY START (six innings with three or less earned runs).

    Pitcher "B" strikes out 3, gives up 6 walks, 10 hits in his nine innings. Back-to back walks in the first, followed by a single that loads the bases, another single plates one, but he works out of the jam with just one run scored. in the second, third, & fourth, pitcher "B" gives up double (2nd) double (3rd), and a triple (4th). The triple is brought in with a Sacrifice Fly. The two doubles were stranded. The fifth, he's wild again, walking two, and giving up a single that loads the bases. Luckily, he works his way out of trouble. The sixth brings more trouble, a walk followed by a triple, which plates one, a double, which plates another, another walk, and a single, where the runner is cut down at the plate. So far, we've got six innings pitched, 6 walks, 4 runs, 8 hits (singles in the 1st, 5th, & 6th; doubles in the 2nd, 3rd, & 6th; triples in the 4th & 6th), no one has been struck out, we're down 4 -2 after 6 - and this is NOT A QUALITY START. Inning seven brings a two-out triple, which is followed by a wild pitch, plating run # 5. We've now given back the lead, and we're down 5 - 4, heading to the eighth. In the inning eight a one out single, with an error on the throw that puts the runner in scoring position. Once again, the "workhorse" works his way out of it. In the ninth, just for fun, and because this particular pitcher CAN throw 150 pitches, and likes to finish what he starts (no knock on pitcher "A", he finished, too; both of the same era), pitcher B strikes out the side for his only three Ks of the game.

    Pitcher "B" wins a hard-fought game, and the pitcher's lines are as follows:

    IP H ER BB K WHIP Ks/BB ERA pitches
    Pitcher "A" 9 7 4 2 10 1.000 5.00 4.00 125
    Pitcher "B" 9 10 5 6 3 1.666 0.50 5.00 150

    wow, that pitcher "B" won the game. But because wins are meaningless, let's use all the other stats to prove that "A" is better.

    The same pitchers meet again, this time "B" hangs in there for 9, giving up 8 hits & 4 walks, and allowing just 2 runs (both in the bottom the eighth), and reducing his not so wonderful WHIP stat to 1.555, striking out 6 to make the Ks/BB stat a paltry 0.900, but the ERA drops to a respectable 3.50. It's a QUALITY START (only 12 baserunners in 9 innings???)

    Pitcher "A" starts hot, striking out the first 6, and 10 of the first 12. No one reaches base until a single in the fifth. PItcher "A" works out of the fifth with no further damage. Another 2 Ks in a 1-2-3 sixth bring the K total to 12. A shutout through six, but still hooked in a scoreless tie. The seventh brings some trouble, though, a walk is followed by an error on the pitcher on a ground ball (threw ball into right field). No outs, runners on second and third. an intentional walk loads the bags with nobody out. Being a truly dominant pitcher, pitcher "A" roars back and is able to get two weak pop-ups. Bags full, now two outs. Dominant pitchers tend to throw a few gopher balls, and lo and behold, a GRAND SLAM. Four unearned runs - and because unearned runs are OK, pitcher "A" gladly hands the ball to the manager, and takes a seat to watch the bullpen get the last seven outs. At contract negotiation time, the star pitcher can bring up his ERA (now down to 2.63). The bullpen struggles, but gets through with no further run damage, although 80 pitches are required to get the last seven outs. A few hits, a few walks, several pick-off throws, tax the bullpen dearly, but hey, that's not the starter's fault. He did his job, with a QUALITY 20-out START, in which he gave up no earned runs.

    The line after two games:

    IP H ER BB K WHIP Ks/BB ERA pitches
    Pitcher "A" 16.2 9 4 4 22 0.780 5.50 2.63 225
    Pitcher "B" 18 18 5 10 9 1.555 0.90 3.50 290

    The pitchers continue to pitch in this manner, but both have stretches where they pitch good and bad, closing the gap a bit in WHIP, but end of the season numbers look somewhat like this:

    IP H ER BB K WHIP Ks/BB ERA Won-Lost
    Pitcher "A" 221 203 89 48 211 1.137 4.38 3.46 15 - 10
    Pitcher "B" 242 225 105 88 157 1.296 1.78 3.90 16 - 12

    Pitcher "A" is Curt Schilling - lifetime record of 216 - 146
    Pitcher "B" is Jack Morris - lifetime record of 254 - 186

    Both pitchers were durable, both pitchers started for 16 Season

    Pitcher "A" pitched as a # 2 starter to Randy Johnson in 2000 through 2003; as a #2 to Pedro Martinez in 2004, and as a # 2 to Josh Beckett in '06 & '07.
    No one (not even the apostles of SABR) thinks that Schilling was a better pitcher than Johnson, or Martinez. And to be fair to Curt, Everyone thinks he was better than Beckett.
    Morris spent his entire career as the workhorse "ace". The only years of Morris' career that a teammate won more games than him as a starter was 1989 in Detroit, where Jack won just 6 games; and his final two years '93 with Toronto, and '94 with Cleveland. He was the "ace" in '94, but Pat Hentgen was the true "ace" of the '93 Jays.
    Schilling was the "ace" when with the Phils, but as I explained earlier, not so with Arizona & Boston.
    Tommy Greene won as many games (16) as Schill' in '93 (and lost three fewer), Danny Jackson (14 wins) won more in '94, Paul Quantrill (11 wins) won more in '95, Terry Mulholland had 8 wins when he was traded in July of '96 - at that time, Schill had only 4 wins at the time of that trade, finished with a team high 9 wins. Schill was the ace in '97 (17 wins), '98 (15 wins), and '99 (15 wins, tied with Paul Byrd, but Byrd lost 5 more games); then in '00, Curt was traded to Arizona in July, with 6 wins at the time (Randy Wolf led the Phils' at the time of the trade with 8 wins). Curt finished '00 with 5 more wins for the D'Backs, IN '01, Curt's career took off - he would go 106 - 51 for the rest of his career {He was 106 - 84 for the first 9 years of his "starting" career ('92 thru '00), pitching for Arizona & Boston}. In '01 Curt won 22 games, while Randy won 21 - Randy's ERA was a half a run better, and Randy had a better WHIP, since I'm a wins guy, I guess it's fair to call that a draw. '02 Curt won 23 games to Randy's 24, but Randy's ERA was 0.91 better, no draw there, Randy was the best pitcher on the '02 team; '03 , they were all bad, Curt winning just 8 games, and Brandon Webb leading the squad with 10 wins, along with Miguel Bautista (Webb's ERA makes him the de facto ace on this squad). In '04 Curt found his way to Boston, and was the best pitcher on a Sox' squad that included Pedro. In '05, Curt missed a few months, and relieved for most of the year. Wake was the ace that year. In '06, Curt had his last good year, going 15 - 7 -- Beckett was 16-11, but Curt's ERA was much better, making him the staff ace. Curt stayed around in '07, and managed to go 9 - 8. Beckett was a 20-game winner, and the staff "ace". So, in the 16 years that Schilling pitched, he was the "ace" pitcher of the team in 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, & 2006 - seven years out of 16, for most of his career, he was literally not the best pitcher on his own team! Check it out, all comparing apples to apples.

    No, I don't dislike Schilling. I just like to keep it a little more in context with the actual game, instead of saberstats.

    When Schilling left game 7 of the 2001 WS, he was down 2 -1. Mariano Rivera bailed him out in the bottom of the ninth (he'd do it again for a Schilling team in the 2004 ALCS - Game 4).

    Schilling does have a STELLAR postseason record, but he was slapped around pretty good in Game 1 of the "Bloody Sock" series.

    We may not totally agree, but it has gotten me to think a bit. I still think Jack's a HOF-er. I've softened quite a bit on Schilling, but it's more the case of Roy Halladay coming up soon. Roy was 203 - 105, a true "ace" everywhere he pitched. A true horse for his time, completing double the games of anyone else of his time. I just looked up his saberstats, and it seems like you guys will be campaigning FOR Roy.
    One of the things that I have noticed about saberstats; they don't like the guys that pitched from 1975 - 1990.

  69. BBall Says:

    to tomfromnorton: I totally agree with your point. If anyone wants to compare Schilling with Carlton, please count me out. I'll be laughing too hard. Carlton is a true ALL-TIME GREAT! Ask any Phillies' fan {rememeber, Curt was a Phillie for the first nine years of his "starting" career (A reliever with the O's & 'Stros for the first few years)} who was better, Steve Carlton or Curt Schilling, and the likely response would be "What"? They'll, at first, act like they didn't hear the question. Ask again, and the response will be unprintable. Just for fun, I just looked up Steve's first nine years as a Phillies' starter. Won-Lost record was a paltry 172 - 107. Curt was 101 - 78, right? Look, FWIW, as a Phillie, Roberts was better (only saw him at the end, with the O's), Chris Short was nearly as good, and Rick Wise, although with a slightly smaller sample size, was just as good. Curt Simmons, whom I didn't see, has some good #s as a Phillie, too. Nobody that I know ever saw Grover Cleveland Alexander (Pete) pitch; he may be the greatest all-time Phillie pitcher. But for me, it's Steve.

  70. BBall Says:

    Ref # 69 - Bad writing - I meant that those pitchers were as good during their Phillies' careers as Schilling was during his Phillies' career. As for Steve, you can argue Pete & Roberts, but it's still Steve to me.

  71. Timmy Pea Says:

    Are you trying to say Bill James is OK with homosexual pedophilia?

  72. BBall Says:

    Timmy Pea: No accusation at all. I don't think anyone is OK with pedophilia, in any form, be it homosexual or heterosexual.
    The reason that I brought it up, was to show, that at least in one highly publicized case, the policy of using all well-thought out metrics was severely compromised. I would guess that almost all of us has made a decision that we regret. But it's not all of us that are making a living off of telling others to use their system to make decisions. That's it. No judgement at all on the case. Once again, this is the "make a case for Jack Morris" forum. All of these statements are designed to show that it is not always correct to blindly follow an intricate, fabricated, factored, system, which is designed to slant in the manner of the designer.
    For instance, although a wild case, it is theoretically possible that a pitcher could go 25 - 5 with an ERA that is not the best in the league, an ERA + that is also not the best, didn't save the most runs, and won MOST games due to his team's great offense. You really have to stretch to make a case for an under .500 win pct. pitcher, as Bill did in his "Greatest of Games" diatribe. Already, the pitcher that Bill supports is below average compared to the other pitchers in WIN PCT. - Wins really is an important stat. The GREAT Mariano Rivera (and he was GREAT), seemed automatic, bud he did blow a game in the 1997 ALDS vs. the Indians that would have given the Yanks the Series win; blew Game 7 vs. the D-Backs to make Randy Johnson & Curt Schilling co-MVPs of that series, blew clinching game 4 in Boston in 2004. Best "BIG-GAME" closer of all-time, with the incredible Post-Season ERA 0f 0.70! A Post_Season WHIP of 0.759, but those were 3 games that changed the course of the series that Mo blew. The Mets roughed him up a bit in game 2 of the 2000 WS, too. In fact, in that series, Stanton faced 13 batters, and got all 13 out, yet Derek Jeter was the MVP. O'Neill got as many hits as Jeter, and in less ABs, with the same amount of RBI. The batters were similar. Stanton came in at critical points in the game, got 2 wins, and didn't allow anyone to reach. MVP should have been Stanton. You know why I feel that way? Saw it! The "big thinking" in baseball is to give the award to the marquee star; so if they feel that it's close, that's where it will always go.
    As far as this forum, I'm supporting Jack's case because I truly do believe he deserves to be a Hall-Of-Famer. Never met Jack. Don't know if he's a good guy, bad guy, whatever. This forum was started by Baseball-Reference calling his case "especially thin". All of that thinking comes from sabermetrics. In any debate, someone has to be on the other side. I'm there because I believe that what I saw throughout that period, Morris was one of the best of his era.
    The sabermetrics community that feels the other way is led by its peddler, Bill James. The referenced Penn State article is just to give you a backround on how some of that thinking can work.

  73. Chris Says:

    Why is Catfish Hunter in the HOF? He benefitted from some of the greatest Bullpens of all time, and hardly ever pitched beyond the 7th. My theory? He played in New York, which always adds a dozen votes or so. Morris was the best Pitcher of his era, and he didn't cheat.

  74. BBall Says:

    Chris, Agree with you on Hunter. A great pitcher for 6 or 7 years; not to the dominance level of Koufax. Just not enough great years to make it. Played with the World Series team in '72, '73, '74, '76, '77, & '78. On a division winner every year from '71 through '78. Now, obviously, he's part of the reason these teams won, but his overall career numbers just aren't good enough. Anyway, I'm a Yankees' fan, and I always considered Catfish to be an Athletic. Much better career with KC/Oak than with NY.

  75. Dennis Deitch Says:

    It's "Speak Your Peace."

  76. Fuggin Goons Says:

    After reading all the posts here of the pros and cons about Jack Morris going to the Hall Of Fame I believe a case from both sides indicate he is worthy to be inducted but possibly like Jim Rice was made to wait until the final year of eligibility not only because of his era but the steroid era pitchers and hitters clogging the ballot. There are a lot of borderline players on the Hall. Bert ably leaven deserves to be in the Hall and made it late. Jack Morris pitched on the same staff as Bert Blyleven but Morris was considered the ace and were at a similar stage of their careers.

    C'mon naysayers sometimes you do not like going to Aunt Bees for Christmas but she does deliver the best gifts that you can use the most and Jackie Morris does too (Wins)

    Aunt Bee one more for your Hall of Fame dinner "Jack Morris"

  77. Fuggin Goons Says:

    The best pitchers against other all star pitchers are Luis Tiante, Catfish Hunter and Jack Morris of their era. Don Drysdale was the best in his era.

  78. Fuggin Goons Says:

    In sports there should be a Headline Hall of Fame. What names are on sports Center the most because of their positives they keep bringing to the sports they represent. After all they are the players putting fannies in the seats and capture our interest on a daily basis.

  79. Hank Says:

    Well, if all of the name-calling over Morris has eased off...

    I find it interesting that people now see Morris as being a "generally good guy"--Don't get me wrong, I grew up watching Morris, but he was not popular among the media back when he was with the Tigers, and I've always felt that that lost him a few HOF votes. (Lou Whitaker didn't speak to the media for essentially his entire career and didn't make it off his first HOF ballot--frankly, I see a connection).

    That said--I saw Morris pitch regularly throughout the 80's, and it's hard to quantify what I saw with statistics, in that his biggest problem wasn't his ERA, but his volatility--he was the classic example of a pitcher who regularly needed a mound visit to "calm him down" after getting a bad break. Honestly, I think that this, rather than his any stat, is the biggest Morris anti-HOF argument--if he just could have controlled his emotions a little better, he certainly had the sort of raw skills that would have gotten him much better career numbers. This is what made him so interesting to watch--even on nights when he had his best stuff, he still tended to bounce at least one pitch about ten feet in front of home plate--but ultimately, his volatility was his biggest drawback as a pitcher. He had a great career, but there's still that nagging "he-could-have-been-even-better" element.

  80. Fuggin Goons Says:

    Pete Rose could be on the ballot in 2015, it will be in the hands of the next MLB Commissioners hands. So sabermatrics gurus will be thinking even harder than Jack Morris and Don Mattingly inductions

  81. David P Stokes Says:

    @72: Nothing about the Sandusky case has anything to do with sports stats, traditional or advanced. I can't see any reason that you would bring it up unless it's in order to try and discredit Bill James' work by, as Timmy Pea suggests, making it seem like he is OK with pedophilia.

    @80: I don't think anyone seriously suggest that Pete Rose's on-field play doesn't merit his induction. (Well, not literally--I'm sure there are some--after all, no one has ever gotten 100% of the vote from the BBWAA and if some of them didn't think Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, or Tom Seaver had played well enough to deserve induction, I'm sure some feel the same about Rose.) The question is whether or not his gambling, uhm, exploits should disqualify him. That's an issue of values or morals, not stats.

  82. Charles Saeger Says:

    @14 Brad, all you're doing is playing "let's find a meaningless stat" to get Morris in. I'm going out of way to explain why Morris, in context, doesn't look that good. I don't appreciate the accusation of dishonesty, especially when that's what you seem to be doing yourself.

  83. Charles Saeger Says:

    @76 Blyleven and Morris were never teammates.

  84. Charles Saeger Says:

    @72 I watched baseball in that era, at least from the mid-1980s onward. I don't think Morris was the best I saw, or anywhere close. I got to see Saberhagen and Higuera and Stieb and Key and Viola and Clemens and Blyleven and Langston and they all impressed me more. The one time I saw Carlton pitch, he was knocked out of the box, but my father took me specifically to see him pitch and the guy was at the end of the line, so he didn't impress me more than Morris. Boddicker was pretty impressive on the mound too. I don't pretend all this is a Hall argument.

    Numbers-wise, Morris is a dead ringer for Dennis Martinez, as I said up-thread. Nobody is crazy enough to put El Presidente in the Hall, even though that a vote for Morris necessitates a vote for Martinez.

  85. Charles Saeger Says:

    @81 Folks seem to confuse "Pete Rose was overrated" with "Pete Rose was not a Hall of Fame-quality player." He's clearly over the line. Personally, Lou Gehrig and Henry Aaron weren't quite as good as their reputations, and they're both clear inner-circle guys. Gary Pettis was underrated by quite a bit, and he should be double-checked for admission if he goes to Cooperstown. The issue with Morris is that Morris was a good pitcher for a long time but not quite a Hall of Fame pitcher. If the guy's ERA was 0.25 lower and he won 20 more games, he'd still be overrated, but he'd then be just Hall-caliber.

  86. Chris Says:

    One more point for consideration. How can you look at the numbers of any Pre-1950 Pitcher, as truth, when they did't face Negro League Players? Has Sabermatics factored that in?

    I find them to be frauds, because they faced only pre-selected White Players, not the best on Earth. To me, all pre-1950 numbers are suspect and should be adjusted downward.

  87. Timmy Pea Says:

    No Dennis Martinez, but yes on Andy Pettitte?

  88. Chris Says:

    Andy Pettite? You have got to be kidding? More N.Y. Bias at play. I suppose that you think Jorge Posada is a Hall of Famer too? Plus, Pettite was a cheater.

  89. hack game Says:

  90. BBall Says:

    @ # 81. Bill James has made a living off of contrived formulas that are designed (in his mind) to get you to look at all the "facts" before you "say something (vote for HOF, in this case)".
    Bill could have answered those questions in any way that he liked, yet he chose to say what he said. There are many things that happened 40 years ago that are obviously not OK now. He chose to make his statement in a case that was fairly recent, not something that happened in the early seventies. Most people, even in that era (In fact, everyone that I know) didn't think it was OK for men to shower with young boys.
    If your next-door neighbor was having a discussion with you, and stated the same thing as Bill did in his interview, how likely would you be to heartily listen to his next opinion? BTW, Showering with Boys is not, in and of itself, pedophilia in any form. It is however, not normal, and at least to me, not a great decision, definitely not something that most grown men (in fact, all of the ones that I know) would choose to do. Giving a bath to a baby is totally different; a baby could drown. Most 10-year olds have it under control by then, and don't need your help. To use this as a plausible defense in a landmark case, that's an even worse decision. It's Bill's decision-making, regarding the facts that we know, that is the cause for concern. It's his system that has so many followers that claim to make better, more-informed, decisions. WAR may prove otherwise, but I like going to war with a skilled pitcher that wants the ball in key situations. A guy that can carry the team, and save the bullpen for the starters who like to go six innings with their 3 earned runs, to obtain their "Quality Start". None of these stats take "saving the bullpen" into account (maybe I'm wrong, maybe there is a milli-point for innings pitched, but you can pitch 6 innings in 35 games and still get 210 IP).. Tim Wakefield was an unsung hero in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS. He saved the Sox bullpen, and in fact, Derek Lowe, when he just threw To batter after batter in the Yanks' 19-8 blowout. His line wasn't wonderful, yet his WHIP in the series was better than Pedro's. Lowe was the Sox' best pitcher in that series, not saberdarling "bloody-sock" guy. Several starters (Mussina, Lieber, Hernandez, & Lowe) had better lines than Schilling, yet it's the "Bloody-Sock" game that gets the ink. If he truly was hurt, I applaud Schilling for being out there. Going into that game (Game 6), the Sox were still down 3 to 2, and it was nice to know that your "horse" was willing to take the ball. It's hard to quantify with statistics, what that meant to the team. The MVP of the series should have been another saberdarling, Kevin Brown, who did all he could to blow it for the Yanks. I read all these saberstats. Schilling truly (to me) is a borderline case. Brown, who is high up on a lot of these "factored" lists, you've gotta be kidding.

  91. BBall Says:

    As for Pete Rose, he's one of the best to ever play the game. As for Morals, would you rather your son bet on his own team, or use cocaine, as Fergie Jenkins did? Fergie pleaded Guilty to cocaine possession while pitching for the Texas Rangers. This - taken from Wikipedia -

    Jenkins achieved his 250th win against the Oakland Athletics on May 23, 1980. Later that year, during a customs search in Toronto, Jenkins was found possessing 3.0 grams cocaine, 2.2 grams hashish, and 1.75 grams marijuana. In response, on September 8, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended him indefinitely. However, Jenkins' suspension lasted only two weeks before, in an unprecedented action, an independent arbiter reinstated him and he returned to the league.[9] Jenkins was not further punished by MLB for the incident, as he remained active until his retirement following the 1983 season.

    Two Week suspension for that - LIFETIME ban for gambling on your team to WIN". The gambling was done as a manager, not a player. Jenkins is in the Hall-Of-Fame, as he should be, based on his talent on the field. His MORALS are no better than Pete's. Pete is the ALL-TIME hits leader, stood in the batter's box more than any player in history, regarding by EVERYONE that ever saw him play as a "WINNING PLAYER". Does anyone, ANYONE think that Wade Boggs (a WAR score of 91.0) was a better player that Pete (WAR score of 79.4)? Career WAR is a compiling stat, and Wade did his in 18 years, while Pete's was achieved in 24. If Wade had 6 similar seasons to his first 18 years, he may have finished with 4,000 hits - his WAR may have been 120; yet he still wasn't the player that Pete was. Joe Morgan at 100.4, better than Pete? NO WAY. A few better years, yes, a better career, not a chance. Ozzie Smith, Robin Yount, and Paul Molitor, ther latter two bona-fide Hall-Of_Famers, the first guy, a GREAT DEFENSIVE PLAYER that I thought was borderline (Mark Belanger, who couldn't hit a lick, was probably a better fielder - couldn't do back-flips, though), all are very close to Pete in WAR in many less years. None were close to Pete as a player, the closest likely being Molitor, who could beat you in more ways than Yount could. Pitching may be the name of the game, but ask anyone that has seen both (I guess you'd have to go age 55 and over), who they would rather have on their club for their career (You can even throw Schilling in the mix, as his career WAR exceeds Pete's), I'm guessing most would take Pete.

  92. Chris Says:

    I agree with you on Rose. If Barroid and Roger Clemens get in, so should Rose. Where I do part company is on Moiltor. The quote was "he could beat you in so many ways." Uh, not with his Glove. In fact, we was such a liability in the field, that he DH'ed the second half of his career. A guy that can hot but is awful in the field, does not belong in the HOF. This will also delay (or should) Frank Thomas' entry into the Hall as well.

  93. BBall Says:

    @ 84. I have to agree with you that Martinez & Morris have numbers that are close. If there is a small difference, it's that Denny pitched about half of his games in the DH-less National League. Jack's W-L is a bit better, as is his Wins, & Winning Pct. Denny's ERA in the AL is about a run higher than in the NL. Don't confuse the 80s Expos with the team of the past 20 years. From 1986 to 1993 (the years Denny was there) the Expos were a pretty good team. I think Jack's career is a bit better, making him borderline "in", while Denny (and comparing Denny to those of his era, you wouldn't be "crazy" to vote for him - I wouldn't, but there are definitely worse players than him in the Hall) is I guess, just below borderline "out".

    As for Carlton; it's a shame you didn't see him in his prime. The only pitcher that you listed in your post that is comparable to him is Clemens (You could make an argument for Clemens being the best pitcher since WWII - steroids aside, but the batters used them then, too). Clemens, Johnson & Maddux were among the best that the game has ever seen. Johnson finished second all-time to Nolan Ryan in strikeouts, but he was a helluva lot better pitcher than Ryan.

    Carlton & Seaver would be in the rotation for the late sixties through the seventies guys. Perry (Gaylord) would make that rotation, as would Marichal. I'd have to look for the fifth guy (you can throw Sandy in there, but his era ended in '66, so I chose not to) The Dominican Dandy had his best years a bit earlier than the other three guys, so do with that info what you wish. He was actually more in Sandy & Gibby's era, so I guess we got to find two guys to put in the late sixties through early eighties rotation.
    Although he had a very short career - VERY SHORT - and unfortunately has passed on early, "The Bird" Mark Fidrych was something to see. What a show. YouTube him. He talked to the ball, threw a ball out of play if it had a "hit" in it. Smoothed the mound down meticulously. GREAT TO WATCH. There are great players coming in the future, also. GREAT GAME!

  94. tomfromnorton Says:

    I think we all could agree that Bill James was a pioneer in understanding baseball statistics in a different light and made ground breaking analysis / interpretation of them. Bill James the social critic? He should stick to baseball as he is not an expert in this field and has no credibility whatsoever. As far as some of the comments listed above...Pete Rose one of the all-times greats is definitely a reach as he was a hit monger but the rest of his skill sets weren't exactly of the all-time great stature. He was a media darling, as was Steve Garvey, during the 70s and 80s because of his hustle but when his, and Garveys) statistics are closely analyzed his stature is somewhat diminished (still would be a HOF if not for the betting).

    to said that every statistician knows that no 1 statistic is a perfect exact measure yet you continue to throw around the WAR numbers like it's the freaking Bible...and you then use that statistic and others to make really stupid comments such as saying that Schilling was a better pitcher than Steve Carlton! With comments like that you also lose any credibility that you may or may not have had.

  95. JS Says:

    You are absolutely wrong about what you think I said. I did NOT say that Curt Schilling was a better pitcher than Steve Carlton, and neither does WAR. I clearly stated in my earlier post that Steve Carlton had a career WAR of 90.4 versus Curt Schilling at 79.9. Carlton is more than 10 WAR above Schilling.

    What I said was that on a PER-INNIING basis, Schilling was further above average than Carlton relative to his league average at the time. This you simply cannot deny. Schilling had an ERA+ of 127 and Carlton had an ERA+ of 115. That means that Schilling's ERA was 27% better than the league average during the innings he pitched, adjusted for ballpark. And Carlton's ERA was 15% better than average. But Carlton comes out ahead in WAR because Carlton pitched nearly 2000 more innings and also was a much better hitter than Schilling.

    I clearly stated that in my last post. First of all, you are too f*cking illiterate to read what I actually wrote. Secondly, you are too fu*king stupid to actually look up the WAR career leaderboard to see that WAR actually says that Carlton was better. Because of this, you are fu*king stupid and fuc*ing retarded and you have no credibility whatsoever.

    Not a single one of my statements was stupid and I have the utmost credibility.