Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jack Morris is Not Hall Worthy

There are a lot of arguments going back and forth regarding Jack Morris's Hall of Fame candidacy.  Personally, I'm against it.  The arguments for him being the best pitcher of the 1980s ring hollow to me considering the decade from 1980-1989 is pretty arbitrary.  Why not 1977-1986 or 1983-1992?  The 1980-1989 decade includes the tail ends of great careers by pitchers like Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, and Steve Carlton.  It also removes half of a decade of Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens performances.  If you expanded the ten year span to include 20-25 seasons, would Morris even make your top ten for best pitchers in baseball?  How about top fifteen?  He wouldn't make either of mine.

The arguments about him being a great postseason pitcher don't really ring true either because he was pretty underwhelming during the 1987 ALCS, and incredibly forgettable during the Blue Jays World Series run in 1992.  In fact, he was so bad during the playoffs in 1992, that I would go as far as saying they won the World Series in spite of his pitching performance.  In 1993, he was so ineffective during the regular season, the Jays left him off of their postseason roster entirely.  That's not exactly high praise for a pitcher that supposedly rose to the occasion in the playoffs.  Yes, Game 7 of the 1991 World Series was great, but you can't build a Hall of Fame case out of one game. 

If you're looking for a great analysis of Jack Morris's Hall of Fame case, I strongly suggest you read Dan Szymborski's case against his induction.  (Sorry, ESPN Insider only!)  It's outstanding, and doesn't include a lot of emotional rhetoric.  Hope you enjoy!

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