(Charlie Rood Commentary)
The Detroit Tigers and Fans are screwed again in Baseball Hall of Fame Voting.
Three Tigers are deserving: Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, and Jack Morris.
No player was voted in this year. It was the year of Roger, Barry, Sammy, and the performance enhancing drugs. Even the deserving players didn't get in.
In past years, I've made the cases for both Trammell and Whitaker, who compare very favorably both historically with "all-time" players and with "players of today".
How about Jack Morris who now has one year of eligibility left. Unless he's elected next year, he'll have to wait until the Veterans Committee rights this wrong.
Tom Gage of The Detroit News outlines some Jack Morris support (excerpts).....
The biggest is that his 3.90 ERA would be the highest in the Hall of Fame — Red Ruffing’s 3.80 currently being the highest.
Of the 70 pitchers in the Hall of Fame, Morris would be tied for 30th with 254 victories.
“Since when is ERA more important than how much you won?” Morris often has said in his defense.
Morris would rank 18th among Hall of Fame pitchers with 2,478 strikeouts.
He had three 20-win seasons (two of them for the Tigers) and 11 seasons in which he pitched 200-plus innings.
His four World Series victories, two for the Tigers and two for the Minnesota Twins, include one of the greatest postseason games ever pitched, a 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the 1991 Series at the Metrodome.
Morris was an Opening Day fixture, starting 14 season openers. Only Tom Seaver, with 16, started more.
He was also a three-time All-Star Game starter, and a five-time All-Star.
Morris never won a Cy Young Award, but was named the American League’s Pitcher of the Year by the Sporting News in 1981 and was the World Series Most Valuable Player for the Twins in 1991.
One of the strongest arguments on his behalf is he led major league pitchers with 162 victories in the 1980s — a decade in which he averaged 13 complete games per year, 33 starts and 244 innings.
Durable and dependable, Morris held the American League record for most consecutive starting assignments (515) before it was broken by Clemens in 2001.
Now, since Tom Gage referenced Red Ruffing, let me review statistical comparisons......
Morris, 18 year record, 254-186 (162 game average 16-12)
Ruffing, 22 year record, 273-225 (162 game average 16-13)
Morris Winning Percentage: .577
Ruffing Winning Percentage: .548
Morris 20 win seasons - 3
Ruffing 20 win seasons - 4
Morris 20 loss seasons - 0
Ruffing 20 loss seasons - 2
All-Star Appearances Morris- 4
All-Star Appearances Ruffing - 6
World Series Wins, Morris - 7
World Series Wins, Ruffing - 7
162 Game Season Averages -
Innings Pitched, Morris 242
Innings Pitched, Ruffing 254
Hits Allowed, Morris 225
Hits Allowed, Ruffing 251
Runs and Earned Runs, Morris 115 (105)
Runs and Earned Runs, Ruffing 124 (107)
Strikeouts, Morris 157 (career 2478)
Strikeouts, Ruffing 116 (career 1987)
Walks, Morris 88 (career 1390)
Walks, Ruffing 90 (career 1541)
Career Defense Fielding Percentage, Morris .965
Career Defense Fielding Percentage, Ruffing .968
There are other reasons a player is a Hall-of-Famer, beyond just stats. Jack Morris qualifies in those areas, too.
Jack Morris should have been elected. In this "year of the steroids", a great message would have been sent if a "hard-playing, always-competing-fairly, fine-example-of-a-ball-player" got in.
That player should have been Jack Morris. One day, it will be.