Monday, December 31, 2007

Getting hard-ons for the wrong people

The nostalgia orgasms that writers have this time of year when discussing Jack Morris's candidacy just kill B.A. every time. One of the latest periodical hard-ons belongs to Jon Heyman. Here's what this guy has to say about the great Jack Morris:

2. Jack Morris. The ace of three World Series teams, it's an abomination he may never get in. Morris made 14 Opening Day starts, tied with Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson, Walter Johnson and Cy Young, behind only Tom Seaver's 16 (the others already are or will be in Cooperstown). Also pitched the greatest game of the past 25 years, winning Game 7 of the 1991 World Series 1-0 in 10 innings against a young John Smoltz. The only two reasons I can think of for him not making it are: 1) he got hit hard his final couple years and finished with a 3.90 ERA, and 2) he was no charmer. Neither is a good enough reason to omit him. His impact was great.

An abomination? Really? First of all, in my opinion, the ace of a staff is the guy who was clearly better than everyone else in the rotation. So, no, Jack Morris was NOT the ace of 3 World Series Championship teams. Dan Petry had just as good if not a better season than Jack Morris did on the 1984 Tigers.

Jack Morris (1984)
240.1 innings pitched
1.282 WHIP
109 ERA+
148 K
87 BB

Dan Petry (1984)
233.3 innings pitched
1.273 WHIP
121 ERA+
144 K
66 BB

He didn't have the best season on the 1991 Twins, either. Kevin Tapani put up a 143 ERA+ and a 1.086 WHIP. To be fair, he probably just got very lucky that year, as he never had another season like it, and was not overpowering at all. However, Morris had been a below average pitcher every season since 1987 leading up to 1991, so Morris very well could have gotten lucky, too. In 1992, he wasn't even close to being the best pitcher in his rotation. Jimmy Key was. ERA+ of 116 versus 102, WHIP of 1.218 versus 1.255.

But, that shit doesn't matter. Because Morris was clutch...he was an amazing postseason force. God forbid Jack Morris was the opposing pitcher in a postseason game...

Jack Morris (postseason)
92.1 innings pitched
3.80 ERA (3.90 career regular season)
1.246 WHIP (1.296 career regular season)

Just because he was the guy that started in that amazing 1-0 win in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series doesn't mean he should get a ticket into Cooperstown. Should Bobby Jones be a Hall of Famer because of his 1-hitter against the Giants in 2000? Or how about we give Jeff Weaver a plaque for his 2006 postseason?

I exaggerate, but you see the point. Morris was a pretty good pitcher for a number of years, but he was not dominant and like it or not bad seasons count, too. As do the postseason games in which he pitched badly (see 1987 ALCS Game 2).

Funny I mention that game. The guy who beat him in that game unfortunately just doesn't get Heyman wet.

I still am unconvinced that he [Blyleven] deserves enshrinement. But I do think he deserves an explanation.

Blyleven did some great things in his career, and he pitched a lot of dominating games. Yet he never had a truly dominating season. He threw 60 shutouts -- but won 20 games only once in an era when 20-game winners weren't nearly so rare as they are today.

1973: 158 ERA+, 1.117 WHIP
1974: 142 ERA+, 1.142 WHIP
1977: 151 ERA+, 1.065 WHIP
1984: 144 ERA+, 1.135 WHIP
1989: 140 ERA+, 1.116 WHIP

Times in Top 5 for ERA+: 6
Times in Top 5 for WHIP: 7
Times in Top 5 for K/9 IP: 9

Times Jack Morris has had a season equal to or better than years listed above: 0

Bert was no match for Jacky-boy in the postseason though...

Bert Blyleven (postseason)
47.1 innings pitched
2.47 ERA
1.078 WHIP

But really, "he was rarely among the ultra-elite in his 22-year career."

Seriously, this is like getting a hard-on for Julia Roberts wearing a maternity outfit, but just nodding and turning away from Jessica Alba naked. One is clearly way better than the other, but you go for the lesser chick...and yet the reasons for which you claim to like her more are reasons the other chick is better. This must be Jon Heyman logic. I guess in 2006 Barry Zito gave him a banana crotch but Brandon Webb made him soft.

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