Hall of Fame voting? Morris yes, Schilling no

jackmorris

The Hall of Fame voting is coming up on us and there are a few people that I don’t quite understand what Hall induction is supposed to be based on. I hear arguments that Jack Morris should not be voted in, and I have heard arguments that Curt Schilling should be.

Let’s clear this up. Inclusion in the Hall of Fame is in recognition of an outstanding career. It is not based on Postseason performance. If we compare Jack Morris’ numbers to Schilling’s and we remove the Postseason — where Schilling was 11-2 and Morris was 7-4 — and we get down to the career numbers, I think you will see what I’m talking about.

Won/Loss: Morris 254-186, Schilling-216-146
Career duration: Morris 18 seasons (all in the AL), Schilling 20 seasons (14 in the NL where there are only eight hitters in the lineup)
ERA: Morris 3.90, Schilling 3.35 (4.00 during six seasons in the AL)
Seasons with 15 or more wins: Morris 12, Schilling 8
Seasons with single-digit wins: Morris 4, Schilling 10
Innings Pitched: Morris 3,824, Schilling 3,261
Complete games: Morris 175, Schilling 83
Shutouts: Morris 28, Schilling 20

This all speaks to my point. The Hall of Fame is recognition of a career, not Postseason stats! Postseason stats don’t count towards MVP or the Cy Young Award. There is a reason for that. There are many great ballplayers who didn’t have the good fortune to play on teams good enough to get to the Postseason. If the people who vote on this induction only care about Postseason performance, then Greg Maddux one of the best pitchers in the history of our game, wouldn’t be a Hall of Famer! He was just 11-14 in his Postseason career!

If they come up with a Postseason Hall of Fame, Curt Schilling is a first ballot Hall of Famer! But until they do, he was a good pitcher, but his career is not Hall of Fame worthy.

leesmithOne final point on the Hall of Fame: the fact that Lee Smith has not been voted in is, in my opinion, a joke! When he retired he was the all-time leader in saves with 478. (He has since been passed by Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman.) And his career ERA — which for a closer is a stat that can be very easily inflated for the season by one bad outing — was 3.03.

The telltale sign for me would be poll the players. Ask all the hitters that faced Lee, Trevor and Mo who they would have rather faced in the ninth. Trust me, Lee Arthur would be last on that list!

5 Comments

I would love to understand how the writers came to be the ones who decide who make the hall. It seems to me like if you are joining your peers then your peers the ones who have played the game would know who was worthy to be inducted over a guy who sets and writes about what he thinks the game is like playing in pressure situations.The hall should tell the story of baseball completely good bad and ugly. This pompous attitude that you don’t deserve to be there because your not Ruth or Cobb is nonsense. If you can’t tell the story of baseball without talking about a 3,000 hit guy like Biggio or what Jack Morris and others did in their career then they deserve to be in the hall. The hall has missed so many chances to tell great stories it is truly sad. The hall should not be a funeral home but a place you take your kids and be excited about telling stories about people who made the game bigger than life. The stand people have taken about PED is the most overblown thing that has happened to baseball. I never played with someone who was not trying to get the most out of a workout or trying to heal faster to get back to play the game they love. How many players have you heard that have ever taken a cortisone shot..that’s a PED, or even for that matter taken a pill to reduce inflammation well again anything that you take to help you feel better or perform better is a PED plain and simple. If you have a splitting headache and take a pill to relieve that and go play a great game well PED baby because you would not have performed that way without a little help. Baseball needs to set the records straight put in the guys who we all sit and tell stories about to our kids, Murphy,Concepcion,and yes even Rose. Tell the truth about steroids that taking a shot will not turn you in to a great player but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be great and no man is perfect. If you don’t tell the whole story then tear down the building and make it what it has become a stuffy place that only tells part of the game.

Morris and Schilling both have a good story, and a good shot at the HOF.

Obviously you have to respect the opinion of a guy who pitched in the Show, but…the careers of Morris and Shilling are not comparable. Morris pitched mostly in the era before steroids, a relatively normal period for scoring, mostly on competitive teams, and before the LaRussa rules ended CG, and caused pitchers to lose wins to either bad relievers or simply having a quick end due to the belief 7 innings were all you were allowed to pitch. Shilling pitched almost entirely in the steroids era, wtih a lot of so-so teams (the best teams were at the end of his career, which was true of Morris as well I grant), and at a time that CG were viewed as poor pitcher management by many organizations. I guess I never thought of Morris as more than an innings eater, who yes, could be big at times. Shilling always had more penache as a pitcher in my opinion, though he also was a horse (granted being a horse in his era was not as impressive as Morris’s). I think you cannot forget post-season stats though – after all while they do not go toward MVP awards (which are regular season awards, and the post-season has MVPs for each series) they do have meaning in the HOF – a lot I imagine. My view of Morris is that if he goes in – and I remain a believer that the HOF is for the fans and having guys like Concepcion, Hodges, and the like is what most fans want to see when they go to the HOF – see all their hereos, even if they were not the best of the best in their era. So, okay, put in Morris, but I think guys like Kaat and Tommy John could be there as well. The fewer people in the HOF the fewer people who care. You dont want to let any guy in, but lets not forget that people paid big money to watch guys play, bought their cards, and the like because they were their favourites. A pure HOF is great for those who are purists, but I am a fan – put the guys we all knew were great when they played but in hindsight are just short (like Morris or Mattingly), and give us more reason to Cooperstown and bring the kids. If they want, make a wing for the truly great – guys who get 90% of the vote, but let the rest of us have guys like Morris, Shilling, and Lee Smith who we called HOFamers when we were watching them.

Your case against using postseason stats is this: “There are many great ballplayers who didn’t have the good fortune to play on teams good enough to get to the Postseason.”

Yet of the 8 stats you cite while making your “point,” 3 of them are based on pitcher wins – I guess the good fortune to play on good teams isn’t reflected in Win/Loss numbers…

You cherry picked the stats that would support your argument. We all know you hate Curt Schilling, and a lot of people do. But voters are held to a higher standard, and to their credit, most (though not all) will put their personal vendettas aside when they fill out their ballots. Evidently you do not.

Would you complain that car prices are worse today because they’re around $20,000 when they used to be $5,000? Of course not. Totally different time periods. In fact, relative to the average household income, cars actually used to cost MORE in their $5,000 days. Same idea here. Schilling’s ERA, even the 4.00, is more impressive than Morris’s 3.90 because they pitched in different eras. A 4.00 in Schilling’s day is considerably better than average. Morris’s 3.90 is not. You either don’t know what ERA+ is, or you are deliberately leaving it out or calling it invalid because it would kill your argument.

And if you insist on going by straight ERA, count the seasons Morris had an ERA below 3.00, vs Schilling. It’s not close, and Morris is not the winner.

Same with the complete games. Morris’s total of 175 is a reflection of the era in which he played. Teams simply left the starter in a lot longer. The CG leader in the post-Morris era is Clemens at 118. Are you saying what Morris did is more impressive? I disagree.

All star games, Schilling wins 6-5.

Last but certainly not least, 3,116 strikeouts in the regular season…last time I checked, every player with that many strikeouts was in the Hall of Fame. Does that stat belong to Morris? It does not.

I sincerely hope the nonsense you posted isn’t the reason why 15 out of 16 MLB voters left Schilling off their ballots. If it is, I would say that is unfair and unprofessional.

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