Jack Morris

Comment of the Day: my Jack Morris bias is revealed

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A reader took issue with my “I wouldn’t vote for Jack Morris” comment in the Vinny Castilla post:

Your B.S. about Morris not deserving the hall because he gave up so many runs during his wins & that his most wins in the 80’s is an over inflated stat during a meaningless time period is ludacris. Just admit it’s because he blanked your Braves for 10 innings in the W.S.

Yes. That’s it. You got me. It feels so good to be exposed like this. I no longer have to live a lie.  I no longer have to pretend that:

  • Morris didn’t prevent the opposition from scoring runs at anything much greater than an average clip;
  • That he didn’t “pitch to the score” (or, if he tried to, he was not particularly successful at it);
  • That apart from one game in the 1991 World Series, he was nothing special as a playoff pitcher;
  • That despite his “best starter of the 80s” reputation, he was rarely thought of as special by Cy Young voters, who gave him the same number of Cy Young votes over his career as Mike Hampton and Dontrelle Willis.

No, I can admit that Jack Morris was the best pitcher of his generation and most others and that my hatred of him is based on something he did 20 years ago that caused my team pain.  It’s the same reason I’m against Kent Hrbek and Dan Gladden for the Hall of Fame too.  My bias and hatred for any player who performs well against the Atlanta Braves is long and enduring and finally — finally! — it can be brought into the light.

God, this is such a weight off my shoulders.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.