jack morris

Jon Heyman wants Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame and won’t let the facts get in his way in order to make it happen

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UPDATE: Since this post went up Heyman has updated his column to take out the lines about Blyleven and Stewart. No explanation in the column of course. And it changes little, actually. He may call it an oversight, but it’s a case of him wanting to believe something so badly that the facts ceased mattering at some point.

8:59 PMJon Heyman put up his Hall of Fame column this afternoon. For years he has pushed hard for Jack Morris for the Hall. He has long overstated Morris’ merits in my view, but it’s gotten to the point now where he’s simply making crap up:

He was thought good enough to be the ace on teams that had Bert Blyleven and Dave Stewart, and to receive Cy Young votes in seven seasons. I can’t allow his vast accomplishments to be re-evaluated downward by a new emphasis on different numbers.

Jack Morris and Bert Blyleven were never teammates. Jack Morris played one season with Dave Stewart. In that one season — 1993 — Morris was 7-12 with a 6.19 ERA. It’s possible that Heyman is calling Morris the “ace” of that 1993 Jays team because he got the Opening Day start, but he didn’t distinguish himself at all that year, he was out of the rotation by early September and was left off the postseason roster. Some ace.

Heyman has an agenda. He wants Morris in the Hall of Fame. He is so committed to that agenda that he will mislead his readers in order to make it happen. Because this can’t just be a mistake, right? Because it takes approximately five seconds in order to get that stuff right and we know someone given the privilege of making baseball history in the form of a Hall of Fame vote is not going to just dash it off without careful consideration and due diligence, right?

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.