Historical precedent suggests Jack Morris will finally get into the Hall of Fame

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Tangotiger looked at past Hall of Fame results and concluded that it seems likely, based on historical precedent, that Jack Morris will, at some point make it into Cooperstown whether by the Baseball Writers Association of America, or by the Veterans Committee. Morris first appeared on the ballot in 2000, receiving 22.2 percent of the vote. Since then, his share was 19.6, 20.6, 22.8, 26.3, 33.3, 41.2, 37.1, 42.9, 44.0, 52.3, 53.5, 66.7, and 67.7 last year.

Tango writes:

The player with the highest share of ballots to not (eventually) make the Hall of Fame was Gil Hodges, at 63% of votes at his peak. Jack Morris received 68% last year. He’d be the new leader. But he won’t be for long, because the Veteran’s Committee will vote him in eventually.

After Hodges (*), second place is Tony Oliva at 47%. Do you know what this means? It means it’s completely ridiculous to make a player need 75% of the votes. As soon as you hit 50, you will eventually make it. Why make the player wait and wait and wait? To be sure? Well, other than Gil Hodges, everyone made it in!

Morris finished his career with a 3.90 ERA in 3,824 innings over 18 seasons. If inducted, he would become the new leader in career ERA among Hall of Fame pitchers, exceeding Red Ruffin’s 3.80. Additionally, the average Hall of Famer compiled 69.0 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. Morris ended his career at 43.8, which would rank 53rd of 71 enshrined hurlers, putting him between Chief Bender and Lefty Gomez. The case for Morris, though, has rarely relied on stats. Rather, supporters have focused on how much hitters feared him and how he was considered the best pitcher of his era. However, he received Cy Young votes in seven of 18 seasons and never finished higher than third.

Kevin Kiermaier on Rays’ recent moves: “I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset.”

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On Sunday, we heard from former Ray and current Giants third baseman Evan Longoria. The Rays recently traded pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for a prospect and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense outside of a cost-cutting perspective. Longoria said, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

Today, we’re hearing from a current Ray: center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who is set to enter his fifth full season with the club. Via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Kiermaier said, “I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves. No beating around the bush. It’s one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don’t know the reasoning why. And then you see the team’s explanation and still it’s just like, okay, well, so be it.”

Longoria — formerly the face of the franchise — was traded to the Giants in December and the Rays continued to subtract with their recent moves involving Odorizzi and Dickerson. Odorizzi has a career 3.83 ERA in what has been a solid, if unspectacular, career. Dickerson put up an All-Star season, posting an .815 OPS with 27 home runs in 150 games. Moving either player was not done to fix a positional log jam. In fact, with Odorizzi out of the picture, the Rays are planning to use a four-man starting rotation for the first six-plus weeks of the season, Topkin reported on Sunday. Dickerson’s ouster simply opens the door for Mallex Smith, who posted a .684 OPS last year, to start every day in the outfield.

The Rays got markedly worse after going 80-82 last season. They saved a few million bucks jettisoning Odorizzi and Dickerson. And Rays ownership still wants the public to foot most of the bill for their new stadium.

When it was just one small market team pinching pennies, it was fine. But now that more than half of the league has adopted penny-pinching principles popularized by Moneyball and Sabermetrics (with the Rays among the chief offenders), the game of baseball has become markedly less fan- and player-friendly. This offseason has been less about players signing contracts and changing teams in trades — which helps build excitement and intrigue for the coming year — and more about front offices doing math problems concerning the $197 million competitive balance tax threshold and other self-imposed monetary restraints. Fun. Kiermaier is right to be upset and he’s very likely not alone in feeling that way.