Jack Morris Blue Jays

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

29 Comments

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.

Mike Matheny tried to have his own son picked off at first base

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 26: Manager Mike Matheny #26 of the St Louis Cardinals looks on from the dugout during the first inning of a MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 26, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Ralph Freso/Getty Images
3 Comments

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has a son, Tate, who was selected by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Missouri State University. Tate, an outfielder, spent the 2015 season with Low-A Lowell and last year played at Single-A Greenville.

Now in spring camp with the Red Sox, Tate is trying to continue his ascent through the minor league system. On Monday afternoon in a game against his father’s Cardinals, Tate pinch-ran after Xander Bogaerts singled to center field to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Mike wasn’t about to let his son catch any breaks. Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

That’s right: Mike tried to have his own son picked off at first base. That’s just cold, man.

Tate was erased shortly thereafter when Mookie Betts grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Tate got his first at-bat in the seventh and struck out.

Do we really need metal detectors at spring training facilities?

sloan-metal-detector-1
Craig Calcaterra
10 Comments

MESA, AZ — Over the past couple of seasons we’ve, more or less, gotten used to the sight of metal detectors at major league ballparks. And the sight of long lines outside of them, requiring us to get to the park a bit earlier or else risk missing some of the early inning action.

Like so much else over the past fifteen and a half years, we’re given assurances by people in charge that it’s for “security,” and we alter our lives and habits accordingly. This despite the fact that security experts have argued that it’s a mostly useless and empty exercise in security theater. More broadly, they’ve correctly noted that it’s a cynical and defeatist solution in search of a problem. But hey, welcome to 21st Century America.

And welcome metal detectors to spring training:

scottsdale-metal-detector

Beginning this year, Major League Baseball is mandating that all spring training facilities use some form of metal detection, be it walkthrough detectors like the ones shown here at the Giants’ park in Scottsdale or wands like the one being used on the nice old lady above at the Cubs facility in Mesa.

I asked Major League Baseball why they are requiring them in Florida and Arizona. They said that the program was not implemented in response to any specific incident or threat at a baseball game, but are “precautionary measures.” They say that metal detection “has not posed significant inconvenience or taken away from the ballpark experience” since being required at big league parks in 2015 and believe it will work the same way at the spring training parks.They caution fans, however, that, as the program gets underway, they should allow for more time for entry.

And that certainly makes sense:

sloan-metal-detector-2

I took this photo a few minutes after the home plate gate opened at Sloan Park yesterday afternoon. As I noted this morning, the Cubs sell out every game in their 15,000-seat park. That’s a lot of wanding and, as a result, it could lead to a lot of waiting.

But the crowds here all seemed to get through the line pretty quickly. Perhaps because the wanding is not exactly a time-consuming affair:

Not every security guard was as, well, efficient as this guy. But hardly anyone walking through the gate was given a particularly thorough go-over. I saw several hundred people go through the procedure soon after the gates opened and most of them weren’t scanned bellow the level of their hip pockets. I went back a little closer to game time when most people were already in the park and the lines were shorter. The procedure was a bit more deliberate then, though not dramatically so. This is all new for the security people too — spring training just started — and it’s fair to say that they are trying hard to balance the needs of their new precautionary measures against the need to keep the lines moving and the fans happy.

On this day at least it seemed that fan happiness was winning. I spoke with several fans after they got through the gates and none of them offered much in the way of complaint about being wanded. The clear consensus: it’s just what we do now. We have metal detectors and cameras at schools and places of work and security procedures have been ratcheted up dramatically across the board. That we now have them at ballparks is not surprising to anyone, really. It’s just not a thing anyone thinks to question.

And so they don’t.