Jack Morris Blue Jays

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.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.

 

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.