I’d like to make this introduction as short as possible, because I haven’t even started and I’m already bored. Jack Morris received 66.7% support on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot, up from 54% last year. This is a positive sign that he may make the Hall of Fame in one of his last two years of eligibility. Jack Morris does not belong in the Hall of Fame. He simply does not. This is not meant to be an argument on his credentials or lack thereof, because the internet has already done a great job of handling all that for us. I love it when that happens, when the internet does all of the hard work and you can just steal from it. Let’s lay out a few basic facts about Jack Morris and his Hall of Fame resume. That way, we can get a nice foundation set for the second part of this post and move on.
Jack Morris Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement: 56.9
Jack Morris Baseball Reference Wins Above Replacement: 39.3
The extent to which either of those numbers represents a compelling Hall of Fame case: Not so much
Jack Morris career ERA+: 105
The figure of ERA+ that represents exactly league average: 100
Where an ERA+ of 105 ranks Jack Morris all-time: Tied for 479th
A modern pitcher with an ERA+ of 105: A.J. Burnett
Another one: Jeremy Guthrie
Well Jack Morris must have been pitching to the score, then: You might think that, but no
That ought to do it for the “Jack Morris was a good pitcher but not a great one” portion of this post. After coming to terms with these facts, many will began to talk about a certain game 7 in the 1991 World Series, and then probably mention that Jack Morris had the most pitcher wins in the decade that was the 1980’s. To that I say: It sure was a great World Series performance, and oh, arbitrary round numbers used to skew perception in favor of a meaningless measure of pitcher ability. How quaint.