This year, Hall of Fame voters rejected players who flourished in the steroid-era (Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens). But they also turned aside one of the best pitchers ever to put on a Twins uniform (albiet for one year: 1991.) So the question to ask the morning after the vote: Was St. Paul's Jack Morris robbed?
Duluth News Tribune columnist Rick Lubbers is in the "yes" category on this one. In building his case for Morris, Lubbers writes: "Few pitchers of his era consistently pitched into the eighth and ninth innings more than Jack Morris. No one does it today. Not even Justin Verlander."
Detroit Free Press columnist Jeff Seidel is also a Morris supporter. He agrees with others in that Morris may not have Hall of Fame numbers, but he has a Hall of Fame heart: "Morris didn’t care whether he won, 6-0 or 6-3. He would go to the mound and take the ball and snarl and challenge hitters and try to get another complete game. If he gave up a home run in a blowout, no big deal."
The best line we've read comes from Pioneer Press writer Bob Sansevere: "Baseball writers did to Jack Morris what he did to the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. They shut him out." Also: "The problem with stats is, they don't measure grit. Morris had plenty of that."
As for next year, Morris' last year of eligibility on the ballot: It doesn't look good. According to a Bleacher Report post: Morris has "no chance" in a crowded field.