Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jack Morris Can Go The Hell Away Now

The Years Have Not Seen Salad
I don't know about you, but who gets into the Hall of Fame doesn't really ring my bells anymore. It's a nice place to visit, but there are dozens of guys in there from cronyism and wankery, and the place will basically always reflect the MLB+ and MLB- nature of the unequal markets. It's endemic of why the sport is #3 and sinking in the American ethos, and why it's easier, year over year, to watch less and less of the game. That shouldn't be seen as any kind of diss on Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine, all of whom belong in. But it does mean that I take more joy, nasty as it is, from exclusions over inclusions.

This was Jack Morris' 15th and final attempt to gain admittance into the tainted institution, and the fact that he got absolutely stoned makes my black little heart glad. (Not so much Tim Raines, who is rapidly becoming the most underrated player of his era, and should go in with an Expos hat on his head and a raised third finger for Jeff Loria, but in a better world, every day would begin and end with a raised third finger for Jeff Loria. Raised Third Finger For Jeff Loria, by the way, was a runner-up name for this blog.)

And sure, Morris might still get in via the Veterans' committee servants entrance, but then again, he's probably not, mostly because unless the vets aren't usually interested in putting in a guy they used to tatto fairly routinely. We're talking a guy with a near 4 ERA in one of the best pitcher's parks in baseball, who got most of his wins by sheer innings eating for a great team, and whose campaign seems mostly based on the steeliness of his stare, his old-school porn 'stache and his ability to throw tantrums when things did not go his way. Which was, well, fairly often. Jack Morris would not have been the worst pitcher inducted into the Hall, but he would have dragged the standards down even more than they already are, and that's the kind of thing that we used to care about. You know, before the Hall more or less did that for decades by its own damned self.

Oh, and even better than Morris getting the cold shoulder? Morris's *supporters*, many of whom regard all of this modern book larning as just evidence of how nerds have ruined everything (well, OK, they have) and that Game 7 trumps everything. As if the history hasn't shown that beating the Braves in the playoffs is right up there with picking up your dry cleaning in terms of amazing feats. These folks can now safely go back to to shaking their fists at clouds, being angry about the price of groceries, and blaming Obama for everything.

(Oh, and to any Tiger fan that reads this and is well and truly offended that I crapped all over a childhood hero and era? Your team has ended my A's for two years in a row, with my least favorite player in the majors, Justin Verlander, doing the job both times. If I have in any way ruined your day, please accept my sincere... indictments. And the deep dream that JV spends the rest of his career making his final numbers look as much like Morris' as possible...

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