A note on why Jack Morris isn't an HOF'er

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A note on why Jack Morris isn't an HOF'er

Jack Morris' Hall of Fame case seems to have two things going for it: Wins and "you had to be there." Morris had the most wins of any pitcher in the 1980s, and many who saw the former Tigers and Twins starter pitch feel there are more to him than just the numbers.

But there's one argument some have used regarding Morris that I want to address, and that's the one saying he pitched to the score. And that it was a good thing.

First of all, the idea that Morris pitched to the score is a myth, as proven by Baseball Prospectus' Joe Sheehan nearly nine years ago. Yet it still persists as an argument in the face of cold, hard facts, probably because of the "well, you had to be there" side of things.

But, taking a step back, why should any pitcher be rewarded for pitching to the score?

When I think "pitching to the score" I think of a pitcher who doesn't give it his all when his team is up or down by, say, four or more runs. But when games get close, that guy kicks things into another gear to get his team a win.

So, in other words, Morris was okay giving up four runs in seven innings if his team scored six or seven? What Hall-of-Fame worthy pitcher, would feel satisfied after that outing? That's not to say Morris felt content in his pitching on those days that helped push his career ERA to 3.90, but to some, it was good enough.

When thinking about this pitching-to-the-score question, I keep recalling how, in covering Notre Dame football this year, safety Harrison Smith bristled at any mention of "bend-but-don't-break defense." He would always mention how it was good the defense didn't give up a ton of points, but in reality, they would rather not give up those yards, either. Football teams don't play defense to the score; just like baseball pitchers don't pitch to the score.

I'm sure if you asked Morris, he'd say he would've rather not allowed so many runs. But somehow, Hall of Fame voters have tried to find a loophole in Morris' high ERA.

Again, that loophole doesn't exist. But if it did, it's not something for which Morris should be rewarded.

Then again, I wasn't there.

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Saturday: 

Preview: Cubs look to avoid getting swept by Dodgers today on CSN

Preview: Knights look to bounce back tonight on CSN

White Sox courting of Luis Robert leads to 'Christmas in May'

Cubs blanked again by Dodgers

Tyler Danish gets win in first big league start as White Sox beat Tigers in first game of doubleheader

After getting shut down by Buck Farmer, White Sox ninth-inning rally falls short

Scott Boras fires back at Jake Arrieta’s critics and makes another Max Scherzer comparison

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Luis Robert will start journey through White Sox organization in Dominican Summer League

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

Preview: Knights look to bounce back tonight on CSN

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Charlotte Observer

Preview: Knights look to bounce back tonight on CSN

CSN's coverage of the Charlotte Knights continues tonight as the Knights will host the Buffalo Bisons at 7 p.m. on CSN.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Yoan Moncada who made his return to the Knights yesterday, hit two home runs in four at-bats in a shining preformance for the Knights. 

It's the fifth of eight games that CSN will televise over the next two months to give fans an opportunity to watch the future of the White Sox.

Check out the rest of the television schedule here.