Monday, January 12, 2009

Morris vs Cone

Congratulations to Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice, the newest members of baseballs Hall of Fame.

Let me preface this piece by saying that I don't believe either Jack Morris or David Cone belong in the HoF but Morris has some loyal supporters and continues to receive 40+% while Cone was one and done this year with less than 4%. The problem is that not only was Cone a better pitcher he was a much better pitcher. And really it's not even close. See for yourself.

Stat Morris Cone
Wins 254 194
Losses 186 126
PCT. .577 .606
ERA 3.90 3.46
ERA+ 105 120
WHIP 1.296 1.256
IP 3824 2898.2
K's 2478 2668
K/9 5.83 8.28
BB/9 3.27 3.53
H/9 8.39 7.77
ASG 5 5
WS Rings 3 5
Cy Youngs 0 1

Now again, I'm not complaining that Cone wasn't elected - I'm just curious as to why he will no longer be on the ballot while an inferior pitcher continues to receive so much support. Cone seemingly has all the things voters love: played for both New York teams, has the rings, and a Cy Young award (with KC in 1994, perhaps had he been a Met or a Yankee when he won it....). So it's just a little strange that only 3.9% of the voters named him on their ballot.

Morris' supporters claim his post-season success should carry almost equal weight with his regular season numbers however they are almost identical to Cones (7-4 3.80 vs 8-3 3.80).

Morris was supposedly the best pitcher of the 80's (although Clemens and Saberhagen would disagree) and that brings up the only compelling reason why Morris will be on the ballot next season and Cone won't; perception. It is isn't right but that's the way it is. If Cone had won six more games to reach 200 then I think he would have had a lot more support (that or retired after the 1999 season when he had a career 3.19 ERA and 128 ERA+, his last three seasons he went for 5.74 & 81) because those six wins would have changed the way voters perceived Cones career.

Cone may have never been elected had he remained on the ballot but he at least should have been in the discussion for a few more years.


  1. huh, kinda surprising that Morris was barely above league average in his career. the writers must have fallen in love with his durability, longevity...and that's how he racked up all the wins.

    neither really deserve to get in though, i agree.

  2. They're in love with Game Seven '91, much like previous writers were in love with 1961 and Perfect Games in World Series.

    Perception screws with us in baseball...that's why I go so hard towards the numbers.

    Also, while it's not enough to overcome, Morris does close the gap at least somewhat by having so many more innings than Cone.

  3. He closes the gap some not enough in my opinion and people really do orgasm hard for that game 7 start.

  4. Definitely nothing to make Morris dominate over Cone in the voting, no.

    I will never, thankfully, understand the BBWAA. At least they're letting some of the netties in, though!