Thursday, December 31, 2009

Appier vs Morris

I did this last year with David Cone when I felt he was unfairly removed from future HoF voting due to lack of support. I'm predicting Kevin Appier will go the same route. While it wouldn't be the travesty it was with Cone I still think Appier should get at least some consideration. Now of course I wouldn't even shrug about Cone and Appier being one and done if it wasn't for the nonsensical support of Jack Morris, a slightly above average pitcher who won some big playoff games. Voting for Morris over Appier (and over Cone last year) is choosing quantity (wins and innings) over quality. Let's look at the numbers.

WS Rings31
Cy Youngs00

Here is another comparison, the best eight year stretch for both pitchers.
Morris 1979-1986 115 ERA+
Appier 1990-1997 140 ERA+

Appier's ERA+ in the 90's was 131 (min. 1000 IP), seventh best in all of baseball. That ERA+ would have been good for fourth in the 80's, third in the 70's, fifth in the 60's, third in the 50's....well you see where I'm going. Appier was a great pitcher and unfortunately due to his time in KC vastly underrated. He never got any huge cash advances like some.

Likewise Morris, often called the 80's best pitcher comes in 30th in that decade with a 109. Behind such phenoms as Britt Burns (113), Bryn Smith (110), and Steve Rogers (110). He also trailed Bud Black (111), Danny Jackson (111), Mark Gubicza (118), and Bret Saberhagen (128). But hey he was better than Charlie Liebrandt (108), whatever that means. So Morris at his best was nowhere near the best. That 109 would've ranked 38th in the 90's, 33rd in the 70's, 31st in the 60's, 28th in the 50's - again nowhere near the league's elite.

 I'm certainly not campaigning for Appier to be inducted, I just happen to think he's more worthy than Morris.


  1. You happen to think he's way more worthy and the stats seem to "happen to think that" too. Great post

  2. I happen to disagree. I'm no Morris fan and he doesn't deserve to be in the Hall, but considering the rate numbers outside of ERA+ are very close, that means that Morris kept Ape's K-rate, hit rate, BB-rate near the same while pitching 1200+ innings actually favors Morris. That's approximately 6 more seasons worth of Ape's peripherals (using the standards of today and the 90s, of course). ERA+, of course, is a GREAT standard that compares a pitcher both against his peers and across the baseball eons, and I actually prefer it. But it's based on ERA, which doesn't take into account fielding...if there was an FIP+, I think they'd be a lot closer. And those 1200+ IP speak volumes.

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