Either way the Hall vote goes, Morris is at peace
- Article by: La VELLE E. NEAL III
- Star Tribune
- January 8, 2013 - 11:12 PM
Jack Morris plans to spend a peaceful Wednesday at home with his family as he awaits word about the Baseball Hall of Fame voting.
Things certainly will take on a celebratory tone if he gets the call to the Hall, but the St. Paul native can't get a feeling how the vote will go.
"Like I told my boys, 'Whatever happens, your dad is going to be fine and I want you to be fine, too, because this is a good lesson for all of us,'" Morris said. "I may not make it, and I will be OK. Jack Morris will be just fine. I've got a lot to be thankful for."
Morris received 66.7 percent of the vote last year, short of the 75 percent needed for induction. This is his 14th and second-to-last year of eligibility on the ballot, and he's the leading returning vote-getter from last season.
This year's ballot is the first with several players from the so-called steroid era on it, which has clouded many forecasts. Morris might not have enough voters willing to select him, or he might lose votes from those who reportedly submitted a blank ballot or didn't submit one at all in protest of having alleged performance-enhancing drug users on the ballot.
There has been speculation that no one will be voted into the Hall of Fame this year as voters debate the steroid era issue. The website www.baseballthinkfactory.com, based on 142 known ballots, had Morris receiving 63.4 percent of the vote. That's a small sampling because the voting body numbers around 600. Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who have been members for at least 10 consecutive years are eligible to vote. Many writers' ballots will be posted on bbwaa.com following the 1 p.m. Hall of Fame announcement.
Morris has followed the debate closely and knows his case is a polarizing one. He won 254 games in his career while posting a 3.90 earned run average. His ERA would be the highest of any pitcher in the Hall of Fame (Red Ruffing's 3.80 is currently the highest) and does not help his cause. Others have pointed to his victories, durability and postseason work as marks in his favor.
When it was pointed out that voters look at numbers differently and change their minds as time goes by, Morris joked: "How many games did I win last year?"
If Morris is elected, he will join Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor as St. Paul natives in the Hall of Fame.
"It's kind of funny," he said. "I'm at a point where I just want to get it over with one way or another, and it's only because it has lasted for so long. They have dangled a carrot in front of my face. But I have to keep everything in perspective. It's not real life. This isn't about some tragedy. It's all just nothing but good.
"I have a lot of people in my corner and I really, really appreciate that more than ever. And I understand that people have some tough decisions to make, I understand that. I understand that everyone is not going to want me in there. I understand that as well, and I'm not out there kissing their butts and trying to convert them. I get it. I understand."
© 2013 Star Tribune