Monday, March 23, 2009

Schilling in the Hall? Not Before Morris




When a player retires, the first thing I do is go to that player's page on Baseball Reference, because if the player was any good most of the hometown fans look for a way to get him into the Hall of Fame. It worked for Kirby Puckett, failed for Don Mattingly, and eventually worked for Jim Rice. The one thing I look for on the page? The comparisons, namely the "Similar Pitchers" list, which is one that helps me decide who belongs in the Hall. Curt Schilling's "Similar Pitchers" are....

  1. Kevin Brown (920)
  2. Bob Welch (900)
  3. Orel Hershiser (889)
  4. Freddie Fitzsimmons (884)
  5. John Smoltz (882)
  6. Milt Pappas (880)
  7. Don Drysdale (875) *
  8. Dazzy Vance (873) *
  9. Jim Perry (871)
  10. Catfish Hunter (869) *
First off let me give Red Sox fans a second to clean up after throwing up on themselves for seeing the mighty Curt Schilling is most similar to Kevin Brown.



Wait...



Wait...



I hear them shutting off the water....



Swearing a little...



Oh someone just said Baseball Reference reminded them of Lou Gorman...



And they're back.

Curt Schilling's "similar" list contains three Hall-Of-Famers, Catfish Hunter, Don Drysdale, and Dazzy Vance, and they are near the bottom. You hear about what a big-game pitcher he was because of Game 6 against the Yankees, and many say he should be in the Hall based on that performance. This is where people's memories and the dreaded "Red Sox/Yankees" bias talk starts. For instance, check out Jack Morris's "Similar Pitchers" list

  1. Dennis Martinez (903)
  2. Jamie Moyer (894)
  3. Bob Gibson (885) *
  4. Luis Tiant (873)
  5. Red Ruffing (861) *
  6. Chuck Finley (859)
  7. Amos Rusie (859) *
  8. Burleigh Grimes (855) *
  9. Bob Feller (855) *
  10. Jim Bunning (854) *
Which list would you rather have? The one with 6 Hall of Famers or the one with 3? The one with Bob Gibson and Bob Feller or the one with Don Drysdale and Kevin Brown? Way too much credence is going to be given to Schilling based on the Game 6 win against the Yankees and the overall pomp and circumstance in helping the Red Sox break the 86 year drought. Jack Morris pitched on 4 World Series winners, had one of the (if not THE) single greatest post-season pitching performance in history in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, pitching 10 shutout innings in a 1-0 win over John Smoltz, a future Hall Of Famer. Morris had 254 wins in 18 seasons, Schilling 216 in 20 seasons. Schilling had over 3000 K's, however 13 of those seasons came in the National League, while Morris pitched in the DH-infested AL. Morris had 9 seasons of 16 wins or more, Schilling had 5. The problem of course is that while Morris twirled a Game 7 gem, he did it for the Minnesota Twins, and not the Boston Red Sox. Jack Buck called his win, not Joe. While Schilling will probably get in eventually, until then he will replace "Jim Rice's Hall of Fame Yes or No?" as the dead horse to beat on sports talk radio after the Super Bowl. Meanwhile Jack Morris will continue to be left out in the cold, all because he didn't pitch in Boston, or New York, or some place with dueling daily newspapers. So no, Curt Schilling does not get in on the first ballot, and he should not get in until Morris does.

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