Usually I like to write some sort of companion to the main piece. I know I fell out of habit for a few months there. But I like to anyway.
Today, however, I'd just like to let the column stand by itself. Jack Morris does not belong in the Hall of Fame.
So here's your companion part: It's amazing how opinions change over the years. When I first wrote about Tigers who had a chance to make Cooperstown, I was firmly in Morris' favor. I grew up thinking he was a winner -- because he was. Winningest pitcher in the 80s, ace of three World Series teams, Game 7 of the 1991 World Series with the Twins where he went 10 innings. Morris encapsulated an era and should make it in I thought.
Meanwhile Trammell was very good. You've heard of the Hall of Very Good. But maybe Trammell, and his middle infield partner Lou Whitaker, were not famous enough. They didn't have a lot of big awards -- though you can argue Trammell deserved the 1987 AL MVP award. There were plenty of good shortstops. Maybe Trammell and Lou didn't belong.
In the seven years since I wrote that, back at my first baseball blog, Mack Avenue Tigers, I did a complete turnaround. The stats make a compelling argument for Trammell, and Whitaker. They do not make a good argument for Morris. He had fame, he had plenty of things we talk about, but what he didn't have was the currency: statistics. We picture him one way, but looking back over his numbers, he doesn't look nearly as impressive as we thought.
That's one good reason for making voters wait a while before they log their thoughts on the ballot. You have one impression immediately. You let memories fade a bit and try to look at it with fresh eyes, and you might see something else.
That's what happened to me. So, Morris fell out of favor with me, while Trammell and Whitaker earned enshrinement, even if they never get it.
Today, that's how I feel.