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Lou Whitaker: If Jack Morris belongs in the Hall of Fame, so does Alan Trammell

The Tigers' second baseman says what many of us think, and without any fancy stats to boot.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports


Lou Whitaker may have used a few more words than that when discussing former teammate Jack Morris' Hall of Fame candidacy with MLB Network Radio, but that's more or less what he said. Meh.

Whitaker, via the Detroit News:

"Jack Morris was no better than Alan Trammell-Lou Whitaker. ... If we didn't make the plays, and we didn't come up with the big hits, Jack Morris wouldn't be where he was, or where he is.

"If Jack deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, Alan Trammell deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."

And to finish the thought for him: Lou Whitaker deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

The truth is, Whitaker and Trammell have a lot better claim to Cooperstown than Morris does. Whitaker is among the best second baseman to play the game, and Trammell is among the best shortstops. For whatever reason, voters overlook both. Whitaker fell off the ballot with just 2.9 percent of the vote, a real injustice. Trammell has trundled along, reaching as high as 36.8 percent of ballots before falling back to 33.6 percent last year. (Seventy-five percent is required for enshrinement.) Trammell-Whitaker, the longest running double-play duo in baseball, should probably be given their spot in the Hall together, given they were so seldom apart.

Morris, meanwhile, has reached the two-third mark on the ballot with one year to go. Taken literally, Morris' claim to the Hall of Fame makes some sense. He is, after all, pretty famous. He's among the first starting pitchers you might think of from the era for all the games he won in the 80s and for the 10-inning shutout he threw in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series for the Twins. Famous, yes. But among the best pitchers? Hardly. According to Jay Jaffe's JAWS ranking, which uses both career numbers and peak numbers to compare a player's case to that of his peers, Morris does not belong. He ranks 139th by JAWS. If elected he'd be better than just three starting pitchers in the Hall. He's worse than six others on his own ballot by the same statistic.

Or, to sum up everything from the above paragraph in a sentence: "If we didn't make the plays, and we didn't come up with the big hits, Jack Morris wouldn't be where he was."

Hall of Fame results are announced Wednesday. If Morris makes it on his final ballot, it might be nice to finally have that player from the 1984 Tigers enshrined. Morris did spend most of his career in Detroit. He's pretty much one of us, right? I think we'd be happy for him. I know I would. But would I say he deserves it? Probably not.

Meh, indeed.