Recently retired pitcher Curt Schilling won't make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. No Cy Young Awards is one reason, and as for that reputation as a "big-game" pitcher? Ask Jack Morris how much that's worth.Blair is correct in using the phrase "recently retired", but after that, his words make no sense and do not stand up to even minimal scrutiny.
1. Cy Young Awards. Why should the subjective votes of certain members of the media mean anything -- even one grain of sand in the Sahara's worth -- in determining how good a pitcher Curt Schilling was? Giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to Schilling based on something he has no control over is as ignorant as saying "Ernie Banks was not a very good player, because he never played in a World Series".
2. How good was Jack Morris in the post-season? Fine, but nothing spectacular.
In post-season play, his 10-inning, 1-0 shutout (10-7-0-2-8, 126) in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series for the Twins against Atlanta rightly deserves its place as one of the top World Series pitching performances of all time.
Can Schilling's performance in ALCS 6 in 2004 (7-4-1-0-4, 99) match that? I'm biased, but considering the circumstances -- the 86-year championship drought, battling the Yankees (in Yankee Stadium) in the long shadow of the 2003 ALCS, the unprecedented comeback from 0-3, the pre-game medical procedure and the bloody sock -- I think it stands on par (or close to it, if you want to insist that the WS always trumps the ALCS).
Plus, Schilling was Co-MVP of the 2001 World Series with a 21.1-12-4-2-26, 1.69 line in three starts: Games 1, 4 and 7 -- a series often cited as the most thrilling World Series since 1991.
How did Morris do in the following post-season for the Blue Jays, in 1992 against the Athletics?
ALCS 1: 9.0-6-4-4-4, 119, L, Tor lost 4-3In Game 4, the Blue Jays had a chance to go up 3-1, but Morris could not get out of the fourth inning, and Oakland tied the series at 2-2. Toronto did win the pennant, but Morris's 6.57 ERA did not help.
ALCS 4: 3.1-5-5-5-2, 71, ND, Tor lost 7-6
In the World Series, he faced Atlanta again:
WS 1: 6.0-4-3-5-7, 98, L, Tor lost 3-1Morris could have led the Jays to the franchise's first championship in Game 5, but he failed. He and his 8.44 ERA celebrated when Toronto won the title two nights later in Game 6.
WS 5: 4.2-9-7-1-5, 82, L, Tor lost 7-2
Career Post-Season Stats
GS IP H ER BB K W L ERAIn 41 more innings, Schilling allowed only 14 more baserunners (H + BB) than Morris. It would be hard to convince anyone that Morris was a better post-season (or "big game") pitcher than Schilling.
JM 13 92.1 83 39 32 64 7 4 3.80
CS 19 133.1 104 33 25 120 11 2 2.23
3. Over his regular season career, Curt Schilling was a far better pitcher than Jack Morris.
Morris retired with a career ERA+ of 105; Schilling's ERA+ was 127. This means that while Morris was 5% better than the average starting pitcher during his time period, Schilling was 27% better than the average starter during his era.
Morris had only one season with a ERA+ higher than Schilling's career average: 133 in 1979. Schilling had ten seasons with an ERA+ above Morris's personal best and four seasons as a starter with an ERA+ over 150.
Schilling's career 127 ERA+ is currently tied for 43rd place all-time. Some of the people tied with Schilling: Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, John Smoltz and this guy. The guys at 105 include Javier Vasquez, Zane Smith, Ken Holtzman, and Al Downing.
Black Ink: Pitching (Average HOFer: ≈ 40)
Morris 20 - Schilling 42Gray Ink: Pitching (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
Morris 193 - Schilling 205HOF Standards: Pitching (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
Morris 39.0 - Schilling 46.0HOF Monitor: Pitching (Likely HOFer > 100)
Morris 122.5 - Schilling 171.0Morris's supporters like to note that he won more games -- 162 -- than any other pitcher in the 1980s (that's 1980-1989, by the way, though Morris also won more games during in the correct '80s decade of 1981-1990).
That's a lot of wins, certainly, but as more enlightened fans know, pitchers (and especially AL pitchers) have no control over their run support and thus little control over if how they have done on any given day will be worthy of a "win". (Also, Morris also tops the list because of the quirk of having his best years fall within a group of years that all began with the same three numbers ("198x")and thus can be grouped as a decade.) By the way, Morris has the worst ERA+ of any of the top nine pitchers on that list.
Also: Since the mound was moved back to its present distance, Schilling has the best K/BB ratio of all time among pitchers with a minimum of 1,000 innings pitches and 100 decisions. His career WHIP of 1.173 is 45th all-time, just behind someone named Lady Baldwin. Morris is 437th all-time.
No one can seriously argue that Jack Morris was a better pitcher than -- or even the equal of -- Curt Schilling. And since the name of the place is the Hall of Fame, that's another reason Schilling will absolutely be elected. Possibly first ballot, certainly within three years.