Goat of The Week: Jack Morris

As the resident villain of SDI, I will have a new series where I feature a guy who receives the lion share of grief for the week whether it be a Ranger or their opponent.

I could’ve gone with David Murphy for this article, but as SDI’s own Peter Ellwood pointed out this week on Twitter, Murph is a perennial slow starter and I know he will turn things around. With that being said, the guy this week that needs to just shut up is Toronto Blue Jays Broadcaster Jack Morris.

Morris called out Boston’s Clay Buchholz for what he thought was an illegal substance on his pitches.

“I found out because the guys on the video camera showed it to me right after the game,” he said. “I didn’t see it during the game. They showed it to me and said, ‘What do you think of this?’ and I said, ‘Well, he’s throwing a spitter. Cause that’s what it is.”

He goes on to say…

“It was all over his forearm, all over the lower part of his T-shirt, it’s all in his hair,” Morris said. “I can’t prove anything. I can’t prove anything.”

You’re right about one thing Jack: you can’t prove anything as a former pitcher, therefore you shouldn’t say anything.

Buchholz admitted to using water and rosin to help him improve his grip on the ball, and you can check highlights of his seven scoreless innings for yourself. No question he has filthy stuff, but the Texan has been great all season: 6-0, 1.01 ERA, 9.5 K/9.

Of course, Morris went on to say:

“What do you think? Look at the pitches. Fastball at 94 that goes like that,” Morris said, his hand darting swiftly down and away. “On a fastball?”

He even talked to former Ranger now Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and backup catcher David Ross.

“I went up to Salty and I told him,” Morris said. “He said, ‘It’s dry in Boston, and I’ve seen him put water all over his pants.’ I said, ‘Salty this isn’t my first [expletive] rodeo.’ He didn’t know what to say to that, so we ended the conversation right there.”

As a pitcher who belongs in the “Hall of had a long career that makes me look better than I am,” Morris knows that pitchers are always looking to get an advantage, and there is a good chance that guys on the team he works for are using whatever they can to make the ball move a little extra. For that reason, you rarely see an opposing manager or player accuse a pitcher of using an illegal substance.

Other reasons to shut up:

  1. With all the TV coverage we have, if somebody really was doing something illegal, more people would notice.
  2. If he is cheating, as ESPN’s David Schoenfield points out, cheating is part of the fabric of baseball.

My favorite player of all time is Joe “Shoeless” Jackson who reportedly took money for helping throw the 1919 World Series. I, like many others, have always been fascinated with Jackson and the seven other men who conspired to give the middle finger to Mr. Comiskey. Though they cheated, they still remain a part of baseball lore.

Former catcher Greg Zaun said that pitchers use anything from “suntan lotion to KY jelly.” Its part of the game and Jack Morris knows that. Anybody that has ever played baseball has done whatever it took to win the game. In the end, that’s what it is all about.

Shut up Jack Morris.

Eddie Middlebrook is the co-host of “Chin Music” and Senior Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Eddie.Middlebrook@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @emiddlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9 and @shutdowninning. Formerly with @wfaasports and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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