January 11th, 2013

Morris on Hall: “It’s the nature of the beast”

Got in touch with Jack Morris yesterday about the Hall of Fame results. The story went up on the site last night, but here’s a roundup of quotes, some of which made the story and some of which didn’t:

  • On initial reaction to vote: “I wasn’t shocked. I actually predicted this. It’s just the nature of the beast. … It’s just a whole bunch of guys [on the ballot].”
  • Disappointed? “I think I have a right to be disappointed. Disappointment’s fine, as long as you don’t dwell on it. … I’ve got so many people pulling for me, it’s hard to get in a whiny mode.”
  • On going into the final year of eligibility: “I have some [arguments], and if I want to expose that, I can. But my whole outlook is, it’s a tough argument for the writers.”
  • “I can argue my case to those who want to listen. I wish I could grab the ball and show the non-believers what I can do, but I can’t. That time is gone. All I can do is show gratitude [for being on the ballot].”
  • On the impact of the steroid era candidates: “It took the wind out of our sails.”
  • On the candidates coming onto the ballot next year: “I think there are Hall of Fame worthy guys, quite a few in my opinion. The question is whether they’re first-ballot guys.”
  • On the ’84 world champions being left out of the Hall: “I think it’ll be a case where they overlooked it. I know what Gibby did. I know what Tram did. I know what Lou and Larry Herndon and Darrell Evans did. …  We were a phenomenal team in an era where everybody had good teams. This wasn’t watered-down baseball. We were good.”
  • On pressure of final year: “All I can say is I have a year left, but I am very much at peace with where I stand in my mind.”

Verlander to golf in Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Justin Verlander spent last offseason learning how to balance the benefits of his newfound fame with the demanding offseason regimen that helped get him that. Most of that had to do with commercial and television opportunities. He’ll close out his offseason with a whole new opportunity, hitting the links with PGA Tour greats for the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

The event takes place over the weekend of Feb. 10, just before pitchers and catchers officially report to camp for Spring Training (first workout is Feb. 12). Knowing Verlander, he’ll be well into his throwing program by then, so he’ll either have to maintaining his throwing schedule between rounds or take a break for a few days.

Verlander wasn’t listed on the event web site as of Thursday night, but Verlander was announced as a participant on the event’s twitter account. Verlander acknowledged it, saying he can’t wait.

Verlander is a notoriously competitive golfer, in more ways than one. He’s generally acknowledged as the best golfer on the team, but he also badly wants to win whenever he plays. Teammates brag every spring training whenever they have a chance to beat him, knowing it gets to him. Rick Porcello is among those to pull it off. With that in mind, don’t expect many kicks and giggles from Verlander. He’s going to try to beat some people, mainly celebrities. No word on which pro he’ll be paired with.

Other celebrities scheduled to take part include actors Josh Duhamel, Andy Garcia, Chris O’Donnell and regular participant Bill Murray. Tony Romo is a regular participant. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is also scheduled to take part.

The Pebble Beach Pro-Am hasn’t had many active players take part in recent years. Verlander is the second baseball player to commit this year, joined by San Francisco’s Matt Cain, who also took part in the 2011 Pro-Am.

Cain will make a short trip from Pebble Beach to Arizona for camp once the event is over. Verlander will fly cross-country to Florida afterwards, preferably with some hardware.