When cogent arguments fail, personal attacks are not far behind. Cue Pat Caputo, of the News Herald, which is in Michigan? whose argument for Jack Morris seems to be this:
Peter Gammons didn't vote for Jack Morris, but did vote for Jeff Bagwell. QED.
First lets deal with the case he makes before moving on to the Gammons bashing. He says Morris won more games in the 1980s than anyone else. If this case was built on a solid metric that said Morris was one of the best in the 1980s I would agree with Caputo. He racked up 162 wins from 1980-1989, and put up a 3.66 ERA, and an ERA+ of 109. Ouch.
There were six pitchers over that decade with numbers higher than that who pitched at least 2,000 innings. A few much higher.
If you pitched in the 1980s for a good team and got deep into games you were going to pick up wins. Apart from his longevity there is really nothing impressive about Morris' candidacy. Ignore PED use for a minute and he basically boils down to Andy Pettitte, whose astronomical win totals were more down to the city he played in rather than his pitching ability.
That you can rag on a guy for not picking Morris, and then critique him for picking Bagwell, who is a border-line case in your opinion is comical. Bagwell dominated the 1990s more than Morris dominated the 1980s. Only two players have a higher bWAR over the first 10 years Bagwell played in the majors: Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. Fourth man Frank Thomas wasn't even close.
Now the crux. This is the gaping hole in anti-Bagwell articles. When they say he isn't a slam-dunk Hall of Famer, what they are saying is that his career did not explode in his early or mid-30s like some of his ilk did. Bagwell's career, as I've seen a few people express (might have been Beyond the Box Score) last year, follows the typical pattern. Peaks in the 20s, declines as he gets in his 30s, as old father time gets his hands on him as Caputo argues about Morris.
Father time did sort of mug Bagwell once he got his hands on his throat, and yes, steroids can cause the body to break down, but so can competitive sports. This cuts both ways, which is what Peter Gammons was probably trying to say, when he talked about Bagwell's arthritic shoulder.
I have never ruled out that Bagwell used PEDs, and therefore I cannot rule out that any PED use would have a detrimental effect on joints in the body of a user.
I sort of understand that Jack Morris, being a Detroit guy, makes Caputo have to argue his point stringently, but ragging on Gammons, one of the most revered baseball writers today to make it, was a poor move. Sure he argues Bagwell's case because he's followed his career the whole way, just like you or others might have done to Morris. If we're talking bias, you are probably 10 times more blinkered than Gammons is on the subject.
I can accept straight Morris arguments, even if I completely disagree with them, but this sort of logic is inexcusable.