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Postseason legend Morris keeps eye on Series

Postseason legend Morris keeps eye on Series

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Postseason legend Morris keeps eye on Series
MINNEAPOLIS -- With the World Series in full swing, it's Jack Morris' favorite time of year.

Morris, who helped lead three teams -- the Tigers (1984), Twins ('91) and Blue Jays ('92) -- to World Series titles, has been glued to his television watching postseason action.

And it's during this time of year that he's constantly reminded of his postseason glory, especially in Minnesota, as media members and fans still bring up his 10-inning shutout in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series against the Braves.

"Fans have been great to me," Morris said on Sunday during a meet and greet with Twins and Vikings fans put on by Sports Power Weekends Inc.

"They always will be. It's the nature of it. If you win, they're always gonna remember. That's the way it is. That's why I tell all the next generation guys to try to win, because it can last a lifetime."

But Morris, a five-time All-Star and 254-game winner during his 18-year career, says he hasn't exactly liked what he's seen from starting pitchers so far during the playoffs.

It's been a postseason dominated by offenses, as the Cardinals and Rangers pounded their way into the Fall Classic, averaging 5.6 and 5.5 runs per game during the Division and Championship Series, respectively.

"I've been watching it all," Morris said. "I'm a little disappointed in the starting pitching. I don't know if it's a case where they're being too fine or the managers are just playing Captain Hook. But I think it's gonna come back to bite you. You have to let the starters breathe and try to get them to the sixth or seventh inning. It's been all offense so far the whole postseason."

The first two games of the World Series, however, weren't as heavy on offense, as the Cardinals took the first game, 3-2, before the Rangers evened up the series with a 2-1 win in Game 2.

But Game 3 was all offense again, with the Cardinals routing the Rangers, 16-7, and both starters failing to last four innings.

"It's a tough World Series to pinpoint," Morris said. "The first game was a low-scoring game, and then last night's game was a total offensive game. You had poor defense, poor pitching and a lot of offense. And so what is this World Series? How do you define this World Series? I think it's just two teams that are gonna slug it out."

Morris said it's a different strategy compared to when he played, as he averaged 7 1/3 innings pitched in his 13 postseason starts, posting a 7-4 record and a 3.80 ERA.

Morris said there's too much emphasis on pitch counts in today's game, and that relievers are more important than ever because starting pitchers aren't going deep into games.

"Starters went deep into the game and that's just the way it was," said Morris, who retired after the 1994 season. "It's just a philosophy. In my opinion, now I think managers just don't want a starting pitcher to see a hitter more than twice, because the advantage goes to the hitter. I think that's the whole key with all these moves all the time. But in reality, I'm not sure about it. I don't buy into it. But that's just me. I'm old school."

Morris is still enjoying watching the postseason, and is rooting for the best team to win, as he really only roots for the Twins these days because he grew up in St. Paul and is a radio broadcaster for the club.

"I just want to see good baseball," Morris said. "This time of year, I just want the best team to win. I don't care who it is. Right now, I think the Cardinals might be the best team overall. They have some guys banging the ball around."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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