We've got Jack!
When you pitch a playoff game, when do you feel it? When you wake up? When you get to the stadium? When you go out on to the mound and hear the crowd?
I think you're aware of it the night before. I tried to somehow go about my daily life like nothing was going on, because I wanted to harness the energy when I needed to. I didn't want to get overamped, because I learned that could be detrimental.
You were quite sucessful in the playoffs....what was it like pitching under such pressuer?
I didn't look at it as pressure. I looked at it as a great opportunity to show the world what I could do. Failure is a bad thing. It's a part of life. You have more failure than success, to be honest. You get rid of the negative thoughts that you might have and get the good.
If you were to pick a winner of the game tonight, just based on the pitching, who do you take?
I really am stumped on this one, even without you asking, I've asked myself the same question. It's all about who scores first. Momentum will be a large part of who wins tonight.
How often do fans ask you about your 1991 Game 7 World Series win?
I'm reminded by it quite often, because I still live in Minnesota and people are always asking me about it. I was in Detroit and I will be for the World Series, and they remember our fond years in 1984. It's flattering that those people shared themselves the same memories.
What's your favorite memory from your no hitter?
The fact that I had to throw one more hitter, because strike three wasn't called. I teased him all the way to his grave about that.
Why do you think we see so many pitchers with arm troubles today? It didn't seem like that was as prevalent when you pitched.
I think they are conditioned in every way except arm strength. You have to work your body. The pitch count has led to more injuries, in my opinion.
Will you come pitch game 7 for the Cardinals tonight? We need the guaranteed win!!!!!!
There's no guarantees. Trust me! I've liked the Cardinals a lot. They just ran into Vogelsong that was really on top of his game. Unfortunately, one of my guys, Chris Carpenter wasn't on top of his. That's life.
What was your favorite aspect of pitching?
The greatest thing about a pitcher is you can go at your own pace, within reason. Nothing can happen without you throwing that ball. If you can control yourself, you can control the pace of the game.
Does Jim Leyland remind you of Sparky Anderson? I love both of them for what they have done for Detroit baseball.
No question. Jim Leyland would admit that he learned a lot from Sparky. I actually played for Jim. The way they go about their daily activity and talk to their players every day and how they respect the uniform they wear is great. I love them both.
I saw Buster Olney ranked the top Game 7s in MLB history and the one in 1991 was No. 1....do you agree with that ranking? :)
I didn't get to see the other ones! But it certainly was a good one. I was proud to be a part of that whole series. I actually sat down with several of the guys on our team and several on the Braves team and we all agreed we could have cut the trophy in half.
What advice would you give Tigers ace Justin Verlander as the WS is about to start?
Well, he's had a lot of rest. That's going to be a challenge to focus early in the game. He's going to feel really strong and excited. He'll have to do what he's done so far and that's calm his nerves and get through those first few innings.
Mr. Morris: It's a pleasure speaking with you. It wasn't always a pleasure watching you pitch, since I'm a huge Braves fan. Here's my question, if the Twins hadn't scored in the 10th inning in game 7 of the 1991 World Series, could you have come back out for another inning? Have you and John Smoltz ever discussed that game. I think it was one of the finest pitched games in history. And even though my team lost, it was an amazing game. BTW, I think you belong in the HOF.
I would have done everything in my power to go back out there. I think I had a couple of more innnings in my tank, it's a matter if they would have let me go back. I'm glad I didn't have to.
Just how hard was it to be as consistent as you were during your career over a long period of time?
Well, there was a tremendous amount of work. The real work was not the day I pitched, but it was the 3-4 days between. You had to prepare your body. When you did your things and your body responded accordingly, if you didn't, you could feel it.
Jack, why don't you think the Tigers from your era don't get enough respect? That 1984 team was unreal and how are you and Alan Trammell not in the Hall of Fame. It is crazy to me.
I see your point and quite honestly, I've asked the same question. But during those eras, just like today, the east coast and west coast get more attention than the midwest. For whatever reason, that's just the way it is.
As a Jays fan, always feared you when you pitched against us, and always felt we were going to win when you pitched for us. Think the Hall Of Fame is incomplete without you. As a pitcher renowned for going deep into games, what do you feel about the innings limits put on young pitchers today? What happened to all the workhorse starters?
I think the whole pitch count, innings limit is trying to teach kids to pitch in the strike zone. The whole idea behind it was to have them more efficient. Unfortunately, it's backfired. It's become so fine that the pitch count gets up and they're never in a situation where they have to perform. I've always said that the pitch count should be 120. If you're not deep into the game by 120, that means you're not pitching very well.
Sparky Anderson: Great Manager or Greatest Manager?
He's in the hall of fame, so I don't know what else he can do to be among the greatest.
How does Justin Verlander rank among the all time greats?
If Justin had pitched in an earlier era, I think Justin would have adjusted earlier than he has, simply because he would have watched those other guys. He's setting the bar right now himself. There were several guys in past eras that he would have learned quicker from.
Jack, do you think the umpires are better, worse or the same as when you played? I tend to think they are about the same but we just notice them more with TV and pitching boxes on the screen.
I think there is some truth to more games being on TV. We see more of them because of TV. The one thing that I see more of is they're a lot less tolerant than they used to be. You used to be able to holler at them. I think umpires have to realize that part of their job is having to deal with the pressure. But they're human beings and they have a right to have bad days too.
I'm still a huge fan of the game of baseball. I want the best team to shine in the end. I'm cheering for great baseball and we've seen it this postseason.