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Morris joins Sportsnet as baseball analyst

TORONTO -- Former Blue Jays pitcher Jack Morris is back.

Morris, a four-time World Series champion, will return to Toronto this season as an analyst for Sportsnet, the TV and radio provider of the Blue Jays. The 57-year-old, who was a member of Toronto's back-to-back 1992-93 World Series champion teams, inked a three-year deal with Sportsnet, according to a news release.

"I think it's great timing for me, personally, to come back here with the energy and excitement and buzz in town about the Blue Jays' organization," Morris said prior to the Blue Jays' annual State of the Franchise event for season-ticket holders Tuesday night.

"I saw this building full two years in a row every single night, and if I get to see that again, it will be fun."

Morris started Game 1 of the 1992 Fall Classic against the Braves and matched a career high that year by winning 21 games en route to his 10th season of reaching the 240-inning plateau.

The 18-year veteran, who also works as an analyst, will provide color commentary for Sportsnet 590 The FAN's Blue Jays radio broadcasts, and he will also make appearances on Sportsnet's game telecasts, Blue Jays Central and Blue Jays Central @ Noon.

In recent years, the five-time All-Star, who retired in '95, has worked as an analyst for the Twins and Tigers.

"I always felt [Toronto] was like home -- I always spent a lot of time in Canada as a kid," said Morris, who said he made many fishing trips to Northwest Ontario as a child.

"I had nothing but good memories about Canada as a kid. I always loved playing here; Toronto has always been a fabulous city, and that has never changed. It's almost like a homecoming in some sort of crazy way for me. I don't feel like this is a foreign country in any sort of way."

Morris, who spoke about the difficulties of being an analyst, is excited to be providing coverage on a team that has postseason aspirations, and he admitted that his time covering the Tigers, specifically the 2003 season when the team lost 119 games, was difficult.

"As a former player, you know how hard [the job] is," Morris said. "The point is to not be overcritical, but with that being said, you can't not state the obvious. In order to have credibility, you have to be able to say things.

"It's so much more fun to work around a winner."

Morris, who recorded 254 wins and posted a 3.90 ERA over his career, has one last chance to get voted into the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America next year, as he will appear on the ballot for the 15th and final time. Morris fell short of the 75 percent threshold needed for enshrinement into Cooperstown, receiving 67.7 percent of the vote in 2013.

While Morris said he won't lose sleep over the potential honor, he is optimistic things will go in his favor.

"In my heart, I feel like I can play with anyone that ever played. The guys in the Hall today all have that mental makeup," Morris said. "Writers have tough decisions to make. There are some great players coming on the ballot again next year.

"It won't be the end of the world if I don't make it, but I still have faith it will work out."

Sportsnet also announced Tuesday that it will telecast six 2013 Spring Training games and air 33 game broadcasts on Sportsnet 590 The FAN and four games on Sportsnet 960 The FAN.

The Blue Jays open their Spring Training schedule Feb. 23 against the Tigers at 1 p.m. ET on Sportsnet East, Ontario and Pacific, and on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Chris Toman is a contributor for
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