Rice will go deep in final Cooperstown at-bat

When one of my bosses called me this afternoon to give me the Hall of Fame results, he made the following opening remark:

Do you want the good news first or the bad news?

"Good news," I said.

"Jim Rice is going to the Hall of Fame."

"Great," I said. "What’s the bad news?"

"It’s not going to be until next year," he said.

Great line. And probably true. By gaining 72.2 percent of the votes, it seems a virtual lock that Rice will get those 16 extra votes next year that he lacked this year. History proves it. In the 20 times a potential candidate has received 70 percent of the votes but less than 75, he has eventually gained entry.

Given that next year is Rice’s final try on the writer’s ballot, I’d have to think certain writers will be more apt to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Granted, I grew up watching this man hit every day when I was a kid and a fan — long before I became a professional journalist — I don’t think that is swaying my opinion. Looking at it objectively, this guy was a dominant hitter for a decade plus. Crunch his numbers from 1975-86 and you will find a man who was more productive than any hitter in the American League at that time.

Those who think Rice was a product of Fenway Park simply don’t get it. Rice was never a pull hitter. He was always a guy who went to all fields. In fact, if he had played at Yankee Stadium with that short right field porch, he probably would have finished with 50 to 60 more career homers. If anything, the Green Monster took home runs away from Rice because of the blazing line drives he hit into it. Sure, Fenway helped Rice’s average. But definitely not his power.

I don’t get the longevity thing. So if Rice would have hung around an extra four or five years and had a bunch of mediocre numbers and tacked on to his hit and home run totals, all of a sudden he’s a Hall of Famer? In my mind, a Hall of Famer is someone who was dominant at his craft. Jim Rice was a lethal hitter. Just ask Goose Gossage.

Rice and Rickey Henderson in ’09. That should be an entertaining induction ceremony.

33 Comments

I sure hope you’re right, Ian. It seems like the stat nerds regard keeping Rice out despite averaging .300/30/100/100 for an entire decade as some kind of human sacrifice to the god of Sabermetrics. By the Hall’s own standards, by the standards that declared that Tony Perez and Orlando Cepeda and others were legitimate greats, Rice belongs easily. Let Rob Neyer establish a “Hall of OPS and Win-Shares,” and good luck to him.

I hate to say this, but I’m not sure Rice deserves to go into the Hall. You’re right his percentage this year does make it look like he’ll go in next year though.

Ethan Michaels

http://modernrooters.blogspot.com/

It would be fitting for Rice to get in in his final at bat. His reaction to a foul tip this year showed a lot of class. Gotta find some blogs of the voters he missed!

Ethan, I see hope even for Mattingly. Can five great years do it? He was the Yankees hear and soul longer!

The Hall Of Fame is for the greats not the hall of the very good. Too many good players are in, let’s put the greats in for once.

Henderson should be in for sure next year but Rice? I say no. He was a very good player but he wasn’t great.

Mattingly same for him, very good but not great.

If it has taken this long for Rice, that speaks volumes right there.

And yet Bowie Kuhn is there, he was only mediocre. And I’m still mad at him, the rule was in the book, in black and white, and he kisses Brett’s behind. What will Selig do! And is he a lock, time will tell!!!

Please sign our petition to get Rice’s Number 14 retired THIS YEAR — the 30th Anniversary of his historic 1978 season. You can read our case for doing this now and grab a link to the petition at our website . . . http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com.

Please sign the petition and TELL OTHER SOX FANS YOU KNOW ABOUT IT.

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

You are being kind Robert Kramer when you call Kuhn mediocre, far less than that I would say. Don’t you agree that there are too many very good players in Cooperstown?

Dan,

Good luck in getting Rice’s number 14 retired this year. Red Sox policy is players that are in Cooperstown get there number’s retired. Rice’s season wasn’t historic, it was a great season for sure but I wouldn’t call it historic.

Hey, bosoxbrian:

I figured I’ve laid low enough since last Monday. I read what you said about the Sox only retiring the numbers of those who make it into HoF. Why is that? There are some players who will never get into the Hall, although they are/were the face of the Sox — Tony C. and Luis Tiant come to mind. Why wouldn’t the Sox be inclined to retire their numbers based on their contribution to the team, without regard to whether their career will permit them to be enshrined in the HoF?

I must say, you are a rather good sport. I expected a ton of dog paddies to land on my head after Monday!!!

dbenjamin,

I agree with you about numbers that should be retired even though they might never get into the hall of fame. Tiant, Tony C ( as you say )Pesky among others.

It took the Red Sox over 20 years to retire Ted Williams’ number. I really don’t know what the thinking is when it comes to retired numbers but it has been that way for a long time, previous owners as well, Yawkey, Harrington.

dbenjamin,

If and when Ohio State makes another title game, don’t score on a big play early in the game, lol… I wouldn’t think the ratings for that game were too high.

I want to see a playoff system for college football, just like anyone else. Add Ga. and U.S.C. in the mix this year and we would have been watching some serious college football. If the Red Sox win 2 world series in my lifetime, anything is possible including a playoff system for college football.

Hey all! I’m starting to feel the blood flow again. Spring training tickets go on sale here in Fort Lauderdale next Saturday (1-19) and I plan to be there to try to purchase some for the Sox game. Wish me luck.
ps, How many days til p’s and c’s report??

Ben Maller of foxports.com is reporting that the Sox and A’s are contemplating a Coco Crisp for Huston Street deal, however Oakland executives call it “fiction”.

He is solid reliever, bu as a closer he blows to many save opportunies evident by his % last year and and outrageous 11 the year before. If he is intended as a SU man fine. His stats indicate he better at night, and in Sept and Oct both plus qualities for a perenial postseason club like the Red Sox.

Opinions?

I think it’s safe to say that Street’s role would be as a set-up man, and if that is the case then that’s fine by me because our bullpen needs some power arms.

If this deal gets done (and who knows if it is actually a possibility), I’m guessing that the Sox will take the Ellsbury trade package off of the table for Santana since they will be without a CF after having one-too-many.

BosoxBrian,

Do you by chance post on Sox & Pinstripes? BTW I am a Yankee fan and I love the Rivalry. I was hoping for a Red Sox vs. Yankees ALCS. It’s never a good year without one!

BobK(RGK)

kramer,

I don’t post on Sox & Pinstripes ( I do think Jeff does a great job– one site is enough for me ) Sorry to here that you are a Yankee fan, lol….just kidding…

Crisp for Street, not going to happen.

Crisp for Street would be nice for the Sox, if Street would setup or close with Papelbon going back to starting.

Crisp at best is going to hit .285 at best and give you great defense in c.f. Street is one of the elite closers in the game. Whoever thinks Oakland will make that move straight up, I have a bridge to sell you.

I guess with Mirabelli coming back ( I wish he didn’t ) I don’t think Mirabelli could hit .250 in a beer belly league. No Crisp for Laird deal is going to happen. I was hoping for that deal, Laird is a good catcher, he would have been a great backup for the Red Sox and perhaps the catcher for the Sox down the road.

Pats 34

Jags 17

Bring on the Colts and once again the Super Bowl will be the A.F.C. Championship game.

Ellen,

No more Orioles in Lauderdale after this spring. They’re off to Vero Beach in 2009. Amazing to think that the Dodgers will be in Az. There last spring in Florida, a great place is Dodgertown, sad but true. If anyone hasn’t gone yet, I say you should for sure. A great place for spring training, the best in Florida.

rgk: I always like your posts.
Even with your Yankee affiliation,lol.

I’m sure that as a Yankee fan (or any fan other than a RedSox fan) you’d love to see Papelbon leave the closer role!!! I think that we as RedSox fans are very comfortable with our dancing closer and would like to see him stay RIGHT THERE!! …as far as a set up MAN, Okajima is definitely NO SLOUCH

Huston Street has nothing on Hideki.

I read the article today about the Orioles, and I think it’s true, but the Orioles signed an agreement to stay if the City of Fort Lauderdale would renovate the stadium. They’ll probably still leave but it will cost them (the Orioles)to do so. Still I can TRY to get tickets for March!!!!
The stadium is old and run down but holds so much history. This is the stadium where the Yanks of old played their spring training games going way back..

I had the privelege of meeting Thurman Munson and Goose Gossage there. Both were real gentlemen. Munson died the season that I met him. Big loss for all of baseball there.

Brian,

At best I agree with the statement by the Athletics executive: “its just fiction”.

The tailend of my post in which I asked “opinions”, was meant as a suggestive question. It didn’t state my want for Street. However, I do admit that I’m not always the most astounding communicator.

Ellen,

Geez, you are one intense baseball fan. Oki all the way!

Whoever it is, the Sox do need bullpen reinforcement. The limited usage of Papelbon, a sophomore season for Okajima, an aging but reliable reliever in Timlin, a flamethrowing but erratic youngster in Delcarmen, and Tavarez who is so versitale but inconsistent. Plus Synder and Lopez have shown weakness.

On the bright side its generally the same team that won the World Series.

rsjones: I will take that as a compliment from on high. My dad always said, “if you can’t be intense about what you love, do you really love it??” I think he had the right take on the game. I would hate it if he were here today seeing everything that is souring the name of baseball. His dad played, and he wanted to, and this would have broken his heart.

rsjones,

I would agree with you about the Oakland fiction statement.

Oakland is dumping alot of really good players out there. They’re looking to stock up on a bunch of prospects and get ready for there new stadium in a few years. Coming into 2008, I would hate to be a fan of the A’s, they have no chance for post-season. They don’t get many people to the games even when they were going good. With Beane dealing Haren, Swisher and who knows who else will be traded, nobody will be going to the games out there in Oakland. 2 teams in the bay area A’s and Giants and those teams will end up with losing records in 2008.

I would like to see the Red Sox get another arm or two in the pen. I am a little concerned for the pen. Timlin is a year older, Oki had a great year last year but I don’t think he will duplicate that year, he made the All Star team. Delcarmen is inconsisent and pitched poorly in the World Series. I do like the idea of Corey being in the pen to start the year. I also think Hansen will be like Delcarmen in 2007. Hansen to start the year in AAA but join the team sometime in June and perhaps live up to expectations. We shall see. Spring training is right around the corner, can’t wait.

EC,

Thanks for the flowers (a CB term). I know you fans are passionate, just hope not hateful. And Righetti worked out well for us, and your kids give you plenty of starters, so your choice is just that literally. I know I don’t have anyone fooled, not trying to!

BSB The Dodger thing really say a lot about the price of aviation fuel, doesn’t it! And O’s Spring tickets are probably available at the gate. LOL in Fort Myers or Tampa!

I just have this weird preference for finding a plus in everything, for anybody!

The latest I see is the Mets may pass on Santana too,but that may be just negotiation!

Kramer,

The Orioles have 5th place locked up in the A.L. East this season. They could lose 100 games in 2008.

Mets, Yankees or Red Sox are the teams that could trade for Santana. Perhaps the Twins sign him to a long term deal as well, that wouldn’t surprise me if that happened.

Interesting deal being talked about between the Jays and Cards. I think the Jays get the better of the deal, Rolen is a superb third baseman. If healthy which I assume Rolen will be, the Jays lineup will be tough to pitch to. Wells/Overbay should have bounce back years. Rolen is certainly not known as one of the nicest guys in the world, a malcontent from what you read about him. Chances are Toronto will still finish 3rd in the A.L. East. Toronto’s lineup struggled mightly in 2007, there pitching was a surprise. We’ll see how it unfolds in 2008.

Glaus gets hurt rolling out of bed.

Here’s a tip: Watch the Rays and Andy MacPhail. Two clubs Theo did not invite! I see Jays in 4th? I root for the kids just like Theo and Cashman.

Kramer,

Orioles this year will be the worst team in the A.L. if not all of baseball.

McPhail will turn it around but it will take a little while. The previous front office, Flannagan/Duquette did a terrible job.

Rays will be better but unlikely they will finish above .500. B.J. Upton is a stud. Perhaps the most athletic player in the division. They upgraded there rotation and bullpen, so many games for the Rays have been lost in the 7th inning and beyond. The Rays will not be a pushover anymore.

I agree. The O’s will **** #$%! this year. I say we bring back Millah to back up Youk!

I don’t care why he’d be here, Millar is GLUE for the Sox. He just brings everybody together. Hey, let’s just create a position for him.. “Now playing GLUE GUN, KEVIN MILLLAAAHH!!” What a character he is and personality he has!! I don’t care who he plays for, you really CAN’T cheer against him!!!

You’re right ellen, unless the opposing pitcher throws a bunch of curve balls at him in a row.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers

%d bloggers like this: