Yeah, I know. How does one go about boycotting an ex-ballplayer who hung 'em up in 1989? I don't know, but I'm gonna try.
There's been a lot of talk amongst baseball geeks lately regarding Jim Rice and his induction into the Hall of Fame. Some are against it, and they list specific reasons resplendent with gory statistics as to why they believe that. Some are for it, and they choose to throw out unsubstantiated claims like "he was the most feared hitter of his time". Guess who I'm siding with? That's right. The stats geeks. And it's not because I'm a Yankee fan. Well, it might be partially because I'm a Yankee fan. Fuck Boston!
Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe (duh) makes his plea for Jim Rice's induction to the Hall this coming year. It's Rice's last year of eligibility and he will probably get in. He came real close his past year and if past voting records have any meaning at all then it means he will probably get in. He'll probably get in, okay? That doesn't stop Shaughnessy from bringing out the old "most feared hitter" argument. Because beating us over the head with that for the past 15 years has worked wonders. He even stoops to calling those who disagree with him a bunch of geeks who never got out of the house. "You had to be there" he says. Nice. Dick!
Listen, Jim Rice was a very good player. I saw him play often during the best parts of his career. And you know what? He was feared. But he really wasn't even the best player on his team. He had two clear "peaks" in his career. The mid-late 70's and the mid 80's. Early on it was Fred Lynn who was clearly the best player on the team. Later on it was Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens who were clearly better. And Dwight Evans was certainly in the conversation.
He did win an MVP in 1978. That is true. A fantastic offensive season for a second-place team. Ron Guidry had a ridiculous pitching year in 1978 for the first-place Yankees and could have/should have won the award. Why do I mention it? Because the same thing happened in 1986. Except the other way around. Don Mattingly had a fantastic offensive season for the second-place Yankees but lost out to Roger Clemens in the MVP race who pitched for the first-place Sawx. Why was it okay not to vote for the most dominant player in the AL in 1978, but it was okay in 1986? I dunno. I don't know why I even brought it up, but it still bothers me. MVP voting bothers me almost as much as Hall of Fame voting, I guess.
Oh, and Rice finished a distant 3rd in the MVP voting in 1986 as well. His stats were far inferior to Mattingly's. And Wade Boggs, for that matter. But the press continued to give him votes.
So I hope Jim Rice comes close next year to getting in. Real close. I hope he is short by 3 or 4 votes. That would be cool. I don't know the guy and I have nothing against him personally. I just don't think he was quite good enough to earn an induction to the Hall.
And he played for the Red Sox. Feh.
Reminder: Hey, we are still reviewing awful movies over at the MovieGrenade, in case you've forgotten. This is important work we are doing. We review 'em so you don't have to watch 'em. See?
Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the geeky stat-heads are doing it.