Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quick hits during a busy week...

It's about time that Jim Rice got into the Hall of Fame.

There have been many who were detractors, trying to compare him unfavorably to other players or Hall of Famers - seldom comparing him to the peers with whom he played. From 1975 through 1986 - a twelve season stretch - Rice led the AL in total games played, at bats, runs scored, hits, homers, RBIs, slugging average, total bases, extra base hits, go-ahead RBIs, multi-hit games, and outfield assists.[3] Among all major league players during that time, Rice was the leader in five of these categories. In five categories he was better than anyone in the game - better than Mike Schmidt, Reggie Jackson, Carlton Fisk, Tony Perez, and any other Hall of Famer from that era.

Detractors like to point to his defense, and talk about the advantage he had playing in Fenway's short left, forgetting that the Green Monster wreaks havoc with visiting outfielders. The Monster both giveth and taketh away - defensively it's more difficult than people remember when it comes time to vote for the Hall. They also forget that Reggie Jackson was brutal in the outfield. Additionally, Rice was a six-time top five candidate for the MVP during that 12 season stretch, including a win in 1978. Jackson was a top five candidate five times over a 12 season stretch and hit 100 RBI's or more only six times over a 21 season career. Rice - eight times.

Yes, Jackson was a monster in the post season, but Rice was better than most people give him credit for - in 1986 he also scored 14 runs and drove in six. The 14 runs Rice scored is the fifth most recorded by an individual during a single year's postseason play.

Jackson was inducted in his second year of eligibility. It took Rice 15.

It's a shame they took this long to get it right.

For the Birds...

So - if anyone had told me, pretty much at any time in the last couple of weeks, that the NFC Championship game would come down to Arizona holding court against Philly, I would have laughed hard enough to give myself a hernia. Philly I figured could make it that far, even though I believed it to be unlikely, but the Cardinals? Anyone else notice any signs of an impending Apocalypse?

Elsewhere around the NFL...

I was a little surprised by Josh McDaniels choice to go to Denver. Lately it's a situation where it seems like the inmates are running the asylum. I figured that there was every possibility he would end up wherever Scott Pioli did.

Rumors are that Terrell Owens might be on the chopping block in Dallas. Wonder where he ends up if that happens. Oakland, maybe?

Good luck in your next line of work Tony Dungy. I gotta admit, I thought he'd be back for one more season. It should be interesting to see what happens in Indy next season.


Lisa K. said...

Here's the thing about Rice and the HOF balloting: No, he was not Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, or Babe Ruth. He didn't have to be. The standard of HOF admission is no longer that of sustained, overwhelming dominance. The day they let Gary Carter in is the day that Jim Rice became a first ballot guy in my opinion. It's disgraceful it took this long.

Kevin Smith said...

My biggest problem really is that there were a number of people from Rice's era that got in long before Rice did - Perez, Carter, hell, even Reggie Jackson, who weren't as dominant. Rice averaged 10 more RBIs per year than Jackson, and had more 100 RBI seasons during a shorter career.

I've already heard a whole bunch of people trying to argue whether or not Schilling is a HoFer because his regular season numbers don't stack up - other than HR's, neither did Jacksons. Jackson got in because he had a lot of HR's, but mostly because he was dominant in the postseason. Otherwise his numbers just don't stack up - and he had a lot of the same negatives that writers were using to keep Rice out (defense, tendency to ground into DPs).

It bothers me that these idiots aren't looking at the era, but are trying to compare to other eras.

And yes - it is absolutely disgraceful, and I could rant about this for days.

Dumbass BBWAA.