Rice Undercooked by Hall of Fame & Other Horrible Puns

9 Jan

Go to fullsize imageLet’s get this out of the way first.  Congratulations to you Goose Gossage.  Well deserved and long overdue.  As a Red Sox fan growing up in the 70s, I hated you more than the Ayatollah Khomieni.  However, unlike my hatred of Iran’s former leader, my dislike of you was based on respect and a healthy dose of fear.  I knew if the Sox hadn’t put the game out of reach before you got in, that there was a very good chance I was going to sleep unhappy that night. 

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I remember my many Yankee fan friends (in between relentless taunting) hating Jim Rice for much the same reasons as I hated the Goose.  For a good ten years, Jim Rice was the dominant hitter in the AL.  I could spout numbers all day long, but the reality is with most HOFers you know it simply by your memories of the threat they presented to you as an opponent or how they delivered for you if you were lucky enough to have them on your side.  It’s the dreaded “it factor”.  It’s the same in politics, acting (mainstream or porn), and blogging.  You either have it or you don’t.  Jim Rice had it.  He was feared by opponents and came through for the BoSox faithful.

With any luck, the steroids story will continue to spin out of control (PS – Roger Clemens, time for a new team of advisers) and expose how inflated offensive numbers  became in the 90s and beyond.  Rice looks better and better the more you realize how many people above him on career statistic lists cheated to get there.

Let’s put it this way.  Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa all dwarf Rice on the career home run list.  Minus steroids (and in Palmeiro’s case even WITH the steroids), do you take any of the three before Jim Rice at his prime if you were starting a team today? 

Answer:  Only if you are an idiot.  In which case, you’d have a HOF vote and undoubtedly use it to deny Jim Rice his place in Cooperstown.



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