Tuesday, January 08, 2008

14 Shy

14 votes shy for number 14, but next year, HE'S IN.

(Edit: MLB said 14 at first, now they're saying 16. Either way, terrible job by the writers who hate Jim, and have obviously talked to each other about who's voting for him and who isn't. Next year, when they reluctantly let him in, he should flip them a double-bird at his induction speech.)

I think he's going to have a harder time getting in next year when Rickey Henderson is eligible for the 1st time and takes a ton of votes away from him.

I would have been happy for Jim Ed if he had made it, but as I've said before here, I don't think he really belongs in the HoF. His numbers in his late 70's/early 80's peak seasons were significantly boosted by Fenway (which was far more of an extreme hitter's park back then than it is now), and his road #'s don't look that great compared to contemporaries such as Eddie Murray and Dave Winfield. I think Dwight Evans has a better HoF case than Rice, and I don't think Dewey quite makes it either.

Tim Raines only getting about 23% of the vote in his 1st year is the really absurd thing this year.
Rice was just too good for such a long stretch to not make the cut, I think.

I also remember him having tremendous power to right-center, and Fenway would've hurt him in that way.

The road numbers were clearly well below the home, but he did hit better in Yankee Stadium than anywhere else.

I mean, it's his own body's fault for not being able to play longer at the level he did from '75-'86, but it's a shame. Reggie's no better then Jim. And imagine if Rice had had HGH to allow him to come back from injuries.....he might've hit 1000 HR.
Well, when you break it down a little further, he had 3 monster seasons early on ('77-'79), 2 other great seasons ('83,'86), 7 other seasons where he was pretty good to good, and then at the end 2 mediocre years followed by one disastrous final year. So he peaked very early, and as I said even during those big years he was getting a huge benefit from his home ballpark. Add in the fact that he wasn't a good defensive player, and it doesn't quite add up to a HoF resume for me. At his '77-'79 peak he was almost as good as Reggie, but Reggie had some truly dominant years in Oakland and clearly was more valuable over the length of his career.

I think Jim will probably get in through the veterans' committee, and maybe even next year, and if/when he does I'll be happy for him. I may not think he's a deserving candidate, but I always liked watching him play, and there are far less worthy folks already enshrined at Cooperstown. I still remember going to a game at Fenway in May of '78 against Toronto with my Dad. We got there early enough for batting practice, and when he stepped into the cage, everybody in the stands stopped whatever they were doing to give him a standing O....never seen anything like that before or since.

Anyway, Happy New Year Jere, and thank you very much for the holiday e-mail card....been a little busy with family life over the past couple of months.
You're welcome!

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