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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dan and the Hall of Fame

Dan presents his votes for Cooperstown. Jim Rice's bona fides are the focus of the article.

There has already been some debate on the subject in the previous comments section and baseballthinkfactory.org has many threads on the issue. My point of view is that Jim was a great slugger for a while, but he was not the dominant offensive force over an extended period that makes a player great. Combine that with an average defensive reputation, you get a very good player, not a Hall of Famer.

Dan mentions that the presence of McGwire on the ballot will affect voters' perception of Rice. I sure hope not as it would be more proof of the stupidity of baseball writers. If Jim Rice is a Hall of Famer now, he was one back in 1994. It shouldn't have changed because of what a bunch of players have done over the last 10 years.

6 comments:

Monkeesfan said...

I think there's a groundswell for Rice more as a way of rejecting the steroid era than out of Rice's own strengths as a player.

Catherwood noted in the Grumpy Old Men piece that Shank admits he voted for Bert Blylevin - there's something creepy about voting for someone who rather openly campaigned for the HOF in the past.

BTW, what's Shank going tos ay about Woger's people launching their own investigation into what the Mitchell Report said?

Anonymous said...

Don't diminish Rice's record ... while some think he may be a marginal candidate based upon his swift decline but between 75 and 86 Rice was a terror at the plate. A power hitter that could also hit for average. A .299 career average and 382 Home runs (when they meant something), 8 time all star, 1978 MVP winner (and damn close to triple crown winner - 1st in HR, RBI, 3rd in Batting avg) with votes 7 more years (75, 77, 79, 82, 83, 84 & 86), second place in rookie of year vote in 75 in my eyes makes him a legit candidate.

What is interesting about Shaughnessy's column and support is few remember that Shaughnessy HATED Rice as much as he now hates Schilling. I can remember when it was Rice who was the recipient of gratuitous shots in his columns the way Schilling gets them now ... even years after Rice retired you would read a cheap shot about Rice in his column. He was dead set against the Sox hiring Rice for a minor league coach and later as hitting coach for the parent team. I guess there is hope for Schilling that shank will let his personal grudge go and consider voting for him for the HOF 18-19 years after he retires!!

dbvader said...

A few very good years does not make a Hall of Fame player. And all these claims that he was "feared" are either untrue or not unwarranted.

A player like Hank Greenberg was feared. He slugged over .600 8 out of 10 seasons (plus he missed three during the war). His OPS plus during those 8 seasons was always higher than Rice's best OPS+. Rice was never the historically dominant hitter that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Bandit said...

What I don't understand is voting for Blyleven and not Rice - Rice was the top slugger of his era - Blyleven was not the top starting pitcher of his era

Anonymous said...

He is Peter Gammon's take from today's chat at Boston.Com (which supports my opinion above)

Q "Will Jim Rice finally make it into the HOF?"

Peter_Gammons - "I don't think so. I voted for him, but it's been interesting that there have been people like Rob Neyer who are so obsessed with degrading Rice's career. The fact that he retired as early as he did clearly has cost him because of the 382 home runs. But for him to be in the top 5 in MVP balloting 6 times in 12 years, to me, speaks more about his career than the fact that his career OPS is the same as Ellis Burks".

Anonymous said...

And to the guy who said Rice had only one good season ... Here's Larry Stone's analysis:

"During those 12 years (75-86), Rice was the most dominant player in the American League. Maybe not the best player -- I'd give that nod to George Brett. But check out Rice from 1975 to '86. He ranked first in the AL in games (1,766), first in at-bats (7,060), first in runs (1,098), first in hits (2,145), first in home runs (350), first in runs batted in (1,276), first in slugging percentage (.520), first in total bases (3,670), first in extra-base hits (752), first in go-ahead RBIs (325), first in multihit games (640), fourth in triples (73) -- so much for the notion that Rice was nothing but a plodder -- and fourth in batting average (.304). He also was first in outfield assists with 125. For some reason, Rice has been labeled a lousy fielder, but even Bill James, a leading detractor of Rice's Hall of Fame credentials, concedes that he was a better left fielder than most peopled regarded him.

If you look at the entire major leagues over that same 12-year period, Rice still ranked first in RBIs, hits, total bases, go-ahead RBIs and multihit games, second in slugging, runs and extra-base hits (to Mike Schmidt), third in homers (to Schmidt and Dave Kingman), and second in outfield assists (to Dave Winfield)."