Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Yes, Goose, No Rice

I'm not sure I understand the voting for the Hall of Fame. Jim Rice was scary as a hitter for a bunch of years. Somehow he was overshadowed for a while by Fred Lynn, but I watched as Rice broke his bat on a checked swing - he didn't hit the ball at all, just stopped his swing and the bat head kept going after the handle had stopped. I can't even imagine the strength you'd need for that. The man was pitched around and still put up monstrous numbers - average, RBIs, homers. What gives? Was he the greatest defensive player ever? No. But how many average fielders are in the Hall? Rice was a dominant hitter. Put him in the Hall of Fame.

Gossage was also dominant. One of the first closer to actually earn the name - he put out fires, he shut the door. Not only was he dominant, but he played for a dominant team...not the Padres.

Maybe that's why Rice isn't in the Hall. The Red Sox were always also-rans and ne'er-do-wells. Never dominant. Still, that seems lame to expect Rice to be able to carry a team - Andre Dawson got almost as many votes as Rice and I don't recall Dawson ever scaring pitchers like Rice did. Except for his one truly awesome year*. Dawson did field better and, of course, he was a threat on the bases. Don't get me wrong. I don't think the Hall would be crazy to let Dawson in. But I don't see how he gets in if Rice doesn't make the cut.

* 49 home runs and 137 RBIs.


Blogger Keith Raffel said...

Rice was a not so good fielder and not a scary hitter after age 30. Yes, Goose, No Rice seems correct to me. You should only vote for Rice if you'd vote for Albert Belle who was scarier for more years. See

January 10, 2008 12:31 AM  

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