Friday, April 6, 2007

Jim Rice Needs a Muzzle

Be to honest, I've never understood the fascination with Jim Rice. He was a very good ballplayer, evidenced by his 8 All-Star selections...and MVP season in 1978 (in which he batted .315 with 46 HR's and 139 RBI's).

However, his career numbers simply are not Hall of Fame worthy. In 16 seasons, Rice batted .298 with 382 HR's and 1451 RBI's. His career OBP was average, at best -- .352. He was subpar in the field (much better suited as a DH). And, he didn't produce in his 3 career postseason series (18 games in total) -- as indicated by his .225 postseason AVG and modest 2 HR's and 7 RBI's. Again, very good player -- but, certainly not among the all-time greats.
With all that said, I have a newfound interest in him because of his following comments - which were made during a PawSox luncheon this past week. According to Joe McDonald's article in Thursday's Providence Journal, Rice was quoted saying the following:

"This is my 36th year of marriage to the same woman," Rice said. "If I had to do it all over again, I would have been divorced 10 years or 20 years ago because I would have been at the ballpark. There is so much money now to be made in the game of baseball, and you have this ability to play the game, why not take advantage of it? It's out there. Go get it. They're not going to give it to you; you've got to earn it.

"Who says you have to play for the Boston Red Sox?" he added. "You've got so many teams. If you put the numbers up, you've got a chance to play for someone else. The whole thing is to say, I 'played' major-league baseball. I don't care if I played for the Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox or Detroit. I spent 15 years in the major leagues and enjoyed it."

Rice went on to explain how players can make it to the big leagues, but the hard part is staying there. "You have to learn how to stay," he said. "What do I have to do? If I've got to cheat, I got to cheat. I don't care. I want to be in the big leagues. I'm not talking about steroids or anything like that," he said. "It's like this here. This is what I mean by cheating in baseball. Men, I don't know about women because you guys are pretty and can always find a boyfriend. Anyway, men, if you're fighting and this kid is taking your lunch money every day, are you going to cheat? Yeah, I'm going to bring my baseball bat in the next day. That's cheating. So it's the same thing with baseball."

Amazing stuff! Is there any wonder as to why Jim Rice's son has turned out the way he has??

No comments: