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The Sports Daily > Firebrand AL
It’s Over

This was the year Jim Rice could have made it.
He will not be. Bruce Sutter (!?) is the only Hall of Fame Inductee this year. With Mark McGwire, Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn hitting the ballot next year, Rice’s time has passed.
You’ll always be one of the greatest in Boston.

Comments

  1. Evan, 2008 – which I believe is Rice's final year of eligibility – is also pretty open. He'll get a last push. Whether he's actually all that deserving is another question, but we haven't heard the last of Jim Ed yet.

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  2. Nah, I doubt it. The steroid brouhaha will have faded away. I'm sure he got some nice votes this year because of the steroid issue. That won't be as prevalent in 2008.

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  3. Don't count your chickens, Evan:
    "Rice's percentage (64.8%) may bode well for the slugger, if history is any indication. The highest percentage of votes gained by a player who wasn't elected in a later year was 63.4 by Gil Hodges in 1983, his final time on the ballot."
    He still might have his day. Not that I necessarily believe he deserves it. But he seems to mean so much to so many in Boston.
    Oh well. Two decades from now, I'll probably be having this same discussion, but about David Ortiz.

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  4. Belle cheated. Rice scared people. They use infield shifts all the time now, but Rice was the first player since Teddy Ballgame himself to see that extra infielder on one side. I think this is one case where all the numbers can get chucked out the window. What Bonds, Palmeiro, McGwire and the rest of the steroid boys have done cheapen everything else beyond anything mathematics can account for. In '78 Rice ruled this game past anything I have seen since. Even with cheating. It was more impactful than Pedro in '99.
    He'll get in the hall someday, and deserve it.

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  5. Rice had 1 outstanding season. Belle had 6. Rice had 5 or 6 other very good seasons, but we're talking about a player who never had an OBP over .400, and whose career OPS+ is only 128. (Belle's OPS+ is 143.) Both merit discussion for the Hall of Very Good.
    Rice is below James' threshold of 300 career Win Shares for likely HoFer, he doesn't merit serious consideration under Jaffe's JAWS system, and only 3 of his top ten most comparable players are in the Hall.
    I mean, does anyone really think Fred Lynn is a HoFer? Because he was a better overall player than Rice. (130 career OPS+ as a CF.)
    Frankly, supporters of Dick Allen and Ron Santo need restitution before we begin to worry about Rice. But if Manny has any problems getting in when he retires, Red Sox fans will have something to complain about.

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  6. Problem with Rice is that his career is too up & down. When he was good, he was really good. When he was down, he was way down.
    Mighta helped if he'd had better age 27 & 28 seasons, too. Those shoulda been two of his best years. Instead, they were two of his worst.
    Anyway, the numbers don't do it for me. He had one really good year (age 25). He had another very good year at age 33. He had 5 other good seasons. But his career is interspersed with these down years. Ages 22, 23, 27, 28, 32, 34, 35. And he didn't have the longest career either. He called it quits pretty early.
    I don't see it. But Rice was before my time, too. Like I said, I'll probably be on the opposite side of this argument after David Ortiz retires.

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