Ready for more Jim Rice?
Not my fault this time. Really. I filled in for Rob Bradford this past Sunday with Mike Mutnansky for a couple of hours and, for the most part, stayed out of the way. We talked about Brad Penny, Billy Wagner and Junichi Tazawa. Easy, nothing to get me in trouble. But then Mut had to do it.
He brought up Jim Rice tanking on Derek Jeter at Williamsport.
And before I could even think I blurted out the following:
“Jim Rice should take the gift the voters gave him and go home. He couldn’t carry Derek Jeter’s jock.”
And so began a two-hour span that included callers insulting my lack of fame, my intelligence, where I live and the sound of my voice. It was the closest I’ll ever get to playing a Butch Stearns virtual reality game.
So some of the Rice-lovers are back and they won’t quit. Also we debate Randy Moss vs. Jerry Rice, I nominate Jonathan Papelbon for the U.S. Senate and John Calipari somehow continues to amaze without actually surprising a single person.
To the ‘bag we go (and, as always, feel free to email away to email@example.com)…
“Jim Rice couldn’t carry Derek Jeter’s jock.”
Is this a joke? I’m sure you don’t remember 1978 but it is the most dominant season of my lifetime. From 1975-86 Rice was the best hitter in baseball. Can that ever be said about Jeter?
And why would a WEEI writer side with the Yankees over the Red Sox?
A: Look, there are stands I have made in my life that aren’t popular. I still contend, for example, that if Anne Hathaway circa 2007 were in my high school class at Winchester in 1992 she wouldn’t have cracked the top 20 on my female chart (which I did keep, by the way. And updated weekly for a while. What a creepy stalker I was.) Totally overrated. Pale and ducklike. I feel that everyone knows this and just won’t admit it. Though she still has my favorite nude scene in any gay cowboy movie.
What else? I hate M*A*S*H., can barely watch an episode. Give me Three’s Company or Welcome Back, Kotter any day of the week. I’ll put a good Pizza Hut up against any pizza place anywhere in the world. I can’t get through one page of any William Faulkner novel.
The point, I guess, is this: I’m not afraid to take on the tough topics. You hear that, Deval Patrick? Appoint me. I’m ready to serve if asked. You think Ed Markey is willing to admit that he thinks “Listen to Your Heart” by Roxette is a masterful rumination on love and loss?
But Derek Jeter over Jim Rice? That’s not a gutsy take.
Jim Rice hit more home runs and drove in more runs than Derek Jeter. He was a better power hitter. Significantly, even. Okay. But it’s not a stretch to suggest that Derek Jeter is significantly better at EVERYTHING ELSE.
Hitting for average: (Jeter .317, Rice .298.)
Defense: (Jeter a multiple Gold Glove winner at SS, Rice a DH occasionally masquerading as a LF.)
Walks: (Jeter has six career seasons with at least 60 walks, Rice one.)
On-Base Percentage (Jeter has never played a full season in which his OPB was lower than Rice’s career mark (.352.) And Jeter has either equaled or surpassed Rice’s career high (.384) eight times.)
Baserunning: (Jeter 296 career steals, Rice 58.)
Scoring Runs: (Jeter has 11 seasons with 100 or more runs (and 2009 could be No. 12) Rice has three such seasons.)
Grounds into fewer double plays: (Jeter – 208 GIDP in 9,647 career plate appearances (one every 46.3). Rice – 315 GIDP in 9,058 career plate appearances. (one every 28.8)
Ability to perform in the clutch: (Not my favorite, but if it does exist then you’d have to call Jeter “more clutch”. Jeter has a .309 career playoff batting average and a postseason OPS of .846 (the same as his regular season OPS). Rice hit .225 in the playoffs with an OPS of .679.)
Post-Prime Production: (Jeter all the way here. Rice was through as a valuable everyday player at age 34. Jeter is having an MVP-level season at age 35.)
And the “how can a WEEI writer side with the Yankees over the Red Sox”? I don’t know, because Jeter is a much better player than Rice ever was? What am I missing here, Terry? It’s got nothing to do with Yankees vs. Red Sox. Rice was very good, great at times. Jeter has had a great career. Bernie Williams was very good, almost great at times. Yaz was great. Nothing to do with uniforms. Sorry, this isn’t Pink Hat central. It’s okay here to take an anti-Red Sox stand one in a while.
But can Dwight Evans hold Derek Jeter’s jock?
A: Nope. But I didn’t read where Dewey blasted Jeter for no reason whatsoever, so I’ll give him a pass. If Rice hadn’t decided to do a bad Andy Rooney impression in front of a bunch of Little Leaguers I never would have casually mentioned that Jeter jock-carrying is not an ability that Rice possesses.
Please go back to California and never bother me again, okay? Jim Rice, Derek Jeter and jock straps. Great radio.
A: Rob Bradford wasn’t thrilled that I was “outed” on Sunday as a resident of the Golden State. I argued that (a) I’ve lived in Boston for 31 of my 34 years on the planet and (b) who cares where you live in the 2009 world of the internet and Direct TV? I watch 130 Red Sox games a year, haven’t missed a Pats game since 1991 and have the NBA Ticket (I don’t watch the Bruins even when I’m in Boston, and I can’t defend that). Now, it doesn’t matter if you live in Saugus or Siberia. I read the Globe and Herald (and WEEI.com) in the morning, listen to the station during the day and watch the games at night. Really no different than what I did when I lived in Winchester.
But yes, Jay, I’m back in Carlsbad. For now. My entire family is back in Massachusetts, though, so I suspect my wife, daughter and I will be living there again before long. Which will be great, because I’m getting sick of 70 degrees in January. Yup, I suspect that when I croak it’ll be in the bathroom of my 300-square foot living area in some nursing home in Wilmington. But the good news is that I’ll be a “genuine” Boston sports man when I go. Can we move on to an email from a real fan of my work, a man that doesn’t care where I park my fanny at the end of the day? Read and imagine how honored I must be…
Hey Mangina face:
Another great hire. First, the Douche Bag from Wisconsin; he goes and you replace him with a s--thead from California. I could tell that he really has his finger on the pulse of Boston sports. He never saw Rice play, but he knows that he couldn't carry Jeter's jock......lots of credibility there. It was the first time I ever actually enjoyed a call from Jack from Lynn.
Who thought it was a good idea to put you in charge of a business. I wouldn't trust you to run a kool-aid stand. Must be in the spirit of Obama........hire the unqualified.
Send s--t-for-brains back to California. If he's ever on your show again, I'll never listen again.
A: Did you ever see Ty Cobb play, Ed? No? I bet you are still qualified to say Brian Daubach couldn’t carry his jock (as a player or radio personality, by the way. And I’m not sure Ty Cobb was ever on the radio). Can, I don’t know, Thomas Jones carry Jim Brown’s jock? How can you be sure?
And give Jack from Lynn a break. He’s seems like a nice guy that just hasn’t really moved ahead from 1962 or so. He’s 65 and doesn’t think things are as good as they used to be. I understand. I’m not even 35 and I feel that way sometimes. As hard as I try not play the “my generation was better than the next” card it just sort of slips out. Dirk Nowitzki can’t be Larry Bird. 30 Rock isn’t in the same league as Cheers. Saturday Night Live was at its peak when I was a teenager, of course. I even find myself arguing over stupid things. “Please. Don’t ever compare Gossip Girl to Dawson’s Creek again,” or “Michael Jackson’s death? Come on. We had the O.J. trial. Not even close.”
And I bet in 20 or 30 years I’ll be even worse. This is how it goes. And that’s why Jim Rice was ripping A-Rod and Manny and (allegedly) Jeter. Jealousy. And guys from the 1960’s ripped guys from the 1970s and 1980s. It never stops. Believe me, in 2028 or something Roger Clemens will be telling some reporter that back in his day the players took HGH for the good of the game, not like these clowns out there today.
I disagree with you completely. Your comment that Jim Rice couldn't hold Derek Jeter's jock strap is beyond contempt. Your comparing a HR/RBI hitter with a single/doubles hitter. As far as Home Runs and RBI's, Derek Jeter couldn't hold Jim Rice's Jock.
I also read your scorecard of Red Sox players and it is full of so many incorrect analysis that it is impossible for me to even begin to correct your errors.
How the hell did you get this job?
PS: You took Walker as the third pick in a fantasy basketball league! That is all I need to know about your sports knowledge (That is------LACK OF SPORTS KNOWLEDGE).
A: How did I get this job, Larry? Are you kidding? Did you not read my legendary “ranking the tight ends” fantasy football piece last year? Philip Roth called it the best non-fiction work of the last decade (though I understand he failed to listen to my advice and drafted Jeremy Shockey in his fantasy league).
I called this stat out on the radio on Sunday and it tells you all you need to know. As of Tuesday night, Jeter has 2,701 career hits and 1,553 runs. He is going to cruise past 3,000 hits and I think he’ll play long enough to get to 2,000 runs. If he gets to both he’ll join these guys:
I think any serious list of the top 50 players in history has to have these five fellas on there. So where does that put Jeter (assuming he gets there)? I know this, he won’t need a huge PR push to get into the Hall of Fame in his 15th year of eligibility. Whether you think he’s overrated or not, he’s a no-doubt first ballot choice by any standard.
Again, I agree that Derek Jeter is not the power hitter that Jim Rice was. Edge to Rice there. But exactly how dominant a slugger was Rice, really? In 16 seasons he finished among the American League’s top five in home runs four times. Four. Or two fewer times than Gorman Thomas. I’ll buy, for the moment, that Jeter is “merely” a singles and doubles hitter. Guess how many times Jeter has finished in the top five in hits? Eight times (and he’s second in 2009, so it’ll almost certainly be nine). Jeter will retire with somewhere between 3,300-3,500 hits. Rice has no career number even close to as impressive as that.
What’s up with the Papelbon/Wagner drama? I laughed out loud when I heard Francona responded by saying that Papelbon wasn't exactly a Rhodes Scholar. Why does Papelbon even care if the Sox pick Wagner up - neither one of them will be around next year.
A: Forget me as a possible Senate candiate – no really, try to forget it – how about Papelbon? Would that be the best reality series of all time? I’m sure he wouldn’t give up the day job, but yet he has been so outspoken about both NAFTA and campaign finance reform, so maybe with a little prodding…
Papelbon doesn’t care about Wagner, he cares about what Wagner represents. He has to know that his days as closer in Boston are numbered, and he’s going to go out blasting away. I look forward to some serious Theo bashing in the next couple of years.
Watching Randy Moss is the preseason game against the Eagles got me thinking.
Jerry Rice is the best receiver in history is probably a pretty easy argument to make…Jerry Rice had Joe Montana then Steve Young throwing to him. One is arguably the best QB ever and the other is in the top 25 at least.
Randy Moss has had exactly 1 season of a top QB throwing to him and he caught a record 23 TD’s.
Not to discredit the greats like Randall Cunningham (who had a QB rating over 91, just 1 time in his career…guess which season), Jeff George (who had his highest passer rating his Moss year), Daunte Culpepper who has 18 TD passes since Moss left him after the 2004 season…39 his last Moss year), Andrew Walter and an aging Aaron Brooks and Matt Cassel.
Anyway, isn’t there an argument in here that Moss is the best receiver in NFL history?
A: Look; there are a lot of football people who think that Jerry Rice is the best player in NFL history, so to make a case for Moss as a better WR is tough, I think.
Moss has now played 11 seasons. He has never led the league in catches or receiving yards, but has led the league in TD catches four times, including the record in 2007 (needed 16 games). In Rice’s first 11 seasons (I’ll even count his rookie 1985 season when he started just four games) he led the league in catches once, yards six times and TDs six times. That’s a 13-4 edge for Rice (and don’t forget he played just 12 games when he caught 22 TD passes in 1987). And Rice was good forever. He caught 92 passes in 2002 for the Raiders at age 40. You think Moss will still be a Pro Bowl-level player in 2017? Rice was better with the Raiders as a 40-year-old than Moss was in his prime with Oakland. Rice is Babe Ruth, Matt. Yep, Rice had Montana, Young and Gannon, but would they have been Montana, Young and Gannon without him?
I’ll say this for Moss, however: I think he’s somewhere in the top three or four WR all time. Rice is the only guy I’d absolutely put above him. And if he played his whole career with Tom Brady he’d easily be No. 2 on the list.
Nice job on the radio Sunday. I particularly enjoyed the first hour when I could barely hear a word you were saying. If you teach John Dennis, Gerry Callahan, Glenn Ordway, Pete Sheppard and Mike Adams how the “silent radio” method works I’d be forever grateful.
A: I agree that it was a rough start on Sunday, but I thought I recovered okay. How about a two-INT first quarter but a final game line of 17-of-30 for 186 yards and TD? No Marconi’s await, but I have to believe that there have been worse (and much better, I’m sure) debuts (I didn’t say Jim Corsi).
I'm curious for your take on the most recent John Calipari scandal. (I know, I know, it made me laugh too to use the words "most recent".) I completely understand that college basketball is a total cesspool when it comes to ethics, probably more so than college football, but after having a second Final Four appearance stripped from one of his programs why hasn't the NCAA effectively banned Calipari from coaching ever again? I'm all for second chances, but third chances?? Give me a break. At some point somebody has to look at this guy's resume and admit he's part of the problem not the solution.
A: I’m pretty sure the NCAA has already stripped Kentucky of their 2014 Final Four appearance, but Coach Cal won’t mind much since he’ll already be in his third season at Syracuse.
This story received about 1/1000th of the press the Pitino scandal picked up, and of course I know why. But the truth is that the Calipari stuff is much more damaging for college basketball. What a freaking legacy Mr. “Refuse to Lose” is working on, huh? Prostitutes. Gambling. Cash for players. Now bringing in Doogie Howser to take SAT tests for Derrick Rose. I agree, Rick, the NCAA should slap Calipari with a three-year suspension. But you and I and everyone else know that is never going to happen. The NCAA’s idea of showing some guts is allowing Bill Self to leave two buttons open when he wears a Hawaiian shirt during the Maui Invitational.
So Memphis will get punished while Calipari wins 25 games a year and endless fan and media worship at Kentucky (there is no media with less bite than the folks in Lexington when things are swell with the hoops team. Think Willie Maye at the Celtics championship parade.) And you’ll have Dick Vitale screaming about Calipari’s favorite Italian food and there will be Sports Illustrated covers and everyone with a microphone will be telling us that Kentucky basketball is BACK. And I have no doubt that will happen, because Calipari is a terrific coach (I’ve never teams play with more consistent intensity than his teams at UMASS.) But remember that while this is all happening there will be nothing – absolutely nothing – in Calipari’s past as an assistant or head coach that suggests he isn’t cheating like a madman to get the players he wants on the court. And once the crapola starts sticking? He will Usain Bolt it to any school that is willing to trade some integrity and the frightening prospect of having someone somewhere stripping wins away from a record book for a coach that will guarantee you increased season tickets, annual NCAA tournament appearances and instant relevancy on the college basketball map. Think anyone would bite? Ok, maybe Cornell wouldn’t, but that’s about it.
(And this stripping of wins is dopey even by NCAA standards. Come on, do you know any UMASS fan that doesn’t count that Final Four? Just toothless.)
I like the “dump rotation” from last week. I’m a five-day a week print and dump man myself (sometimes twice a day if I have nothing to do at work). I’ll be honest with you, I’m not ready to put you in the rotation yet. But I’m watching.
I’d print your stuff out and read it on the can, but I stopped doing that stuff at work. At my last job, I was at the printer waiting for a Simmons column. It was an NBA preview, and it was like 10 pages. Well, long story short a VP came up next to me and noticed what I was doing. Not work related. I was gassed a week later and I’m sure that was why. Just so you know.
A: I’m the new Tom Joad. If a man needs to get through a 15-minute dump break at work, I’ll be there with a column. You need to kill an hour and the toilet is the only place you can hide from the boss? Would a 20,000-word list of the 64 Best Sports Movies help? Bottom line, I will not rest until all those on the throne have superior reading material at their disposal. And just once, maybe, someone out there will flush and say, “Boy, that Rick Reilly can’t hold Kirk Minihane’s jock.”
Kirk Minihane is a columnist for WEEI.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org