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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

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You forgot the key item: Jim Ed was the official spokesman for a Boston bacon company, Colonial, and did TV commercials for them in the early 80s, IIRC. That creates the separation from the other players and clinches it for me.

Great post. Wish I said it that well yesterday.

Thanks, Gerb. It's all about the bacon.
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Oh, wait, did you mean Paul's post?

A really strong case made here.

I see now, you were in the middle of this research and didn't want all that hard work go to waste. Too bad you left out the most damning numbers:

Rice - Career
Home: .320 .374 .546
Away: .277 .330 .459

Needless to say, no one else on any of those lists comes close to benefiting as much from their home park, and being so mediocre away from it.

Best argument for Rice that I've read. I had been on the fence but after reading that I would vote for him.

I did forget that caveat in the rules where if a hitter is good enough to use his home field to his advantage, he must be penalized for it. Good catch, Mike.

George Brett

Home: .320 .383 .506
Away: .290 .356 .469

That's pretty drastic. Not quite as drastic as Rice, but surely it suggests that Brett greatly benefited from the artificial hops in KC.

I have been a Red Sox fan for over 40 years, as a kid Tony C was my first sports hero (Bobby Orr was my second) I remember the feeling of optimism as '75 rolled along. I remember marveling at TWO huge rookies who were a large part of the Sox sucess that year.
I remember how bummed I was that Jim Rice wasn't going to play in the world series.

Over the years I remember how unbelievably strong Jim Ed was (three check swing broken bats in his career).

But much as I loved Jim Rice, and as great as he was for the Sox all those years, the two things that stick in my mind are THE DANM DOUBLE PLAYS! that and the fact that close and late he seemed to SHRINK.
That is merely an observation but according to one source Rice had 11 years in a row where his numbers close and late got worse.

I was probably never so pessimistic as a Sox fan as when Jim came to the plate with the Sox behind late in a game.

My take on Jim Rice: he was great if the Sox needed a run anytime during the game anytime BUT close and late. Oh, and it is best to hit a double or triple in front of him because of those DAMN DOUBLE PLAYS!

That's just the way I saw it, this may have been viewed through disappointed eyes, but it's what I remember.

Kids, do you want some REALLY damning numbers?

Mike YF - Career
Being realistic about Sox players: .000/.000/.000
Being realistic about Yankee players: .000/.000/.000

Mike YF is a Hall of Famer. No splits whatsoever.

Brian: Your memory does not deceive you. Rice's career line "close and late" is .274, .337, .453.

I'm not sure the dp stat is that meaningful, though. A good contact hitter in a good lineup is going to hit into a lot of double plays. It's just a reality.

The argument that Rice was a creation of Fenway Park is tired and more than half empty. Ever look at Yaz's splits? Boggs's? (Strange that folks always point to Rice's splits in arguing against his HOF induction but not to those of others presumably believed to be clear-cut HOFers.) And does no one believe that playing in a park like Fenway has its disadvantages? If, as we've heard for years, players try to take advantage of that short porch in left, theirs is a game of constant adjustment; what works at Fenway (e.g., Boggs waiting to bang a fly off of the Monster for an easy double) doesn't work elsewhere.

Another thing to consider about the splits is that while during his three-year run in the late 1970s there were noticeable discrepancies between the home and road stats--not, mind you, on a par with those of Larry Walker or Todd Helton--the splits for the rest of his career are pretty well balanced. And that includes two near-miss MVPs in 1983 and 1986, not to mention several Winfield-esque seasons besides.

No question that the brevity of Rice's career dampens some of the enthusiasm for the player. And that's not unfair. Likewise, Rice did play in a hitter-friendly park. So have many other great players. But it's misleading, and just plain wrong, to argue that without Fenway Rice would have been just an average or good player.

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