Tag Archives: Hall of Fame

Remember When Andre Dawson Played for the Red Sox?

I would have been this concerned too if my team had been that bad.

Congratulations to Andre Dawson, the third former Red Sox player to be named to the Baseball Hal of Fame in the past two years. Dawson, known as the Hawk, made most of his mark in Montreal (possibly going into the hall in an Expos cap, which is awesome) and as a Cub, but who can forget his wonderful 1993 season in Boston, when the Sox finished in fifth place ( this was before there was a central, so fifth place wasn’t last). Of course, the Hawk was on his last legs at that point, and was sharing the field with the Gator and, a favorite of the ballpark, Carlos Quintana. He was on the team in ’94 too, but that season was mercifully strike shortened.

The simplest explanation of Dawson’s candidacy for the Hall is that he is one of three guys who had 400 home runs and 300 steals in his career. The other two are Barry Bonds and Willy Mays. Yeah, that’s a Hall of Fame list.

I’ll bitch more about people who should have gotten into the Hall later, but today belongs to Andre.

Go Sox.

43 Days.

Done.

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Jim Rice: This Time It Was the Destination.

Rickey and Jim had a blast yesterday.

Rickey and Jim had a blast yesterday.

I’ve always heard that it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey. I figured out a few years ago that this wasn’t in reference to my daily commute, but to those achievements and events that really make differences in people’s lives. The journey is what shapes how we look at whatever goal was ahead of us in the future, and how we look back at those in the past. Most of the time this is right.

But yesterday we all got to witness a time when it was the destination, and not the journey that made all the difference. Jim Rice is a Hall of Famer. It took fifteen years of balloting, the most that was possible, but it doesn’t matter whether he got in on the 15th try or the first (like Rickey Henderson, who went in with him), just that he is in.

Jim Rice is also the only man cool enough to wear sunglasses indoors, on TV.

Jim Rice is also the only man cool enough to wear sunglasses indoors, on TV.

For the last twenty years, Jim Rice has been a statue. He couldn’t do anything to improve the numbers which include three seasons of 35 HR, 100 RBI and 200 Hits (the only player in Major League History to do that). In his MVP season of 1978, he lead the league in HR, RBI and triples. As impressive as those stats are, they haven’t changed one bit over the past fifteen ballotings for the Hall of Fame, or the five years before that. The journey, and how long it took, don’t really matter anymore.

Yesterday, Jim Rice entered the Hall of Fame. It took way too long, and the journey got harder year after year. But as we watched Jim Ed speak on that podium at Cooperstown, the years melted away and we could see the man who walked away twenty summers ago after having dominated the American League for a decade. We saw the smile that I grew up loving, and pitchers learned to fear, and we saw one of our own enter the final stop on his journey, one in which he will be enshrined forever. And where he ended up is what really matters.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Congrats, Jim.

 

 

Just doing my job.

Just doing my job.

There’s probably not a lot left to say, but after 24 hours of digesting the information, I’m as happy for Jim Rice as I have been for anyone to make the Hall of Fame since Pudge Fisk made it nine years ago. Jim may not have been a clear cut candidate for the Hall, but he was good enough 20 years ago, just as he is today.It will be a tear filled night at Fenway this summer when Jim Ed’s number joins the other legends on the right field facade (way cooler than monument park, or whatever graveyard those assholes in pinstripes have at their over priced new ballyard). This also makes the number 14 eligible for me to buy a jersey of, as I only get the retired numbers and don’t need to worry about them ending up as Yanks, like all the women who bought Shitface Damon jerseys in 2004 (I currently have 9 and 27). Tom Verducci’s article on SI.com this morning gave the best explanation of why Jim Rice should have been in the Hall of Fame:

“In 1978 Brewers general manager Harry Dalton was asked who he would want if every player in the AL were made a free agent. “Rice,” he said, without hesitation.

In 1979 Rice was the highest paid player in baseball. And in 1986 and ’87 he was still the highest paid player in baseball. His value and respect as a player in the days when he played, not in the sabermetric autopsy, was off the charts.

He once hit a ball completely out of Fenway Park by clearing the back wall of the centerfield bleachers, a shot the late Tom Yawkey described as the longest ball he ever witnessed in seven decades of watching games at Fenway.

Rice wasn’t great just for a small period of time. In the 12 years starting with 1975, Rice finished first, third, third, fourth, fourth and fifth in MVP balloting, was named to eight All-Star teams, and ranked among the top five in RBIs seven times, home runs five times, total bases five times and batting average four times. His reliability at an elite level was extraordinary. Rice qualified for the batting title in every one of those 12 seasons and never had a truly bad year — his worst OPS+ in that run was 112, and that was a season in which he drove in 122 runs. He took 76 percent of his career plate appearances in either the third or fourth spot in the lineup, and batted .308 with runners in scoring position.”

Left Field Represent!

Left Field Represent!

I couldn’t have said it better myself (even though I’ve tried). Surviving Grady also gives us some great looks at why Jim belongs amongst the stars. I am really looking forward to the July 26th induction ceremony this year, not just for the fact that we will get to see Jim’s plaque hang with the men who he followed in the shadow of the Monster, Yaz and the Kid, but that we will get to see what kind of loud, epilepsy inducing suit he will wear. I also want to give a shout to the one and only Rickey Henderson. Both he  (2002) and his brother Dave (’86-’87) were one time Sox, and the stuff that promises to come out of his mouth in Cooperstown will be the stuff of legends. They are the first left fielders to be inducted since Yaz got in 20 years ago. Even at the press conference after the announcement, both Jim and Rickey entertained us all by ripping on the Steroid users who made them look all the better for their class, skill, and ability to follow the rules. I just can’t wait for the next step. 

Smoltz signing is official: Here’s to the 7 man rotation (Josh “the Fonz” Beckett, He Who Shall Never Be Doubted, The Wiggler, Wake, Penny, Smoltz, Suchholz)!

Go Sox.

30 Days. 

Done.

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Jim Ed Rice: Pimpin It HOF Style.

ricejim78

Tomorrow, Jim Ed Rice will complete his 20 year journey through the back roads of Baseball’s wacky and confusing Hall of Fame voting process. In or out, either way, Jim will be off of the regular writers ballot. He is sure to be joined by the one and only Ricky Henderson, and possibly Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris and others. We here at the ballpark are both hopeful and scared. Hopeful that Jim Ed will finally get the recognition he deserves as one of the most feared hitters in the game for the decade from ’75 to ’86 and scared that Jim’s suit at the enshrinement ceremony in July will cause seizures in most of the  assembled fans. Either way, it will be good to add 14 to the rest of the retired numbers on the right field facade (1,4,6,8,9,27). Bob Ryan threw his support behind #14 today in the Globe as did Jayson Stark. So good luck Jim, we’re behind you. 

Rice Pimpin'. Still Looking Good on NESN

I really didn't care whether Blyleven made it into the Hall until I saw this shirt. Now I will be disappointed if he doesn't get in just for the shirt itself.

I really didn't care whether Blyleven made it into the Hall until I saw this shirt. Now I will be disappointed if he doesn't get in just for the shirt itself.

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North American Sporting Media: Somehow Bored in Vegas

In a winter with a huge crop of first tier free agents, teams looking to spend money, and the Winter Meetings in Vegas, there couldn’t have been a more anticlimactic first day to the annual dealfest put on by Major League Baseball. 

p1_epstein_gettyTheo actually said “Prepare to be underwhelmed,” the Sox have nothing going, despite the massive amounts of cash and tradeable young pitching they have, and the Boston Globe contingent of writers seems downright bored.  Most of the posts on the ESPN and SI Hot Stove Blogs have been about who is meeting who, what GM is telling what lie to the media and how “sluggish” (according to Steve Phillips) the free agent market is. Even baseball tonight seemed like it was just a random episode in the middle of the winter because they didn’t have shit to report on.

In the interest of saving you the time and headache of wading through all of the crap that is being spread about, here are the five biggest Red Sox story lines from a day that Massaroti compared to an episode of Seinfeld (a show that I have never liked. It’s funny because it’s about nothing? No, that is what makes it a waste of time.):

Congratualtions.

Congratualtions.

5. The Veterans Committee voted to induct Joe Gordon into the Hall of Fame. Who? Exactly. This is a guy who is being posthumously elected more because of the guys he played with than what he did in his own 11 year career ( .268/253 hr/975 RBIs lifetime). He played with Gehrig, DiMaggio, Doby, Feller and others as he won five World Series with the Indians and Yanks. The most remarkable thing about him was an award he won in a year when even his teammates must have admitted that he got lucky, beating out Triple Crown winner Ted Williams in the 1942 AL MVP race. This guy has no business being in the Hall of Fame when Louis Tiant, Jim Rice, Ron Santo, and a few dozen other guys who never wore pinstripes don’t have plaques of their own. (Mikey Adams on WEEI was hilarious in his rant about this tonight)

Please, stay in Milwaukee, they will fry anything you want to eat if you stay.

Please, stay in Milwaukee, they will fry anything you want to eat if you stay.

4. The Red Sox met with CC Sabathia today, hopefully to convince him of how happy he will be at home in California or back in Milwaukee. The team has expressed concerns in the past about his durability and weight, and are unlikely to be interested in signing him unless there is some kind of major deal involving one of the Sox current starters on the horizon, which is highly improbable. He is still weighing the $140 million offer from the Pinstriped Assholes and is on the radar of three California teams (LA, LA, SF) as well as Milwaukee which is still claiming that they will offer him more than the reported $100 million they already have. Though he has not made his intentions clear, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti claims that the hefty lefty told stopped him in the hall today to tell him that he’d like to be a fixture in Chavez Ravine. Once again, nothing has actually happened, and nobody except the fat guy himself knows what is going on. 

I Suck

I Suck

3. Adam Everett has signed with the Tigers, who were thought to be a possible landing place for Julio “I suck so bad that the Sox can’t even trade me if they offer to keep paying my salary” Lugo. That takes them out of the picture and leaves us with one less place to unload the dead weight sitting on top of Little Jeddy Lowrie getting a shot to play every day. Where does Lugo end up? Nobody knows, nobody cares, just get rid of him.

who farted?

2. AJ Burnett is known to have been in deep negotiations with the Braves for  time and could be nearing a deal. If he moves off the table, expect the Yanks, who are now apparently ready to “Sabathia” (make a ridiculous offer to) Burnett to blow Atlanta out of the water, to increase the pressure on CC and D-Lowe. The Sox are supposedly involved on the negotiations for Burnett, but they are always involved with pretty much everyone. I would not be surprised if both Burnett and Sabathia are gone before Chanukah (or Hanukah, or Chanuknah, or how ever people want to spell it). The rest of the free agent class will follow after them. 

gerald_laird1. Gerald Laird from Texas to Detroit for two minor league pitchers. This deal has a number of ramifications for the Sox. First, it lessens the amount of available catching in the Rangers stable, leaving Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden, and Max Ramirez (not going to end up as a catcher apparently) still with the team. This will make it harder for Theo and company to pry Salty away from Texas, though dangling the now very movable Clay Buchholz might be a way to do that. Second, this also removes an outlet for Boras and Varitek, which might force their hands in returning to Boston for a two or three year deal. 

There is plenty else going on: the Mets are meeting with F-Rod and Brian Fuentes about their need for a closer, Ben “Fallapart” Sheets met with the Yanks, the Jake Peavey talks are still continuing (Gammons thinks he’ll be a Cub) and Boras is going anywhere that a team will offer his players way too much money or there is an all puppy buffet (are these evil jokes doing anything for you?). More to come as things develop and hopefully a couple of deals are done to entertain us. 

For updates all day, check Extra Bases

On a more personal note: This is Get Out of My Ballpark’s 100th post. Thanks for all of the support that you have shown us over the last ten weeks of this fledgling site. Keep reading and feel free to comment or make requests at MyBallpark@gmail.com. We appreciate your patronage, please come again. 

65 days. 

Done.

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The Annual Appeal

Ricky Henderson

First Ballot HOFer: Ricky Henderson

Mo Vaughn... just before he became enourmous.

Mo Vaughn... just before he became enourmous.

With a few days left until the greatest orgy of the Hot Stove Season (also known as the Winter Meetings in Vegas), the attention of the baseball world shifts once again to the Hall of Fame. The veterans committee (made up of the HOFers themselves for the most part) will announce their selections (if any, it’s been years since they had one) at the start of the meetings next Monday. With writers ballots due at the end of the month, and announcements of inductees coming shortly after (Jan. 12), it is time to start weighing the pros and cons of each player. This year boasts the smallest ballot ever, at only 23 players, and contains four left fielders (a position that has not had a new inductee since Yaz in ’89). Newcomers to the list include Rickey Henderson (no, he’s not still playing somewhere trying to pile up stats just for ego even though he is pretty useless), Ron Gant, David Cone, Mo Vaughn (Party at the Foxy Lady if he gets in), Greg Vaughn, and Mark Grace.

Jim Rice doing Jim Rice.

Just Relaxing, Jim Ed Style.

But, just like at Yom Kippur services, the annual appeal is not about something new. It is about things that have been laying about since Mo was an MVP, waiting to be put where they belong. In this case it is a man who spent fifteen years patrolling the grass in front of the Green Monster, and spent a decade scaring the hell out of Major League Pitchers. It is about a man whose number will most assuredly go up on the right field facade with 1,4,6,8,9,27 and 42 as soon as he is properly enshrined in Cooperstown. I speak, of course, of James Edward “Jim” Rice. He has been a Red Sox lifer, as a player, a coach, and now a NESN analyst. His numbers over the prime of his career, from 75 through 85, place him squarely in the ranks of those who have been voted into the Hall. He was the MVP in ’78, third in the voting in ’75 (and second in the ROY voting) behind teammate Fred Lynn, and was in the top five five other years. In 1975 as a rookie, he and Lynn (called the Gold Dust Twins, which would now be more likely considered as the name for twin strippers) lead the Sox to the seventh game of one of the greatest World Series ever.

We all know the arguments. We all know the numbers (if you don’t, got to Baseball-Reference.com and look them up). I don’t need to repeat them again. Why? because this plea has been made for the past 10 years as Rice was passed over for other players. Last year he got 72% of the vote,  three percent shy of what he needed, and with the lack of big names entering the ballot this year (except for Rickey) it is time for Jim to get in. Plus, just imagine the suit he would bust out for the induction, that alone should be worth at least a vote or two. Jim makes Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders look like they work on wall street by comparison, with the colors, buttons and amount of stripes that he makes work on a daily basis, unlike those other slackers who only bust out once a week. Don Cherry will be proud.

Winter Meetings

COMING SOON!!! The Muppets: Winter Meetings

It just never gets old...

It Just Never Gets Old.......

As all of you voters contemplate Rice’s fate, The Winter Meetings approach, and with it the actual start to the wheeling and dealing of the Hot Stove season. The Sox offered arbitration to Tek and Byrd, and most of the big free agents got the same offer from their teams. Though they are likely to turn it down, it will get the dealing started because it puts a deadline on how long players can negotiate with current teams. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (yes, the same jerk off who called the Sox racist because they found more players who could contribute and they happened to be white) believes that Satan (Boras) will steer Teixeira towards coming to Boston in order to better position his other guys (and eat more puppies).

73 Days.

Done.

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