Posted on: December 2, 2008 3:14 pm

Jim Rice Hall of Fame bound?

Perhaps I'm merely biased and simply love the idea of another Red Sox star being inshrined into baseball's holyland, but when faced with the question as to whether or not Jim Rice should be voted into the Hall of Fame this year my answer is a resounding Y-E-S!

The voting writers claim that in order to be considered as a candidate for Cooperstown you must be a "dominating" player of your generation. Here are several reasons why Jim Rice was just that:

Career Prime: During the 12 years of Jim Rice's prime (1975-86), he hit at a .303 clip while averaging over 30 HRs and 107 RBI a season. He hit over .315 4 times, 4 times had more than 120 RBI, and also hit 39 or more homeruns 4 times. That is outstanding.

All-star teams: Jim Rice was selected to 8 All star teams during those 12 years in his prime. The four years he wasn't selected were 1975: finished 3rd in MVP voting and 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting; 1976: common Sophomore slump (still hit 25 HRs); 1981: injured, only accumulated 451 ABs; and 1982: WON THE MVP.

MVP Caliber: In addition to winning the MVP in '78, he earned a top-5 spot in the MVP voting 5 other times as well as votes in 2 other years (13th and 19th place).

Other honors: Rice twice won the silver slugger award for best hitter at his position and in his only World Series appearance against the Mets in 1986 hit .333 with 6 walk, 6 runs, a double, and a triple in 27 ABs.

15 years has been a long time to wait, but a 1st ballot Hall of Famer and 15th ballot inductee are both inshrined together. Let the anxiety begin.


Posted on: November 12, 2008 8:10 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2008 8:15 pm

AL MVP Predictions:Vote No to Francisco Rodriguez

If the Los Angeles Angels' closer Francisco Rodriguez wins the AL MVP I might cry.

The only solid statistic he has is 62 saves. All that stat is saying is that the Angels played more close games than any other team in the league. There isn't a legitimate baseball fan out there that would argue against the fact that if any of the top 10 closers in the game today were in Los Angeles this year that they wouldn't have saved the same amount of games.

It would be a travesty if Rodriguez won because he had his worst statistical season of his career. His ERA was a solid 2.24, but his WHIP was the highest of his career at 1.29. Compare that to Jonathan Papelbon (0.95), Mariano Rivera (0.67), or Joe Nathan (0.90). You might say, "WHIP is a worthless category", but the fact is that runners weren't just getting on base against him, they were scorching him for a .314 batting average. That is horrendous!! That .314 OBA is .034 points higher than his career average.

And don't throw me the arguement of, "Well he was actually the Most Valuable person to his team", because although he blew 7 saves (7 more than Brad Lidge who has eerily similar numbers but isn't even considered in the NL MVP balloting) if he had blown 20 his team still would have won their division!

The real winner here is going to be Josh Hamilton (.304 AVG, 32 HR, 130 RBI, 35 2B, 98 R, .538 SLG). While second place might seem like losing to most people, for the Texas Rangers, perennial AL West cellar dwellers, it is a huge step in the right direction, and they couldn't have done it without Hamilton. He has the best stats in the American League which makes him the player of the year, and that is really what this award has become.

The other candidates for the award all play on the same teams and will inevitably split votes and come up short. So congratulations in advance to Josh Hamilton, this year's AL MVP.

The final standing should look something like this:

Josh Hamilton OF, TEX

Dustin Pedroia 2B, BOS

Francisco Rodriguez RP, LAA

Justin Morneau 1B, MIN

Carlos Quentin OF, CHI

Alex Rodriguez 3B, NYY

Kevin Youkilis 1B, BOS

Joe Mauer C, MIN

Honorable Mention: Grady Sizemore OF, CLE, Evan Longoria 3B, TB, Miguel Cabrera 3B, DET, Vladimir Guerrero OF, ANA.

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