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Jim Rice a HOFer?


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I've said why. He had contemporaries who were as good as him (even if they didn't have as many counting stats), he wasn't a great fielder (plus played a 1/4 of his games at DH), he was, essentially finished at 33.

 

He was a great player. But he simply doesn't have the longevity. He is the definition of a borderline candidate for me, and I don't think he gets in. I think he just misses.

 

If he does get in, I'm ok with it. But if I had a vote, he wouldn't get it.

 

Rice has the same OPS+ (I emphasize that this is park, era, and league adjusted) as John Olerud, Tim Salmon, Moises Alou, JD Drew, Jimmy Wynn, and Ryan Klesko. None of whom are bad players, but probably none of whom are HOFers.

 

What are your thoughts on guys like McGwire, Belle, or Juan Gonzalez?

 

I just hate when people talk about him like him not being in is the biggest travesty. He's the epitome of a borderline candidate, and if he doesn't get in, that's ok. If he does, that's ok too. It's not a terrible choice one way or the other. I just happen to think he's on the "not in" side. I think his deficiencies as a player take away from the "best hitter of his era" argument.

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I've said why. He had contemporaries who were as good as him (even if they didn't have as many counting stats), he wasn't a great fielder (plus played a 1/4 of his games at DH), he was, essentially finished at 33.

Simply false. (See my post above from baseball library)

 

As for his defense, he actually was a solid fielder. Rice's career range factor was 2.10, Evans' was 2.11. Rice's career total of Fielding Runs, as calculated by Total Baseball, was 71; Evans' was 76. Rice threw out a baserunner once every 11.3 games he played in the outfield; Evans did so once every 13.7 games.

 

Rice isn't as good as Evans, but he was damn fine when he was in the field.

He was a great player. But he simply doesn't have the longevity.

Again, how is being the best hitter in your league for over a decade not longevity?

Rice has the same OPS+ (I emphasize that this is park, era, and league adjusted) as John Olerud, Tim Salmon, Moises Alou, JD Drew, Jimmy Wynn, and Ryan Klesko. None of whom are bad players, but probably none of whom are HOFers.

In the history of the American League, the era in which Rice played represents some of the lowest average batting totals of the Live Ball era. If we rank all 101 American League seasons by the OPS figure that led the league, 12 of the 16 seasons in which Rice played finish in the bottom third. If a player hit 39 homers or drove in 125 runs in any season of Rice's career, chances were that they were going to lead the American League. Do you know how many times each of those figures would have led the league since he retired? Excluding the 1994 strike year, it's happened just once, when Cecil Fielder had 124 RBI in 1992.

What are your thoughts on guys like McGwire, Belle, or Juan Gonzalez?

Don't know if I have any or even care. Nor have I thought about their candidacy as much as I have about Rice's. I do know that none of them were the best hitter in their league's for over a decade though.

 

I'll admit I'm biased because a) I'm a Red Sox fan and b) because I've liked him for years and actually met the man this year in my home town. That said, I don't think there is any bias in pure stats and numbers which I've presented.

 

Rice not being in the hall of fame simply makes no sense.

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In the history of the American League, the era in which Rice played represents some of the lowest average batting totals of the Live Ball era. If we rank all 101 American League seasons by the OPS figure that led the league, 12 of the 16 seasons in which Rice played finish in the bottom third. If a player hit 39 homers or drove in 125 runs in any season of Rice's career, chances were that they were going to lead the American League. Do you know how many times each of those figures would have led the league since he retired? Excluding the 1994 strike year, it's happened just once, when Cecil Fielder had 124 RBI in 1992.

 

That is why OPS+ is league, park, and era adjusted.

 

To be honest, I'm not that impressed by counting stats, which is why Rice seems much less impressive to me.

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Rice's road numbers are very underwhelming.

 

Don't get me wrong...a case can certainly be made for his induction but at the same time I don't think it is absurd that he has been repeatedly denied admission.

 

 

For what it's worth, this was posted by Baseball Prospectus:

 

[...]Addressing the notion that Hall of Fame candidate Jim Rice was "feared" and tying it into the great disparities in his home and away production, we find that managers of the day understood that such fears?-if they did, in fact, exist--should be limited primarily to Boston. As Vegas Watch points out, he was not among the leaders in intentional walks received during the course of his career. In fact, he had about half of those received by Mike Schmidt, George Brett, and Ted Simmons, and less than Leon Durham in spite of 4,000 more PA. More telling, though, is the dichotomy between his home and road IBB: 50 to 27, respectively. The managers of Rice's day might not have come right out and said it, and they might not have even consciously thought it, but instinctively they understood that outside of Boston they were not facing one of the great offensive bogeymen of the day. This intentional walk split certainly suggests that explanation, anyway, given that Schmidt and Brett's home/road ratios were much more even.

 

Since Rice's numbers do not come up to Hall of Fame standards, voters predisposed to give him the nod are left looking for intangibles such as this so-called fear factor. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that even this is a concoction of memory.

Who even brought up the 'fear factor'? I brought up a mountain of numbers which have been countered with very little.

 

IBB are a dumb way to quantify 'fear' anyways. You'd have to factor in the fact that you can pitch around a guy, who is playing around the player, the situation during the game, etc.

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IBB are a dumb way to quantify 'fear' anyways. You'd have to factor in the fact that you can pitch around a guy, who is playing around the player, the situation during the game, etc.

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't that part of the order go something like Lynn, Rice, Fisk? Are you going to IBB Rice to get to Fisk?

 

I know during his MVP run it was Rice, Yaz, Fisk, Lynn... Why would you put Rice on to face Yaz THEN Fisk THEN Lynn? That would be dumb.

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OPS+ is not adjusted for era. It is adjusted against that player's league for that year.

 

Which is, of course, what I meant. If he has a 128 OPS+ for his career, he was 14% better, as a hitter, than the league he played in. That is, sort of, era adjusted.

 

If you don't like OPS+, you can use WARP3, which takes into account park, era, league, defense, speed, etc.

 

That has Rice at a 83.0

Dewey has a 120, and that only takes into account an extra 20 wins or so for his defense over Rice's.

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Just merely pointing out how he was perceived outside of Boston by his opponents as some are indicating that he was one of the most dominant players of the era. Say what you want about the IBB argument, but that does not alter the fact that his OPS was 131 points lower on the road than at Fenway, which I consider to be pretty substantial.

 

Also given his short career, it seems like he only had about 5 or 6 truly excellent seasons while the rest were far less impactful. I place great emphasis on long, meaningful careers. Rice might have been an excellent power hitter for a time in an era where power was more subdued, but that isn't enough for me to consider him more than a borderline HOFer.

I can throw quotes like this out:

 

"I think Jim Rice does belong in the Hall of Fame," Gossage said. "No hitter scared me, but Jim Rice came the closest."

 

But its meaningless to me and proves nothing. It does eliminate you saying he was only perceived a certain way in Boston.

 

I again don't get the longevity thing. HE WAS THE BEST HITTER IN THE AL FOR 12 YEARS.

 

You're one of the best players in your era you deserve to be in the Hall especially when you compare him to player's of today that may be by and large roiding up. Makes his power numbers look even better.

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OPS+ is not adjusted for era. It is adjusted against that player's league for that year.

 

Which is, of course, what I meant. If he has a 128 OPS+ for his career, he was 14% better, as a hitter, than the league he played in. That is, sort of, era adjusted.

 

If you don't like OPS+, you can use WARP3, which takes into account park, era, league, defense, speed, etc.

 

That has Rice at a 83.0

Dewey has a 120, and that only takes into account an extra 20 wins or so for his defense over Rice's.

It isn't.

 

You wanted to compare a player who played in the 70s OPS+ to those in the 90s and 00s when power and offensive numbers went through the roof. You can't do it.

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OPS+ is not adjusted for era. It is adjusted against that player's league for that year.

 

Which is, of course, what I meant. If he has a 128 OPS+ for his career, he was 14% better, as a hitter, than the league he played in. That is, sort of, era adjusted.

 

If you don't like OPS+, you can use WARP3, which takes into account park, era, league, defense, speed, etc.

 

That has Rice at a 83.0

Dewey has a 120, and that only takes into account an extra 20 wins or so for his defense over Rice's.

It isn't.

 

You wanted to compare a player who played in the 70s OPS+ to those in the 90s and 00s when power and offensive numbers went through the roof. You can't do it.

 

The whole league's OSP went through the roof, didn't it? So a player in the 90's with a 128 OPS+ was as good, relative to his league, as Rice in 1970, right?

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I'm not so sure I agree with the best hitter in the league for 12 years.

 

He lead his league in OPS+ once in his career. He was the best over a 12 year period, mostly because better players than him weren't around for those 12 years.

:lol

 

...so over that 12 year period he was still the best in the AL.

 

"Barry Bonds was the best player of the 90s"

 

"Well, only because Alex Rodriguez wasn't there for all of it"

 

C'mon.

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OPS+ is not adjusted for era. It is adjusted against that player's league for that year.

 

Which is, of course, what I meant. If he has a 128 OPS+ for his career, he was 14% better, as a hitter, than the league he played in. That is, sort of, era adjusted.

 

If you don't like OPS+, you can use WARP3, which takes into account park, era, league, defense, speed, etc.

 

That has Rice at a 83.0

Dewey has a 120, and that only takes into account an extra 20 wins or so for his defense over Rice's.

It isn't.

 

You wanted to compare a player who played in the 70s OPS+ to those in the 90s and 00s when power and offensive numbers went through the roof. You can't do it.

 

The whole league's OSP went through the roof, didn't it? So a player in the 90's with a 128 OPS+ was as good, relative to his league, as Rice in 1970, right?

Its still inflated and doesn't change that the 90s and 00s were far easier offensive times then when Rice played.

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I'm not so sure I agree with the best hitter in the league for 12 years.

On this point I have to agree. He wasn't even the best hitter on his TEAM for a good portion of that time. Spread out over the 12 years, though?

 

Boggs from 85-89

Evans from 80-84

Lynn in 75, 76, and 79

 

He was, essentially, a bridesmaid every year but 77 and 78. I guess there's something to be said for that, but it's like talking about the greatness of the Bills teams of 88-91.

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Well, that isn't a fair comparison. Barry Bonds was the best player in any era, no matter who was playing concurrently.

 

Look, I'm willing to concede that he is a hall of famer if the rest of the world never subjects me to the "most feared hitter" thing. I hate that phrase.

 

"When Rice stepped to the plate, mothers had to cover their children's eyes for fear they would be scarred. The bullpen pitchers literally wet themselves when the phone rang and he was due up. Defenders threw down their gloves and cowered at their positions when he swung his mighty, 87 ounce bat."

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OPS+ is not adjusted for era. It is adjusted against that player's league for that year.

 

Which is, of course, what I meant. If he has a 128 OPS+ for his career, he was 14% better, as a hitter, than the league he played in. That is, sort of, era adjusted.

 

If you don't like OPS+, you can use WARP3, which takes into account park, era, league, defense, speed, etc.

 

That has Rice at a 83.0

Dewey has a 120, and that only takes into account an extra 20 wins or so for his defense over Rice's.

It isn't.

 

You wanted to compare a player who played in the 70s OPS+ to those in the 90s and 00s when power and offensive numbers went through the roof. You can't do it.

 

The whole league's OSP went through the roof, didn't it? So a player in the 90's with a 128 OPS+ was as good, relative to his league, as Rice in 1970, right?

Its still inflated and doesn't change that the 90s and 00s were far easier offensive times then when Rice played.

 

But if he was the best hitter of his era, wouldn't that show itself in his OPS+, which compares him only to his own peers?

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Well, that isn't a fair comparison. Barry Bonds was the best player in any era, no matter who was playing concurrently.

 

Look, I'm willing to concede that he is a hall of famer if the rest of the world never subjects me to the "most feared hitter" thing. I hate that phrase.

 

"When Rice stepped to the plate, mothers had to cover their children's eyes for fear they would be scarred. The bullpen pitchers literally wet themselves when the phone rang and he was due up. Defenders threw down their gloves and cowered at their positions when he swung his mighty, 87 ounce bat."

:stare at the Bonds comment but anyways pretty unfair to even bring that "most feared hitter" thing up considering I never did.

 

I think I earn a bit of respect in the context of this message board that I don't have to be grouped in with that nonsense.

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OPS+ is not adjusted for era. It is adjusted against that player's league for that year.

 

Which is, of course, what I meant. If he has a 128 OPS+ for his career, he was 14% better, as a hitter, than the league he played in. That is, sort of, era adjusted.

 

If you don't like OPS+, you can use WARP3, which takes into account park, era, league, defense, speed, etc.

 

That has Rice at a 83.0

Dewey has a 120, and that only takes into account an extra 20 wins or so for his defense over Rice's.

It isn't.

 

You wanted to compare a player who played in the 70s OPS+ to those in the 90s and 00s when power and offensive numbers went through the roof. You can't do it.

 

The whole league's OSP went through the roof, didn't it? So a player in the 90's with a 128 OPS+ was as good, relative to his league, as Rice in 1970, right?

Its still inflated and doesn't change that the 90s and 00s were far easier offensive times then when Rice played.

 

But if he was the best hitter of his era, wouldn't that show itself in his OPS+, which compares him only to his own peers?

I was only talking about OPS+'s usage in comparing him to modern day hitters.

 

I could go on a diatribe about how OPS+ is flawed if you really want me to. :mischief

 

Other HOF hitters of Rice's era in their first 16 years (Rice's career span)

 

Murray: 127.9

Yount: 118.9

Winfield: 112.0

Schmidt: 155.3

Jackson: 112.8

Molitor: 102.9

Brett: 116.9

Puckett (in just 12 years): 91.5

Sandberg (only 14 full seasons): 113.1

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My only nonstatistical question when I consider a candidate's hall worthiness is this; can I tell the story of baseball without mentioning this person's name?

 

When I ask myself this question, I find myself answering "yes." That is the ONLY reason I think he wasn't voted in years ago.

For this very same reason you can say what you want but Big Mac will get in.

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the heck with the numbers, I saw Rice play in his prime and to compare him with Ryan Klesko is the dumbest thing I have ever read, shows you the value of todays dUMB stats..........Klesko wasn;t half the player Rice was and BTW Rice WILL get in next year..........

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Well, that isn't a fair comparison. Barry Bonds was the best player in any era, no matter who was playing concurrently.

 

Look, I'm willing to concede that he is a hall of famer if the rest of the world never subjects me to the "most feared hitter" thing. I hate that phrase.

 

"When Rice stepped to the plate, mothers had to cover their children's eyes for fear they would be scarred. The bullpen pitchers literally wet themselves when the phone rang and he was due up. Defenders threw down their gloves and cowered at their positions when he swung his mighty, 87 ounce bat."

:stare at the Bonds comment but anyways pretty unfair to even bring that "most feared hitter" thing up considering I never did.

 

I think I earn a bit of respect in the context of this message board that I don't have to be grouped in with that nonsense.

 

I'm not saying you were. I'm just saying that I can't stand that argument, and will be ok with his HOF candidacy if everyone stops saying that crap.

 

the heck with the numbers, I saw Rice play in his prime and to compare him with Ryan Klesko is the dumbest thing I have ever read, shows you the value of todays dUMB stats..........Klesko wasn;t half the player Rice was and BTW Rice WILL get in next year..........

 

Reading comprehension is also something you don't value very highly, huh?

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