Jim Ed Rice played his entire career in the AL, mostly between 1975 and 1988. I didn’t watch much AL ball (except for Rickey and Stew) and what I really remember of him from my childhood is that he was one FINE lookin brotha. I knew he hit the heck outta the ball in Fenway, won an MVP, never got a Ring and had a bad rep with the media.
Now that last lil thing actually makes me like him the very best, because I do NOT like the way the media is about how brothas supposed to be/talk – all Ryan Howard/Tony Clark/Tony Gwynn goodygoody and no Rickey,Gary Sheffield, Barry Bonds, Dick Allen, Frank Thomas all uppity/surly/snarly/greedy/whatever.
Jim Ed didn’t hit 500 HR or get 3000 hits, so he’s no automatic in as Eddie Murray, another guy the writers said was “a bad guy” was. I’m sure all the writers who hated him looked for SOME excuse to keep him out, but 500/3000 kinda tied their hands, so in he went, “surly bad guy” and all.
The writers have always found plenty of “good” reasons for keepin a “bad guy” like Jim Ed out of the Hall, except for last year, when they decided that they “knew” that he “couldn’t” have used steroids (what, they hadn’t been invented or something – or baseball players except for Tom House couldn’t have known they existed) therefore he was The Last Clean Hero (or something like that) and he got over 60% of the votes.
But poor ol Jim Ed just might could have gotten his little ol self in trouble again because he forgot to read his Bull Durham cue cards on The Things You Are Supposed To Say when he spoke at a AAA Red Sox dinner to honor him (this means rich people pay a lot of money to eat ritzy food, get an autograph and say they got to meet a Famous Athlete)
If I just looked at stats, well, his away numbers are so much lower than his home numbers that I thought that Jim Ed was actually a Hall Of Very Good kind of guy, like Dale Murphy. But after reading some excerpts from his speech, I think he should go into the Hall because his “character” – that is, ability to actually tell the truth, boosts him right up there. Actually, waaaaay above the character of guys already in the Hall like nice wholesome All-American racist guys like Cap Anson and Ty Cobb and wife-cheating guys like Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth and wife-beating guys like Kirby Puckett and the sainted Ty Cobb, yet again.
Get this– (ohhh, you best believe the writer didn’t like THIS – “inappropriate” he sez)
“You have to trust yourself, he said. “You’ve got to work twice as hard, and to me, if I was one of the players right now, I would be a selfish player.
He began to explain that today’s players take spring training for granted because of all the amenities and state-of-the-art equipment. Rice said he saw some things during this year’s spring training that he didn’t like. He said if he was playing today he wouldn’t be sitting in his room watching television; he would be at the ballpark taking batting practice.
“This is my 36th year of marriage to the same woman,” he said. “If I had to do it all over again, I would have been divorced 10 years or 20 years ago because I would have been at the ballpark. There is so much money now to be made in the game of baseball, and you have this ability to play the game, why not take advantage of it? It’s out there. Go get it. They’re not going to give it to you; you’ve got to earn it.”
Money??? The brotha cares about – choke, gasp – MONEY??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
“Who says you have to play for the Boston Red Sox?” he added.“You’ve got so many teams.”
There are OTHER teams??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
”If you put the numbers up, you’ve got a chance to play for someone else. The whole thing is to say, I. played’ major-league baseball. I don’t care if I played for the Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox or Detroit. I spent 15 years in the major leagues and enjoyed it.
“I don’t want a cup of coffee. I don’t want a doughnut. I want the American Express Gold.
Now, seems to me this actually IS the “grit” that ballplayers are supposed to have. Not just the well, I got picked in the first round and youknowwho is my agent and I got a lot of $$$ so my butt should be kissed stuff we get too many times.
And there’s Jim Ed telling everybody to stuff the fantasy that players in the Good Old Days played their entire career with just one team Back Before The Money Mattered and They Just Played For The Love Of The Game And Would Have Played For Free blahblahblah…
Rice explained how players can make it to the big leagues, but the hard part is staying there.
“You have to learn how to stay,” he said. “What do I have to do? If I’ve got to cheat, I got to cheat. I don’t care. I want to be in the big leagues.”
An honest man. And if any other guy was FORCED to tell the truth, he’d say the EXACT same thing. And people wonder why guys would use bout ANYthing to get into/stay in the bigs? The old guys used to play “just for the love of the game” my butt.
“That comment drew a loud moan from the crowd,
Oh, I’ll bet. They wanna hear crap like the kind that comes out of the mouth of that sanctimonius hypocrite Dale Murphy.
and Rice quickly responded.
“I’m not talking about steroids or anything like that,” he said. “It’s like this here. This is what I mean by cheating in baseball. Men, I don’t know about women because you guys are pretty and can always find a boyfriend.
AHEM. Uhhhhhhhhh, no. You talk bout Old Skool….
Anyway, men, if you’re fighting and this kid is taking your lunch money every day, are you going to cheat? Yeah, I’m going to bring my baseball bat in the next day. That’s cheating. So it’s the same thing with baseball.”
Smile. Got news for you Jim Ed – us grrrrrls we ain’t no different. Might not be a baseball bat, but you best believe we gonna use any “weapon” we can. You said you been married 36 years – your wife ain’t learned you NOTHING bout females???
Rice tried to explain himself again, saying if a hitter always has success against a certain pitcher, that pitcher will start using pine tar on the ball or putting water on his pants in order to soak the ball.
Oh, but THAT’S “Part Of The Game” – not using roids. SUCH a big difference. Yeah, surrrrrrrre. Especially if the Suspected Roid User happens to be Barry Lamar Bonds.
“It’s not cheating,” he said. “It’s having an advantage. I’m not going to be happy sitting in Triple-A 4, 5, 6 or 7 years when I know in my heart I’m better than that guy in the big leagues, and he’s cheating and I’m not can’t do it. You’ve got to find some way of getting yourself in the big leagues.”
He talked about mastering a pitch or learning how to hit. He ended his rant
Rant? Does anyone here think that if he had said this to a bunch of young players without some media person listening in the young players would have called it a “rant?”
by telling the players there are only a couple of things they need to know.
“There are two things they should always remember,” he said. “The first and the 15th, because that’s when they get paid; you have to remember that.”
Guys NEVER thought about that in the Old Days.
“When it came to the team, I was a team player,” said Rice. “When it came to talking to the writers, I was a bad guy. I was a bad guy because I didn’t want any glory. I wanted my team to have the glory. But, when I screwed up, I was there.”
“That’s the way I was,” said Rice. “I’m a team guy. I got paid to play baseball. I didn’t want the glory. When you win, you win as a team. When we lost, I lost. The main thing was to take the pressure off the other guys. Some guys can handle pressure, other guys can’t handle pressure. I was fortunate to have a strong back and I can handle the pressure. I did not want the glory. I’m a leader, but I’m not a front-runner. I’m one of those guys who sit back and makes sure everyone is OK. That’s old school.”
Hmmmmmmmm. It’s good when Craig Biggio says/does this. It’s bad when Jim Ed Rice says/does this. Can anyone here think of any reason why it is good for Craig and bad for Jim Ed? Just look at them – can you see any difference and
It was a strange ending to what started out as a wonderful day for the PawSox and Rice.
– Ah, but it WAS wonderful to hear a ballplayer not talk like a stupid recording out of an old movie. And it WAS strange to actually hear a ballplayer who has the stones to say what he actually thinks instead of the cliches the media demands. ESPECIALLY bcause the guy must know he has GOT to Say Exactly What The Media Wants To Hear, him not being a “Good Guy” and all, because unlike McGwire, he actually DOES care whether or not he gets into the Hall. And he sure knows who puts players in the Hall. And it’s not fans or people like me, that’s fer SHER.
Montgomery, (the guy who owns the AAA team and sponsored the talk) who did a solid job during the interview and attempted to make light of the situation by joking with Rice during his outburst, spoke about what an honor it is for Rice to have the support of Mondor and the PawSox.
translation – Jim Ed – DUDE, there be MEDIA here – remember – it’s “we gotta take it one day at a time” read the *($%^@#! script!!!! Kapeesh, Dog????
Montgomery then tried to make nice with the, um, unhappy (ahem) media – blahblah, Jim Ed misunderstood back then by the press, etc, he a good guy, blahblah.
Ah, James Edward Rice, age 54. STILL won’t give up and he STILL won’t give in and so he’ll never GET in. Dude needs to take his own advice