Write on Rice

The baseball Hall of Fame voting is about to take place. Let’s look at two players, one of whom is on the ballot.

Red Sox Outfielder A: 2452 hits, 373 2B, 382 HR, 1249 R, 1451 RBI, 670 BB, 315 GIDP, career line .298/.352/.502, 57 runs below average with his glove. Baseball Prospectus estimates he was worth 83.2 wins over a replacement-level player during his career and about 9.8 wins in his best season.

Red Sox Outfielder B: 2446 hits, 483 2B, 385 HR, 1470 R, 1384 RBI, 1391 BB, 227 GIDP, career line .272/.370/.470, 68 runs *above* average with the glove. Baseball Prospectus estimate he was worth 120.2 wins over a replacement-level player during his career and 12.2 wins in his best season.

No comparison, right? I mean Player A hit for higher average and slugging while driving in more runs. Player B matches player A in hits and homers. Player B beats the snot out of him in doubles, runs, walks, double plays hit into, on-base percentage, fielding runs, career and peak value.

Player A is Jim Rice, whom the Red Sox nation has almost gotten into the Hall of Fame.

Player B is Dwight Evans, who dropped off the ballot after three years from lack of support.

Red Sox minions will tell you that Jim Rice was the most feared hitter in baseball. Even if that were true, which it isn’t, you would think that terror would show up in his stats. That he would have been walked a few times to pitch to the weaker, um, Yastrzemski? Fisk? Lynn? Evans?

Dwight Evans was 1.5 times the player Jim Rice was. And these voters tell the fans they’re too stupid to vote for awards.