Year End Red Sox Round-Up

Not too much news to report on in Red Sox land (I refuse to acknowledge the concept of Red Sox Nation…go on, check, I’ve never said it).

Outstanding issues:

– back-up catcher – Prediction: Doug “Queer Eye” Mirabelli
– another bench guy – probably a 1b/3b type with some pop ideally.
– bullpen – With 6 “starters” and 4 relievers under contract, the Red Sox will probably add another bullpen arm. If Tavarez gets traded, they’ll need 2.
– Will he or won’t he? Is Johan coming to Boston? Not sure. If he does come, it’ll probably necessitate adding additional players as it’ll cost a starter and everyday player to be sure.

This has been a crazy December. There was tons of news on Johan Santana, but very little else. Now that the Santana news has slowed down, the local papers have had little to no news on the Red Sox.

There is one issue worth mentioning. Jim Rice is in his 2nd to last year of eligibility. He was my favorite player growing up and of course I think he is Hall of Fame worthly (bias admitted).

While this is nothing more than a collection of names who think Rice is HOF worthy, it is nice to see. Sign this petition if you agree with Rice’s HOF candidacy.

Rice was a power hitter and hit for average (if that matters to anyone). He reminds me a bit of Don Mattingly in that he had some great years, but maybe not enough of them. Rice had more good years than Mattingly, but I think Mattingly had more great years than Rice if that makes any sense. Mattingly had a great 1984 – 1987. Rice had a great 1977 – 1979. Neither player walked that much but instead relied on their ability to get on base via the hit. For me, it was the fact that Rice was able to continue hitting into his 30’s that makes him HOF worthy. He was one of the best hitters from 1977 – 1986. Mattingly was one of the best hitters from 1984 – 1989. Sorry for the rambling paragraph here, but I was just jotting down thoughts about both Mattingly and Rice and didn’t care as much for sentence construction.

You can make an argument for both, but I think Rice does deserve a spot. This is probably his best opportunity as there are no marque names on this year’s list and the steroid issue has really made voters re-think things. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe is finally giving Rice a vote. If Shaughnessy can change his mind, perhaps others can too. Good luck Jim and Happy New Year everyone.