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Jim Rice isn't too impressed with Zack Greinke

Sep 24, 2009, 8:06 PM EST

rice_jim_090924.jpgAll you Zack Greinke fans out there are not going to be too happy with Jim Rice (from Ask 14, with a hat tip to Joe Posnanski):

Zack Greinke didn’t really impress me last night. He pitched well and maybe I caught him on a bad night, but to me he didn’t seem dominant. Greinke has may have the lowest ERA in the AL since Pedro Martinez in 2000, but he doesn’t strike me as the dominant force that Pedro was during his statistical peak. Don’t get me wrong, Greinke pitched very effectively but he was not the unhittable beast on the mound that Pedro or Clemens (or even Johan Santana) were during their reign of dominance.

Yes that’s right, because Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens (and even Johan Santana), always threw no-hitters. Every time they pitched. This makes perfect sense. Listen to Rice, because who better to identify greatness than a Hall of Famer?

Don’t pay any attention to the numbers. Don’t listen to anyone who has seen Greinke pitch more than once this season. Just remember, if a guy is merely good on the night you happen to watch him, then he can’t be that great.

I once saw Nolan Ryan pitch a one-hitter in person. But I was also watching the night his career ended. He failed to get an out, and his final pitch was jacked for a grand slam by some dude named Dann (two ns!) Howitt. How did Ryan ever make it to Cooperstown with an outing like that?

In fact, now that I look at the numbers, I see that Rice had a three-game hitless streak in 1978. With this evidence – and logic – in hand, maybe it’s time to revisit the MVP voting for that season.

  1. Red Sox fan - Sep 24, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    Mr. Harkins, before going all righteous on us, try earning a place in the Hall of Fame first.
    Rice was a player pitchers hated to face. Ever heard of the phrase “Pitchers pay the price when they face Jim Rice”?
    I’m pretty sure his word, and his knowledge of a pitcher’s abilities, is better than your’s.

  2. Erica Saunders - Sep 24, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    HA yes good logic there. The fact is that Greinke is a great pitcher but he did come out of nowhere. Pedro, Clemens and Johan have been established and have don it or did do it year in and year out. I would have no problem with Jim Rice’s comments if he said I don’t concider him great until he does it year in and year out like those guys. BUt the truth is for this year Greinke is Great. Whether he has the stuff to do this every year is yet to be seen but one thing is for sure he needs to get the heck out of KC.

  3. Ryan - Sep 24, 2009 at 9:19 PM

    Key phrase: “last night”
    Rice referenced one specific game only, according to your quote. Kinda makes this post silly, no?

  4. Bob Harkins - Sep 24, 2009 at 9:32 PM

    Actually, that’s my point. He’s referencing one game — a game Greinke won, no less — to downplay the guy’s season. That’s what’s silly to me.

  5. NastyNate - Sep 24, 2009 at 9:44 PM

    Funny how Jim Rice is so quotable all of sudden. The guy hasn’t been heard from in 25 years, and the only thing he has to say now is negative. You know Jim, some people thought you weren’t so dominant during your days since it took you 15 years to get in the Hall. Maybe they caught you on a bad night too. Don’t get me wrong, you were very effective, but not like Schmidt, Yount, or Brett.

  6. Yankee fan - Sep 24, 2009 at 11:29 PM

    Hey, remember that Jim Rice is the same guy who said he was not impressed with Derek Jeter. I am NOT impressed with HIS assessments. And he is supposed to be a baseball analyst?

  7. Frug - Sep 24, 2009 at 11:39 PM

    While I agree it’s dumb for Rice to judge Greinke based on one game, I think you are taking the statement Greinke is “not the unhittable beast on the mound that Pedro or Clemens (or even Johan Santana) were during their reign of dominance” a bit literally. I think Rice was simply saying that Greinke is not as dominant as Pedro, Clemens or Johan were in their primes. And while you can argue about whether he is better than Santana was in the middle of the decade, their is really no question that Greinke has yet to reach the level that Pedro and Clemens pitched at in their primes. He is still having a great (if not quite historic) season though.

  8. AS - Sep 24, 2009 at 11:51 PM

    Jim Rice is asked to give his opinion every night after the sox play, he isnt great at it but neither is past ball players. All he talked about was one game, I dont know if anyone should look to far into this. He needs to talk about something after the game, Im sure he didnt put to much thought into it.

  9. Hi - Sep 25, 2009 at 12:28 AM

    “Mr. Harkins, before going all righteous on us, try earning a place in the Hall of Fame first….I’m pretty sure his word, and his knowledge of a pitcher’s abilities, is better than your’s.”
    You’re pretty sure about that I see. Well Red Sox Fan, that’s too bad. Hall of Fame inductee does not equal Hall of Fame evaluator. See the problem? Just because he had hall of fame talent doesn’t mean he can recognize it. Just ask all the previous hall of famers/great players who then go on to become scouts or GMs. What do you see from the group? Some good, some bad, mostly average. And don’t give an single example of someone who did do a good job. I can give an example of someone who has been doing a bad job (Michael Jordan.) Anecdotal evidence is worthless, we’re looking at a trend. And the trend is…evaluating talent has little to nothing to with your playing abilities.

  10. JL - Sep 25, 2009 at 12:55 AM

    Can we revoke Hall of Fame memberships? Now, rather than just being a regular ol’ idiot, he’s a Hall of Fame idiot. They knew this was going to happen when they voted him in, right? Right?

  11. durabull - Sep 25, 2009 at 3:12 AM

    I gotta think this one must have been taken out of context but you never know with Mr Rice.
    I tend to agree with what AS posted earlier.
    The media types tend to drag out anyone with any sort of credentials and make it seem like it’s the word of God.
    Smart people are caught up in this all the time… or maybe smart people would just shut up without making sweeping statements.

  12. chuck - Sep 25, 2009 at 7:29 AM

    Like my kids said “who is Jim Rice?”

  13. David Bosley - Sep 25, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    1. Zack hasn’t been accused of enhancement via drugs (Clemens).
    2. He’s still very young, and as we watch him throughout the year, he HAS dominated in several games, lots of innings, lots of strikeouts ( over 225), very few walks( something like 80), 6 complete games, 2.05 ERA, 16 wins, on a team with offensive and defensive struggles (to say the least).
    3. I noticed on the web his performance vs Red Sox wasn’t front page news, but the next night with the Red Sox won it was. Why does that happen?, only because of the bias in reporting.
    What else does he need to do, Mr. Rice?

  14. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Sep 25, 2009 at 11:09 AM

    3. I noticed on the web his performance vs Red Sox wasn’t front page news, but the next night with the Red Sox won it was. Why does that happen?, only because of the bias in reporting.
    What else does he need to do, Mr. Rice?

    Wait, over the entire internet you never found a front page story on Greinke or his performance against the Sox? Me thinks you didn’t look hard enough.
    In case you want to find some good stuff on Greinke, check out Joe Posnanski’s blog (he even did a live blog of the game)
    http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/category/baseball/

  15. geo - Sep 25, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Greinke didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. He had an excellent year last year (10th in AL ERA, 5th in Ks, etc). People keep forgetting that.
    Or actually, people didn’t notice, because he wasn’t doing it for a big name team, and because his year, while excellent, wasn’t other-worldly.

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