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Bill Lee: "Jim Rice was a pain in the a–"

Jan 21, 2010, 4:49 PM EDT

Bill Lee.jpgThis isn’t exactly news, but it’s a slow day and slow days are made for Bill Lee rambling about stuff. Here’s Lee comparing and contrasting Andre Dawson and Jim Rice:

“Hawk’s a leader. He led by example through pain and suffering, going
out there every day and laying it on the line. Character! I’d take him
over Rice any day of the week. Rice had one of the greatest years in
’78, but over the course of a career? Hawk could play the outfield.
Rice was a good outfielder there for a while, but then he got heavy. He
got sedentary. He really didn’t work as hard as Hawk had to work every
day. He was a pain in the [butt].”

And actually, I’m less interested in Lee’s opinion of Rice as I am in using this an excuse to talk about the show I saw on ESPN Classic this morning. It was some sports quiz show from the mid 70s that pitted Fred Lynn, Bill Lee and Red Sox manager Darrell Johnson against Bobby Bonds, Frank Tanana and Angels manager Dick Williams.  Great stuff. Lynn carried the Red Sox to victory.  The Angels team was mostly Bonds and a bit of Williams, though Dick was way too quick on the buzzer.  Tanana and Lee were close to non-entities, though it’s worth noting that Lee did appear to be completely lucid, which is frankly surprising.

OK, we probably need some real news to happen now.

  1. cliff - Jan 21, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Was it Sports Challenge (I think that’s right) with Dick Enberg?
    That is what made him national.

  2. Rays fan - Jan 21, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Those 1977 baseball cards have always been my favorites.
    It was “Spaceman” who taught me (in his “The Wrong Stuff”) that players NOT using “greenies” were “naked.”

  3. Old Gator - Jan 21, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    When ESPN Classic took Kiana Tom’s workout show off the air in the early morning, I stopped watching them in protest. But if they’re going to have my beloved Bill Lee on with any regularity, I’m willing to forgive like a good little Tathagata. In this increasingly ugly and unimaginative political season, we should remember Lee’s resourcefulness when he ran for Congress in Vermont. He promised to introduce a bill to lower the boiling point of water to 210 degrees f., explaining that by doing so we could save hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs per year.
    .
    If the Democrats had any imagination, they would have thought of stuff like that for the health system overhaul and we wouldn’t all be in this mess. And my hemorrhoids are acting up again, dammit.

  4. yumacommonsense - Jan 21, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Great post Old Gator, I laughed out loud. I had forgotten about his energy plan and the boiling point. LOL

  5. JBerardi - Jan 21, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Always love a Spaceman update Craig, but you missed the best part!
    “I had a tremendous ’09… I pitched the championship game for a 55-and-over team and played with a Russian 38-and-over team. The (Russians) wore blue uniforms. They’ve gotten away from the old red colours ever since they’ve been trying to show that they’re not commies anymore. I was really the only commie on the team.”
    How can you not love Bill Lee?

  6. Old Gator - Jan 22, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    You cannot not love him. Every so often I’ll be stuck in traffic somewhere in one of the construction zones currently afflicting my dear old Palmetto Expressway and for no particular reason I’ll summon up Lee’s image from the Ken Burns PBS Baseball documentary of Al Kaline covered with bird shit. Suddenly, stuck in a bottleneck (Bernoulli was wrong) and with drivers ethnically derived from a particular large island directly south of here cursing in Espanglish and gesturing wildly all around me, Bill Lee once again makes me happy to be alive.

  7. Old Gator - Jan 22, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    Oh blarst, I fergot – I also think of Bill Lee every time I feed a gerbil to my pet python.

  8. YANKEES1966 - Jan 22, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    I am a lifelong Yankees fan born & bred, but I will tell you this Bill Lee is one of the greatest characters in baseball. Thinking about the things he used to say and do still make me laugh. I don’t know if anyone truly knows what was wrong with Bill but this world would be a better place if it was wrong with a lot more people. Even though he was with the Red Sox I truly liked Bill “The Spaceman” Lee.

  9. Hemorrhoid Cure - Jan 23, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.

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