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Great Moments in Hypocrisy: Jim Rice Edition

Jan 14, 2013, 8:30 AM EDT

Jim Rice

There is nothing sadder — in any walk of life, not just baseball — than hearing older people claim that the kids today just don’t do things the right way and how back in my day it was better and all of that jazz.

Such a stance simultaneously suggests narcissism, arrogance, ignorance and pessimism. “Only I and my friends did things properly,” such people are saying. They’re also saying, however, that they pay no attention to new developments in the world and that, inevitably, things will always grow worse over time rather than better, which runs directly counter to most developments in human history.  And more than anything, such statements always — always — reflect more poorly on the person uttering them than they reflect on those whom he or she is deriding.

With that in mind, I give you Jim Rice:

“The game is still the same (but) the players have changed. There are no fundamentals in the game anymore.  That’s why I really enjoyed the game was because of the fundamentals. We had to do fundamentals. If you didn’t know the fundamentals, you weren’t playing … I don’t want to [get back in the dugout] because guys are not subject to change.  If you went back to giving guys one- or two-year contracts, it’s a different story. When you give guys five-, six-, seven-, 10-year contracts, they don’t have to change. Their money is in the bank. And if the thing doesn’t go right, who do they blame?”

Just so you know, Jim Rice (a) is sixth all-time in grounding into double plays, having led his league four straight years in his prime; (b) was a poor defensive player; and (c) most damningly to his above comments, once signed a seven-year contract, making him the highest-paid player with the longest contract in all of the game at the time.

Why the interviewer for that article didn’t ask Jim why it was OK for him to have poor fundamentals and receive long-term contracts but it’s not OK for players today to do so is beyond me. For that matter, I’m baffled why he didn’t even ask Rice to offer some evidence regarding how fundamentals are lacking in today’s players.  To the contrary, I suspect that if we were able to quantify such things, today’s players would be found to be far more athletic and fundamentally-sound than players of the 70s.

Not that I’d expect Rice to realize how foolish he sounds.  He’s just the latest person to claim that the world is going to Hell in a hand basket.  Funny how it never seems to actually get there.

116 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. caeser12 - Jan 14, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Uncle Ben is better than Jim.

    One of the WORST HOF’ers ever. And about as good a teammate as Kobe Bryant.

    • bobwsc - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      wow, you played with both of them? what was that like, fun?

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Awesome! I needed another reason to hate that Jim Rice is in the Hall of Fame and he hands it to me on a silver platter. Thank you Jim!

    • Old Gator - Jan 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      The real problem with kids these days is that they just don’t know how to bullshit.

      • mckludge - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        Paraphrasing Lewis Black, that’s because if they don’t know the answer to something, they just google it.

  3. cur68 - Jan 14, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Jeez. If any one should know better, its Jim Rice. He’s the poster boy for poor fundamentals and a fat contract. Yep, self awareness fail. Whole interview could have been summed up with a demand for the kids to get off his lawn and show their elders some respect.

  4. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 14, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    I stopped reading an article where Craig accuses someone of hypocrisy, and then accuses them of “narcissism, arrogance, ignorance and pessimism” 3 of 4 that Craig himself has in spades.

    I’d love for someone to explain to me how grounding into DP’s is because a one players lack of fundamentals. While you’re at it, explain to me how signing a big contract is a lack of fundamentals.

    Jim Rice shouldn’t be in the Hall, but my god, this is piece is akin to a slighted ex-lover looking for any reason to cry and whine about their ex.

    This is Craig worst work of 2013 so far

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      “I’d love for someone to explain to me how grounding into DP’s is because a one players lack of fundamentals.”

      People who harp on fundamentals like Rice does will tell you that when a runner is on a righty like him should try to hit the ball the other way rather than pull things to short. Not saying I think that’s the best strategy, especially for a power hitter, but that’s the accepted “fundamentals first” advice, and he obviously didn’t take it. Or couldn’t.

      “While you’re at it, explain to me how signing a big contract is a lack of fundamentals.”

      It’s not. But claiming that today’s players are unmotivated and accountable because they signed “five, six, seven” year contracts (as Rice did here) when you yourself signed a seven year contract (as Rice did in 1979, when it was far less common) is hypocritical in the extreme.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        So Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Dave Winfield and Mike Schmidt had bad fundamentals as well right?

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        That’s not the point. The point is that they’re not doing interviews claiming that today’s players have poor fundamentals.

      • kirkvanhouten - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        “So Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Dave Winfield and Mike Schmidt had bad fundamentals as well right?”

        Well, they sure as hell grounded into double plays at a much lower rate than Jim Rice.

        Percent of times they came up with men on and grounded into a double play

        Jim Rice: 6.8%
        Eddie Murray: 5.0%
        Mike Schmidt: 3.2%
        Dave Winfield: 5.3%
        Cal Ripken: 5.8 %

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        No No, it is the point, you used Rice’s GDP% as evidence of his poor fundamentals, well the same evidence suggests the same about these other players. So are you ready to make the same statement about them?

        The fact that there is an interview is separate.

        This is simple, you stated that a high GDP% = Poor Fundamentals
        I’m stating that your statement is wrong, and is the direct result of you not liking the player in the first place.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        Look I don’t like Rice either, as a person, being in the Hall, I think he’s an idiot.
        But I’ll just call him an idiot
        Not attempt some clap-trap argument about GDP% in an attempt to prove the already proven

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        Sorry, thought I was inspired to write this because I saw him saying something stupid in an interview, not because I hate him and his game. Silly me for thinking such a thing.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        It’s ok, I’ll get over it.

        No need to grasp at the GDP% in an attempt to prove his hypocrisy about fundamentals. You could have keep it at his foolish yammerings contracts and you would have nailed it.

        If someone tried to tell you Cal Ripken was lacking in fundamentals in some way and used GDP% an an argument, I’d like to think you would be among those who would squash that lickity-split. The mind boggles at how subjective and minor a stat like GDP% is in all honesty.

      • cur68 - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        How dare you Craig! You used his own words against him! What are you? A lawyer? Have some moral fibre man!

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Ok Cur so I’ll just like to confirm that you all consider Miggy to be lacking in fundamentals as well. He’s doesn’t play D well and led the AL in GDP’s this year.

        I guess that goes to show how “Valuable” GDP really is in the grand game of baseball.

        I’ll include a list of players who show never dare to speak of fundamentals, because it’s established that not grounding into DP’s often is a requirement.


        1 Cal Ripken, Jr.
        2 Ivan Rodriguez
        3 Hank Aaron
        5 Carl Yastrzemski
        6 Dave Winfield
        7 Eddie Murray
        8 Jim Rice

      • jjschiller - Jan 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        Mister Dingle Berry,

        The point of the article is not that Jim Rice is right or wrong.

        The point of the article is not that Jim Rice was a good or bad player.

        The point of the article is that Jim Rice made intellectually disjointed statements.

        He claimed players have no motivation to “do the right thing” because they have 7 and 10 year contracts. He himself had a 7 year contract.




        Jesus H. Christ.

      • kirkvanhouten - Jan 14, 2013 at 7:55 PM


        1 Cal Ripken, Jr.
        2 Ivan Rodriguez
        3 Hank Aaron
        5 Carl Yastrzemski
        6 Dave Winfield
        7 Eddie Murray
        8 Jim Rice”

        Ripken: 12,883 PAs
        Rodriguez: 10,270 PAs
        Hank Aaron: 13,941 PAs
        Carl Yastrzemski: 13,992 PAs
        Dave Winfield: 12,358 PAs
        Eddie Murray: 12,817 PAs
        Jim Rice: 9,058 PAs

        Do you see the problem with your argument?

      • cur68 - Jan 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM


        Ok Cur so I’ll just like to confirm that you all consider Miggy to be lacking in fundamentals as well.

        yes. Yes I do consider Miggy as one lacking some fundamental skillz. This is especially true of for a guy playing the hot corner. Otherwise this might not have happened:

    • djpostl - Jan 14, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      “While you’re at it, explain to me how signing a big contract is a lack of fundamentals.”


      You’re that illiterate that you failed to grasp that the contract was THE OTHER thing he bitched/whined/overlooked his own career about?

  5. mgflolox - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Why doesn’t somebody just ask these guys how they feel about players from earlier generations saying the exact same things about them and their peers? After all, this sort of BS has been going on since about the 1870’s.

  6. whmiv21 - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    I always liked Jim Rice. Didn’t see this coming from him. Then again, I guess all the old timers feel obligated to say something bad about this generation of ballplayers.

  7. wgray981 - Jan 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Yeah he shouldn’t be doing the talking, but it ALWAYS annoys me to see players slacking off while running to first base or even while catching a fly ball.

  8. mrfap626 - Jan 14, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    I agree with Jim Rice. He was one of the first to sign a long term contract but that was way back when . Todays players can care less except for the ones up and coming like a Mike Trout.
    I ‘d rather go see a High School game than pay the cost of watching a team of players more concerned with how long their dread locks are or how baggy they can wear their pants. They all say they’re in it for the love of the game but come on who really believes that. Baseball owners and all professional sports team owners cry about losing money but still dish out contracts like there’s no tomorrow. Who really believes teams are playing for the fans and all they want is a ring.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 15, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      Ahh so a player having a personal style and wanting to be comfortable on the field means he doesn’t care about the game. Thanks for clearing that up.

    • millybo - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:28 AM

      There is an important point to remember here. When you go to watch a game, to you its just a game. To the players this is how they make a living, support their families and secure their futures. So it is foolish to expect them to be out there just for the love of the game. Would you spend your life playing baseball just for the love of the game and foregoe the best possible salary? i don’t think so. Lets get real. Baseball is a business and if you expect anything less then stick to watching your college and high school games. Where even there the object of most players is to make it to the MLB where they can get a big contract to secure their future.

  9. stevequinn - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Jim Rice hit the nail on the head. Players today haven’t a clue about fundamentals and, when you consider the number of outfielders, less than 1% could actually throw a runner out at any base. There isn’t Roberto Clemente or Dwight Evans in the game today.

    Jim Rice was a great ball player and belongs in the HOF. Thank God the fools responding here don’t get a vote. Rice’s teammates all thought he was a great teammate.

  10. chiefagc5675 - Jan 15, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Calcaterra is a doofus. Rice was correct- today’s players suck- most can’t or won’t bunt. All the one handed catches- there have to be some who got hit on the head or just missed the ball. Full disclosure- I never hit into a double play in the majors and never signed a multi-year contract.

  11. uncelbobby1 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    When Jim Rice was asked what he would’ve wanted to do more of in his career; his reply was to have hit more homers. He said that he did what he was told to do and that was to move runners over and had to give up those at bats in the process. Take a look at Tony Perez’ and Orlando Cepeda’s stats. If Rice doesn’t belong in the HOF neither do they. All three of them almost have identical stats.

  12. nashz84 - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    This would never happen , but how I wish athletes would get paid based on there performances instead of there agrees upon contracts

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