Friday, September 25, 2009

Jim Ed Rice - Oh Man. Shush Already

Jim Rice hasn't exactly lit up the world since he was voted into the Hall of Fame. While this writer still thinks that vote was dubious, it is clear that Rice has strong opinions and those opinions are even more dubious. First he disses several current Yankees including Derek Jeter by telling a bunch of kids that the players in question aren't good roll models. Now he comes up with this gem. (The headline is more spurious than the actual post if you click on the link in the word, "gem.")

Let's start with the opening headline of Rice's winner: "Greinke is a Good Pitcher, Not Dominant." Let's at least give Rice's site props for capitalizing the heading, a rarity these days. But other than that, what a dumb thing to say. Not dominant? 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings, not dominant? Uh. That's a really good number for a relief pitcher. But a starter? That seems to be dominant. Batters have a .608 OPS against him. That means that on average, every batter he faces is WORSE than Yuniesky Betancourt. That sounds dominant, no? He has given up 0.5 homers per nine innings. The league average is 1.0. Sure sounds dominant.

If you turn Rice's words around, he's really dissing his own team. Greinke wasn't dominant, but the Red Sox didn't do anything with him? That must mean that the Red Sox weren't up for just a plain old good pitcher. Oops.

Rice's big point was that Greinke wasn't as dominant as Pedro Martinez or Roger Clemens. If he made the point that Greinke hasn't been as dominant for as long as those guys, that would be valid. But for this season at least, Greinke is in the ball park. Zack Greinke is as dominant as there is in the American League this season.

Proverbs 18: 1-2 says: "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." That has been corrupted to today to be: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." The problem is that he gets paid by NESN to speak no matter what comes out of his mouth.

Rice is just another old ball player stuck in the past who believes that what he "knows" and what he "sees" is more reliable than data because, after all, he was a star player. Now with HOF cred, he is even more empowered to believe what he believes. Oh well. Knowledge is knowledge and with all the thoughtful and informed writers all over the country with knowledge at their fingertips. Those sheer numbers of educated people will surely overcome one old foo...err...player.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

If Greinke hasn't been dominant this year, no pitcher has ever been dominant. Not an intelligent thing to say, Mr. Rice.