|Screen grab of Jim Rice from NESN’s program “Jim Rice: Journey to Cooperstown”.
I’ve missed chunks of both Toronto games because of feeling crappy but I was determined to stay fully awake to watch NESN’s mini-documentary on Jim Rice. My only real complaint is that it wasn’t long enough. I think they could have filled 60 minutes as easily as they did 30 – but all in all it was a joy to watch. Jim is obviously beside himself at his inclusion into the Hall of Fame and I thought going back to his hometown and hearing about how and where he got his start was fascinating. (As an aside, I really miss Howard Bryant in Boston. He had great insight to aspects of Jim Ed that have long gone complained about.)
NESN didn’t sugarcoat Jim either – not even in the brief time they gave the show – we got to hear various Boston sports writers complain about how awful he was to them. Dan Shaughnessy made an appearance (is it written somewhere that any time a film is made about Boston sports that he has to be in it? Aren’t there other writers with as much experience and talent who could pitch in?) to tell us all that Rice’s issues with the press were unwarranted. But there was also Dennis Eckersley Jerry Remy and Carl Yastrzemski as well as his outfield partners Dwight Evans and Fred Lynn to tell us what a great player he was. It really was about as balanced a piece as you could ask of the station that employs him.
One of my favorite parts was Eck going on about Rice’s work ethic. I know there are still plenty of players with a good, solid, work ethic – but I think that’s part of Jim Ed’s game that gets forgotten. As Eck put it “162 games…one year 163!” <- (maybe not the exact quote!) Rice was always critical of Manny Ramirez and always sang Nomar Garciaparra’s praises. One of the main reasons seems to be based on what he perceived as their work ethic (or lack thereof). While he’s also one of my all-time favorite players I also appreciate what he brings to the NESN coverage. He isn’t afraid to call players out, using himself as an example. I respect that.
I’m so looking forward to his Hall of Fame induction. I’m just sorry I won’t be there to witness it in person.
One more day for recovery and I’m hoping to be good as new! I’m also hoping that Jon Lester wins the match-up against Roy Halladay. (Also worth some attention in the rubber match: With a day off for Mike Lowell, Jed Lowrie will be at third. What his success there means, even short-term, excites me. EDITED TO ADD: The lineup change is actually giving Jed the day off too. Kotsay at first, Green at short and Youk at third. This makes me feel better about the defense behind Lester – no offense to Jed!)
One last note, a special shout-out to those of you kind enough to leave comments or send emails, regarding my previous post, that did nothing but insult my looks and complain that I’m jealous of Heidi Watney. Congratulations on simultaneously missing my point and making my point.
Please win, fellas. Leave Toronto on a high note (especially after what Clay did on Friday!).