Jim Rice has been running his mouth since being inducted into the Hall of Fame. After expressing his rather extreme view on steroids (and how no user should ever be allowed into the Hall), he added this little nugget:
"You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod [Alex Rodriguez], you see [Derek] Jeter ... Guys that I played against and with, these guys you're talking about cannot compare."
Pardon me? Did I read that correctly? Derek Jeter?
Well, he didn't explicitly say it was Derek, but I can't think of any other Jeter, except that guy who was on Studio 60, and I don't think Rice was referring to him.
I don't need to get into statistical details. I don't need to mention how Derek Jeter has the most hits of any shortstop, or how he's led the MLB in hits over the past decade or so. I'm not going to discuss this because Rice isn't talking stats: he's talking about being a role model.
And now the jaws drop. Derek Jeter is not a good role model? Is Rice serious?
According to the linked article, Rice believes that "today's major leaguers are too focused on individual goals and getting big contracts."
Derek Jeter is self absorbed? The guy who risks injuries to make plays? The guy who only talks about championships, and refuses to talk about individual milestones? Are we talking about the same Derek Jeter?
Rice continued: "We didn't have the baggy uniforms. We didn't have the dreadlocks. It was a clean game, and now they're setting a bad example for the young guys."
Baggy uniforms? Yes, that's totally the problem. Such a horrible example. By the way, has this guy ever seen a picture of Babe Ruth?
But back to Jeter: is his uniform really baggy? No, it's not. Does Jeter have dreadlocks? No, and neither does A-Rod (whose uniform isn't baggy either). He seems to be talking about only Manny Ramirez, and his inclusion of the Yankees stars is rather curious.
Continuing in the article: "Asked later at a news conference to list current players worthy of the Hall of Fame, Rice suggested Seattle Mariner outfielders Ichiro Suzuki and Ken Griffey Jr., and Chicago White Sox slugger Jim Thome."
Funny how he mentioned Jeter earlier, but not among potential Hall of Famers. Why no Jeter, Mr. Rice? Any particular reason? Could it be the bad example he's setting for the kids? You know, by playing his hardest and establishing charities, and playing the game cleanly, and never causing any trouble? Is that why he doesn't belong in the Hall?
"He said he believes current Hall of Famers who did not cheat don't want players who took performance-enhancing drugs to join them in the Hall. Flexing the muscles in his right arm, Rice said, 'That's all the steroids you need . . . It's called God-given talent.'"
Oh jeez. It's the steroids, isn't it? Because you just listed known steroid users. Manny Ramirez. Alex Rodriguez. And... Derek Jeter?
I'm sorry, Jim, but you seem really confused. Maybe it's your age getting to your head. Maybe it's your ego. I mean, you're a Hall of Famer! Who cares how long it took for you to get in, or how people still contend you don't deserve it? You're in, and now you can say whatever you want! Even if it doesn't make sense!
I hope Rice took steroids. I really do.