Another result of the Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) Scandals of Major League Baseball, is the continued commentary of those former major leaguer's who played before the PED era. They played hard and did not require the use of "supplements" to perform their craft every day. They were not handed bushel's of money, and were not consumed with the prospect of breaking records, that seemed previously unattainable.
Normally, it is refreshing to hear from these players, who have accepted that they played in a different era and were not accorded the riches of today's players. I have nothing but the utmost respect for many of the former major leaguer's who are responsible for giving so much to Major League Baseball.
However, recently, Jim Rice while speaking to a group of Little Leaguers at the Little League World Series, illustrated his resentment of today's baseball players. He chose to call out Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter as those athletes who should not be looked up to or revered as role models.
The only common thread for each of those players is that none of them play for the Boston Red Sox. He also chose to omit David Ortiz from this group.
Further he chose to identify three players who were worth of Hall of Fame status, Ken Griffey, Jr., Ichiro Suzuki and Jim Thome. I wonder what baseball games Jim has been watching the past ten years.
Omitting Derek Jeter from Hall of Fame status, is bordering on the absurd. His statistics, and contribution to baseball on and off the field is undeniable. If Derek had worn the Red Sox uniform would he qualify for Hall of Fame consideration based upon Mr. Rice's standards.
This comes from a man who was once seen in Seattle handing out autographs only for money, and laughing all the way to the dugout while counting his money. He also was quoted as saying the only reason he plays baseball was for the money, and not the love of the game.
Mr. Rice certainly is not a role model for those same little leaguer's he spoke to, and should shy away from judging players such as Derek Jeter, without reviewing his own actions and words.
Perhaps it is no surprise it took 20 years after his retirement to be voted into Cooperstown.