On Monday current NESN Red Sox commentator and would-be Hall of Famer Jim Rice sat down for a Q & A session with fans in Watertown, New York, as recounted by an article in the “Watertown Daily Times” and despite the fact that the article’s author takes a glowing, hagiographical tone with regards to Rice, and expresses complete bafflement that Rice is not in the Hall of Fame yet, Rice still manages to come across as selfish, delusional, and basically a jackass.
The biggest surprise was when Rice, despite being arguably and employee of the Red Sox, rips Manny Ramirez when apparently asked to comment on Manny’s 500th homer:
“I’m tired of people saying, ‘Manny being Manny,’” Rice said. “It’s not like I’d take my 11-year old kid to go out and watch ‘Manny being Manny,’ that’s not baseball. (Sunday) he hit home run 501, but, even though he hit 501 they still almost lost the game. Did you see those two plays he made out in left field? Now, do you want your kid to be ‘Manny being Manny’ missing those balls?
Apparently in an attempt at subtlety, Rice also took a less direct shot at Manny by discussing how he had the pressure to be a team leader, and just so happening to mention the time he allegedly saved the life of a kid who was struck by a foul ball in 1981.
Other surprising comments from Rice included the assertion that the only reason he is not in the Hall of Fame is because all the writers who saw him play are dead, despite the fact that most people think the only reason Rice has gotten as much support as he has is because the BWAA actually has too many old writers who are looking back through rose-colored nostalgia-tinted glasses.
Rice also claimed that the only people tainted by the steroids scandals are the players who took steroids, that those players alone are to blame for the infiltration of steroids in baseball, and that the game is entirely clean today.
Perhaps most bizarrely of all, Rice ranted that the major leagues today are “too big” and that this means that the quality of play is much lower, and that only a single player on the 2007 world champion Red Sox would *maybe* have made the 1975 squad that lost the World Series to the Reds:
“The only one that would’ve made it, is maybe Papelbon,” Rice said. “Because we had Dick Drago out there, Papelbon has a little more velocity than him.”
Overall, Rice seems to have a massively over-inflated sense of himself and appears to be more than a little out of touch with reality.