01/18: Jim Rice: No Ring Because of Steinbrenner
Posted by: Seamus
From Newsday's David Lennon:
"During that time, Steinbrenner spent more money than the Red Sox," Rice said. "He had more free agents. So when you get the best free agents, and you get the superstars from other ballclubs, that's what made you have a better team. The more money you can spend, the better you should get."
Gee, I wonder how much money Bucky Dent was making when he doomed the Red Sox' season in 1978? I wonder who was blaming Steinbrenner when the Sox had a 14-game lead in August of that year. Oh, and I bet it was George Steinbrenner's fault that Bill Buckner couldn't handle a routine ground ball, or that the Red Sox couldn't hold a 2-run, nobody on lead with one out to go against the Mets.
Let's be realistic here. During Rice's 16-year career in Boston, the Yankees won the American League East five times ('76, '77, '78, '80, '81). Of those five years, the Red Sox finished 2nd only once (1978). I don't know why the Yankees' spending machine should be to blame for the Red Sox finishing 3rd or 4th almost every time the Yankees won. Second, Jim Rice played all throughout the 80's, in which the Yankees made the playoffs only twice. I don't see the beef here.
Rice goes on to whine about the Steinbrenners' influence on today's game:
"The Yankees haven't won in the last eight years. What do they do? They go out and buy high-priced players in the hope to get back the winning percentage they had 10 years ago."
While ignoring the fact that the Yankees have actually decreased payroll this offseason, Rice also had nothing to say about his $133 million Red Sox machine losing the ALCS to a team with a payroll of $43 million. I bet he wouldn't have had anything to say about any "unfair advantage" should the Sox have won that series.
I just don't get it. If a Pirates fan wants to complain about the economics of baseball, that's one thing. But enough from these Sox fans and players already. This is like Donald Trump crying poverty because Bill Gates suddenly decides to move into town.
Maybe Rice should point more to his .225/.313./.366 career in the postseason. And you thought A-Rod was bad...