Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Boggs and Sandberg

I'm sure you'll find a million web sites that will give you all sorts of statistical analysis relating to the skills of new baseball Hall of Famers Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg. Allow me to skip all of that, as I throw out completely unsubstantiated opinions of the two players.

Let's start with Mr. Boggs. I always hated him, and I'm a Red Sox fan. Some of that is my own fault, for in the early 80's I had no concept of the value of On Base Percentage (just like everyone else). Having said that, I hated the "chicken every meal" thing, the whole Margo Adams affair, and even that episode of him "willing himself invisible" during a carjacking, or whatever it was. Also, I knew, as did every other Sox fan, that Boggs had taken getting on base to an extreme. As good of a hitter as he was, you could always count on him to get a walk if there were runners on base and first was open. The situation never mattered, nor did how much we yelled at our tv sets - Boggs was not going to swing, didn't care about driving home the winning run, unless he got "his pitch". I was glad to see him go to the Yankees, where I could root against him openly, and honestly.

Then, there's Sandberg. A Grade B Hall of Famer if there ever was one, Sandberg benefited greatly from playing his home games in that walk-in closet they call a ballpark. Jeff Kent has an MVP award and better numbers to boot (granted he played in a hitters era) but I doubt you'll see him with a plaque.

As you can see, I'm hard on the Hall of Famers now that they're putting in players that I've seen. Of course, I think Jim Rice, Goose Gossage, and Bruce Sutter should all be in there. I'd love to see peak value more rewarded. Right now, you need a long career, or World Series heroics, or to be a part of folklore in some way, and that sucks.

But hey, if that's the largest injustice in the world, I can live with it. Congratulations Wade and Ryne. You kind of deserve it.


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