Saturday, August 22, 2009

Age Is More Than Your Birthday

Jim Rice was very unpopular with many sportswriters in his playing days. They didn't understand him.

Rice was not a hostile man, as was commonly supposed. But as his remarks yesterday about Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter (?) make clear, Rice was, is and always will be a profoundly stuffy man. He was an old baseball fuddy-duddy when he was young, strong, terrorizing American League pitchers and possessed of a future of limitless promise, most of which he went on to fulfill.

One thing about covering baseball. It is a given that x percent of old-timers you meet will despise the modern game and players. By listening closely to active players, one can determine pretty easily which ones will become the most vehement denouncers of the future game when THEY become old-timers. I've had Rice on this list since 1979.

That's not a sin. Pomposity is neither good nor evil. It does not, however, cause the world to beat a path to one's door.


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