Is it too late to take back Jim Rice's election to the Hall of Fame?
Not because he wasn't a good enough player to earn enshrinement, although there's a strong argument on that front, but because someone with such a tenuous grasp of baseball history and knowledge shouldn't be honored with a place in its most hallowed place. Rice was asked about never winning a World Series during his career with the Boston Red Sox and, rather than answering intelligently, Rice just blamed George Steinbrenner.
"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."
During Rice's career, which predated the Wild Card, the Yankees won the AL East five times and the Red Sox won it three times. One of the five Yankee wins, of course, came on a dramatic Bucky Dent home run in a one-game playoff against the Red Sox. In 1975 and 1986, the Red Sox advanced to the World Series and in both cases they lost in seven games. Neither of those World Series featured the Yankees.
The Yankees may have spent more money in Rice's career, but, as you can see above, it is false that they had a demonstrably better team. Rice's era, like Ted Williams', is marked by near misses that had to do with one or two games over a 162-game season. Such is life in baseball, something you'd think that someone with Rice's longevity would have figured out at some point in the last 30 years.
The reasons that the Red Sox didn't win a World Series in Rice's career are because John McNamara was clueless as to how to manage a bullpen or his bench in 1986, and because Rice himself didn't play in the 1975 Series against the Reds. It's easier to blame Big Stein than yourself, though.