Derek Jeter’s an Icon…Jim Rice Is, and Always Was, Nothing!

August 24, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

Former Boston Red Sox outfielder and undeserving Hall of Famer, Jim Rice inexplicably criticized New York Yankees icon Derek Jeter at a news conference Friday before the start of the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.

“You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), you see (Derek) Jeter,” said Rice, 56, who had a cameo in the prequel to Brokeback Mountain-Fever Pitch, and who revealed during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech that he is a devoted fan of The Young and the Restless. “Guys that I played against and with, these guys you’re talking about cannot compare.”

The surly and unlikable eight-time All-Star selection, who was elected to Cooperstown by the skin of his grundle this summer on his 15th and final year of eligibility out of sheer pity, continued his unfounded rant.

“We didn’t have the baggy uniforms. We didn’t have the dreadlocks,” Rice said. “It was a clean game, and now they’re setting a bad example for the young guys.”

Granted, Rodriguez and Ramirez are not ideal role models and their legacies have been badly tarnished in recent years.

However, it is curious and comedic that Rice, who has been employed as a commentator for the New England Sports Network (NESN) since 2003, chastised two Yankees and Ramirez instead of Boston’s resident juicehead, David “Big Papi” Ortiz.

One can presume that “Theo and the Trio” gave Rice a sensual Lewinsky in appreciation for his inane speech shortly after he returned to Beantown from Williamsport.

The most puzzling portion of Rice’s tirade is his inclusion of Jeter, one of the classiest and most universally respected athletes in modern sports history.

Jeter, 35, who captured more crowns by the time he completed his 1996 rookie year than Rice did in his entire 16 seasons as a member of the Red Sox, has been the definition of professionalism both on and off of the field since he became a mega-celebrity at the age of 22.

When informed of Rice’s nonsensical remarks, Jeter reportedly appeared shocked and dumbfounded.

“I didn’t know I was like that,” quipped Jeter, a 10-time All-Star selection and four-time World Series champion. “That’s a first for me.”

In every conceivable aspect, Jeter is a winner and Rice is a loser.

“Mr. November,” a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and the all-time hits leader among shortstops, is a ballplayer that any Major League Baseball executive would covet.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King, a shamelessly biased fan of Boston’s sports teams who lives in that city’s South End, wrote in his NFL column Monday, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Derek Jeter’s the best baseball player of my lifetime.”

Derek Jeter may not actually be the best player of any “lifetime.” But he is by far a more accomplished and skilled player than Rice ever was.

Perhaps Rice can ponder that absolute fact during a commercial break for The Young and the Restless.

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