Monday, January 12, 2009


After 15 years on the ballot, Red Sox left-fielder Jim Rice was finally sent to Cooperstown to take his rightful place among baseball's greatest. This was Jim Rice's last year of Hall of Fame eligibility, and he barely made it in, registering 76.4% of the vote, only 7 votes above the required 75%.

Rice was an 8 time All-Star, starting 4 times. He won the MVP in 1978, and came close to winning the award in several other seasons, most notably in 1975 when teammate Fred Lynn edged Rice for both MVP and Rookie of the Year.

Rice's numbers don't astound contemporary baseball fan. 382 career homeruns, a .298 average, and 1,451 RBIs pale in comparison to some of the stats hitters have put up since the 1990s.

Jim Edmonds also has 382 homeruns. 1,451 RBIs is 56th all-time, and Rice's .502 slugging percentage is 89th.

But when Rice played, he was one of the most feared hitters in the American League. He had 8 seasons of 100+ RBI, and four seasons over 120.

Rice is one of those borderline Hall of Famers, as indicated by his tenure on the ballot and the slim margin with which he was inducted. But he is a Hall of Famer. He joins the presitigious club of Hall of Fame left-fielders who wore a Red Sox uniform. Ted Williams. Carl Yastrzemski. And now Jim Rice.

NY Times


For the fourth time under Bill Belichick, the Patriots have lost another coordinator. This time it was offensive guru Josh McDaniels, who will be named head coach of the Denver Broncos later this evening.

This was an inevitability. McDaniels was the brains behind one of the best offenses the NFL has ever seen, an offense that continued to score even when it lost Tom Brady. Denver already has the offensive weapons McDaniels can utilize, and if paired with an experienced defensive coordinator, he could be very successful, particularly in the lackluster AFC West.

There are also strong rumors that Scott Pioli will take over as Kansas City's GM.

All I can say is, on the bright side, at least McDaniels and Pioli aren't going to AFC East teams.


This goes to the GM, head coach, owner, front office person, or any other guy/gal who doesn’t actually play, but makes a major impact on a team. Here are the nominees:

Jerry York - Head Coach, BC Hockey
Danny Ainge - GM, Boston Celtics
Doc Rivers - Head Coach, Boston Celtics
Claude Julien - Head Coach, Boston Bruins
Peter Chiarelli - GM, Boston Bruins
Terry Francona - Manager, Boston Red Sox

And the winner is...

Claude Julien of the Bruins!

Unlike his three coaching colleagues in Boston, Claude Julien doesn't have the best talent money can buy. There are no equivalents of Randy Moss, Kevin Garnett, or Josh Beckett on the Bruins. There is talent, and depth, and leadership, but the B's still lack the household names and the celebrity of the other Boston teams.

Julien is difficult to notice during a hockey game, as most good coaches in the sport are. The occasional shuffling of lines, when to take the timeout, and when to pull a goalie are the only decisions we get to see. The measure of an NHL head coach is in the personality of his team.

The Bruins don't have the big names of a team like Detroit, but they have the confidence, cohesiveness, imposing attitude, and relentless drive of a winner. And that all starts with the head coach.

The playoff series against Montreal in April exemplifies the Bruins' personality. After being owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Canadiens, the B's took them to 7 games and made them work for advancement. The Bruins never even held a lead against Montreal until that playoff series.

And now they're on top of the Eastern Conference, tied with San Jose for the most in the NHL, 11 points ahead of the Rangers and Capitals for best Conference record, 12 points ahead of Montreal in the division. The Bruins have thrived despite injuries. They've scored the most goals in the NHL and allowed the fewest.

Everyone on the Bruins fights for their teammates. They play selflessly with winning as their only goal. That doesn't happen by coincidence. It starts with having a great head coach, and Claude Julien has been that.


This year's Boston Blood Sox Lifetime Achievement Award goes to the head coach of the Boston College hockey team: Jerry York.

The Watertown native and BC alum coached the Eagles to their 3rd national title in April, defeating Notre Dame 4-1 in the title game. BC also won the Hockey East tournament, as well as the Beanpot.

Before coming back to Chestnut Hill in 1994, York coached Clarkson, winning Division 1 Coach of the Year Honors in 1977. He then moved on to Bowling Green State, where he coached the Falcons to multiple conference titles, and a National Championship in 1984. It would be his first of three Championships.

He took over a struggling BC program in 1994. By 1998, he and the Eagles were back in the NCAA Tournament after a 6 year absence. BC advanced to the finals that year.

A list of BC's accomplishments during York's tenure:

4 Beanpots (94, 01, 04, 08)

4 Hockey East regular season titles (01, 03, 04, 05)

6 Hockey East tournament titles (98, 99, 01, 05, 07, 08)

10 NCAA tournament appearances (98, 99, 00, 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08)

8 Frozen Four appearances (98, 99, 00, 01, 04, 06, 07, 08)

6 Finals appearances (98, 00, 01, 06, 07, 08)

2 National Championships (01, 08)

He has 813 career wins and counting, the most among active coaches, and the second most in NCAA history. He's turned Boston College into a consistently powerful program, among the best in the country, if not the best.