Sep 27, 2014 4:55 PM

Jim Rice’s old gaffe on Derek Jeter is a whopper

Jim Rice has done and said things that could charitably be called stupid. But as Derek Jeter takes his final bows this weekend, let us recall Rice’s most foolish utterance, which came long after his playing and coaching days were done. In 2009, speaking to a group of players on the eve of the Little League World Series, Rice went on a tangent that ultimately body-slammed the man’s credentials as an assessor of human behavior. Like most of us who reach an age at which the old days were clearly better, Rice lumped Jeter in with the likes of Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez in terms of their words and deeds. In short, Rice inferred that the above mentioned trio are bad role models for young ballplayers. He swept away Jeter’s spotless reputation with the same broom he used on Ramirez’s and Rodriguez’s checkered pasts, thus qualifying as one of the worst you-kids-get-off-my-lawn moments in the annals of grouchy geezers. Physically, Rice was 56 at the time of this rhetorical felony, but like many old ballplayers, at some point he emotionally adopted a decade or three. Since there are no living saints, it is safely assumed that Jeter has also said and done things he now regrets.


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