Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Anyone who gets baseball knows Tim Raines was a very smart player -- just look at his walk-to-strikeout ratio or his base-stealing percentage.

In his post-playing career, he's revealed he's sharper about baseball stats than some of the baseball writers who are trusted to judge him in the Baseball Hall of Fame voting.

In an interview at with Jonah Keri, who's one of the headliners of the raines30 website, Raines indirectly commented on the idiocy of Philadelphia Phillies' Jimmy Rollins being elected National League MVP last season.
Keri: Are there any (leadoff hitters) now that remind you of yourself, or (Rickey) Henderson?

Raines: The closest guy to the two of us is (José) Reyes. It's hard to come up with another.
It's hard to come up with another. This came moments after Raines noted, "In the last few years especially, people don't really look at leadoff guys as much."

Is it not telling when a leadoff hitter is elected MVP and it apparently escapes the recall of one of the all-time leadoff hitters? There was probably no slant or slight intended, but it was some curious.

For pity's sake, leading off is about getting on base. Rollins' on-base percentage (.344) was some 20 points lower than the OBP (.365) for the other Phillies hitters, not counting pitchers. He had good counting stats, but he plays in a hitter's park and had a record number of at-bats.

A modest proposal: If Raines has to wait until next year, or perhaps 2010, to enter the shrine, maybe he should be allowed to weigh in on who should be inducted into the writers' wing of the Hall of Fame. Clearly, he gets it as well as a lot of people who are paid to get it.

(UPDATE: Here's a weird case in point... Vegas Watch and some of the arguments against Raines; via Deadspin. Naturally, a couple of the first comments on Deadspin's thread are about Raines' cocaine habit, and sadly, are from Canadians. How pitiful is that?)

Raines: 'I played the game with excitement, focus' (Jonah Keri, Dec. 29, for


Gourmet Spud said...

I didna mention the cocaine thing until the fourth comment. Some credit for restraint?

Tim Raines Cocaine Surplus said...

Oh Snap! He just called you a bitch and a pitiful "Canadian" for writing that cheap shot at the end of your post! Blog Fight!

sager said...

Restraint would be to not have that be your first point of reference, how's that sound?

It was 25 years ago and Raines owned up to his indiscretion. Let it go.

Gourmet Spud said...

I'll let it go when Raines pays me his half for that eight ball we did at The Rum Shack in '86, and not a moment sooner.

Now Tim Wallach - there was a man who knew his blow etiquette!

sager said...

Does he have to pay in constant dollars, or with interest?

sager said...

(Oh, and to be honest, I was referring to another comment at Deadspin ... not sayin' which one.)

In From Right Field said...

Uh oh sounds like someone is taking the easy way out... not sayin' which one.

Gourmet Spud said...

At this point, I'd be happy if Raines just apologized.

And if he gets in, he has to wear the 'Spos hat, right?

sager said...

Has to... you're saying it like it's a bad thing!

Anonymous said...

Naturally, the first comment on Deadspin's thread is about Raines' cocaine habit, and sadly, it's from a Canadian. How pitiful is that?)

Hello. I saw this link, and I was just wondering who you were referring to.

sager said...

Can the cross-examination. I was actually referring to a pair of comments high up in the thread.

No one has any claim on any kind of high ground if they're so puerile, trivial and holier-than-thou that their first reference point with Tim Raines is that he had a problem with the nose candy back in the early '80s.

A lot of people did coke. You can't not acknowledge it, but it's long past time to let it die. Cocaine's a hell of a drug? Well, Tim Raines was a hell of a ballplayer who was underappreciated, largely thanks to people who obsess over trivialities.