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The Pesky Poll
Capturing the Heart of Red Sox Nation
Poll, not Pole
Welcome to The Pesky Poll. Johnny Pesky is the heart of the Red Sox. The Pesky Poll is capturing the heart of Red Sox Nation.

This site is an exercise in collective or mass consciousness. If the members of Red Sox Nation put their mass positive thoughts together, we can create a mass positive reality (think endless World Series Championships!).

I have spanned the globe using my contacts all over the U.S., South America, and the far east into Japan to gain the most accurate worldwide opinions concerning the Red Sox. After much analysis and debate, I offer you this collective opinion.

Along with this collective opinion, I want to know what YOU think about the same poll question I offered to my contacts around the globe (hence Pesky's Poll, not Pole). If the majority of you agree with the opinion offered, then we are on the right track to some positive results. If not, then Red Sox Nation is in some trouble.

Of course, these polls take time to conduct so sometimes I will just throw in an entry to ponder and discuss. Let me know what you think just the same.

So read on, vote, and let's control the course of our beloved Red Sox.

Should Jim Rice be elected into the Hall of Fame in 2009, his final year on the ballot?


Once again, Jim Ed Rice will have to be satisfied with having been considered one of the most feared hitters in baseball.  Rice only gained 72.2% of the needed 75% of the votes (16 votes shy) to become a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame.  There is hope, however.  Rice has been on the ballot for 14 years and each year has gained more votes than the previous year.  Also, only 20 players have gained more than 70% but less than 75% of the vote to get into the hall, and each of those players was eventually voted in.  The bad news is that next year is Rice’s 15th and final year on the Hall of Fame ballot.  It stands to reason that Rice will get voted in next year, but it shouldn’t have come to this.


During his 16 seasons in the majors, Rice was one of the most feared hitters in the game.  Now that he awaits his entrance into the Hall and to baseball immortality, Jim Rice has become a GW Bush of the baseball world.  Voters and critics are polarized by him, either thinking he definitely should or should not be in the Hall.  Convincing arguments have been made for both sides.


Jim Rice never reached those “automatic” Hall of Fame statistics (pre-steroid era “automatic” statistics anyway) of 3,000 hits, 400 home runs, 2,000 RBI’s, or a .300 batting average.  Over 16 seasons in the majors, he did accumulate an impressive 2,452 hits, 382 home runs, 1451 RBI’s, and a .298 batting average.  Rice was voted in the top 5 for the MVP award 6 times, winning it once.  In 1978, he was first in home runs and RBI’s and third in average, just missing the prestigious Triple Crown (being first in each category).  Rice was elected to 8 All-Star games.  He is the only player in major league history to have 3 consecutive seasons hitting 200+ hits and 39+ home runs. 


Check out the 10 players most similar to Jim Rice (based on statistics) on www.baseball-reference.com.  Four of the 10 are Hall of Famers (Orlando Cepeda, Duke Snider, Billy Williams, and Willie Stargel).  A great aspect of Rice’s career too is that he got stronger as the season went on.  His numbers rose steadily month to month through September/October throughout his playing days.  That is the kind of production a team needs from its star players.


Though Rice is remembered for his offensive gifts, he was an adequate left fielder for the Red Sox.  He ended his career with a .980 fielding percentage as he came to peace with the Green Monster over the years.


There is some legitimate criticism of Rice’s career.  For 6-7 years, he was one of the most dominant offensive players in the game.  After that time, his numbers did start to decline to baseball mediocrity though he remained feared.    He was also much more productive when playing at home (.320/208/802) than on the road (.277/174/649).  Pesky’s Poll says that being more comfortable at Fenway than at Yankee Stadium just means you’re a civilized human being, and this should not be held against you.


Statistically, Jim Rice is not a first ballot Hall of Famer, but his career should be based on much more.  Pesky’s Poll has done its homework and offers you some other considerations. 


My contact in Japan had an impressive story to relay.  “In 1983, a survey was conducted throughout all of Japan.  When asked who they would want to protect them if Godzilla were to invade their town, 67% voted for Jim Rice.  Bruce Lee was a distant second with 17%.”


A friend in the Dominican Republic convinced us further.  “My daughter was dating a real scum bag -- someone you would cross the street to avoid.  The more I complained to my daughter and the more I threatened this guy, the more they saw of each other.  So one day I pull this guy aside.  I tell him ‘My friend Jim Rice is coming to stay for awhile.  I gave him a job to do.  He’s going to escort you on all the dates you take my daughter on.’  That was the last we ever saw of him, and life has been great ever since.  Funny thing is I’ve never even met Jim Rice.  I do still keep a picture of him above my door, though, to ward away evil.”


Statistics make you a player, but stories like these make you a legend.  Pesky’s Poll has determined that Jim Rice should be in baseball’s Hall of Fame (at the very least there should be a spot in the Hall of Fame for people who broke bats by taking check swings).  Positive actions are in motion and ready to take over in 2009.  What does the rest of Red Sox Nation think?  Answer the poll below to determine the future of Mr. Rice

23rd-Feb-2008 04:31 pm - Shilling is getting a raw deal

I suppose it is hard to feel bad for a guy that stands to make $8 million this year for pitching a half season at most.  Taking the money out of the equation, Curt Schilling is getting hosed by the Red Sox.  However, being the team guy that he is, Schilling will go along with the team’s wishes and rehabilitate his shoulder instead of undergoing surgery, which is what he wanted to do.


Schilling is one of those guys that opponents love to hate.  He even rubs a lot of Red Sox Nation the wrong way.  Schilling knows when to shut up, he just chooses not to.  But nobody can deny the guy is a gamer.  He has been since he walked through the door at Fenway.  He has been on every other team he has played for and that’s why so many fans admire him.  Pesky’s Poll (PP) had Schilling over for dinner upon his arrival to Boston in 2004.  We couldn’t wait for him to leave, but we love to watch him play.  He is fierce, intense, and he only gets better when there is more on the line.  Success doesn’t follow him around because he is lucky.  Schilling creates winning situations with hard work and the drive to win.  With this in mind, the man should go under the knife if that is what he wanted to do.


Schilling was given a mission in 2004: to help end an 86 year drought and relive the pain of Red Sox Nation.  He took on this challenge, went 21-6 in the regular season, and we all know the rest.  The man basically gave up an effective 2005 season and pitched through the pain of the 2004 post season to accomplish his mission.  Then he went 3-0 in the 2007 post season just for emphasis. 


It is very unclear if Schilling will pitch at all this season, even if he had undergone surgery.  And of course the Red Sox suits have to try and field the best team they can to continue winning championships.   Obviously a post season team with Curt Schilling is better than one without him.  He is one of the best post season pitchers of all time (11-2, 2.23 ERA in 19 games).  With all the young arms on the Red Sox staff, having the experience of Schilling in the playoffs would be invaluable. PP has no doubt the Red Sox think they are doing what is in the best interest of Schilling and the team, but with results from both courses of action (the rehabilitation route or surgery) being so uncertain, we think Schilling has earned the right to make his own decision on this one.


With consistent poor weather here in northern New England, PP didn’t have the opportunity to do extensive polling on this topic.  However, with the polling we were able to do, we found that 7 out of 10 people felt that bloody hosiery and two World Series rings means you can get chopped up if you want.  Hopefully the Red Sox going against Schilling’s wishes does not mess with the fate of the season.  This could get very dramatic.  Changing the course of these events may be out of our hands, but go to a quiet place, think good thoughts, and hope for the best.  

23rd-Feb-2008 04:31 pm(no subject)

What was the correct course of action for Curt Shilling?

He should have been allowed to have surgery.
The Red Sox have it right- rest, rehabilitation, and shoulder strengthening is the answer.
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