Monday, August 01, 2005

Give Wade some respect

Wade Boggs joined the Hall of Fame this week, but you might have missed it if you were living in Boston. It was a bigger deal in Boston when Dennis Eckersley was elected to the Hall. There's something wrong with the city when a player who built his Hall credentials in Oakland gets more acknowledgement than a player who built his Hall credentials in Boston.

Boggs had some flaws:
  • He embarrassed his team and himself with his Margo Adams affair (a story that was over exposed -- I'm sure he's the first athlete who cheated on his wife).
  • He was known to complain to an official score keeper about ruling a potential hit an error (all players do this, but Wade got criticized the most for doing it).
  • He went to the Yankees. (This is what bothered me the most about Boggs, but I've gotten over it. The Sox made no effort to re-sign him. Also, in my twisted mind, the image of Boggs winning a series as a Yankee doesn't bother me as much now the Red Sox won one).
  • He played too long just to get 3000 hits. (On the other hand, the Red Sox waited way too long to bring him up from the minors. I'm too lazy to look it up, but not many player reached 3000 in fewer games than Boggs.
Notice I didn't mention his refusal to hit for power as a flaw. This seems to be the first thing Boggs detractors complain about. Instead of looking at what Boggs could do, they concentrated on what he didn't do. All Boggs did was get on base a ton and score a lot of runs -- which I think is the point of baseball -- scoring more runs than the other team.

Look at his stats.
For seven straight years he had over 200 hits, walked a lot, and scored over 100 runs. In 1985 he had 240 hits, 107 runs, a .368 batting average, 42 doubles, and an on base percentage of .450. I wouldn't mind having a player like that hit in front of Ortiz and Manny.

Not everyone ignored Boggs going into the Hall of Fame. Bob Ryan wrote a nice article.

1 comment:

Patriotsy2k said...

A lot of people also remember what he said after signing with New York. Something about him forgetting about his time in Boston.
Anyways, he was a pleasure to watch and was a Boston fixture in the 80's, the decade I - and most people I know- started following baseball. A perennial selection to the All-Star game, Boggs came to play everyday and hardly ever was hurt. The Chicken Man was heavy into his superstitions, and heavy on getting on base by smacking the ball everywhere. While he may not have hit for power - as Alan said - he did bat over .400 between May of one season into May of the next. I believe it was between May of '88 into May '89.
Good point about Eck. That was a big deal, much more than Wade. Could it be cause Eck is now in the NESN studio, while Wade lounges in Tampa and stays clear of Boston? Maybe. I, however, will always admire Boggs as a Boston Red Sox and therefore look at someone like Eckersley as an Athletic who went against my team.