Today in The Boston Herald, Tony Massarotti has a “Jim Rice belongs in the HOF” article. His look at voting trends is interesting (how is it possible that the amount of votes a player receives could change so much from year to year?); however he provides no real evidence as to why Rice should be inducted. For the most part, he assumes it is self-evident, though he does provide this reasoning:
A few things about the voting process: First, remember that it is an election no different than the Most Valuable Player award or the Gold Glove award voting, which means it is inevitably flawed. Second, sportswriters are a stubborn lot. Baseball history has been spotted with transgressions in voting – from Ted Williams being left off the Hall of Fame ballot to Pedro Martinez enduring the same in MVP voting – for no other reason than because a New York sportswriter felt it was his right.
With regard to Rice, there is no way of measuring whether the latter factor will come into play. But what we do know is that Rice has every bit the credentials (and then some) of, say, Tony Perez, a nice guy who was elected into Cooperstown in 2000. That same season, Rice was named on just 51.5 percent of the ballots cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America, meaning that he was named on 128 fewer ballots than Perez.
So what I gather is that Rice should be a HOFer because A) there are people from New York voting (and therefore are biased against him apparently) and B) Rice is as good as a player who was unjustly voted into the hall based on playing performance.