BANGOR – Red Sox nation runs deep in Maine. That was proven once again Thursday night as fans from Winslow to Caribou, and all the way from Allagash convened on the Gracie Theatre in Bangor for 92.9 the Ticket’s annual hot stove event with Hall of Famer Jim Rice.
Rice replaced the originally scheduled former Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who pulled out of the event in light of Major League Baseball’s investigation in to his involvement with the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.
The former left fielder spent his entire sixteen year career with Boston, Rice had his number retired by the Red Sox in 2009.
Thursday night in Bangor, Rice fielded questions about his playing career and gave thoughts on the current team; such as his view on the Mookie Betts contract situation..
“Mookie stays, goes, he’s going to do his best [for] whatever team he goes to, and that’s part of the makeup, and if the Red Sox are not happy with him, and if they think they can move Mookie to make the team better, they’re going to do it,” said Rice.
Much of Rice’s perceptions on today’s game surround his belief that the current MLB product has lost touch with the game. He frequently referenced his belief that baseball needs to return to the old school ideals he played the game with; a belief that also applies to the Red Sox manager search. “When you talk about making a change, and wanting to make a difference, you have to go back to old school. I think with the new generation now, with the analytical things like that, instead of just playing baseball, worried about home runs, I think you still have to worry about being a team and not a lot of individuals,” said Rice.