Rice, Carter shouldn't be that far apart in Hall voters' opinions

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:04 AM ET

You can't blame Joe Carter for wondering.

You can't blame him, even if you're like me and don't care much for him, if he chooses to be bitter.

Carter, the longtime Blue Jay, isn't on the Hall of Fame ballot anymore. He didn't get the required votes a year ago to stay active. But there was Jim Rice the other day, named on 337 of 520 ballots, still on the outside but at least still in the hunt for the Hall.

Carter and Rice each played 16 major-league seasons. Career, they are only 100 at-bats apart. Carter hit 16 more home runs than Rice -- 396 to 382. Rice knocked in five more runs -- 1451 to 1445. The power numbers -- not batting average numbers -- are that close.

Carter was the better baserunner, probably even better in the field.

Yet he's done, dropped from the ballot a year ago after getting less than 5% of the vote the first time around. He must see the votes Rice gets -- 65% -- and wonder why not him. His career may not have been Hall of Fame material -- but there's no way 337 votes separate him and Jim Rice. No way.

THIS AND THAT

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HERE AND THERE

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SCENE AND HEARD

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AND ANOTHER THING

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