August 1, 2004


In short, it was time for him to go (Dan Shaughnessy, August 1, 2004, Boston Globe)

Thank the baseball god, he's gone. We no longer have to watch Nomar Garciaparra pretend that he cares about the fortunes of the Boston Red Sox.

This is a strange story. No one ever played harder, or gave more, to the Boston Red Sox and the citizens of Red Sox Nation than Nomar Garciaparra. He was probably the most popular Sox player since Ted Williams, and rightfully so; no player was more worthy of your applause. But at the same time, no player polluted the clubhouse more than Nomar, and in the end, he was the ultimate non-team guy.

He had to go. He was more miserable than any athlete I have ever seen. In the Sox clubhouse, he was as happy as Michael Moore at a Bush family reunion.

His misery dates back to before this season. After the Sox beat the Oakland A's in the fourth game of the 2003 Division Series, the Sox boarded the team bus for the first leg of their journey back to Oakland for the series finale. Everyone was buoyant and gripped with the prospect of going to Oakland and winning Game 5 . . . everyone except for the star shortstop. He got on the bus, turned toward the excited throng, and said, "Why is everyone so happy? As soon as we lose, everyone's just going to rip us."

That was Nomar. The ultimate downer. The wonderful talent who hated playing in a place where people cared too much.

He could really only go to the Cubs, eh?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 1, 2004 9:36 AM

Chicago Tribune headline:

"Nomar, no less"

Sportswriters here are all for it.

Posted by: Rick T. at August 1, 2004 11:19 AM

Should balance out the All star game.. was pretty silly that the AL had 5 shortstops (one playing third) that were better than any shortstop in the NL...

Posted by: MarkD at August 1, 2004 1:53 PM

Interesting how this will play out in Boston. As Shaunessy notes he was popular but people realized he hasn't been the same the past few years. A poll by one station showed almost 50-50 as to if this was ok or not. I thought they would only trade him for a Randy Johnson, not two no-namers. But this may be a case where the improvement in morale/team chemistry offsets the loss in talent.

Posted by: AWW at August 1, 2004 3:06 PM

Oh, yeah, I'm sure the Boston press has NOTHING to do with any Nomar mood changes ..... and the team management's salivation at trying to get ARod couldn't possibly have caused any problems. Yeah, it's all about Nomar and his attitude problem. Also, any chance Theo Epstein is a self-serving stat-obsessed jackass? Just asking.

We shall see - the Chicago sports press is much more forgiving ... to a fault, I'd say, but better that than the "chew them up and spit them out" style in NY and Boston.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at August 1, 2004 5:52 PM

We'd prefer a SS with less talent that played
every game.

Posted by: J.H. at August 2, 2004 11:11 AM

The Cubs are a game out of the wild card (the division is hopeless, of course). So the upgrade at short could make a difference. Really comes down to how much Garciaparra plays. If he starts almost every game, the trade looks good. If he's DL'd by the end of August...

No matter what happens, it's definitely a rental. Nomar ends up in LA next year.

Posted by: Casey Abell at August 2, 2004 12:28 PM