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Home » Around Baseball & Essential EmpyMay 2006 » Short-Changed


One of the big lies demographics experts tell sports media machines is that that sports fans want a player that is all flash, no substance. These marketeers tell oblivious programming heads that the public wants sound bites, not hard-bitten play on the field. The more scandalous, extreme, and tawdry, the better. Twenty-four hour non-stop coverage in every conceivable mode of communication predicates the constant prowl for the next greatest, biggest, shiniest thing to catch the ever-more-distracted viewer’s eye and ear.

The truth is, sports fans probably want a mixture of both outrageous plays and extravagant sayings. Which might be why Nomar Garciaparra seems globally misunderstood and underappreciated.

Nomar is the epitome of throwback baseball. He doesn’t rehearse speeches, cares not a whit about which lighting angle flatters him most. His postgame interviews are a litany of clichés and platitudes. He is a tremendous baseball talent in a market that craves, nay, demands to have its every whim catered. Not just plain catering from the local restaurant, either: full spreads with Cristal champagne fountains, ice sculptures of Versailles, and entrées (yes, “entrées,” not plain old “entrees”) comprised of the meat of endangered game.

No, Nomar will not be your server for this evening.

Garciaparra began his first season as the Dodgers’ first baseman on April 22nd. Since that day, he has a .341 batting average, a .418 OBP, and .647 slugging percentage, with five home runs in 85 at bats.

Slowly but surely, salvos that Nomar could have released in the public relations war with certain parties of the Red Sox front office are coming to light, as this quote from Nick Cafardo’s recent article in the Boston Globe illustrates:

One of Garciaparra’s ex-teammates in Boston said the Dodgers and Yankees made the same offer, but Garciaparra chose LA because, “He always considers himself a Red Sox. That’s one thing people don’t understand about Nomar. He would have never signed with the Yankees because he always thought of himself as a Red Sox player.”

Everyone’s clamoring for Roger Clemens to come back. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Nomar return for his final seasons as a designated hitter for the Red Sox. Like Nomar himself, I will always think of him as a Red Sox player.


I will always love and miss number 5.

While I appreciate what Nomar has done for the Red Sox in the past and I wouldn't mind him coming back, I just don't see it really happening unfortunately. I think too much has happened for it to go back to what it once was. He is a throwback, and a guy who just plays the game and will give out cliche after cliche just so they can leave him alone. I find it ironic that Dirt Dog bashed him so much when Nomar, himself, is the epitome of a Dirt Dog, when you think about it. He just happened to be an All Star as well.

He kinda lost me though after that July 1st game, and that trade had to be done for the sake of the team and for the sake of himself. Sometimes you just gotta cut your losses and move along. I'm glad he's doing well in LA and that's the only other place where he's wanted to play I think other than Boston. I hope he continues on doing well...just not against the Red Sox if that so very happens. :P

Oh and I have respect for Nomar for turning down the Yanks like that. I still don't understand how anybody who was on that 04 Red Sox squad(maybe even 03 more than 04) could sign with the Yanks after all that's happened. I dunno, it just seems....weird.

Another image I'll never forget of Nomar is when he kneeled on the field to honor Ted Williams when he passed.

When biographies of him are released when his career is finished, it will be fascinating to see what is revealed about his years in Boston.

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