Nomar Garciaparra – 2005 UD Pros & Prospects

January 17, 2011

From HOF To Mr. Hamm

Nomah!

I had the pleasure of seeing Nomar in the flesh twice.

The first time was in Fenway, when Nomar and Pedro led the Sox past the Scarborough Green-led Rangers. That was 2000, when he hit .372. He did miss a few games due to injury but played in 140. At the end of 2000, his OPS+ for his career was 140 and there was no reason to think he wasn’t destined for the HOF.

The last time was last year, 2009. I was in Baltimore for meetings and I grabbed a cheap ducat to watch Oakland play the Orioles. Oakland won 6-3. I saw Nomar warm up, and I think he did a bit of shagging but he didn’t see action.

Future HOFers aren’t a scrub for a mediocre team at age 35.

We all know what happened to Nomar. Injuries. Yes, the end of his time in Boston was not pleasant, but look at Manny, look at Clemens, look at Ted Williams – not many leave Boston venerated as Gods as they exit.

Injuries forced him to miss a bundle of games, and change positions. And now, he’s Mr. Hamm, baseball broadcaster and seemingly nice guy. Yes, I kid about the Mr. Hamm part, but Mia definitely had more impact on her sport and on the nation as a whole.

At any rate, as a recovering Cubs fan, this is a bittersweet card. There was optimism in 2004 as the Cubs were in the Wild Card race during the second half of the year, and Nomar replaced Alex (Dropped DP Cost Us The NLCS) Gonzalez and Ramon (No Where Near Like His Namesake) Martinez at short. They fell just short, 3 games behind Houston.

The next year, Nomar started out slow, and then got hurt. That killed the Cubs season basically, since then they had to run Neifi Freakin’ Perez out there at short every day. I’d rather watch yaks mating than watch Neifi Freakin’ Perez. And Dusty, of course, was afraid of ‘base clogging’ so he had Patterson, Hairston and Perez in the 1 or 2 hole most of the year. Can’t clog ’em if you’re not on ’em.

So I say goodbye, sadly, to Nomar. He could have been a HOFer. He could have been jumping in the pile for Boston. He could have helped the Cubs get to the WS. But now he’s helping the MLB Network and helping Mia raising the twins.

That last one is probably harder than getting the Cubs to the World Series.

 

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