[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball

8.01.2004

no-more number 5


renee's 10-yr. high school reunion was yesterday, so i was either driving to the coast or getting ready for the reunion all day. only after the reunion, @ the after-party, did i hear the sox had pulled the trigger and traded nomar. i knew it was coming, and i think it was the right move, but it'll still be hard to watch him play for a team besides the sox (even if it is one of my favorite teams of all time). another reason theo's move doesn't irk me is that this trade made baseball sense, not just financial sense, not just financial non-sense a la a certain pinstriped empire that will remain nameless. the sox would've won a handful of games this year w/ better defense, including a couple of head-to-heads w/ the yank . . . er, those guys, and some on days the "guys" lost, which would've put us closer than 8.5 back w/ a shot in the east, not just playing for the wild card. and w/ cabrera @ short we're automatically better up the middle (today's boot notwithstanding), and mientkiewicz is a former gold glover @ first.

if you trust peter gammons (and i do, especially when he talks about his beloved sox), this is a risky move but one epstein had to make. it seems to me that it makes the starters better, bellhorn better and the rest of the defense better, thereby making the 'pen better, too (i do realize, as i type this, that the bullpen fell apart in today's 4-3 loss to the frickin' twins -- they'll always be on my short-list of most hated teams after the amazing world series in '91). this was a real trade, not a free-agent aquisition or a shameless buyout of some aging superstar's contract so he could play out the season and then sign a 2-year deal w/ the dodgers. in short, we knew he was leaving @ season's end, no matter how often nomar told the press he wanted to stay in boston. this was a bold move, but the right one nonetheless.

i have tons of memories of no. 5 playing for the old towne team: his roy, batting titles in '99 and '00, five- and six-hit games, riding on a bus in swampscott listening to him hit 3 home runs on his birthday, the echoes of no-maaaah! every @ bat @ fenway, the snl skits, even the forgotten but emmy-worthy turn playing himself on the belated two guys and a girl. even shaughnessy, who has never been the biggest nomar fan, recognized that we lost an "offensive force" yesterday, a player who "could have been our dimaggio." but he wasn't cut out to be a dimaggio. he wasn't our leader, and now he's gone. i wish him good luck w/ the northsiders, but, strange as it is to type this (and in full recognition of the fact that he'll probably win the nl triple crown next year), we're probably better off as a team today than yesterday. simply put, nomar was bitter, and this trade makes us better. Posted by Hello

3 Comments:

  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger ycartrob said…

    Oh, how I long for the good ol days, growing up and knowing Magic was a Laker, Staubach was a Cowboy and Bench was a Red. I realize trades have happened through history, but the wheelin' and deelin' these days makes it easier for me to root against bought dynasties (Lakers, Yankees) rather than pulling for whatever players have amassed on my favorite team (unless it's the Saints, then I'll pull for them even if they fold; but that may be a sign of mental illness more than loyalty).

     
  • At 11:22 PM, Blogger Bob said…

    I'm a Red Sox fan who's been in Chicago for 20 years, and it was odd to see Nomar now in Cubbie pinstripes.

    Nomar must have had a miraculous healing on the plane from Minnesota, because he didn't look like a guy with a bum hamstring in his Cubs debut.

    Gammons is probably right on the money in his column, expect for the line about Nomar signing a below-market contract back in 1997. It was something like (why do I know this) a 7 year, 44 million dollar deal, and people like Gammons and Shaunessy thought the Sox were nut for giving it to Nomar after 1 year in the league.

    The Sox will have 3 gold glovers in the infield instead of a limping shortstop and two guys with hands of stone, but still, until someone can hit the cutoff man--unlike yesterday--they probably aren't World Series material. Maybe the Cubs will be.

    Bob (god-of-small-things.blogspot.com)

     
  • At 10:53 PM, Blogger sammy said…

    yup. bob's right on the money about nomar's miraculous recovery. but he does seem to have days when he plays seemingly w/o any effects from the achilles prob. i think playing surrounded by ivy's going to be the best medicine for him, though. he could be an nl mvp.

    trace -- man, i agree wholeheartedly w/ your comment. i still pull for the jerseys (celtics, 'pokes, bruins, sox, braves, what have you), but it was a whole lot easier to cultivate fanaticism back when i could pull for a particular player or, better yet, a whole team for a career. i've always said i'd pull for the red sox if they had charles manson on the mound and 8 little leaguers in the field, but what really tests my allegiance is when former yanks end up @ fenway. anyway, i fear the days of pulling for the players are gone back to french lick or wherever they came from.

     

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