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July 31st, 2004


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06:10 pm - NO MO NOMAH (hey, I can write NY Post headlines too)
I was going to write "Hey I can write Boston Heraldesque headlines too" in the subject but then I realized "NO MO NOMAH" doesn't say anything about the "Dems." Anyway.

Sad news from the sports wire: Nomar Garciaparra's gone to the Cubs. Traded for a first baseman from Minnesota and a shortstop from named Orlando (oops, thanks XM.) For me it is bittersweet -- I've got a soft spot in my heart for the Cubbies so I know he'll do good, and on the plus side, apart from some crazy space-age interleague play that may or may not happen down the road, the Friendly Fenway faithful won't have to make the agonizing decision over whether or not to boo him when he shows back up in the park. But I'm sad to see him go, and it even hurts more since apparently it was the failed A-Rod trade that was the catalyst for his dissatisfaction with Boston. Way to manage another good performer out of your hands, guys.

I shouldn't go into anything more about this, because, honestly, others will rail on about it and they'll only do it louder and then some bitter wiseguy is gonna say "good riddance" and there'll be fights and it'll only end in tears and well, we just can't have that right now. We're seven and a half games behind New York and I'm sick of the Yankees Suck hysteria (though I do admit I had a teeny juvenile giggle at the "Posada Is A Little Bitch" t-shirt I saw last weekend) and I'm wondering if I should just stop following the Sox at all and go watch cricket or something. (Actually, I'm serious about that last bit -- I'm intrigued by the game after reading up a lot about it online while bored at work. Any nearby cricket matches I could attend?)

I will share this, though. It is my favorite Nomar memory. It happened at the end of that disastrous playoff series against Cleveland in 1998. It was all about Mo Vaughn back then, our ace hitter, crack first baseman and all-around superstar. Vaughn was about to go free agent and, as rumor had it, wasn't too happy with the Sox management anymore. Mo had performed admirably in Game 1 of the series with two home runs to his credit, but had bogged down in games 2 and 3, and we dropped to 1-2 in the best-of-five series. Then Mo had his chance at the end of Game 4, a home game which we just happened to be losing -- if he could just make the hit with men in scoring position, we might just stay in the series and Mo might just stay with the Sox. I can't remember if we could've tied things up or gone ahead if he'd had a hit, but it was good enough to be a nailbiter over.

But Mo didn't make the hit, the side was retired and the Indians went on to let the Yankees take another World Series victory that year. It hadn't even looked like he'd tried. The entire Boston team slumped into the dugout, dejected and defeated. Now that it was clear Vaughn's career was about to make a change, there wasn't nobody happy at all in Fenway. Well, besides the Indians, I mean.

But one man came back out to say goodbye. Nomar, Rookie of the Year in 1997, stepped up and out and tipped his hat to the fans. That tip said "thank you for a great season" and was the most appropriate gesture that could've been made at that point and time.

Nomar was the only player who came back to acknowledge the fans that evening. I've remembered it every time I've seen him play since. He wasn't just a good player, but he was a gentleman too, and that respect goes a long way. His departure may not be as ignominious as Mo's (or, god forbid, Roger Clemens) but it'll be a loss keenly felt down the road. On the plus side, maybe they'll not put Pokey Reese back as shortstop for a while and let him shine some more. He became a sportscaster favorite during his stint while Nomar was on the DL. Anyway.

I can't figure out how to finish this so I'll just say that hey, I have hot dogs and baked beans for dinner and you don't.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:elkabong
Date:July 31st, 2004 05:58 pm (UTC)
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actually, his name is Orlando and he came from the Montreal/San Juan/DC/NoVa Expos.. the Sawx god much much better defensively with Cabrera at short and Doogie "Bubblemint" Mintkiewicz (men-KAY-vich) is a gold glover at first. He and David Ortiz came up together with the Twinkies and now they're together again in Boston.

Except they're playing in Mpls tonight. That's not awkward or anything.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 31st, 2004 06:13 pm (UTC)
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actually, his name is Orlando

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 31st, 2004 10:14 pm (UTC)
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That's almost as adorable as the ol' "Meet The Mets" song, which you could easily change to "Beat The Mets" if you thought hard enough about it.
[User Picture]
From:kleric
Date:July 31st, 2004 07:06 pm (UTC)
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GO CUBBIES!
Hot damn.
[User Picture]
From:spritelord
Date:July 31st, 2004 08:01 pm (UTC)
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I'll take it!

Dia and I are very excited. Even better that we didn't have to lose Clement for it.


Uh, I mean, sorry for your loss.
[User Picture]
From:annilita
Date:July 31st, 2004 10:48 pm (UTC)
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I'm just glad that all this trading business is over and we here in AZ still have Johnson. It's bad enough that we've lost all our World Series winning players to other trades and injuries. He's the only hope we have left!!

My nephew Kody swore that in Nomah got traded, he was going to hang up his glove and quit little league. I'm not sure that he will go that far, but I have a feeling there is a very pissed off 10 year old in Greenfield right now.
[User Picture]
From:clawdia
Date:August 2nd, 2004 02:58 am (UTC)
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We'll take good care of him for you, Spatch. He did us proud today, his first game as a Cub.
[User Picture]
From:song72
Date:August 2nd, 2004 07:48 am (UTC)

nomar

(Link)
As a Cub fan in training (my boyfriend is a lifelong cubs fan and and just can't help but like them after you watch as many games as I have the last 2 seasons), I have to say WHOO. But, I hate to see the Sox losing good players as I really, really want them to beat the Yankees and make a bid for the Series.

I think the Curse of the Bambino (is that how you spell it?) and the Goat Curse should have to go head to head and work it out. :)

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