Wednesday, March 10, 2010
March 2010-Former Boston Red Sox great Nomar Garciaperra retired yesterday. It seems like just yesterday he was an exciting rookie of the year and Ted Williams' last protege.
In fact that was 13 years ago. Nomar became the face of Red Sox, the embodiment of baseball work ethic, and really the living breathing soul of Red Sox nation. Sadly, around 2003 his relationship with Red Sox management soured when he began looking for a contract for a value that probably exceeded his true future worth. The Red Sox management made things worse by trying to sign Alex Rodriguez to replace Nomar, A-Rod may have had better numbers, but he was the very anti-thesis of the baseball hero Nomar, and this less than classy move soured Nomar's heart, so ultimately the Red Sox were forced to trade away Nomar and his souring attitude in the middle of the 2004 season. This move proved to be a catalyst to the Red Sox remarkable championship season in 2004. But, as necessary as the move was, it always seemed wrong to see Nomar playing anywhere but Boston, just as it had been when prior Red Sox legends like Tiant, Fisk or Lynn left town. Nomar's later career was injury plagued elsewhere, and he was not quite the same player as he had been with the Red Sox. Still, many Red Sox fans hoped perhaps he could retire with the Red Sox, and apparently, he came to the same conclusion. He signed a one day minor league contract, with the Red Sox organization and then retired the next day. Perhaps not as nice as seeing him on the field in Fenway one last time, but a gesture that closes a chapter properly nevertheless.