July 31, 2004

Red Sox trade Garciaparra at the deadline.:

posted by jerseygirl to baseball at 04:44 PM - 56 comments

That's weird even looking at it. Most likely, he was going to walk at the end of the year. Sure, he was supposedly a bit of a sulker at times. And reports say he was somewhat detached from the rest of his teammates. And yeah, he drew a red line around his locker to keep the media at bay (rightfully so in most cases). And sure, he turned down a couple different contract offers... It just doesn't seem right that he's not playing in Boston.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:49 PM on July 31, 2004

These deadline trades are getting weirder. Trading one of your most beloved players for a defensive first baseman and Orlando Cabrera?

posted by rcade at 05:00 PM on July 31, 2004

On other non-Big Unit trade news: Yankees send Contreras and cash to the White Sox for Esteban Loaiza.

posted by crank at 05:03 PM on July 31, 2004

I think this is good for Boston - yes they loose a bit at the plate, but Doug M and Cabrera are really good defensive players for a team that sorely needed it. They're also not awful hitters, but good contact guys who don't strike out a lot. Cabrera actually has some power that can be exploited at Fenway. Instead of just letting him walk they manage to get a couple quality players. However, it does show how much they're now scared of next year if they don't win this year. The Loaiza deal is the one that makes me shake my head. When the pressure is on, that guy is usually off.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:09 PM on July 31, 2004

The Loaiza deal is the one that makes me shake my head. When the pressure is on, that guy is usually off. Well I guess it's a wash considering how bad Contreras has been. Maybe things will workout better for him in the less intense atmosphere of Chicago... It was looking like nothing was really gonna happen before the deadline. Then yesterday's Dodgers/Florida deal went down. The Mets go for broke and land Benson and Zambrano, dealing their previously untouchable prospect Scott Kazmir. Throw in these latest developments and its turned out to be a pretty interesting week even if the biggest, most anticipated transaction didn't actually happen...

posted by crank at 05:53 PM on July 31, 2004

Oh, and since landing Terry Adams a week or so ago and Meintkiewicz today the Red Sox are now two steps closer to having an 'all goatee' roster...

posted by crank at 06:02 PM on July 31, 2004

Whoo-hoo! /Cub Fan

posted by NoMich at 06:03 PM on July 31, 2004

Garciaparra playing for the the Cubbies!? Wow wow wow. I'd say Chicago mugged Boston on this deal.

posted by dusted at 06:06 PM on July 31, 2004

Chicago mugged Boston... It's not a one-for-one deal, so calling it a mugging doesn't make sense. Of the four teams involved, though, I think Chicago gained the most and Boston lost the most.

posted by dusted at 07:11 PM on July 31, 2004

Crap. Shit. Hell. This started rippling through the bleachers at the Portland Sea Dogs game tonight (J.P. Riccardi, you've got some good things going on in the minors), but I didn't catch all of it and I didn't believe it. I don't know this is a bad deal, but it hurts to see him go. And now Lowe's giving up runs.

posted by yerfatma at 07:24 PM on July 31, 2004

"If it was in my control, I'd still be wearing a Red Sox uniform, because it's the place I know, I love. Uh, Nomar, it was in your control. You could have signed a FOUR-YEAR, $60M deal last year, and you turned your nose up at it. Jesus, it's Pudge all over again. Anyhow, this is a terrific deal for the Cubs, who gain a tremendous SS for at least the remainder of the season. I'm not a huge Nomar fan, but he's a hell of a lot better than Alex Gonzalez and just about anyone else out there not named Arod. Chicago also got A-ball OF Matt Murtin, who has put up some pretty solid power numbers. He could be a sleeper in this deal. Boston gets something it was sorely lacking -- defense. The Red Sox offense will be just fine without Nomar, and neither Cabrera or Minky are exactly stiffs at the plate. In any other situation, sure, Boston got boned, but at the deadline for a guy who obviously wasn't going to sign with you anyway? I think Theo did the best he could, but it seems like a player of Garciaparra's caliber should have brought you back at least one top-flight prospect. The Expos got a broken-down shortstop in Alex Gonzalez. He can't be worse than he has been for the Cubs. They also got Francis Beltran (you may have to scan down to prospect #16), who throws hard and has a hefty K/IP ratio, but gives up lot of hits and walks quite a few also. Still, he throws in the mid-90s and he's 6-6, and he had three saves in the Caribbean Series last year. The same guy I referenced above (and on the same page) had Brendan Harris listed at #9 in the Cubs' system. Decent pop and speed, but it looked like he took a bit of a step back at AA this season. The Twins get LHP Justin Jones, another Cubbie farmhand with great upside who hasn't looked quite as spectacular this season. He throws hard and before this season he's compiled a stellar 2.07 ERA. However, this year he's up to a 3.78 mark in his second season of A ball. Why he was left there this year I have no idea, but he's not faring as well. Still, this guy for Minky is a good deal for the Twins. Overall, in the short term the Cubs win this deal simply because Nomar is easily the stud here. Down the road, however, Montreal/DC picked up what could be two very good players for one above-average major leaguer, while Minnesota swapped a mediocre player for one with good upside. The Red Sox got the gloves they needed for the stretch, but it sure seems like they should have gotten more. For a much smarter guy's take on all this, here's Jayson Stark.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:46 AM on August 01, 2004

Jesus, it's Pudge all over again. And Pudge, the "32-year-old catcher who doesn't hit for power and has broken down more often lately than Tammy Faye at a revival," got the four-year, $40 million deal you said he'd never get, is putting up great numbers, and has led the Tigers' improbable return to respectability only half a year after they nearly broke the all-time season loss record. How can you possibly use Pudge as an example here to cast scorn at another athlete angling for a deal? Based on the early results, the limb you went so far out on broke and fell into a wood chipper.

posted by rcade at 01:05 AM on August 01, 2004

I have nothing to say here other than rcade is exactly right about the impact Pudge has had on his team, and I hit a bases juiced ground-rule double over the left-center field fence today. Oh, and Nomar's lot was cast when they worked so hard to get A-Rod in the off-season. Who can blame him for being hurt by that? Some men, even millionaire jocks, are sensitive to slights.

posted by vito90 at 02:05 AM on August 01, 2004

Pretty simple, rcade -- he's playing the same stupid pity card Pudge did last year. Was I wrong about Pudge? So far, yes. IRod's played extremely well for a mediocre team, and he got a 4-year, $40M contract from the one team willing to pony up that kind of loot to get one top-flight player to sign with them. I'm not ready to eat crow yet (he hit .253 and drove in seven runs in July), but he has been great in bringing along a developing staff. I'm sharpening my knife and fork, let's put it that way. That doesn't change the fact that he blamed his leaving on the Marlins organization, rather than signing and staying with them. Garciaparra's doing the same thing. Turning down a $60M offer is "out of your control?" Bullshit. You wanted more money, or you wanted out, then freaking say so. Don't make it sound like the Red Sox tossed your ass out on the street. Perhaps it's a semantics argument, but I'm not saying Pudge or Nomar are overrated, bad ballplayers or whatever. I'm saying if you want to leave because you think you're worth more somewhere else, then say so. Don't frame it as a screw job by your former team.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:38 AM on August 01, 2004

Who can blame him for being hurt by that? Some men, even millionaire jocks, are sensitive to slights. No one. I love Nomar and wanted him to stay with the Sox forever just because he Belonged. Gray-scale any picture of him and he could look like a contemporary of Ted Williams or Harry Hooper or whomever ever played well for the Sox. That being said, Sox fans can definitely blame him for turning personal hurt into a group drama. I can blame him for not pinch-hitting against the Yankees in a close game last week. There's no excuse for that. He said yesterday he was happy to be traded because he's going somewhere where he's "wanted." This is the same guy that once came out of the dugout after a playoff-ending loss to applaud the fans in the seats all by himself. That's beyond class. How did he turn into someone that wouldn't come out of the dugout to pinch-hit? You can be hurt, but where's an agent, a friend, a wife to point out big-time sports is a business and every team in it is a corporation seeking to maximize profits? You can't ask a business to sit and hope after you turn down a more than fair-market offer for a shortstop in his 30s with some serious injury questions. They had to find alternative options just like Nomar will at the end of the year. There's no reason to be hurt by that. He's overly sensitive and he's installed a support system (e.g., his uncle Victor) around him that insulates and allows him to avoid reality. Mia Hamm == Yoko Ono as far as I'm concerned.

posted by yerfatma at 09:24 AM on August 01, 2004

Well said, yerfatma. I'll go ahead and make a pretty lame disclosure: I had a good cry over Nomar yesterday. I don't know if I was crying because he would not longer be wearing the Red Sox laundry or crying because he is/was joyless in his last years with the team. Maybe it was a combination of both. It's a shame things ended the way they did. I'll always look back at the good times where he seemed to be enjoying the game, the park and the city and wonder why it had to go so bad.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:23 AM on August 01, 2004

I think Nomar had a very good Sheekawgo debut today. That wind wasn't very forgiving, but he handled it very well. Offensively, he went 1 for 4 with a RBI. Also, the crowd gave him a helluva welcome.

posted by NoMich at 05:09 PM on August 01, 2004

This is just too weird.

posted by dusted at 06:03 PM on August 01, 2004

Man, it just sucks. Sucks all the worse now that it comes out he was talking about going back on the DL but when Larry Luchino called yesterday to say Nomar might be traded to the Cubs but they needed to know if he was healthy, Nomar responded, "I am now."

posted by yerfatma at 07:37 PM on August 01, 2004

I always respected his work ethic, and I'll now dedicate a decent percentage of my time to catch Cubs games on my MLB Extra Innings Package/WGN channels. I hope he finds the game fun again but I'd also like to point out that sportswriters like Shaughnessy don't help lure more players to want to play at Fenway.

posted by usfbull at 09:40 PM on August 01, 2004

While the Cubs get all the attention, it's the Dodgers who did the best work during the deadline. Nomar helps the cubbies for the next 2 months. Penny & Choi (as well as freeing themseleves of Encarnacion and Martin's salaries) will help the Dodgers compete this year, as well as in the 2005 season. For all the hype around LoDuca, his production isn't that different than Lieberthal's, or LaRue's, or Estrada's.

posted by herc at 09:52 PM on August 01, 2004

I'd also like to point out that sportswriters like Shaughnessy don't help lure more players to want to play at Fenway. Why, for letting people know what a self-centered knob Nomar was in the clubhouse? I don't believe it's Shaughnessy's job to bring players to Boston. It's his job to tell the truth, and from the way he's acted, Garciaparra can't handle the truth.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:27 PM on August 01, 2004

Shaugnessy is an ass. I haven't read the article, and I don't know anything about how Nomar is in the clubhouse, but I can feel completely comfortable saying that Shaughnessy is an ass. On more serious issues... this is a sad day. I grew up knowing that Dan Marino was a constant- he'd be there every fall, doing what he could. And he was a Dolphin, the same way I had black hair, or Miami had warm weather. That was just How it Was. And that was pretty nice. If Nomar can't do be that rock, who can anymore?

posted by tieguy at 02:45 AM on August 02, 2004

fraz, not for nothing but, Shaughnessy's reputation among the more discerning in Boston is not exactly that of teller-of-truths. And I'd also like to second the notion that Shaughnessy is an ass. I don't read his column as a rule and I won't make an exception in this case. I don't need to hate Garciaparra now that he's gone to make me feel better about it all, and I certainly don't need to kick him about the ears, nose and throat on his way out. Whatever problems Nomar had here -- with the club or his teammates or whatever his issue was -- it's over. He seems happier in Chicago, his teammates may be potentially happier now that he's not sulking around, and the team upped the sorely lacking defense.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:24 AM on August 02, 2004

I don't disagree about Shaughnessy, but I don't think he's germane to the topic. Sean McDonough (who is also an ass in the world and likes to hate on players, but not to the extent of the CHB) suggested he'd never seen a player in sport who enjoyed such a good relationship with the fans when he was so sullen behind the scenes. I love Nomar and I'll always appreciate his time here, but I don't think anyone's at fault for this parting as much as Nomar.

posted by yerfatma at 07:50 AM on August 02, 2004

For some reason, I trust McAdam a bit more than Shaughnessy though.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:04 AM on August 02, 2004

I love the trade. Now I can safely root for Nomar! He instantly balances out my hatred for Sosa, so I can watch Cubs games with my cousin without scowling the whole time. This Yankee fan always liked Nomar. But I do agree that Mia has had a bit of a Yoko like effect. Now the question becomes... what will he do this offseason? Unless he regains range in the field and dominates the next 2 months, he won't sniff anything more than 10-12 a season. For that market value, what city does he choose? Back to the west coast? While the Cubs get all the attention, it's the Dodgers who did the best work during the deadline. I disagree. While the LoDuca thing is overhyped, Mayne is still a step down, and leadership is important. Finley was a great addition, but I think the loss of Mota will make a big difference. DePodesta said he was building for a playoff run, but you need dependable relief in the playoffs just as much as you need that extra starter. How exactly did the Sox pull off that Roberts deal? They stole him... sure, he's no Finley, but he impressed me a lot when I saw him play, and they gave him away for nothing.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:43 AM on August 02, 2004

How exactly did the Sox pull off that Roberts deal? They stole him... Henri Stanley wasn't nothing, but I think the Dodgers needed to move Roberts. Out of the prospects we gave up on Saturday, I was more bothered about losing Murton.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:51 AM on August 02, 2004

Nomar's range looked fine when he played. And Dave Roberts is an offensive black hole.

posted by yerfatma at 09:34 AM on August 02, 2004

And Dave Roberts is an offensive black hole. OK, let's all just stop with the anus references already.

posted by dzot at 12:07 PM on August 02, 2004

Sorry about that. Here's a decent summation of the whole sordid mess.

posted by yerfatma at 12:08 PM on August 02, 2004

but I think the loss of Mota will make a big difference Gotta agree with Bern here, this is the big ouch in this trade. Mota is a setup guy with closer's stuff. The Dodgers will now have to play 8 inning games instead of 6-7 innings. As solid as Gagne has been, Mota has been nearly as sharp. If DePo was setting up for a playoff run, Mota should have been nearly untouchable (unless you were getting star player, which they didn't). While I agree the LoDuca part has been a bit overhyped, I think a few here undervalue him a bit. Remeber he kept his stats in line with many of the other good catchers in the league while playing in Chavez Ravine half the time. That, and his teammates and his pitchers loved him. I'm not a big "clubhouse chemistry" guy, but leadership is important. He was one of the few true blue Dodgers, from draft, through the minors, and into the bigs.

posted by pivo at 12:30 PM on August 02, 2004

Even if Mia had something, or a lot, to do with NG's unhappiness and interest in leaving, I don't get the Yoko comparison. First, she's actually a good athlete and not a crap musician. Second, she's hot and Ono, even back in the day, never was. There's a reason Lennon called her Mother.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:26 PM on August 02, 2004

Sad to see Nomar go. I thought he'd be another williams, yaz, there for his entire career. But I'm curious if people who think this was a bad deal for the red sox have actually been following the team. Nomar did not want to be in boston, regardless who you blame. He's seems to be an injury waiting to happen. He hasn't played much, has never returned to his previous self before the wrist injury, and probably was gone anyway at the end of the year. I'll miss him, but not his pouting. The trade is good for both him and the team. And besides, has anyone seen the red sox defense this year? I don't know if the trade will send boston to the playoffs, but I don't think this was a bad trade.

posted by justgary at 02:34 PM on August 02, 2004

...How exactly did the Sox pull off that Roberts deal? They stole him... sure, he's no Finley, but he impressed me a lot when I saw him play... ...I think the Dodgers needed to move Roberts... ...Dave Roberts is an offensive black hole... I'm not exactly sure why the Azul moved Roberts. It couldn't have been money, he's making $975,000 this season. It wasn't for his production, he ain't ARod, but his 33 SBs in 34 attempts isn't bad. He's a lead-off hitter, and an excellent base runner. I think the genesis of the trade was for the Dodgers to acquire a good prospect (Stanley) to sweeten the Randy pot, and for the Sox to acquire a proven base-runner to pinch run for Ortiz, etc in tight games.

posted by lilnemo at 04:08 PM on August 02, 2004

Roberts has a .335 career OBP; he's a leadoff hitter like Tony Womack's a leadoff hitter. I'm not down on the guy before he's played an inning, but no one needs a pinch runner.

posted by yerfatma at 05:58 PM on August 02, 2004

...but no one needs a pinch runner... I've seen Ortiz & Manny run the basepaths, and I'm not buying that. The Sox can definitely mash, but it's nice to have an insurance policy. Especially in an important game when the you are down 2-1 and you need some one who can reach home from 1st, and not 3rd from 1st on another batters double.

posted by lilnemo at 06:33 PM on August 02, 2004

You're arguing for the importance of one run in a specific case that may or may not occur. And Roberts didn't even create the run in your scenario. I'd say the 4 or 5 other runs the Sox score in an average game (they're averaging 5.6 runs per game) matter just as much. I get what you're saying, but you're making a logical flaw (to my mind) by assigning more important to Roberts scoring from 1st on a gap shot in the 8th or 9th than the runs that made it possible for Roberts' score to be the winning run.

posted by yerfatma at 07:54 PM on August 02, 2004

A couple of decent pieces: BSG and Mike Fine.

posted by yerfatma at 08:38 PM on August 02, 2004

Sure. But you still have to be able to manufacture runs in the playoffs. And prevent them.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:11 PM on August 02, 2004

Ah, the Joe Morgan argument. How it torments me.

posted by yerfatma at 05:55 AM on August 03, 2004

More he said, she said coming from Boston. What's worse, is that I have a bet with a friend (#1 Yankees Fan) for the Sox-Yanks game September 17th at Yankee Stadium. The loser has to buy beers for the winner depending on how many games back they are. Right now, the underachieving Red Sox are 9 games back. In Yankee Stadium dollars, I'm already out $72! ($8 a beer is what I'm being told).

posted by usfbull at 06:44 AM on August 03, 2004

you can get a 20oz for $7. the "premium" beers are closer to $8.

posted by goddam at 08:27 AM on August 03, 2004

usfbull: the last two beers it should be safe to just piss in the cup. ;)

posted by tieguy at 08:51 AM on August 03, 2004

When he played, he played his ass off. I got a small sample size only being able to see him for less than 40 games, but in my opinion it was obvious that he was having issues moving around well when he was in the field. --Curt Schilling talks about Nomar's departure Not a big bostondirtdogs fan anymore, but this is a very decent interview.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:46 AM on August 03, 2004

Bill Simmons gets introspective. (Not that any of you really need a link to Bill Simmons). This section seems important:

Then again, I'm not sure who would enjoy playing in Boston. The talk shows are downright cruel, and many of the columnists care more about stirring things up than making sports more fun to follow, which is the whole reason you should be covering sports in the first place.
Money is the main motivator in most deals, but at what point will free agents start avoiding Boston? Curt Schilling is an exception - he seems to be able to handle the pressure. That, and he knows he'd be a worshipped demigod if he helped Boston win a World Series. I suppose the Yankees have the same problem (and the same fix: a huge payroll budget).

posted by dusted at 12:09 PM on August 03, 2004

Maybe they are all avoiding Boston because we're racists like Bonds is! Kidding. I don't know if the media ever deterred anyone from coming to Boston. Ted Williams, over 60 years ago, hated the media here. We've had just a couple big names since. ;) Big markets = (generally) contending teams = media scrutiny.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:32 PM on August 03, 2004

Not like Boston though. Is any other area as unrepentantly negative media-wise? God help the media if the Sox ever win a Series. The sports page will be blank for a day. I think it took Borges and Cafardo about two days to start listing what went wrong with the Pats season after the Super Bowl win.

posted by yerfatma at 12:54 PM on August 03, 2004

I know and I agree that it's very negative. I just think it's not that far off from other big markets. Then again, I only read the NYY papers with some sort of regularity. To me, there are some reporters/columnists you can read and there are some you know are going to be unabashedly negative. Shaughnessy comes to mind in the latter, 9.9 out of 10 times. I think it took Borges and Cafardo about two days to start listing what went wrong with the Pats season after the Super Bowl win. Was it Borges or Gee that said the Pats should lose one or two (during the regular season win-streak) so it would be out of their system?

posted by jerseygirl at 01:24 PM on August 03, 2004

Borges takes the cake. Keep in mind, that the Patriots just won their 2nd SuperBowl in 3 years and he comes out with this article. I also enjoyed this one. He is consistently wrong, but writes with such conviction.

posted by usfbull at 05:33 PM on August 03, 2004

Wow. I realized I'm biased, but what a load of crap. Theo Epstein screwed up because he didn't trade Nomar at the peak of his market value? He only traded him because the loss of player was offset by the loss of clubhouse venom. It's not like he was looking to get rid of the guy all along. Because I'm sure if he'd dealt him for a bunch of good prospects last September no one would have said it was a bad idea.

posted by yerfatma at 04:41 PM on August 04, 2004

In shorter form: hindsight is 20/20.

posted by yerfatma at 04:42 PM on August 04, 2004

And Dave Roberts was thrown out at home in the 9th as a pinch runner. Sox lost 5-4. I'm just sayin', is all.

posted by yerfatma at 09:08 PM on August 04, 2004

Blame the third base coach for a bad decision in that situation, not Robert's legs...

posted by dusted at 09:44 PM on August 04, 2004

Yeah, what up with that Dale Svweeaayun...or however it's spelled.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:44 AM on August 05, 2004

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