Tag Archives: Nomar Garciaparra

Screen Grabs from MLB Classics on YouTube: Boston at Cleveland, Game 5, 1999 ALDS

Last week, we took some fun still shots from Game 1 of the 1990 ALCS between Oakland and Boston at Fenway Park.

Today, the series continues with a recap of Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS: the Red Sox at Indians at Jacobs Field. The starting pitching matchup was Bret Saberhagen versus Charles Nagy. But a certain other right-hander for Boston would calmly bide his time on the bench before eventually stealing the show.

The Fox feed is spliced with audio from Indians radio announcers Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan.

04:21: A Cleveland fan sporting a sign that says, “We Are the Curse” is really quite excited that Charles Nagy has induced two quick groundouts in the first inning.

Curse sign

06:06: Brian Daubach singles and Nomar homers to center field (on the first pitch). 2-0, Boston.

Nomar HR

08:55: Bret Saberhagen, his shoulder tendons held together with “steel anchors,” got the start for Boston in Game 5. Sabes also started Game 2 and gave up six runs in the 3rd inning as Cleveland won 11-1. Shoulder pain (which forced him to the DL three times during the regular season) restricted his ability to throw his change-up, which at his advanced age was about the only swing-and-miss stuff he had left.


11:44: After Saberhagen misses badly en route to walking Kenny Lofton to open the inning, a shot of Pedro Martinez calmly sitting in the dugout.

Pedro in dugout 

13:29: Mike Hargrove quickly gave up on his dispute that Jason Varitek may have touched an Omar Vizquel bunt attempt in fair territory. So Jimy Williams’ coming out of the dugout afterward feels a bit, you know, gratuitous…almost like he just wanted to be seen here. He looks pretty comfortable and relaxed, though.

Jimy Williams pants

14:20: For no reason in particular, let’s take a moment to admire the well-timed, controlled extension of Kenny Lofton’s left arm on this slide as he easily steals second base.

Lofton slide second

16:01: For no reason in particular, Fox takes a moment to show Pedro sporting spikes in the dugout after the Indians quickly get a run back off Saberhagen.

Pedro's spikes

17:00: Manny’s well-documented struggles in the series (0-for-15, 7 Ks) were believed to be due to a glitch in his batting stance in which he had his feet too close together.


19:44: Split screen of Pedro Martinez trying to will Saberhagen out of the inning from the dugout. Jim Thome would hit a mammoth two-run homer. Three more cuts to Pedro sitting on the bench. Hamilton eventually says Pedro is available for maybe two innings. Hegan says that’s still a “big if.”

Pedro clapping

35:25: Travis Fryman’s home run (briefly called a double before the umpires conferred) in the 2nd inning chases Saberhagen. Derek Lowe is first out of the bullpen. Lowe would wind up surrendering three runs in two innings.

Lowe bullpen

47:31: Trot Nixon doing eye drops in the dugout in plain view of everyone. Everything you’ve heard about performance enhancers in the late 1990s was obviously very true. And just look at a dejected Bret Saberhagen pretending not to notice or care.

Nixon eyedrops

50:57: The Indians walk Nomar to get to Troy O’Leary.

IBB Nomar

51:55: Troy O’Leary hits a grand slam on the first pitch. 7-3, Boston.

Oleary GS

1:00:09: Capping off an Indians rally, Jim Thome hits his second jack of the game – this one off Lowe – to quickly give the Indians back the lead, 8-7.

Thome 2nd HR

1:03:06: Look who’s up in the bullpen….Rod Beck! And some other guy in the shadows on the left.

Beck and Pedro pen

1:14:24: Pedro comes in with the game tied, 8-8, after John Valentin hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 4th.

Pedro 1_14_pt1

1:14:51: Jimy must have been saving John Wasdin, Kent Mercker, et al for later…

Pedro 1_14_pt2

1:15:02: Pedro had actually gone only four innings in Game 1, looking mortal while striking out just three batters before leaving with back pain. It was no foregone conclusion he was OK five days later.

Pedro 1_15

1:18:16: Lofton tries to beat out a grounder to first with that same slide he used to steal second base.

Lofton slide first

1:18:23: The result is a bit more painful…a dislocated left shoulder. A bad omen for the Indians. (Is there any other kind of omen in Cleveland?)

Lofton slide first_v2

1:33:35: Still shaking off some rust in the 5th, Pedro has a breaking ball slip out of his hand and barely miss Manny Ramirez. Manny would wind up earning one of three walks surrendered by Pedro.

Pedro to Manny

1:36:45: Pedro drops an absolutely perfect 3-1 curve right on the outside corner to Thome.

Pedro 1_36

1:50:40: A somewhat forgotten fact: Dave Roberts took over for Lofton in center after his ill-advised slide into first base. Roberts appeared in 41 games for Cleveland in 1999. The announcers would even lament that the team needed to “count on” guys like Dave Roberts to get to the ALCS.

Dave Roberts

2:00:34: Paul Shuey gives up an infield hit to Valentin and, after an intentional walk to Nomar, Troy O’Leary does it again. A three-run HR lands right over the Red Sox bullpen, which Pedro had rendered into a glorified cheering section.

Oleary 3run HR 7th

Boston pen 7th

2:00:57: 11-8, Boston. This Cleveland fan’s face sums it up…

Old Cleveland fan

2:03:12 / 2:03:32: These guys too.

Other Cleveland fan

Third Cleveland fan

2:04:52: And, as Pedro begins to look more untouchable, striking out contact hitter Roberto Alomar swinging.

Cleveland fan 2_04

2:06:10: Manny strikes out looking, which doesn’t help this fan’s outlook. Fox spent as much time showing Cleveland fans just staring into space as it did Pedro breezing his way through a 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th.

Cleveland fan 2_06

2:18:00: Nomar ends the eighth with this catch in foul territory.

Nomar 8th

2:20:40: Rheal Cormier, Ramon Martinez and Rod Beck all got loose in the top of the 9th.

Cormier Ramon Beck

2:21:36: Donnie Sadler! In to run after a Brian Daubach double, Sadler would score Boston’s 12th and final run on a Nomar double. Not that they needed it.

Donnie Sadler

2:31:00: Pedro completes six shutout, hitless relief innings. Finishing with Beck or Cormier just wouldn’t have been right.

Pedro ends it

Pedro ends it 2

Open Letter to Stupid, Sexy Nomar

What are you doing here, Nomar?

C’mon, it’s late and pitchers and catcher report next week. You’re too old to be showing up like this. I’ve told you already in the most Draperian way possible–life moves in one direction: forward.

Let’s face it, your pride wouldn’t let you accept a minor league contract or an invitation to spring training even if the Red Sox were to extend an offer. And there’s no money left, anyway. Mr. Epstein and Mr. Henry aren’t going to further stress the luxury tax threshold by signing a washed up veteran to a guaranteed deal. We had our time together, but it’s over now.

Stop saying those awful things about Marco Scutaro. Your jealousy is so transparent. It’s over. You need to go home. And don’t purposely leave those batting gloves behind just so you have an excuse to come back tomorrow.

You’ve only played in 120 games total over the past two seasons due to numerous injuries. When healthy, you weren’t particularly valuable to the Dodgers in 2008 or to the Athletics last season.

No, those pre-at-bat gyrations won’t work this time. We’ve all moved on.

Stop tapping your toes in the dirt like that. You can’t stay. What if Tug Hulett wakes up?

And don’t talk about Bill Hall like that. What’s he ever done to you? I know he’s not the sexiest utility guy out there, but he can play the infield and the outfield. And he hit 35 dongs a few years back. Don’t you dare bring up his 2009 OPS. He wasn’t well. You know that. You only started 17 games in the field last season.

I’ve told you a million times: you can’t platoon with David Ortiz. Yes, Mike Lowell is still here (he’s getting treatment in the trainer’s room right now). He’s going to know someone was sitting in his chair if you don’t get up.

You’re kidding, right? Left field when the team plays at home? Fenway Park’s outfield is small, but it still has some lawn out there. You hardly fielded your position at a stationary first base last year.

Watch you take batting practice? We both know that would just be a cheap thrill and we’d both regret it as soon as it was over.

I have to stop you before you again bring up CHONE projecting you for a 0.9 WAR this season. There aren’t 365 plate appearances for you on this team right now–even if you do stay healthy. I wish there were, but we just can’t go through all the questioning again.

The injuries. The reclusive personality. The pop-ups. It was a lot of stress.

Don’t you remember what everyone was saying about us in 2004? You hated the idea of “us.” You lost interest in our team. You never went out in our city like you used to in the old days. We had a fine time together last July, but we both knew it was temporary. A meaningless mid-week tryst.

This is all too much for this early in the season. We’ve got all these new guys that should make the team a contender well into the fall.

Don’t take it personally. Pedro’s been calling here, too, lately. I haven’t answered yet, though I doubt I’ll be strong enough to ignore him come May or June.

Fine, if you promise to leave, I’ll admit it. It would be grand if you found a way to play relatively well and bring value to the 2010 Boston Red Sox. You could get a few hundred at-bats and get the occasional spot start in the corner infield. It could be your swan song and a tidy bookend to an often misunderstood career. Yes, isn’t it pretty to think so.

Fans bracing for Nomar’s imminent return

BOSTON, Mass.–The looming return of beloved former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra drew strong feelings from fans this past week.
A key member of the 1998, 1999 and 2003 playoff teams, Garciaparra returns to Boston as a player for the first time since being traded in July 2004 on Monday when the Oakland Athletics visit for a three-game set.
Passing through Kenmore Square on Thursday while wearing a red-colored bracelet indicating his membership in ‘Red Sox Nation,’ Peter O’Malley, 20, of Sturbridge expressed visible anger. “I can’t believe he’s gonna show his face here again. After what he did trying to ruin the 2004 team? You gotta be kidding me. The minute he left town and Orlando Cabrera came in was the minute I started believing. I bet Nomar was real pissed off when Dave Roberts stole that base.”
Mary Richmond, 48, of Manchester, N.H. shared similar bewilderment at his popularity. “He was a clubhouse cancer and never cared about the fans. I used to scream my lungs out until I was hoarse cheering for him. And God forbid he ever stop eating dinner long enough to sign a napkin or one of my boobs. What did Nomar ever do for the community? This current group of Red Sox is a much more likable team with guys like Josh Beckett running that annual bowling tournament–what’s it called–Beckett Bowl?” 
Sporting a “Coco 10” jersey tee, Diana Timothy, 52, of Winchester, similarly suggested Nomar’s fidgety routines and malcontent status grew tiresome. “Even the local media turned on him by the end and he’s white..ish. That tells you something right there.”
Sitting in a Land Rover SUV outside Twin’s Souvenirs with her two young sons, ages 3 and 6, 34-year-old Matilda Mattern of Wellesley had little to say about the former All-Star shortstop’s prowess a decade ago. “Nomar Garciaparra…You mean Mia Hamm’s husband? He was on the Red Sox, wasn’t he? That was like, 15 years ago or something. Do you know if it’s going to be sunny outside tomorrow?”
Joseph Zimmerman, 35, of Brookline, took the jilted lover’s route when asked to analyze Garciaparra’s impact on him as a fan. “Most likely Nomar goes his way and I go mine,” he responded quickly without breaking stride as he walked down Beacon St.
“I’m sorry, I really don’t think I can talk about it,” said ‘Jeff White,’ a season ticket holder from Cambridge who asked that his real name be withheld. “I gave my seats away for the three games against Oakland.”
After walking away, White circled back and began reading off Garciaparra’s statistics, which he had drawn up on his iPhone. “Look at his wOBA from 1998-2000. And his isolated power stats in the late ’90s and early 2000s read like Jason Varitek’s monthly batting averages over the last couple years. Look at it! Win Shares, Runs Created, RAR, Wins Above Replacement …”
White began to choke up reciting the last stat and, blinking away tears, quickly walked away after threatening violence and a defamation lawsuit if his real name were used for this article.
Derek McCormick, 29, of Lynn, lamented Garciaparra’s less-than-sociable reputation within the clubhouse, as reported ad nauseum by the Boston media in his final days as a Red Sox. 
“Dustin and Francona are always playing dominoes together before games and having a good time pulling pranks on each other,” said McCormick. “I don’t think Nomar even knows how to play dominoes or put a teammate in a playful headlock. He just didn’t fit in anymore I guess.”
McCormick, however, didn’t rule out a return to the Red Sox for Garciaparra later in his career as a utility man.
“If the money’s right and he learns how to play dominoes and is willing to Irish jig to ‘Shipping Up to Boston,’ I think it could make sense. How cool would that be if he came back? They’d have to put those Coke bottles back up over the Monster so he could dent them with his home runs. Geez, just thinking about that gives me chills…”