The day the 2004 Nomar trade went through Cubs fans were dancing in the streets and Sox fans around the world were an odd kind of puzzled. We were coming off a painful 2003 postseason and our franchise player was on his way out of town, replaced by Orlando Cabrera and a a few odds ‘n ends.
Our relationship with Nomar began to sour after the A-Rod talks fell through (thank god) and by the time the 2004 trade deadline came around, Tito said articulately that Nomar was “Bostoned out.” Leading up to that point however, Nomar had made repeated claims that he wanted to spend his whole career in Boston. Apparently the Brass felt otherwise.
For the majority of Nomar’s tenure, he was a hustle player. Home grown talent that came up through the Cape League, he was solid in the field, a threat at the plate but quiet in the media. Garciaparra’s media shyness was a part of his undoing. Boston fans need to connect with their players, we need to feel like everybody’s is on the same page and everybody wants to win. When the end came for Nomar, the public outcry was minimal because even after eight seasons as the Sox short gapper, we really didn’t connect with the guy.
Cue the greatest 1/2 season in Red Sox fan & team history.
Cabrera comes to town to start, Doug Mientkiewicz enters the scene as a ball-stealing defensive replacement, Keith (I remember not hating him) Foulke turns it on as one of the best closers in baseball and Manny & the Idiots slug their way to a World Series championship. The streets were covered in tears of joy… and teargas.
The 2004 Sox season ended just in time for everyone to be Patriots fans again. The year of the Dynasty. I was wondering aimlessly around my apartment last night (very long weekend) and I stumbled upon the NFL Channel’s account of the Patriot’s super bowl run and it just reminded me how awesome Boston really is.
We got Smoltz on the hill tonight and the he’ll be throwing to a couple big swinging bats, ala Giambi and Holliday… but the matchup I’m looking forward to this evening is at bat number one for the A’s 6th-hitting DH, the king of the 48 minute at bat. Stop messing with your freaking batting gloves, you’ve already screwed up every little game in the country. Thank God Dice-K isn’t toeing the rubber tonight.
So stand and ovate, or sit and boo. Nomar is probably a steroid guy and definitely slinked his way out of town… but no matter what side of the fence you’re on, it will be a hell of a game.