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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Nomar Trade: Trust No One

Bruce Allen has a good post on how hard it is to get to the truth about the Nomar deal. As always, I think everyone should take media reports with plenty of salt and accept that we probably can never understand the reality of a relationship between a team and player. It's frustrating because that makes it difficult to evaluate the decision-making by the front office, but that's how it is.

Regardless of where the truth lies, I'm in agreement with many fans that Dan Shaughnessy's tantrum in the Sunday paper was disgraceful. Now I'm pleased to see some of Shaughnessy's claims have been not-so-subtly repudiated by his Globe colleague Bob Ryan. First, Shaughnessy:

After the Sox beat the Oakland A's in the fourth game of the 2003 Division Series, the Sox boarded the team bus for the first leg of their journey back to Oakland for the series finale. Everyone was buoyant and gripped with the prospect of going to Oakland and winning Game 5... everyone except for the star shortstop. He got on the bus, turned toward the excited throng, and said, "Why is everyone so happy? As soon as we lose, everyone's just going to rip us."

Shaughnessy goes on to write that Nomar "hates Boston and he hates the Red Sox and you should be glad that he's gone. If you are a Red Sox fan, he is not your friend."

Bob Ryan today seems to challenge Sahughnessy's bus anecdote and his assertion that Nomar hates Boston:

No matter how many second- and third-hand conversations were repeated to the contrary, not once in his time in Boston did Nomar Garciaparra ever say publicly that he was unhappy with any aspect of his life here. ...

Yet we are told he felt the atmosphere here to be suffocating, that people cared too much, that the whole curse thing was a major pain to deal with. Is that the gospel truth? I don't know, and neither does any other member of the media. He was here from late 1996 until Saturday last. Let the media person step forward who ever heard him declare his distaste for all that is Red Sox baseball.

I resist the urge in some quarters to fit this into a narrative with one side as the villain. Maybe it really was time for everyone to move on.