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Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra pulled a Carlton Fisk yesterday, by signing a one-day minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox, then announcing his retirement, and taking a job at ESPN to become a baseball analyst.
As you may remember, I called this retirement a few weeks ago , even though I didn't get the exact method of the retirement down-pat.
I don't think anyone was expecting the 1997 AL Rookie of the Year to re-sign with the Red Sox, then announce his retirement. I don't think anyone was expecting Garciaparra to talk to the Red Sox at all.
His divorce from Boston was all but an all out war. Nomar's production was rapidly falling, and his injuries were mounting higher and higher. Trade rumors swirled. He couldn't get a new contract done with the Red Sox. His frustration mounted, and he eventually took it out on the Fenway Park grounds crew, his teammates, and his fans.
In 2001 Nomar injured his wrist. It required surgery. In spring training 2004, Garciapparra injured his ankle, and that left him sidelined for most of the season. In mid-summer, he returned, but he would be traded two months later.
That led to a string of bad career stops in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Oakland. He tried to revive his dead career by dragging his wounded body from place to place.
Like I said in my first article about Nomar, it was time for him to face the music.
The Red Sox brass jumped at the opportunity to bury the hatchet with Garciaparra, and let him have his Fisk-esque day in the sun.
And I still think everything about that day was a complete crock. Nomar's reputation in New England was injured beyond repair due to his almost constant whining towards the end of his Red Sox career.
Everything about March 10 seemed scripted and fake. Any free-thinking Red Sox fan should know that yesterday was entirely fake. This was an attempt to rectify everything with Red Sox Nation. And that attempt failed, at least with me.
All is not forgiven, Nomar.