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August 22, 2004

-- Sports opinion --

Nomar trade another dumb move by Red Sox?

By Justin Skaradosky

Trading Nomar Garciaparra for a couple of players the baseball world's never heard of makes as much sense as driving a car without wheels.

The Boston Red Sox curse has lasted long enough, so why try to egg it on?

Not even the biggest bottle of Pepto Bismol in the world would help the Red Sox nation digest this rotten trade.

So why did it happen?

The trade of the 31 year-old shortstop was pending over the course of the last five months, since the collapse of the Alex Rodriguez deal with the Texas Rangers.

Over the course of these months, rumors arose involving Nomar's future team – including talk that he would be traded to the Baltimore Orioles for the 2004 Home Run Derby Champion, shortstop Miguel Tejada.

Without a doubt this rumor was nothing but fake, for the Red Sox had no chance of acquiring Tejada.

Another rumor had Nomar going to the Chicago White Sox for Magglio Ordonez, the White Sox center fielder. Having second thoughts on this deal, Theo Epstein, the Red Sox general manager, backed out of this trade at the last minute.

So what really urged Epstein to make an absurd trade with Nomar after turning down a, sorry but I have to admit it, great deal with the White Sox?

The Red Sox probably had a different thought in their mind.

They may have not traded Nomar to get so-called better defensive shortstop, but to get rid of him altogether.

Ever since the fall of the Alex Rodriguez trade with Texas , the young star has had quite the stiff upper lip.

Even though this is an important factor siding with Epstein and the Red Sox on the Nomar debate, most people, including me, wouldn't have done it.

This trade was portrayed as a huge success for the team. Not only did the Red Sox receive Jose Cabrera to replace Nomar as a shortstop, but they also got a first baseman, a rookie named Doug Mientkiewicz.

The reason for this freebie? During Mientkiewicz's two seasons as a professional baseball player, he has not been able to maintain his health.

Mientkiewicz proved he meant little to the Chicago Cubs or the Minnesota Twins, his rookie team. And Mientkiewicz was an impending free agent who could have been easily acquired the minute he became teamless.

If the Cubs and the Twins didn't think Mientkiewicz was worth spending the money on why would the Red Sox want him? It is clear that this trade is bad both ways for the Red Sox.

Why would the Red Sox even need another first baseman with David Ortiz on the roster?

There's no way Cabrera was worth more than Nomar so why was it necessary to trade the Red Sox great?

Why would Epstein downgrade the Red Sox's level of play by trading a two-time batting champion for a washed-up shortstop with a weak career batting average of.167 and a useless rookie first baseman?

Epstein’s strategy and plan for the Red Sox is unclear to fans.

Nomar may not be the same hitter he was three years ago, but why trade perhaps the greatest shortstop in the Red Sox franchise history?

It’s hard to see how this trade will prove a success for the Red Sox.

So will the curse of the Sox, a team that hasn’t won a World Series since it traded Babe Ruth after the 1918 World Series, live on?

Only time will tell.

 

 

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