Nomar Back to DL … Sun Still Rises
Like Tom Glavine to Atlanta, Jim Carey to comedy, the Prodigal Son to Jesus, and Amy Whinehouse to jail, Nomar Garciaparra has returned to a place that loves him so much, a place where he belongs, a place that welcomes him with open arms: the DL. The walking injury hurt himself yet again this season, straining a calf on Friday night. Worst part was the Dodgers had just sent Blake DeWitt down to Triple-A to carry 12 pitchers on the roster since Nomar had just been activated from the DL (he was out with a wrist injury sustained in Spring Training to start the year). So when Nomar went out with his aching calf muscle, Russell Martin was forced to play third base (the position he played when he was originally drafted), allowing Dodger fans to find out who their backup catcher was (apparently some dude named Gary Bennett).
Luckily the Dodgers went on to win the game, and they’ve re-called DeWitt in the meantime. But what to do about Nomar? At this point he’s almost useless; he’s been on the DL now 11 effing times in his 13 year career. He’s probably closer with the training staff than he is with his wife and kids. You can’t even say “poor Nomar” anymore. Dude just needs to figure out a way to stay on the field and effing produce. That’s enough. He’s getting paid handsomely by the team and he has them by the balls because they can’t go out cutting their most popular player. He needs to get his ass on the field and freaking hit so that it’s a win-win for both sides.
Oh yeah, and if you don’t get all the frustration and disappointment surrounding Nomar, go back and take a look at his ’99 and ’00 seasons — only two of the best years by a middle infielder in the modern era. Anyone who produced like that but now can’t do any better than OPS .700 is a major drag. He needs to get his act together, finish like a freaking champ, and then retire so we don’t have to be reminded constantly about “what could have been.”