No Show Nomar, Cubs Out of Playoffs
"I never turned down any money in Boston. So that's kind of funny they keep saying that."-- Nomar Garcialiar
"Even after that, Epstein said Monday, he told Tellem that if Garciaparra accepted the Sox' four-year, $48 million offer, the team would abandon its pursuit of Rodriguez. He conveyed the same message to Garciaparra in a phone conversation just before flying to New York to meet with Rodriguez, a meeting he told Garciaparra he was planning to have.
Garciaparra rejected that proposal, and in a telephone interview Monday night made it clear he was unwilling to accept a proposal so far below what the Sox had offered the previous spring.
Henry, asked if he understood why Garciaparra might have been offended, said: "Why would you be offended? I guess you could take offense. This spring we offered him $60 million again in a meeting with Arn. Granted, it wasn't all up front. A portion of it was deferred. I didn't think the deferrals were a big deal because the Red Sox would be there and the interest rates were low.
"We were trying to find a way to sign him. We never received a counteroffer to any of the proposals we made."-- Boston Globe, Gordon Edes
Bad News Bear Punts When Cubs Needed Touchdown
"He removed himself from the moment. How pathetic."
-- Former Nomar Rumpswab Bob Neumeier, WEEI
"When the Cubs traded for Nomar Garciaparra on July 31, Dusty Baker looked like a kid in a toothpick store. The options! Aramis Ramirez, Moises Alou, Derrek Lee, Sammy Sosa and here came Garciaparra. An embarrassment of riches. The riches have left the building, and the embarrassment has stuck around.
With one out and a man on first in the 12th inning, Garciaparra bunted. By itself, it wasn't a bad idea. The element of surprise might have gotten him a bunt single. One problem: He showed bunt on the first pitch, then pulled back. When he finally did bunt, the Reds were ready. The game went quietly after that." -- Rick Morrissey, Chicago Tribune
"...up to the plate came Nomar Garciaparra, who was acquired because of his slashing line drives and power. With one out, Garciaparra should have been swinging, not worrying about grounding into a double play. No one gave him the bunt sign, obviously, yet strangely, he decided to bunt anyway, successfully moving Macias to second base but reducing the Cubs' margin of error to one out. Please explain, superstar.
''The guy was playing back,'' Garciaparra said of third baseman Felipe Lopez. ''We needed baserunners at the time, especially with the guys coming up behind me. In the worst-case scenario, we do get a guy in scoring position. He made a great play.''
Someone asked him if he was trying to be cute. Translation: Why would an offensive force who once hit .372, who had 35 home runs and 122 RBI in a single season, choose this strange moment to move over a runner? Suddenly, Garciaparra was having a Boston flashback. The media were badgering him. Did it ever occur to him that he's The Curse, the link between the Red Sox and Cubs?
''I don't know why that would be cute,'' he said of the sacrifice. ''Did you expect me to bunt? I thought it was a great idea to put a guy in scoring position. I don't think anything was shocking there. It doesn't matter what kind of hitter I am in that situation. It matters what kind of team you have.''
The Cubs are not much of a team, as we learned many months ago. They are choke artists and babies, with one of the biggest whiners, Moises Alou, fittingly ending this latest dark episode in franchise infamy with a lazy fly out. ''We work on [bunting] all the time,'' an exhausted Baker said. ''We just came up short today.''
And Garciaparra's decision? ''He did that on his own,'' Baker confirmed." -- Jay Mariotti, Chicago Sun Times