Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nomah’s Back…and gone again!

So, I got an e-mail yesterday morning asking me if Nomar was coming back to the Red Sox. Naturally, my response was that I would love it, but can’t imagine it happening. Then I see the announcement that Nomar would be signing with the Sox so that he could retire in a Boston uniform. Wow! I never would have guessed that in a million years. I could never have imagined that Nomar would want anything to do with the Red Sox organization. Who could blame him after the way they treated him and ran him out of town? And the Red Sox agreed to this? It doesn’t look a little hypocritical? They did their best to trash the guy, and then get to have him back and celebrate him like they didn’t try to destroy his legacy? Imagine that. As for me? I couldn’t be happier.

Nomar mentioned the reaction he got as a visiting player with Oakland last year. I can see how that might have changed his mind. If you listened to the radio around here, you’d think that Nomar was a waste of a roster spot. That the Sox were instantly better once they dumped him from the locker room. Since Nomar does listen to the radio…which may have been his downfall…I can understand that he thought many fans felt that way. But, when he came back to Fenway, he got a taste of what real fans felt. He realized that the EEIdiots were on their own. Here were 30,000 people a game standing and cheering for him. So, if he was even thinking of coming back to the Sox, I bet those games sealed it. It was good to see him in the uniform again. Now, maybe, people won’t look at me funny when I wear my Nomar t-shirt. He’s one of us again. (Kind of makes me wish I hadn’t bought that Baldelli shirt on clearance not long ago) Oddly, one of the first things I thought of is that this now made him eligible to have his number 5 retired. This would have been his tenth season with the Sox. It was a minor league contract technically…but close enough. He has finished his career with the Sox. Now all he needed is to wait for his election to the Hall of Fame, and they could hang #5 off the façade. But, wait. Is it that simple anymore? Is Nomar a Hall of Famer? While I’m sure Adam_the_yankee_fan has his own opinion, I say…maybe. Probably?

There are really two questions. Would I put him in, and would he get voted in? Does he meet my requirements? In his ten full seasons, 1997-2000, 2002-3, 2006-8 he made the all-star team six times. He won two batting titles. I ask for five years of otherworldliness. I need five years where if you were starting a team, you wouldn’t be laughed at if you took him. I got those five. I ask for ten years of high quality play. I get seven pretty easy, without double-checking the numbers. I also ask not to embarrass yourself the rest of your career. Nomar didn’t really have a “rest” of his career, so he’s all set there. So, by my guidelines, he’s borderline. I could convince myself that his five years were so otherworldly he makes up for the couple years of high quality I can’t remember. I mean, as a shortstop, he was the best or second best of all-time for five or six years. So for half his career…he was beyond elite. If I sat down and thought about it, I could give him the nod. I certainly want to.

As for whether he’d get voted in? I usually look at the careers of Sandy Koufax and Kirby Puckett. Koufax was mediocre or worse for a chink of his 12-year run. But, he turned it on at the end. Isn’t his career really just the exact opposite of Nomar’s? As for Puckett, he also had a short run. It surprised me that Nomar, mostly as a shortstop, had more career homers than Kirby. Nomar was never an MVP, which certainly hurts. He only has one “ring.” He does have the two batting titles. I definitely don’t think he’d be a first ballot gut. But, could he squeak in? I could see it. And before you ask, by the numbers Nomar was better than Jeter every year he was in Boston.

That’s the difference.

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Adam_the_Yankee_FanMarch 12, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    Sorry, but I completely agree with Field of Cards.

    I also know that if were any other than #5, you would be talking about how over rated the Hall is, and how it is too easy to let guys in.

    The only way I would even allow this discussion to occur, is if you agree to allow the Hit Man in too.

    As one of his biggest fans I want him to get in, but I know the reality of his numbers not being good enough. He has very similar numbers to Nomar as shown below. Mattingly played through his back stuff, and Nomar was unable to play through his stuff. That causes Mattingly's numbers to be lower, however if you compare their best years, and even overall careers they were very similar.

    Nomar:

    14 yrs, 1434 Games, 927R, 229 HR, 936 RBI, .313 BA, .521 SLG, .882 OPS
    0 MVP, 1 top 5 MVP, 6 AS, 0 Gold Glove

    Donnie:

    14yrs, 1785 Games, 1007 R, 222 HR, 1099 RBI, .307 BA, .471 SLG, .830 OPS
    1 MVP, 3 top 5 MVP, 6 AS, 9 Gold Gloves

    Mattingly got just over 20% his first year of eligibility. I predict Nomar to get no more than 15%.

    Sorry, but you need to face the facts, your favorite player, although great in his own time, is not a worthy member of the HOF. I had to come to grips with the same thing. It does not diminish how great he was/is in my eyes. No one will take his place atop my Mantle.

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  3. Yes, yes. You're right. You're both right. Nomar's not a Hall of Famer. He's close. But, he slides just under the line. I know. However, I think the Koufax analogy is a good one. If Nomar's career was reversed, and he closed with the two batting titles, does he have a better shot?

    FOC, I have read Feeding the Monster. It was a great book. (I guess I'll need to reread it and post a review soon) I don't specifically remember the Nomar bashing but I'm sure it was there. Although, I would expect an author with a desk in Fenway Park to be a bit one-sided.

    ATYF, frankly your arguement makes Nomar look even better. If Nomar, as a shortstop, can put up the same numbers as a first baseman...wouldn't that mean he should get more that 20%?

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  4. Adam_The_Yankee_FanMarch 12, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    So do you want to take defense into the equation?

    That would bring Mattingly's WAR over Nomah guarenteed. The best defensive first baseman in the league compared to an avg. SS. I would take the added bonus of a good fielder. Besides, I remember "someone" saying that defense should only really be taken into account at first base.

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  5. Exactly. So "average" defense at short doesn't matter.

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