It’s not enough that Boston won a World Series without him, nor is watching Nomar Garciaparra’s career suffer another major setback enough for some people. Bob Ryan flashes his dubious medical credentials in this morning’s Boston Globe.
Things just keep happening to Nomar. There was the first wrist injury in ’99. There was the second wrist injury in ’01 that limited him to 21 games and 83 at-bats. There was the mysterious Achilles’ tendon injury in spring training last March. He said he was hit by a foul ball while standing on the sideline prior to the Red Sox’ exhibition game with Northeastern. No one on either team remembers seeing any such incident, and you’d rightfully think if something happened to a player of Nomar’s stature, it would have been a Story, right then and there. Even by Nomar standards, it was a strange, inexplicable story.
The July 31 trade last season to the Cubs changed nothing. He hurt his wrist again. And now this.
Look, I’m hardly the first person to raise the question. When he was with the Red Sox, who was bold enough to link our fair shortstop, a noted workout guy, with the dreaded S-word? But he did go from, like, standard athlete issue normal to ultra-buffed in one winter, and he has been — there is no other way to say it — systematically breaking down for the past six years, so you can’t help wondering just what he’s been putting into his body other than Wheaties and sirloin steaks. If we’re going to assume that Mark McGwire’s physical breakdown was because of a reliance on steroids, then it would be quite logical to adopt the same line of thinking about Nomar. It’s a legitimate question.
Sure. And it was also a legitmate question when Garciaparra was wearing a Red Sox uniform and was one of the city’s most beloved professional athletes. But apparently an easier question to ask today.