Everybody has read about Nomar by now, but hey I have not received my chance. Saturday was a interesting turn of events that led to 48 hours of true fun. Lets do a timeline of the events and my reaction to them.
Saturday Morning: 8:30 a.m. - I get up and turn the Laptop on, but that lasts about 5 minutes as the entire phone system in the house goes down. Not the way I want to start the Day. I turn on ESPN news and see that Jayson Stark says that Nomar to the Cubs is not dead, but not really alive.
Sat 12:00 p.m. -To my surprise the Cub game will be on in Birmingham today. At least I get to watch some baseball. Every minute or so I check back with ESPN news to see if there are any moves around the leage and with the Cubs.
Jim Bowden reports that Nomar to the Cubs is 50/50. Now what I do not understand is how they get 50/50. The problem have with trade rumors is who do they get this info from? Do they get them from GM's, agents, or interns inside the office of the these teams? I'm not sure, but I guess people love hear rumors regardless.
12:20 p.m. - First pitch with Matt Clement and Alex "K" Gonzalez in the game. At this point I knew for a fact that the Cubs would not make a big move to get a huge upgrade, but I did think that they would at least add a relief pitcher. In the second inning the Cubs let Matt Clement down with an error, and then he gave up two HR's on the day after each error. He loses the game 4-3 and the Cubs fall 2 games back of the Padres.
3:00 p.m. - The deadline comes and goes. The Cubs do not get Nomar and to that effect they get nobody. The one saving grace was that deals could get anounced. I keep watching ESPN News and nothing for 45 minutes, so I fire up the Playstation 2 and get ready for some MVP 2004. Sammy hits two HR's as I crush the Cardinals 9-0. Clement improves to 8-1 with a 1.75 ERA and the Cubs win their 11th game in a row.
4:15 p.m. - I turn the TV back to ESPN and see the greatest sight I think my eyes have ever seen. The Cubs get Nomar. THE CUBS GET NOMAR! THE CUBS GET NOMAR!!!!!!!!!!!!! I fire up the phone as fast as possible. The Problem is that I can't get any internet sources on the story because Bellsouth has seen fit not to fix my DSL connection. So I give Scott Lange from The Northside Lounge to see if he knows anything. On a side note this is the second time I have called Scott about trades, the first was the Lee deal last year.
4:25 p.m. The more Scott and I find out about the deal, the more I love. Jim Hendry just pulled off the greatest Cub Trade in history. He did not give up Clement or any the untouchable prospects in the system. Let's look at the deal:
First about what the Cubs gave up.
Alez Gonzalez- I think I am ok with this one. The Give up their worst player and get one of the leagues top SS.
I will not miss his K's either or his game 6 error that really cost us.
Francis Beltran- A quality Major League reliever. Beltran will probably be a very solid pitcher for many years, but this in a system that is rich with pitching a reliever is easy to give up.
Brendon Harris - This is the one prospect that I did not want to want to see leave the organization. He could have filled in as a cheap spot at 2B next year, but again not the end of the world. The Cubs could bring back Todd Walker or look somewhere else.
Justin Jones- It is always tough to trade left handed pitching prospects, but this seems to be the player that was a deal breaker. It seems like Jones has had some arm problems this past year.
All in all not a bad day for the Cubs, now lets look at what the Cubs get:
Matt Murton- He looks like a descent hitting prospect, but he is still in A-Ball. I would think that he could be traded down the road in another deal, or maybe not.
Nomar Garciaparra- The replace their worst hitter with a future Hall of Fame SS. More important the Cubs get a player that puts the bat on the ball. The intangables are the fact that Nomar will give the Cubs a spark to make a post-season run. If the Cubs sign Nomar in the off season, then it will be even better, but the Cubs can make the case that a rental is well worth it.
Sunday Morning- I wake up thinking that Saturday was a dream, but I was still happy to find that Sunday would mark Nomar's first day in the Cubbie Blue.
Sunday during the Game- How I wish I could be in Chicago for this game. Maddux does not get win number 300, but the Cubs come from behind and win. Nomar is 1 for 4 with a RBI in the win.
I have to say that this was not the perfect start, but hey it is a win.
Sunday Afternoon- I call up my good buddy Dan Loflin, who happens to be a Red Sox fan. The first thing out of his mouth even before I said hello, was something to the effect of " you guys robbed us blind." He did bring up some interestin points about Nomar. He had said that Nomar was being a cancer in the clubhouse, but reports out of Chicago today seem to say different. Somebody is lying or trying to save face. His shock was in the fact that the Cubs pulled off the best part of this deal without giving up a ton. Dan really did not like the fact that Clement was not in the deal. I would have to agree, but hey our team got the better end. I do think that Hendry stayed to his word that Clement would not be delt or guys like Angel Guzman and Felix Pie would not be del either.
The questions remain did Nomar hold the Red Sox hostage? Is his ankle ok? If not how much time will he miss? Mr. Loflin seems to think he hosed the Red Sox. That may be true, but it seems like Garciaparra is happy to be out of Boston.
Like any trade it will be fun to look back at and say that was a great deal. This may or may not work, but it is something the Cubs had to do.
Tonight the Cubs start a little rocky with the 3 runs in the first, but they come back with 5 in the third. Nomar also picked up his 2 RBI which is 1/4 to the total of Alex Gonzalez.