Just a short time ago, Nomar Garciaparra was considered one of the best shortstops in the game, even one of the best players in the game. He is the owner of two batting titles, a .320 lifetime batting average and a five-time All-Star. But after three straight injury plagued seasons, Garciaparra is almost a forgotten man in the baseball circles. This season, he changes teams - Chicago Cubs to Los Angeles Dodgers - and positions - shortstop to first base.
The Dodgers needed help at first and Garciaparra needed a chance to resurrect his career. He had no problems switching positions, anything for a chance to put his recent injury problems aside and reestablish himself as one of the premier players in the game. Both sides enter the 2006 season hoping the match is a good one.
What They're Saying
Bill Simmons: "Nomar Garciaparra (who just makes me feel bad that his career has fallen to the point that he's playing first base in the National League … good God, it's like watching a 90-pound Lindsay Lohan playing the fourth lead in a WB sitcom eight years from now with dark hair and a flat chest)"
March 8, 2006
Peter Gammons: "As for Garciaparra's transition to first, (Los Angeles Dodgers manager Grady) Little doesn't seem worried. 'He's an athlete, so he'll get it,' said Little. 'He's worked really well with Eddie Murray. He has to get comfortable. It isn't an easy transition, and he has to play enough there to know where he has to be, not think about it.'"
March 4, 2006
Nomar Garciaparra: "(Switching positions is) a learning process. At some point, I won't be thinking five million things in my head. Maybe that will come at the end of the year. Comfort comes when you do things instinctively, you don't have to think."
March 3, 2006
Nomar learning a new position with a new team
Sean McAdam: "Can Garciaparra, who won two batting titles and averaged almost 200 hits in six of his first seven major-league seasons, reclaim his standing as one of the game's elite players?
"Most people surveyed answered with a qualified 'yes.'"
Feb. 1, 2006