36-year-old free agent Nomar
Garciaparra is “widely expected” to retire, according to Susan Slusser of
the San Francisco Chronicle.
Garciaparra posted a disappointing .281/.314/.388 batting line with three home runs and 16 RBI in 160 at-bats as a backup corner infielder for the A’s last season. He’s a major injury risk and is no longer a reliable defensive infielder, even at first base. Par for the course, he has not been linked to any teams this offseason.
Nomar spent 13 seasons in the big leagues, starting in Boston and making stops with Chicago (Cubs), Los Angeles (Dodgers) and finally Oakland. If he is indeed retiring, the California native will finish with a stellar .313/.361/.521 career batting line, 229 career home runs and 1,747 career hits. Garciaparra won the Rookie of the Year in 1997 and was voted to six All-Star games.
He’s widely regarded as one of the classiest guys in the business and he no doubt has a stack of after-baseball opportunities available to him. But Nomar might prefer to spend the next chapter of his life driving his overly athletic kids to baseball, basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, and maybe even slamball practice. Don’t let John Calipari near those children. He’d have them in Kentucky gear by age 10.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.