Nomar

Nomar Garciaparra's tenure in Boston did not end well (though it certainly could not have turned out better for the Red Sox), and his career never fulfilled the incredible promise he showed in those first few years. But time heals all wounds, and the good memories more than outweigh the bad. So this is very cool.

WEEI.com's Lou Merloni reports that Nomar Garciaparra will sign a one-day, minor league deal with the Red Sox and then announce his retirement as a member of the organization. Garciaparra will then commence a career as a baseball analyst for ESPN.

He's not a Hall of Famer. He won't get his number on the right-field facade — at least, he shouldn't. But for five years, he (and Pedro Martinez) provided the hope that, ironically, was finally fulfilled with the pieces for which he was traded. The standing ovation he received upon returning to Fenway last season turned the page on Garciaparra's less-than-optimal departure; this gesture closes the book on a career that burned bright but burned too quickly.

43 comments… add one

  • I don’t hate all Red Sox players. I think my track record here proves that point. Nomar is definitely a Red Sox player I cannot stand. Due mostly in part to the way the fans tried to force his value…quite simply “Nomar isn’t, wasn’t or will never be better.” I am sorry the guy faced some tough times at the end of his career, it’s truly unfortunate that he declined so rapidly, he deserved better. All that said my answer today is the same as it was years ago, I’ll take Jeter.

    John - YF March 10, 2010, 9:50 am
  • Great, way to set the the tone for this comment thread, John. Honestly, I don’t know why the urge to jump in and talk about how much you dislike the guy is appropriate as a first comment, especially in the context of a nice symbolic gesture by both Garciaparra and the Red Sox organization, a move for the fans and for the player.
    I would expect Sox fans to respect a similar situation with the Yankees, for that matter. I don’t begrudge you your sentiments about Nomar, but I think the comment is ill-timed and ill-advised.

    SF March 10, 2010, 10:17 am
  • So delete it SF, what can I tell you. I will only post comments on issues re: the Yankees, what can I tell you. I thought I was polite in how I made my point, but if you think otherwise I have no issue with you deleting it. Part of what fuels this rivalry and this site is hatred or dislike for players on the other team. In the same breath the other part of it is respect. I showed both in my comment above. I dislike him as a player, but showed enough respect for the man’s career and well being to say what happened to him was unfortunate and he deserved better. You can take it how you want, my track record speaks for itself. I have never been a dick and don’t plan on being one, but if you want to take that comment as setting a bad tone then by all means delete it. No hard feelings here, feel free.

    John - YF March 10, 2010, 10:28 am
  • I am not going to delete it.
    I simply think that a little decorum might have been in order. Just reverse the situation as a test – Jeter retires after the same career arc as Nomar, and a Sox fan pipes in with “Nomah’s bettah” and “with all due respect to Jetes, I never liked him”, right off the bat.
    It’s just a bit unpleasant to start the thread comments that way, I hope you understand.

    SF March 10, 2010, 10:41 am
  • I don’t and I hesitate to take this any further out of respect to Paul and his post. You have your opinion, I have mine. I meant no disrespect, if I did I would have save I am glad he fell on hard times and that’s the opposite of what I said. My apologies Paul.

    John - YF March 10, 2010, 10:50 am
  • “Nomar isn’t, wasn’t or will never be better.” … All that said my answer today is the same as it was years ago, I’ll take Jeter.
    Seriously, do you expect a comment like that to just be allowed to stand, as opposed to significantly derailing the thread? Your sentiments today are obviously correct. Everyone would take Jeter’s career. If those were your sentiments in 2000, you would have been just as obviously incorrect. (.325/.402/.479 for Jeter from 1997-2000, .337/.386/.577 for Nomar). Or for that matter, had those been your sentiments in 2003. (.325/.372/.557 for Nomar, 97-03; .319/.393/.467 for Jeter in the same period — a 70-point difference in OPS with better defense from Nomar).
    There, now I’ve participated in the derailment.
    I will say that Nomar was the first Red Sox prospect who I followed through the minors — perhaps because his name was so unique, it was easy to remember. His debut in September 1996 was greeted with a huge amount of excitement among Sox fans; he was easily the most anticipated prospect since Clemens. I remember listening to the game on WTIC when Nomar pinch hit for his major league debut. Adding to the hype, he went 3 for 5 with a home run in his first career start, then went 2 for 4 with a double and two more RBI the very next game. The Sox were an exciting team then, putting together the best second-half record in baseball and finishing two games short of the playoffs after the worst start to a season they’d ever had.
    1997 was pretty terrible all the way around. Clemens had left for Toronto, Tom Gordon and Tim Wakefield were the best starters. The offense was pretty good (though Wil Cordero in left was something we’d all rather forget), but the pitching and bullpen were abysmal — Aaron Sele, Jeff Suppan, Steve Avery and Heathcliff Slocumb appeared in more than 120 games and none of them had an ERA below 5.35. The Sox were 15 games out in June.
    But there was Nomar. The Rookie of the Year. The counterpoint to Jeter, who was the cornerstone of a new Yankee dynasty. And in August, there was the 30-game hit streak, which was captivating in a way I’d never experienced before. By the end of the streak, the Sox were 20 games out and less than a week away from sliding into fourth place (the last time they’d ever be there so late in a season, I believe).
    The other thing I remember about Nomar was that he was a big-time first-pitch swinger, and that as his career progressed (and injuries led to his continued decline) that became less and less of a perceived attribute — at least for me. When I was young and impressionable, it seemed great that he always swung at that first pitch. Obviously now that is anathema. Nomar was always batting average-heavy, and that means he had far less room for error if he got out of whack. During his 30-game streak, he walked six times. Six. In 30 games, during which he was the most dangerous hitter in baseball. Of course, his lack of walks allowed him to put together a hitting streak of such length, but I believe his style betrayed him as injuries affected his ability to hit for the insane numbers he posted early in his career (.372 from a shortstop is insane. Period.)
    But, to sum all that up, I think the reasons Nomar was so loved by Sox fans are these:
    1. He was ours, not a trade or a signing, even a scrap-heap signing. He was drafted and signed and developed by the Sox.
    2. He came up during a dismal period for the Red Sox as a team.
    3. He did things no shortstop had ever done before for the Red Sox.
    The fact that he was something of a response to Jeter — and was better than Jeter, to boot — certainly didn’t hurt. But I think that was a very small piece of the puzzle.

    Paul SF March 10, 2010, 11:00 am
  • “Seriously, do you expect a comment like that to just be allowed to stand, as opposed to significantly derailing the thread?”
    How is remembering MY memories of a players career derailing? This site is called YFSF. So that means when a topic like this comes up Yankee fans, as well as Red Sox fans will have their personal memories of players, moments, etc…That chant is a HUGE part of my memory of Nomar. I went to school in CT and attended many games at Fenway and the Bronx during his time in this rivalry. My comment was driven by all of those things. The chant was a STAPLE of at games in both the Bronx and in Boston, as well as with all my friends from CT and Mass. Sox fans would chant “Nomar’s Better” over and over again over the course of a game. It was part of this man’s career in this rivalry. It wasn’t a random thought, it was a response. I can hear that chant in my head right now, that’s a memory of the man. This is a thread on the career of a man who played a HUGE part in a HUGE rivalry, to which we/you dedicate an entire site. I am sorry you guys are offended, my comments weren’t meant to be offensive. Just as I would expect you guys to say something similar when Jeter retires…Disliked the man tremendously, but really unfortunate to see his career end. I usually back off out of respect to you guys and your knowledge, but I don’t think anything I said was inflammatory or out of line.

    John - YF March 10, 2010, 11:13 am
  • Fair enough, John. Just seemed like the wrong note to me, but I’m not questioning your motivation or anything like that. Nomar vs. Jeter was indeed a significant part of the rivalry — in fact, the basis for the founding of this site, as I understand it.
    And Nomah was bettah. ;-) For a little while anyway.

    Paul SF March 10, 2010, 11:28 am
  • Im in agreement here with John. Basically every time I hear his name I think of the 10 trillion times I heard “Nomah’s better” at games, from friends, etc. At a site like this, the context of how YFs view a retiring ex-Red Sox is totally fine. Big deal, John didnt like Nomar. I dont see the harm in him saying so…

    sam-YF March 10, 2010, 11:28 am
  • I think your explanation is fair, John, but it still struck me as an impolitic way to kick off the comments, and I stand by that. As for this commnent:
    Just as I would expect you guys to say something similar when Jeter retires…Disliked the man tremendously, but really unfortunate to see his career end
    I would not consider that as my first comment regarding a Jeter (or any other Yankee) retirement, even if he was my least favorite player ever (which he isn’t, not even close – that’s Bb Stanley, a RED SOX!). I just wouldn’t instantly do that to a thread about a retiring legend of another team, no matter how much I disliked that player or no matter what their relationship to the rivalry. To each his own I guess.

    SF March 10, 2010, 11:37 am
  • actually, arod was bettah than both of them, but that’s beside the point…like john. i had to endure the stuff about how nomar was better than jeter…which at a brief point in time was true…so what?…how’d that work out for him?
    the original point of the post is a good one: “time heals all wounds”…reconciliation is healthy, and it’s good to see him and the organization patch things up and focus on the handful of good years he had in boston as opposed to clinging to the memory of his rather acrimonious departure…
    for what it’s worth, i defend john’s right to say whatever he wants within the rules of engagement…i have to keep reminding you guys that your own masthead says the site is “always opinionated”…if you wanted this thread to be a nomar lovefest, then it should be labeled such, and another thread created for real 2-sided discussion…

    dc March 10, 2010, 12:03 pm
  • and who gets lost in all of this?
    That’s right.
    Spike Owen.

    walein March 10, 2010, 12:12 pm
  • http://slanchreport.com/2010-articles/march/thank-you-nomar.html
    http://thehangover.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/my-name-is-nomar/
    Just a two articles where you can see what I was trying to say. The Chant is part of Nomar’s history in this rivalry and in this game. Me saying I dislike him was secondary and basically a result of this chant. The NOMAH’S BETTER chant is to me as the 1918 chant must have been to Sox fans. Apparently it made an impact on others as well as you can see by going to the links above.
    I recently watched the Bird/Magic documentary on HBO and while I am sure the rivalry between Nomar and Jeter is far short of that of Magic and Bird in people’s minds, the point still is that they were rivals in the midst of a HUGE rivalry. I dislike Nomar the player, not the person. I respect him for what he was and what he did and find it unfortunate for him that his career hit such a slide so quickly. Watching a star who was once so amazing be relegated to being a utility player/pinch hitter is tough to watch, regardless of the team you root for. I get no pleasure from that. Larry Bird went through the same transition, from mega star to a shell of what he was, also due to an injury. In both instances it’s truly a shame that such megastars had such awful ends to their respective careers. Bottom line is when Bird retired I am sure Lakers fans reacted in a similar way: Hated the guy as a player, but it’s unfortunate it had to end the way it did. This rivalry we have here is a beautiful thing and hatred/dislike, regardless of how old we are is part of it. I don’t expect anyone to fake anything when it’s time for a Yankee to retire, speak your mind. If you hated him, be proud and say so, own it. It doesn’t take away from your credibility provided it’s not said in a douche-e way and it certainly doesn’t take away from what that player accomplished.
    In an effort to switch gears…while I did not like Nomar, I always thought his pre-at bat ritual was pretty cool. As someone who is borderline OCD/superstitious I found it pretty amazing that he was able to replicate that ritual after every pitch. Also, Nomar always seemed to be having fun, which in the end is what you want to see as a fan. The only instance where I can remember him not smiling, being happy go lucky was that series against the Yankees before he was dealt I believe in which he sat. (Not inflammatory, just speaking here) His career also reminds me a lot of Don Mattingly’s. Very good players for very short period of time.

    John - YF March 10, 2010, 12:35 pm
  • Nomar was a fantastic player, a true superstar. I was only 13 in 2000, so I wasn’t old enough to remember the politics or the focus on Nomar’s ‘work ethic’ or whatnot, but he should always be remembered for his amazing seasons, and for being the greatest shortstop in Red Sox history. Really cool move on both sides to have him retire a Red Sox.
    Now he joins the ranks of players whose promising careers were cut short by injury. Most recent Yankee counterparts being Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.

    AndrewYF March 10, 2010, 12:38 pm
  • Oddly, in spite of my protestations, and though at his peak I thought it pretty clear that Nomar was the best shortstop not named Alex and was willing to argue as such, I never developed the affection for him that Paul did.
    At that time it was Pedro and then everyone else. Nomar was an identifiable Sox, but I never held him in the same esteem that I did a guy like Clemens or Pedro or Yaz or Dewey.

    SF March 10, 2010, 2:04 pm
  • Most recent Yankee counterparts being Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.
    Off-topic – was Bernie’s really “cut short” by injury? He had a pretty long career, as I see it. Seems like Bernie’s career kind of just…ended. He played 131 games his final season but then either didn’t get an offer or didn’t want to play for anyone but the Yankees, who weren’t interested. I don’t look at Williams’ career arc and see a career cut short or debilitated by injury, like Nomar’s so clearly was.

    SF March 10, 2010, 3:41 pm
  • I never developed the affection for him that Paul did.
    I’m not saying you’re old, SF, but I bet age has something to do with that. ;-)

    Paul SF March 10, 2010, 3:59 pm
  • reconciliation is healthy,
    Tell that to Republicans in Congress. :-P

    Paul SF March 10, 2010, 4:00 pm
  • Nah, Paul – I was barely 30 and painfully single when Nomar came up and then hit his stride.
    It may have more to do with the fact that it was at the very moment when the internet wasn’t yet mature enough to provide me with the ability to watch Nomar play as much as I would have liked. Now I can see Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, etc. make their mark every game they play. With Nomar, it was more of a box score-type relationship, other than when the Sox played on Sunday nights or when I was home. I think I have more of a sentimental attachment to players now than a decade ago, mostly because I get to watch them play.

    SF March 10, 2010, 5:45 pm
  • It was, SF. He had a leg injury back in late May 2003 and was never the same.
    Splits for that year:
    Pre-injury: .286/.397/.457
    Post-injury: .248/.346/.381
    And his subsequent seasons tell the rest of the story. I’d say that’s pretty darn clear. If not for that leg injury, he could have had a much less steep decline, and would probably be in serious conversations for a HOF plaque.

    AndrewYF March 10, 2010, 5:46 pm
  • it seems as if it’s become an accepted fact here that nomar was better pre-decline, and i’d just like to note that the evidence for this is less absolute than suggested. there were certainly years when their numbers were comparable, and nomar had the advantage of fenway, which certainly was useful to his power numbers. two great players, in their prime, for sure. enough said for me.

    YF March 10, 2010, 5:53 pm
  • YF I was just checking out the numbers and came to same conclusion myself. Its actually amazing how hard it is to make a case for one player over the other in their youthful primes. For each stat that one has in his favor the other has one to counter. Your summation of two great players in their prime is enough for me. Only one, however, will end up in the HOF.

    sam-YF March 10, 2010, 6:45 pm
  • I just want to apologize to Paul and SF for my comment. I am a very emotional fan and I try to keep in those emotions and for the most part I do a really good job of that. In this instance, regardless of how innocent my original comment was intended on being, SF is right, it shouldn’t have been the 1st, let alone the 12th or 13th. This post was intended to be a celebration of a very good major league career and my comments, again even as innocent as I thought they were, derailed the initial intentions of the post. My bad fellas, sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me. So Paul, SF, I apologize. Thanks.

    John - YF March 10, 2010, 7:27 pm
  • John: I appreciate that. I do want to make sure that I don’t come off as a Pollyanna here, though, with regards to the discussion and the heated nature that the debate can take on at times. As you say, it is THE rivalry, and we should be willing to engage in impersonal, vigorous, and passionate debate. I have no beef with that in general. But I do appreciate your comment, a great deal.
    As for Bernie – the difference is age as far as I am concerned. Nomar hit the injury wall as he barely tipped 30, while Bernie was four years older. An injury causing decline at 34 just doesn’t strike me as comparable. Mattingly is a far better comp: a guy who could have been in the discussion as greatest of all time (like Nomar had he stayed healthy).

    SF March 10, 2010, 8:22 pm
  • there were certainly years when their numbers were comparable, and nomar had the advantage of fenway, which certainly was useful to his power numbers.
    OPS+ is a poorer statistic than usual here because it devalues Jeter’s superiority at getting on base, so let’s use some offensive stats that better account for Jeter’s strength.
    Here’s a wOBA comparison from Fangraphs, showing Nomar as better or equal every year from his first full-time season until 2005 (except 2001, when the Reyes HBP torpedoed his year, and likely his career) — including Jeter’s peak 1999 performance.
    Offensive Winning Percentage (WP of a team with nine of this hitter in the lineup, average pitching and defense), 1997-03: Nomar, .673, Jeter, .638.
    Historical WAR, 1997-03: Nomar, 40.6, Jeter, 35.4.
    It’s not as big of a cakewalk as OPS+ makes it out to be, but it’s a pretty decisive verdict. WAR comes closest, and that’s arguably because of Nomar’s lost 2001, which costs him significantly in both playing time and batting runs.
    Finally, regarding Fenway helping him, Garciaparra was better on the road in 1997 and 2000 — and only in 2003 did he post a tOPS+ below 90 (where 100 is his season average). He posted road sOPS+ in that span (where 100 is the league’s road average) of 149, 146, 150, 170, 69 (in 20 games), 136 and 85. Jeter was very close to the same hitter — slightly better, in fact — on the road as he was at home, but his sOPS+ numbers on the road are lower than Nomar’s in four of the seven seasons (the other three being 1999, 2001 and 2003). The idea that Nomar was significantly boosted by his home park doesn’t hold water.
    That’s why if you use B-R’s neutralized stats, it gives Jeter a 1997-03 line of .319/.394/.469, essentially the same as his real numbers, while Nomar is at .312/.359/.536, which is worse than his real numbers and closer to Jeter, but still ahead.
    The fun thing is that if you figure the players’ GPA (where OBP is weighted at nearly twice the value) based on those neutralized numbers, you wind up with .29555 for Nomar and .29455 for Jeter. You see? Nomar’s bettah! :-)

    Paul SF March 10, 2010, 9:26 pm
  • So by this bizarro world logic…Marino is better than Brady. Sweet. ;)

    krueg March 10, 2010, 10:00 pm
  • “That’s why if you use B-R’s neutralized stats, it gives Jeter a 1997-03 line of .319/.394/.469, essentially the same as his real numbers, while Nomar is at .312/.359/.536, which is worse than his real numbers and closer to Jeter, but still ahead.”
    interesting. I have no idea how to quantify the comparative differences in OBP with the slugging differences. What’s the ratio for comparative significance? Is there a quick and dirty one? OBP is of course more important than slugging. But by how much? Also, how much should Jeter’s superior baserunning totals be factored in the discussion? I’m with YF and Sam here in that I don’t think Garciaparra was clearly the superior player.

    Nick-YF March 10, 2010, 10:18 pm
  • In terms of the aesthetics of his game, Nomar was a mixed bag for me. In many ways, he was one of the most visually appealing players I’ve ever had the chance to watch. He had a great swing. Like Cano, he seemed to hit the ball hard every time he was up. In the field, he very acrobatic. He had a way of slinging, instead of throwing, that I thought was cool. But, unlike John, I couldn’t stand the whole OCD routine. I just found it so annoying. Made me agitated. So he was great to watch when there was any action of the field, but very annoying when there was dead time and the camera was on him.

    Nick-YF March 10, 2010, 10:23 pm
  • OBP is of course more important than slugging. But by how much?
    Consensus has centered on 1.8 times slugging. GPA is a good stat for this (Hardball Times keeps track of it). The formula is (1.8*OBP+SLG)/4. You divide by four to scale it closer to a recognizable number, which in this case is batting average (though actually a little lower than BA, in that .300 is awesome in GPA but simply very good in BA).
    Also, how much should Jeter’s superior baserunning totals be factored in the discussion?
    Any edge Jeter has in baserunning is erased by Nomar’s edge on defense. For whatever it’s worth, Sean Smith has Nomar as a +1 baserunner (1 run above average) from 1997-03 and a +50 defender. He has Jeter as a +33 runner and a -84 defender.
    Even on offense, Jeter gets just eight more runs than Nomar (187-180) in what is basically one extra season (Nomar was around for all of 20 games in 2001, and was worth one run above average). Give Nomar the second-worst total he posted from 97-03 (+17 in ’03), and that eight-run difference is flipped.
    So there isn’t really a metric I can see that gives this to Jeter, and while it’s certainly not a blowout, I don’t see it as particularly close either, given the number of different metrics that point that direction (with varying degrees of certainty). The best argument is YF’s ballpark one, and that requires us to assume a lot about how the players would perform in an offense-neutral setting versus the settings in which they actually played. Suffice it to say Garciaparra did not overly benefit from Fenway, which is to his credit as a hitter.

    Paul SF March 10, 2010, 11:36 pm
  • This is obviously madness, right? You aren’t saying that Nomar is/was a better player than Jeter, are you? Are you saying he was better for a few years, but not overall?

    krueg March 11, 2010, 10:55 am
  • Are you saying he was better for a few years, but not overall?
    I’ll answer by quoting myself from this very thread:
    Your sentiments today are obviously correct. Everyone would take Jeter’s career. If those were your sentiments in 2000, you would have been just as obviously incorrect.

    And Nomah was bettah. ;-) For a little while anyway.
    For the duration of Nomar’s time in Boston, he was better than Jeter — slightly so as a hitter, much more so as a fielder. Since then, Jeter’s been basically the same hitter while Nomar fell apart. Longevity and consistency: It’s the difference between the HOF and the HOVG.

    Paul SF March 11, 2010, 11:04 am
  • OK. I’m not trying to get involved, I just wasn’t sure if you were joking around or not…you weren’t.

    krueg March 11, 2010, 11:37 am
  • Who in baseball would have traded Nomar for Jeter straight up after 1996? Or after 1999? Nomar’s stats were better, but I think you’ll have a hard time convincing any one that he was the better player during that period. And yes, that includes intangibles for the Captain.
    It’s still amazing to me that the Sox could have replaced Nomar with A-Rod. I really wonder if A-Rod could have executed in the way Manny did. But it would have been fun to watch. Oh well.

    Paul from Waltham March 11, 2010, 11:43 am
  • “Who in baseball would have traded Nomar for Jeter straight up after 1996? Or after 1999? Nomar’s stats were better, but I think you’ll have a hard time convincing any one that he was the better player during that period. And yes, that includes intangibles for the Captain.”
    These were my thoughts as well, but Paul loves stats and it seems he is conceding the point the Jeter has proven to be the better player, it’s really not even close, but that Nomah had better stats for a few years…
    I think we all wonder what ARod ending up in Boston would have looked like…nuts.

    krueg March 11, 2010, 12:18 pm
  • I think you’ll have a hard time convincing any one that he was the better player during that period.
    *shrug* I can only present the numbers that make the case. If you’re not convinced, you’re free to present the numbers that make your case. No one has to this point, however.
    it seems he is conceding the point the Jeter has proven to be the better player, it’s really not even close, but that Nomah had better stats for a few years.
    1997-2003 was more than just a few years, but yes, this is what I’m saying.

    Paul SF March 11, 2010, 12:24 pm
  • To stick blindly to the numbers ignores the context. Ever hear the saying “Character is destiny”? Nomar’s petulance in 2004 was exactly why he was traded. Jeter was rated above him because all of baseball saw the same things. No one would have taken Nomar after 2000.
    You’re also really stretching things if you think Nomar’s statistical superiority extended past 2000. And in 1999, Jeter had the higher OPS+, barely. Nomar of course also missed all of 2001. He gets the edge in 2002, but 2003 was very close again, then Nomar fell off of the cliff.
    To continue this discussion would be lame. We’d basically be re-living an argument from 1998 to 2000. After that, there was really no question and for all of baseball.

    Paul from Waltham March 11, 2010, 12:51 pm
  • > To continue this discussion would be lame
    Then drop out.

    attackgerbil March 11, 2010, 12:55 pm
  • I think we all wonder what ARod ending up in Boston would have looked like
    What’s this “we” shit, white man?

    SF March 11, 2010, 1:26 pm
  • To continue this discussion would be lame.
    It helps to read what has already been discussed before determining what is or is not “lame.” The wOBA chart linked above disputes your characterization of the 1999-2003 years. I’m sure you simply missed it in your effort to fairly and dispassionately discuss this topic without prejudging it.

    Paul SF March 11, 2010, 2:44 pm
  • Looking solely at the stats misses the context. When Nomar was finally living up to his hype in AAA, Jeter was winning his first championship and as ROY. 1997 belonged to Nomar. 1998 the Yankees were the best team in modern baseball history. That overshadowed whatever Nomar did. But sure, that’s when this debate found some air through 2000.
    After that, I don’t see how you can include post-2000 in this “lame” discussion. Nomar missed almost all of 2001. 2002-2003 there’s very little difference between the two. Your aggregate stats involving 2001-2003 are merely showing the same difference from 1997-2000.
    Nomar had excellent seasons from 1997-2000. I’m not denying that. But no one in baseball would have traded Jeter for him straight up. To pretend otherwise now is to look at stats devoid of real world context.

    Paul from Waltham March 11, 2010, 3:40 pm
  • But no one in baseball would have traded Jeter for him straight up.
    So you acknowledge the stats for Nomar were better, thereby indicating that he was the better player. Yet the “context” means Jeter was actually the better player? What context was this? Jeter’s clutchiness in the playoffs, i.e., the Intangibles? Because in 1998-99, Nomar hit .383/.446/.936 with seven home runs in 13 playoff games, compared to Jeter’s .303/.378/.414 in the same span (including a not-so-hot .682 OPS in the 1998 World Series).
    And I completely agree that Nomar and Jeter were basically even from 2001-04, to which I say: So? If Player A is much better than Player B for four years, then is even for the next four years, who is the better player over the course of those eight years? That’s a heck of a lot of context you’re adding to the scale to get the result you want.
    Sorry, but if you’re bringing the intangibles into a discussion about who was better, then you’re losing the argument. And responding with unprovable statements about hypothetical situations is only evidence of that being the case.

    Paul SF March 11, 2010, 4:52 pm
  • “So you acknowledge the stats for Nomar were better”
    Yes, in 1997-98 and 2000.
    “thereby indicating that he was the better player.”
    No, not at all.
    “Yet the “context” means Jeter was actually the better player? What context was this?”
    1996 – Nomar finally starts hitting…in AAA Pawtucket. Jeter, at the same age, wins the starting SS job for the Yankees, the ROY, and “leads” the team to its first championship in two decades. And yes he “leads”. The veteran team credits the rookie as the biggest difference from 1995.
    1997 – Nomar debuts loud and proud.
    1998 – Jeter’s Yankees post the best record in modern history. They win the title.
    1999 – Another year, another title.
    2000 – Ring #4 and Jeter takes the All-Star and Series MVP.
    Three of those four years Nomar had the better numbers, but where the context = 4 world championships in five years for Jeter. If Nomar had a few more seasons like 1999 and 2000 then it would have been interesting. But until he won even one title, the discussion went nowhere. He wasn’t the player that A-Rod was, and he wasn’t the winner that Jeter was.
    2001-04 don’t belong unless to muddy the debate. One, Nomar missed an entire season because of a serious wrist injury. And in 2004 he was traded halfway. Given that Jeter played 94 more games to the same stats, in 2001-03 and leading his team to another two pennants, he easily gets the nod those three years.
    Lastly, somewhere it has to be written that Nomar was traded because management thought he was an anti-leader. Then right after he’s traded they go on a magical August run and kill a dreaded drought. That fact brings him down a huge notch, especially relative to the standard that Jeter set.

    Paul from Waltham March 11, 2010, 11:16 pm
  • So is Dan Marino better than Tom Brady or not??? I mean, stats don’t lie right???

    krueg March 12, 2010, 11:43 am

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