Storylines: A’s-Sox Gamer IV

The true second half of the season begins tonight, and the Red Sox, thanks to some struggles against the Mariners, are just off the 100-win pace. But they're in first place 81 games in, have an All-Star knuckleballer on pace for 20 wins, an MVP-candidate left fielder on pace for nearly 40 home runs and 140 RBI, and a future Hall of Famer going for his first win of the season tonight.

And that isn't even one of the top two stories of the evening.

No, with Jeff Bailey and Mike Lowell injured and Mark Kotsay wounded, the Sox have called up Aaron Bates for his Major League debut. The call for Nick Johnson grows stronger.

And headlining this night is the return of Nomar Garciaparra, playing in Boston for the first time since his departure became the heralded Big Move that pushed the Red Sox to their 2004 World Series victory. It was a rocky, tumultuous relationship between Nomar and Boston fans during his time here, particularly in the final year. We expect, however, that his reception will be one befitting the player who thrilled us night after night from 1997-2003: a long, loud standing ovation. And he will deserve it.

His career didn't turn out the way he — or we — would have liked, but for six years, he was the charismatic, flashy, hard-hitting shortstop we were proud to call our own. His on-field rivalry with Derek Jeter helped rejuvenate a stagnant rivalry (and, incidentally, led to the birth of this very blog). So say it with me for old time's sake — because it was assuredly true while he wore the red and white:

"Nomah's Bettah."

27 comments… add one

  • counterpoint:
    Jeter’s better

    Nick-YF July 6, 2009, 5:53 pm
  • In other news: Pedroia’s out of the lineup tonight. Smoltz better pitch good because I don’t think the Sox are going to hit much tonight.

    stuck working July 6, 2009, 6:05 pm
  • countercounterpoint:
    Hanley’s better?

    SF July 6, 2009, 6:30 pm
  • countercountercounterpoint from Bill Plascke: David Eckstein 4EVA!!!

    stuck working July 6, 2009, 7:02 pm
  • And the dialectic process is complete.
    thesis: nomah’s bettah
    antithesis: jeter’s better
    synthesis: hanley’s better
    thesis: hanley’s better
    antithesis: ?
    synthesis: ?
    hopefully the synthesis will be a ss on the yanks. time will tell.

    Nick-YF July 6, 2009, 7:04 pm
  • Seems like Smoltz has the first inning jitters this season.

    stuck working July 6, 2009, 7:19 pm
  • Bah, Rocco’s GIDP gives us tonight’s first Sox RISP FAIL.

    stuck working July 6, 2009, 7:40 pm
  • This team has been very frustrating lately. They don’t feel like a first place squad, but maybe I am just really spoiled at this point. Or, maybe they won’t be a first place team soon. Or both.

    SF July 6, 2009, 8:12 pm
  • Apparently Pedroia’s wife is expecting in August and she is currently at the hospital and thats why Pedroia had to be scratched.

    TJ Sox Fan July 6, 2009, 8:48 pm
  • Come home after 4 epic sets of tennis, and this is the score I see? Damn you John Smoltz.

    Atheose July 6, 2009, 8:57 pm
  • hey if we can pay Matsuzaka to sit at home and do nothing can we pay Smoltz a little less to do the same and let Buchholz come up and kick some azz!

    TJ Sox Fan July 6, 2009, 9:01 pm
  • Well I say that Smoltz deserves at least 5 starts before we start questioning that. I’m itching to see some Buchholz though.

    Atheose July 6, 2009, 9:04 pm
  • Bay at third on an error by Hairston.

    Atheose July 6, 2009, 9:05 pm
  • What a dreadful game.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 6, 2009, 9:10 pm
  • Joe C tells us that the Red Sox are 6-12 vs. the AL Worst.
    And what is it with these young pitchers that we can’t seem to hit? Anderson is far from the first unknown pitcher that has made us look bad.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 6, 2009, 9:11 pm
  • He has to blow 5 games? sigh

    rootbeerfloat July 6, 2009, 9:16 pm
  • It’s one thing to lose on a road trip to the left coast, but when they’re in Fenway? Unacceptable.

    Atheose July 6, 2009, 9:16 pm
  • Wow, what a play by Bay!
    Okay guys, let’s get more than 2 hits please?

    Atheose July 6, 2009, 9:18 pm
  • Wow, he was called out at 2nd? Looked safe by a mile.

    Atheose July 6, 2009, 9:32 pm
  • ugly. just ugly. any word on why Elf is out?

    rootbeerfloat July 6, 2009, 9:38 pm
  • As I posted earlier apparently his wife is in the hospital. She was due to give birth to their first child sometime in August. Not sure if ESPN Radio has said anything since that report.

    TJ Sox Fan July 6, 2009, 9:43 pm
  • Complete game shutout, 2-hitter. Crap.

    Atheose July 6, 2009, 9:44 pm
  • The Sox need a bat. That’s where Theo should be shopping, at the bat store.

    SF July 6, 2009, 9:45 pm
  • Took 82 games before the Sox got shutout this season. Oh well.. Better Luck Tomorrow.

    TJ Sox Fan July 6, 2009, 9:47 pm
  • Erm, the Sox were shut out by the Rays on April 30th.

    AndrewYF July 6, 2009, 10:33 pm
  • I was gonna ask how I could possibly have missed it then I looked and saw the score…. lol enough reason there to not remember.

    TJ Sox Fan July 6, 2009, 10:40 pm
  • Yeah, I think you mean the first shutout at Fenway, TJ.

    Atheose July 7, 2009, 7:11 am

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