9.18.02: Nomar Garciaparra (NG) on NESN's 'Extra Innings'
with Bob Rodgers (BR) and Jim Corsi (JC):
BR: Well let's get
to it, the story today in local paper blew everyone away...
someone told me to read it... I love it here, always felt that
way, I never said I wanted to go anywhere... the fans here are
great, they embrace me (remembered our sign), I've embraced
them.. one thing to be cynical or be criticized on the field.
JC: You don't call
up the scorekeeper?
NG: I talked about
that earlier today (with Debbie Wrobleski), never met the guy
(Scoggins/scorekeeper/sun-in-eyes)... I'm not here to bash
anybody. The fans aren't going to sink to that level too. Go
out there, play as hard as you can. Sometimes you're going to
make mistakes, like today.
JC: You don't
deserve to play here?
NG: I'm proud of
this uniform. I have pride. Think of those who have played
here before me.
JC: I love this
guy, he's a good kid, works hard, he gets a lot of negative
press for nothing.
NG: I learned a
lot more. I grew up in California. People told me "don't go
to the East, it's going to ruin baseball for you," I said
'what people are going to be here in the first inning, here in
the last?' they were ... that's why I love it so much. We're
fans too, we care... we have high expectations... sometimes
you don't make those expectations, those standards are
frustrating. Sometimes things don't come out the way you want
them to when you're frustrated. Something you say in the
BR: How do you
stay positive (with negative). Media driven?
NG: I don't know if
it was media driven. Not the fans. Sometimes it's the
clubhouse demeanor too, especially this year... two guys 20
games, 2 guys 100 RBI, ERA leader... why are we packing it
up? No stories about this guy not doing stuff outside the
games. I don't want to see this team break up. Good hearts,
BR: As much as
everyone wants to say "We love you Nomar"... let's get to some
NG: Casey has had
a great year, coming up big for us.
JC: You're your
hardest critic, you were out last year now over 110 RBI (more
stats) what more can you do here?
NG: When season's
over, I go look in the mirror, ask 'what do I have to do to
make this better?'
Bob in Wrentham:
Thanks... Buckley's comments were appalling, shouldn't have
anything to do with the Herald, Nomar's a great player, I was
there getting pictures of Nomar, daughter's autographs...
blah, blah... he doesn't cut my grass.. inspiration for the
team... lucky to have him... Steve Buckley needs to get new
Chris Boston: Holy
cow. Wanted to thank you for play. Media never going to be
satisfied. Talking Patriots, took three years and here we are
year one with new management, not even given a year...
NG: Well it's
always positive when you win, not positive when you don't
win... sounds positive to me hearing the fans out there
cheering, they don't have to buy into what one person's
opinion is, they're way above that.
NG: I tell them
(other players) it's not like any other place. This is the
first uniform I put on and I want it to be the last one I take
off when I pack it up with the family.
Karen Whitney TX:
We love you down here in Texas. Nomar with an 'R"... I cannot
not believe they say Nomah... what about damage control
tonight taking Casey out?
NG: That's what
bullpen's for, got a lot out of him....
NG: I know I'm
gonna get some because I'm gonna go for that ball, make the
routine ones, not gonna stop trying, the pitcher's going to
appreciate it... pop up in the sky, you have those, you're
gonna have errors.
JC: He's got the
strongest arm I've ever seen in the hole...set his feet in the
hole, way over the top, good cheese on the ball...
NG: I don't know,
arm still attached
NG: Somebody said
something earlier. I want to stay here. Do we have control
over that stuff? No. But that's why I signed a long term
Rob in Billerica:
You said all the right things, glad to hear you talk
positive. Probably the most disappointing season in Red Sox
history. Good to hear how positive you are. What keeps you
NG: People like
you. The fans keep me positive. There isn't a better place
to win the World Series. Once we do I can take it easy
because I'll be celebrating.
Fan: Don't want to
trade you, but stop hacking at that first pitch...
NG: Hey that's the
way I played as a kid, got a couple of batting titles... JC:
You're hitting .400...
NG: In years past,
maybe you were going to see pitcher down the line, not so much
now... if I'm swinging well, I'm going to swing at the first
ball... people said 'if it doesn't work, don't talk to me"
NG: I tell people,
I don't look good walking... I got a bat in my hand
Attleboro: Congrats on a great year. What's it gonna take to
get past Yankees.
NG: We don't need
much, same record as Minnesota Twins. Great bunch of guys.
Break it down to one-run ballgames. Inter-league, not a big
fan. We played the best team in MLB six times. It happens.
I really like these guys. What needs to change? I don't
know. These are great guys. Great individuals. No one is
talking about them as individuals.
BR: What do you do
outside of baseball?
NG: Rest, relax.
See family at home, go to beach. Travel here, there. Just
like everybody else. Boston has great character. It's a
natural city, it's awesome. I used to take the T around.
Nice day I'm still going to walk down the street. People see
me I say hey...
NG: Not here to
talk about Manny, not going to take sides. He's got 100 RBIs,
going for batting title. That's what I'll talk about. He
apologized to everyone. Apologized to me. He sure is showing
it (that he's the best hitter in baseball).
BR: I watch Manny,
how still that head it, ball explodes off bat.
NG: Yes, hits ball
hard. Like Cliff Floyd, they ask 'how's he hitting?' Hard.
Almost got thrown out on ball off CF wall it was hit so hard.
BR: Since you've
been here nothing bad about Nomar or Manny off field... must
have hurt today
NG: Well when they
criticize play on the field, but when it's a personal
attack... when you start getting on someone's character, hey,
you're going to another level.
Call: Do you think
Boston is missing a couple of pieces to the pie to get to
NG: We didn't
think we had anything missing this year. Sometimes you need a
luck, ball bounces that way. I like these guys. I like going
into battle with them. If you keep this team together, the
results could be different.
NH: ...got everything in place you need, what's it going to
take to keep this core together?
NG: Don't really
know what management is thinking up top. How people's
contracts are worded. Don't know what it's going to take to
keep these guys. But a lot of guys feel exactly the same way
I do (love it here).
BR: Position by
position, everything is good... really an enigma what went
NG: Sometimes it
takes a little luck. Oakland A's.
JC: Can't compare
baseball to football, not a rah rha thing.
different, fired up for one game a week. Baseball being every
day, sometimes you have to be even keeled.
JC: You can lead
by example too.
NG: Every time you
lose, people say you need a leader. Just because we're not
talking to the media, doesn't mean we don't have leaders
BR: So in the last
45 minutes, safe to say you love it in Boston.
NG: Oh yeah, I
do... I don't want to leave.