“Can We Shake Left-Handed?”

- Chip Caray, in the top of the 7th inning on TBS in today’s game, relating what Nomar Garciaparra requested of him in the clubhouse on Saturday.

Because of his right hand. Which still has a microfracture. I think we all knew that Nomar was pushing it a little to get back before Andy LaRoche does, but that surprised me quite a bit to hear that it was still hurting him so much.

Nomar’s now 1-for-10 since his return. You can sell me on the small sample size argument at the plate, but have you seen him in the field yet? 2 errors in 3 games – but even that is misleading, as on Saturday he misplayed two crucial balls that didn’t go down as errors, which could have easily changed the outcome of the game. So he’s not hitting, he’s not fielding… how is he helping?

And it’s not just me, the lowly jaded blogger, who’s asking this question. Tony Jackson writes,

Just a thought, but I think the question has to be asked whether Nomar needed a longer rehab assignment. He is 1 for 10 (zero for his past nine) at the plate, and yesterday, he made three fielding gaffes (only one was an error, but one of the non-errors cost the Dodgers two runs). After the game, Torre said Nomar was “still getting his legs under him.” When I pressed him and asked if that suggested he should have had a longer rehab — because, really, when you come off the DL to play in games that actually count, your legs should be under you by then, IMHO — Torre seemed to push it off on Nomar, saying that with veteran players, you have to trust them to tell you when they’re ready.

Considering that Blake DeWitt – you know, the rookie who we all feared would have a severe case of deer-in-the-headlight-itis if he had to play every day – has played exactly 110 more innings than Nomar while committing one less error, I think it’s pretty fair to say that Nomar is in no way prepared to be the everyday third baseman.

I don’t want to place all the blame on this team’s current woes on Nomar. It’s obvious that Andruw Jones has been a disaster (3 more K’s today!), Martin’s still under .200 (though he did take one deep today), and no one seems to be able to hit with men on base. The fact is, though, that this team has enough issues going on right now. Blake DeWitt, while by no means an All-Star, is not currently one of them. Why create another new one? I’ll accept that it’s because of Nomar’s hand, even though he hadn’t been good before that in quite some time. But if he’s not even healthy enough to shake hands with a guy who looks like this, how can we expect him to perform at the highest level?

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg

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  1. [...] injuring himself again. But hey, at least during those 9 days he hit .226 and asked Chip Caray if he could shake left-handed because that’s how much his right hand hurt! On April 26th, Nomar popped his calf (injury #2) [...]