Thursday, April 21, 2005
INJURY STRIKES SELFLESS GARCIAPARRA
"ST. LOUIS -- This one goes under the truly unfortunate heading of 'no good deed goes unpunished.'
So Nomar Garciaparra, hitting .163, gets word to Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker that he will voluntarily drop down in the batting order, because he isn't helping the team batting .163 while hitting third.
This is a good thing, a selfless thing. This is the kind of thing that became an issue with the Cubs last season when Sammy Sosa did not take particularly well to his own demotion in the order. But Garciaparra removes all elements of controversy by not only accepting, but in a way, initiating his own demotion in the order.
Baker puts Garciaparra sixth in the Cubs lineup Wednesday night. Everybody understands that this is temporary. The record says that Garciaparra will not only get straightened out, he might very well hit roughly twice as much as .163. His gesture of offering to hit lower in the order is both understood and appreciated.
'That was big of him to say and do that,' Baker said. 'That's when you find out about a person, when they're going bad. It's easy to be a team guy when you're going good. When you're going bad, that's when you find out who a person is. He's a hell of a dude.'
So for a moment there, life is good for the Cubs. One of the biggest names on the team has acted unselfishly for the collective good. "