Number 5 is back, albeit wearing No. 1

It only took five years, but Nomar Garciaparra will finally play a baseball game at Fenway Park again tonight. He is representing the Oakland Athletics, and batting sixth as the DH. He is facing future Hall of Famer John Smoltz in the right-hander’s home debut in a Red Sox uniform.

Because there is a Nomar flavor tonight, here are five — yes, five symbolizing number five — top five Nomar moments that come to my mind.

1. The three-homer, two grand slam, 10-RBI game against the Mariners in May, 1999. What a clinic. “What a special player this kid is for Boston. We’re just lucky enough here that we get to watch him play,” manager Jimy Williams said later that night.

2. The three-homer, eight-RBI game in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader against the then Devil Rays in July 23, 2002. It was Nomar’s 29th birthday. Not a bad way to celebrate.

3. Game 4 of the 1998 Division Series, elimination game, against the Indians. After a 2-1 loss — Nomar had given the Sox the lead with a homer off Colon, but Flash Gordon coughed it up on a two-run double to David Justice — Nomar came out of the dugout after the game and saluted the fans, thanking them for all their support that season. It was a unique and classy gesture.

4. July 29, 2001. The golden moment of an otherwise forgettable season. Nomar returned following his wrist injury and thrilled the fans with a game-tying homer and a go-ahead single in a Sunday afternoon game against the White Sox.

5. June 22, 2004: Roughly 10 days after returning from the Achilles injury, Nomar provides his last great moment in a Red Sox uniform, belting a grand slam — his first homer of the season. Curt Schilling and the Red Sox went on to pound the Twins that night. Manager Ron Gardenhire walked Manny Ramirez intentionally to load them up for  Nomar. Garciaparra came out of the dugout for a curtain call.

Anyway, that sets the stage for the night. I think that as far as the fans are concerned, tonight will be about what Nomar did — particularly his greatness from 1997-2000. It should be a lot more about that than whatever bitterness or injuries he might have had in his last couple of months with the team. He was an icon, and, along with Pedro Martinez, helped bring a tremendous energy level and excitement to Red Sox baseball in the late 1990s.

More later. Following along on twitter for coverage throughout the night.
http://twitter.com/IanMBrowne ..

102 Comments

Welcome back Nomah…….do what you will as long as the Sox win!!!!!!!!

I think it will be an Ovation for Nomah tonight, I think that the Fenway faithful will show their classy side…
But we’re gonna need to kick the stuffing out of them tonight…
Thanks Nomar, but
GO SOX!!!

It will be great to have Nomar back in the house tonight! We all had some great times together – I know he is injured so he might not play – but thanks for the memories! Now….

GO RED SOX!!! And Good luck to Smoltz on his Fenway debut as a Red Sox !

UHOH!!! bottom 9 2 outs Yankees score 2.. 7-6 erik Hinske up…. ARGHHHHH!

Game over!!! Blue Jays win 7-6…. WHEW!!! Now we HAVE TO/MUST HAVE A RedSox Win!!!!!

YAY!! A Yankees’ lose! I like Eric Hinske – but thank you for the strike out! I agree Ellen – a WIN TONIGHT!!

Red Sox lineup for tonight and it is different again!

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkils, 3B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Jason Varitek, C
7. Rocco Baldelli, RF
8. Nick Green, SS
9. Aaron Bates, 1B
— John Smoltz, SP

Bates was just called up – Bailey is hurt and might be headed to the DL (blogged about that today) and Kotsay nursing a calf-strain and was not expected to go against A’s lefties. Jacoby is back on top!

Probably somebody has already suggested this — but we need a hitter, wouldn’t that be poetic justice to work a trade with the A’s for Normar — then go on and get a WS title with him back on the team.

Didn’t work out that way for Hershel Walker, who in a huge trade with the Vikings set up the Cowboys for their dominant years in the early 90s, then he returned to the team years later, but the Cowboys could never get back on top, when he was with the team.

Also, I always said if I ever coached Nomar, I would bench him until he stopped that crazy superstitious routine with his gloves — don’t want him going into the post season filled with superstition, but rather with confidence. Not sure if Pedey is just constantly setting his gloves before every pitch, or if he has a condensed version of the Nomar ritual going himself — but even if so, its not near as irritating as Normar’s ritual was.

Finally TACOby BELLsbury is back to his favorite spot leading off. Aaron Bates has been tearing up Double A. Let?s see if Bates can hit major league pitching. Hope the Sox can pick up a game on the Yanks tonight.

The SOX really need to win out the rest of this home stand, with the Yanks playing four at Minnesota and three with the Angels — try to get that lead back up to four or five. If we don’t take advantage of this stretch in the schedule (which didn’t start out to well) it may come back to bite us later.

Welcome back Nomah! He had the ideal name for an athlete in Boston. He is one of my favorite Red Sox players of all time. I enjoyed watching him play! So many great memories for Nomar in Boston. When Nomar steps up, he deserves a standing ovation. He also is one of the few athletes in Boston that is recognized by his first name.

I think one of my favorite Nomar memories came after just a little more than a year after he was traded from Boston. He saved (2) women who had fallen into Boston harbor. When I first heard that story, I laughed for hours!

007…

I’m with you about Ellsbury leading off, it’s about time Francona! I’m guessing Ellsbury will stay at the top for the remainder of the season.

Jeff Bailey is on the 15 day DL with a high ankle sprain. Due to the poor field conditions PNC Field in PA (thanks a bunch to the NY Yankees – their Triple A home field!) Jed Lowrie has been sent to Portland so he can actually get some playing time in! The PawSox games are called on account of wet fields – even though it hasn’t rained in PA all weekend!

There is NO way we should get Nomar back.. unless they create a new position for the terminally injured.. no offesnse intended but everytime you turn around, he is hurt again… and other than dgn, have you noticed a certain RS 2nd baseman who has started the routine of fidgeting with his gloves??? Lugo does it too, but neither to the degree that Nomah does….
Brian… I just overtook you in the standings… not much to brag about when your team hasnt been managed at all this season!!! You beat me head to head.. If I werent on the up and up, I’d do some side deals with you!!! lol!!!

Okay.. I take it back… I just heard the interview with Nomar regarding how hw feels about the RedSox fans… BRING HIM HOME.. HE MADE ME CRY!

I’m not doing pre-game tonight.. I’ll save it just in case…
For now its just:
Go Sox!!!

Ellen – I just heard it too! On man – I was in tears! And my 12 year old son? “He use to be my favorite player! I still have his shirt” sob….welcome home – you can do well Nomar – the rest of you team needs to stink! lol!

Not a good way to start!! COME ON (oh I hate this)
SMOLTZIE!!!!

Did you do a cheer yesterday Ellen? Cause they won!

Julia, How in the hell did Lugo get in the line-up??? I thought Green was playing…

He was suppose to be!!!! What happened? Let me see if I can find out anything!!!

Man… Just the 3rd batter and Lugo lets one go by him!!!

Pedey’s not playing! I don’t know what happened! Let me see if I can find out!!!

I’m sure Nomar will be nervous when he steps in the box. The fans will/should give him a standing O. He deserves it!

Nomar will start the next inning – still trying to find out about Pedey!

Julia,

Pedroia was a late scratch due to a personal issue.

Julia & Ellen,

Pedroia isn’t at Fenway, he left around 5:30 p.m.

I’ll give Nomar a standing O from my living room here in Florida.

I’m not sure I’ll check…

I can’t find out what happened to Pedey!

Really – oh wait – isn’t his wife expecting a baby??

No I just remembered that I was in a bowling tournament and didnt get here til just after the game started..
Tonight I wasnt feeling the good luck thing so I’ll save the cheer for later if its needed!!

No I just remembered that I was in a bowling tournament and didnt get here til just after the game started..
Tonight I wasnt feeling the good luck thing so I’ll save the cheer for later if its needed!!

Julia.. Can you send Ian a tweet and ask him about Pedey???

Pedey’s wife is pregnant – but the baby isn’t due until August.

I can’t Ellen – I checked Ian’s list – HE DOESN”T FOLLOW ME!!! Kim Kardashian he follows, but no me! If he doesn’t follow me – he doesn’t get my messages – I’ll try though!

What a moment!!! I’m truly glad that I got to watch him play and I’m glad I got to see his return to Fenway… VERY MOVING

HEY IAN – can you please follow me on Twitter – @werbiefitz so we can ask you questions during the game! I know I’m not as fascinating as some – but I can read a box score! loL!!

I’ll email to see if we can get an answer!

Julia,

Ian follows Kim Kardashian ( soon to be Mrs. Reggie Bush ) but not you???? Why is that??? Ian follow Julia!! WOW. LOL!!

Brian – See, I’m as shocked by this as you are! Just because I don’t look like her, have the money or my own TV show – other then that we are exactly alike! ;-)

Great moment for Nomar. I was hoping he would hit a H.R. off of Smoltz. That would have been great. Sorry to say folks.

I emailed him.. hopefully there will be an answer soon. I also took the liberty of telling him that you felt slighted about the Kardashian thing!! lol

Go JBAY!!!

Julia,

Please don’t say your exactly like Kim Kardashian. She is a DRAMA QUEEN. Like so many other folks in the L.A. area. Ian follow Julia!! Ian follow Julia. Tweet with Julia.

A hit and a theft for Jbay!!!

Thanks Ellen!

I know Brian – the rest of the A’s can stink – but it would be nice to Nomar do well!

NICE BOBBLE!!

Bay thinks he is Ellsbury.

Too many think they are Ellsbury! lol!!

All I can find out is that Pedey left the park at 5:30 after BP

Ian posted an article redsox.com – all it says is that Pedey left for personal reasons.

Ian says that MAYBE, Mrs Pedroia, who is expecting had to go to the hospital early!!! Good enough excuse to ditch the game in my book!!! GOOD LUCK TO DUSTIN AND THE MRS, if this turns out to be the case!

So far so good for Smoltz. He knows how to pitch. Like Schilling in 2007, not the same pitcher but he knows what to do on the mound. Smoltz will be BIG for the Sox in Oct. This guy has been there several times and he will not panic.

GET LUGO OUTTA HERE!!!

OMG!!! I hope that everything is okay!!! Prayers and best wishes to mom, dad & baby!!!

Hey… isnt there a height requirement to be a dad?? lol

Great pitch to Holiday to K him. Smoltz needs to go inside to be effective.

What a great, and heartfelt tribute to Nomar……. and he deservies it. It’s too bad that his career has been ravaged by injuries, because Eck is right, he was certainly Hall of Fame bound. He is arguably the best player to wear a Red Sox uniform over the past 20 years. Even with the disasters of the past few seasons he is still 6th among active players with a .312 lifetime batting average and is number 70 all time. Even in 2004 when he was traded, he was hitting .321. There was the day when there was Nomar, Jeter and A-Rod and Nomar was the best of the group. He never gave less than 100 percent. He was fun to watch. Thanks Nomar!!!!

WHOOO HOOOO!!! I have something in common with Kim Kardashian – Ian is now following me ALSO on Tweeter!! LOL!!!

Thanks Ellen!!

Ellen,

The kid will be taller than dad and have more hair than his father as well. LOL!!

Didnt Tek and Nomar both go to Ga. Tech??? and play in the College World Series???

Brian, It wont take much to be taller!!! He’ll probably be so when he/she is delivered!!!

Garry – great tribute to Nomar!
I’m not sure why – but it is funny to think of Pedey as a dad! lol!!

Garry…

I’m with you about Nomar. He never loafed, unlike Zazu. Too bad he got hurt. Nomar must have had chills up and down his body, he was relieved when the fans gave him the love he deserved. It might have been the most nervous he ever felt while in the batters box in a big league game.

I just googled it… They did play on the 1994 Ga Tech Yellowjackets team that went to the finals and was beaten by Oklahoma. Nomar was a junior and Tek was a senior..
They got smashed 13-5!!

Julia.. I said that exact thing to my husband about Pedroia!!! …. our li’l Pedey… gonna be a DAD!!! seems like just yesterday….. lol

I dont know why this just popped into my head, but has anyone seen the Boston redSox logo’d casket??? Its a good thing that I’m going with cremation, otherwise I’m sure that I would embarass my family with that last wish stipulation!!!

Ellen,

Nomar and Varitek were team-mates at Ga. Tech. I think Darren Bragg ( former member of the Red Sox ) and Jay Payton ( former member of the Red Sox ) were at Ga. Tech as well.

I have seen the caskets Ellen – weird!

KIND OF LIKE THIS GAME!!! UGH!!!!! Let’s get our acts together BOYS!!!

Smoltz has nothing. He’s not fooling anyone. His fastball is mediocre and his breaking pitch is just spinning and not breaking at all. It’s just kind of rolling over. It’s not looking like he has much left in the old gas tank. I’m beginning to think he’s not the answer in the second half of the season.

Julia & Ellen,

You guys have written about birth and now death. Are you folks o.k. ????? LOL!!

Smoltz can’t get the ball down. He can’t live up in the strike-zone.

Ellen – you can get an urn with the Red Sox logo on it! :-)

Well Brian we still have sex and taxes to cover! LOL!

THE GAME ISN”T KEEPING OUR ATTENTION!!!! UGH!!

The Red Sox for some crazy reason are having issues with these West coast teams. The Mariners and A’s have very weak lineups! When this homestand started I thought 7 wins was likely, I guess I was dreaming. LOL!

Thank god that’s OVER!! Morning gang!!

Julia,

Sex and taxes, now your talking! LOL! Please no politics. HA…HA….

It makes no sense that we are struggling against these teams! But I guess that’s what makes baseball so interesting…..yee haw….I’d taking a boring blow out by the Red Sox, thank you very much!

What a comedy of errors (Lugo’s)!!!

Bring on Buckholtz — this Dice-K/Smoltz saga is getting hard to endure when we are wasting all the lights-out innings in AAA.

That said, the A’s have a great line-up — how come they are not doing much better? Nothing seems to be wrong with their starting pitching tonight?

I can’t believe we are going to squander an oppotunity to start opening up a lead on the Yanks, but it sure looks like we are determined to do so right now.

Sorry, I don’t sound much like Elen, LOL. Oh btw – Elen — NESN has a Bingo game out with a board full of Eck-isms — you should be sure to pick one up.

Watching Lugo pains me. He has no chance up there.

Lugo…..sigh…..

Oh sure – mention sex and taxes and Mike shows up!!! LOL! Just kidding! How are you Mike!!

BUT…. we cant blame this soley on him even though that towering throw helped things along!! Smoltz has NOTHING tonight.. I say get em up and working now in the pen!!!
It’s already getting TOO far out of hand!!!

Sex and taxes…guess I git here just in time..

Is it time to bring Buchholz up?

THAT WAS A BALL AND NOT A STRIKE!!!! You tell them Eck – the ump is “inconsistent!”

Sex… estrogen makes me ask the question… “What’s that?!!!”

I don’t blame Youk for being upset. That pitch was inside. If that is a strike, there would be alot of no hitters in the game today.

We were waiting for you before we did an in depth study of the topic Mike! LOL! Aren’t you glad you decided to log on tonight?

grrrr…. this game!!!!!

The Sox are making this kid look like Steve Carlton.

oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhh, I already niss Sean Casey in the booth!!! Eckersley may have been a hell of a pitcher but I think he STINKS as a color guy!!!

Ahhhh…this time of life – ain’t it grand Ellen – OR NOT!!!

I react the same way to beer and bowling, well not exactly. I’m good, it’s raining and that keeps the misquitos down…This kid has a 5.something ERA and he’s striking out the side??? You’ve got to be kidding me!

We can take some small comfort at least the gap can’t shrink. The Jays won. Smoltz is going to wanting another mulligan for that 4th. Still plenty of game left.

It would seem that our bats have gone into the witness protection program Mike – FOR THEY SURE AREN”T AT THE GAME!!! Pedey is a late scratch, Bailey is on the DL, Lugo is in and a new kid just called up from PawSox is on first.

Good job by Julio Lugo!!!

This Sox teams needs to add another bat. Who they’ll get come late July is anyone’s guess. I also wonder what the Sox could get for Saito, his time in Boston is coming to a close. I’ll drive Saito to Logan. LOL!!

sigh……CAN WE PLEASE GET SOME RUNS!!!

Hey – any when does Dave get back and where has Greg been?

Hey guys and gals new thread! Ian is tweeting/twittering and blogging, amazing man is Ian.

The A’s pitcher is making us look like little leaguers!!!!

I think its time… Do you think its time Julia???

dot forget Julia… Drew is out again…..

IT IS TIME ELLEN!!! GO……..

Is Drew hurt again or just the night off?

NEW THREAD Y’ALL

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