Nomar vs. the Big Hurt
Now that Nomar Garciaparra has resigned with the Dodgers for 2-years and $18.5 million - I got to thinking about what sort of deal Nomar will end up being. The most similar contract signed so far this offseason was Frank Thomas' contract with the Blue Jays (2-years $18 million) so I thought I'd compare the two deals.
- Many people consider Nomar to be injury prone and I won't argue that point but did you know that this season Nomar actually had 3 more at bats than Frank Thomas? And when Nomar played it was at the plate and in the field where his fielding percentage at first was second in the NL (and tied with Albert Pujols who won the Gold Glove at first).
- Frank Thomas was perhaps the most dangerous hitter in the AL after the All-Star break but he finished the season with just 17 more bases than Nomar (who had 237 total bases to Thomas' 254). Thomas had 39 HR but just 11 doubles (I wonder how many of them were the ground rule variety?) and no triples. Fact is if you saw Thomas try to run you know that he gave new meaning to the word "hobbled" this season. Meanwhile Nomar remains one of the smartest baserunners in baseball.
If you look at off the field tangibles then the edge clearly goes to Nomar. The Big Hurt redefines "surly" while Nomar is Mexican-American in the biggest Latino market in the country and he is married to soccer star Mia Hamm. I think both signings will prove to be good for their teams but I think overall Nomar may end up having the greater impact.