This is the third in a series of outtakes from interviews done for Feeding the Monster, to be published on July 11 by Simon & Schuster. This will be the first of three outtakes from this interview with Nomar Garciaparra, which was conducted in Austin, Texas on October 28, 2005. This year, Garciaparra’s first with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the recently converted first baseman is hitting .355 with 8 home runs and 42 RBIs. Read the book for exclusive details on Garciaparra’s career with the Red Sox, his reaction to the July 1, 2004 game against the Yankees, and the contract negotiations that resulted in his being traded to the Chicago Cubs.
On being a superstar in Boston: I donâ€šÃ„Ã´t know if youâ€šÃ„Ã´ve ever read a book by Ted Williams. It was called My Turn At Bat and itâ€šÃ„Ã´s really just his own words. It was written back in 1969, right before he was a manager for the Washington Senators. If you read that, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s funny what he went through. He never said anything [in his book] about the ownership. It was more about all the stuff that was being said about him [in the media] and the reception he got [from the fans]. It happened to Ted who was probably the most, the greatest person there is. I knew Ted personally. He was the biggest icon in that city. He is a hero to me. But he had to endure that and went through it–the best ever. Jim Rice had to deal with it. Youâ€šÃ„Ã´ve got Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, all these guys who are the heros to every single person there, to the fans and they endear themselves and throw themselves into the community. But then on the last stretch, it’s different. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s the same thing. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s the same thing with Ted, Jim Rice. It happened with Mo. It happened to Roger.
I mean, Mo Vaughn was a wonderful person. I love Mo. I love this man. He was a role model, this guy. He was never late, he played everyday, even in the worst pain, he talked to me everyday I was there. He was available because he thought maybe that would help. He gave back to the community. This guy is awesome. So he went to a strip joint. What does that have to do with him as person, as a ball player, what he represents? I think actions speak louder than words at times, and if youâ€šÃ„Ã´re getting that action, that has nothing to do with Mo Vaughn as a ball player and as a person. He encompassed it all, and Roger did the same thing. So when they left, that made you scratch your head. Now Mo is gone, Pedro, myself, maybe Manny.
On the difference between playing in Boston and other cities: It’s just the only thing thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s there is in Boston. It’s just the Red Sox. I always joke about it cause I grew up in LA. You ask somebody in LA, ‘What do you want to do today? Do you want to go to the beach? Do you want the movie? Do you want to go the baseball game?’ And the person will think about it. You ask a person in Boston, ‘What do you want to do? Do you want to go down to the North End, do you want to see a movie, or do you want to go to a Red Sox game?’ ‘You got tickets?’ I mean its like, ‘You have to ask? You are giving me a choice? What, are you crazy?’ Thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s the mentality. Thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s just the way it is. Which I thought is greatâ€šÃ„Ã®itâ€šÃ„Ã´s awesome. I think the same way. If you ask me what do I think, I mean Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m playing! What do you want to do, play baseball or see a movie, I want to play baseball. In a city where people thought the same way I did, it was great.
On the differences between the Boston media and the Chicago media: I think that in generalâ€šÃ„Ã®and this isnâ€šÃ„Ã´t a knock on the mediaâ€šÃ„Ã®in general, I think a lot of times the media, and we see it all over society, the media is more interested in the story than the truths so to speak. They have to get a story no matter what it is. But in Chicago there’s a different mentality. They are so supportive of the Cubs, they are just wonderful fans. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s just different. I donâ€šÃ„Ã´t know you might have to ask the media about that, but like I said, from reading stuff and history, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s always been there in Boston.