Isn't that a beautiful picture? It looks like, Nomar, the Grand High Priest. The Venerable Nomar.
When did he go from fresh-faced young prospect to elder statesman? When did we stop contemplating his home-run numbers and start contemplating retiring his number?
While we were watching, is when--strangely enough, sadly enough. It's not even as if we took our eyes off him for a moment. Somehow it happened right in front of us.
A Globe story today calls a brief meeting between Nomar's agent Arn Tellum and John W. "Uh" Henry at Nomar Bowl "a sign that both parties harbor at least some hope that the All-Star shortstop's days in Boston may not be numbered after all."
Then the CHB has to go and fuck it up:
The Great Unspoken around Fenway these days is "what's up with Nomar?" The star shortstop had his annual charity bowling festival at Town Line Ten Pin in Malden last night and continues to say all the right things about wanting to play here. No one can ever judge another man's pain or physical readiness to play. That said, the notion that the shortstop is sticking it to management by taking his sweet time returning goes beyond talk radio and water-cooler chats. Like so many fans, the men who run the Red Sox now are wondering whether Nomar is sending a message.
Thanks alot, Shaughnessy. You backstabbing loser.
I'm not really into the contract talk. I'm not an expert--I'm just a yahoo fan. But what I know as a fan is that we, the fans, the media circus, the collective psychosis surrounding the Red Sox, will always be back for another season.
I mean, wasn't there just a movie made about this?
So if we're going to wear our die-hard nature like a badge of honor, why do we get wrapped up in these petty disputes? How does it help? What does it accomplish?
Don't get me wrong. I would love it if Nomar stayed. He compares his relationship with Red Sox management to a bad marriage, and if that is the case I can't help but feel like the fans are the children stuck in the middle of that relationship.
But am I seriously going to love the Red Sox any less if Nomar leaves? Absolutely not. Am I going to stop rooting for them if there's a different face at shortstop? Absolutely not.
So why should I tear my hair out about whether Nomar stays or goes? He knows the fans want him to stay, and I think he wants to stay with the fans. But that doth not a satisfactory contract agreement make.
The fact of the matter is, we'll always have Nomar. We'll always have his astonishing rookie season, and his homer during his first at-bat following his wrist injury, and all the other memories of the time he spent lifting our hopes behind the plate and between second and third base. No one's going to take that away.
So find that Zen; live not just in the moment but in the nanosecond. Because Nomar may be leaving, but we are not. Not ever.