Cubs 6, Phillies 3
Nomar Garciaparra arrived at Wrigley Field early Sunday morning, a successful and sometimes tumultuous eight-year run in Boston behind him. The Chicago Cubs' new shortstop, the centerpiece of a four-team blockbuster deal completed minutes before Saturday's non-waiver trade deadline, sat comfortably in a new uniform and a new number, seemingly refreshed at the opportunity to start anew.
The Cubs "always wanted me and that's great," said Garciaparra, who took jersey No. 8, though a deal could be reached soon with catcher Michael Barrett for No. 5. "It's great that, as an organization, they have confidence in me and faith in me to go out there and let me show what I can do."
The day was not completely perfect for the 39,032 gathered, though the Cubs did walk away with a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies and Garciaparra ended a hitless day with a run-scoring single during Chicago's four-run seventh inning. Greg Maddux, in his first attempt at career win number 300, left after six innings with the Cubs trailing 3-2. He will get his next shot at 300 Saturday in San Francisco.
"All he has to do is live and breathe and he's going to get it," Cubs Manager Dusty Baker said.
Garciaparra's entrance drew some of the attention away from the 38-year-old right-hander and his bid to become the 22nd pitcher to reach 300 career wins. The soft-spoken Maddux has been a reluctant participant in the hoopla, making him more than willing to allow some of Sunday's spotlight to shift away from the mound and toward shortstop.
"We're glad we got him on our team," Maddux said. "Nomar has been one of the best shortstops in the game for a while now. He's a ballplayer, he plays the game right and he plays the game hard. I'm fortunate to have him as a teammate."
Aside from the Boston Red Sox shorts he wore to his postgame interview session, the navy blue clashing with his royal blue Cubs T-shirt, Garciaparra had little to say about the team that tried to replace him with Alex Rodriguez this past offseason and eventually got rid of him when the right deal came along.
"In the city where I was at, you might hear all sorts of different things -- half-truths, made-up stuff -- and after a while, you don't believe it," said Garciaparra, who thanked the fans but did not mention the Red Sox. "You believe it when it happens. I focused on the stuff I could control. I can't control all that stuff. The only thing I could control was getting myself ready to play every day."