LOS ANGELES -- Nomar Garciaparra, adjusting to a new position on… - Red Sox of Years Past
Feb. 3rd, 2006
LOS ANGELES -- Nomar Garciaparra, adjusting to a new position on a new team after two injury-plagued seasons, withdrew on Friday from participation on the Mexican National Team in the World Baseball Classic.
"After much reflection, I have come to the difficult decision to withdraw from the Mexican National Team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic," said Garciaparra, 32.
"While I am honored to have been asked to participate, at this point, I believe it is really important for me to concentrate on the year ahead. Given all that I have been through with my health the past couple of years, and now with changing both teams and positions, I feel this is the time for me to focus on doing my best for the Dodgers, my new teammates and the wonderful fans in Los Angeles.
"I wish the Mexican National Team great success in the WBC and I want them to know that I will be supporting them enthusiastically."
A Dodgers spokesman said that Garciaparra, who already has begun working out at first base, is completely healthy. He missed large parts of the past two seasons with injuries to his wrist and groin muscle.
Garciaparra, a five-time All-Star and two-time batting champ, was signed by the Dodgers to a one-year contract Dec. 19. His signing was primarily to use his bat as protection for cleanup hitter Jeff Kent in the batting order. Garciaparra, a natural shortstop, agreed to move to first base, where he replaces the platoon of Hee-Seop Choi and Olmedo Saenz.
A native of Whittier, Calif., Garciaparra was eligible to compete for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic because his parents are natives of Mexico.