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|Wrigley a short hop|
Nomar Garciaparra, who got on a plane to Chicago on Saturday night, might make it to town in time to play Sunday.
The Cubs trail St. Louis by a wide margin in the NL Central, but still think they can get to the playoffs.
"It's kind of a reaction of disbelief when you get a guy of that quality, it's not every day you're going to pick up a Nomar Garciaparra," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said after a 4-3 loss to the Phillies.
Baker said he would go home and put a pencil to some projected batting orders and see where Garciaparra, a .323 lifetime hitter, fits in his lineup with Sammy Sosa, Moises Alou, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez.
"It's tough on one end to lose one part of your family like Gonzo, but you're getting a heck of a player," Baker said. "And you know, you're getting a guy who plays shortstop and a lot of offensive production and a guy who is used to winning."
Both the Red Sox and Cubs were mere outs from making the World Series last season before they faltered in the league championship series. Both teams have a history of playoff difficulties, both play in aging ballparks and both are followed by rabid fans.
"There's no harder place to play I would think than Boston. To come over here in this high pressure situation, having been through it already, he's going to do well," said Cubs infielder Todd Walker, who played last season with the Red Sox.
Garciaparra was not happy after the Red Sox tried to make a series of moves last year, hoping to trade him away and get Alex Rodriguez.
"I can't tell you he was happy-go-lucky in Boston, but at the same time he spent his whole career there and he loved the fans and the people I know," Walker said. "I think it will be same here, very similar, that's why I'm saying he will do great."
-- Associated Press