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Michael Garciaparra on rumors that he signed with Sox

03.21.10 at 1:59 pm ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The rumor flickered on and off the radar for just a few moments. Last week, there was a buzz that the Red Sox had signed Michael Garciaparra, the younger brother of iconic Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.

Michael Garciaparra has been a migratory player in the past few years. The former first-round pick of the Mariners has bounced between the Phillies, Orioles and Brewers organizations in recent years. But while he is amidst another transition, his new home is with the Astros, with whom he is in minor league camp, rather than the Red Sox.

In fact, Garciaparra was playing for the Astros in a big league exhibition game last week when word spread (based on an erroneous listing in MLB.com’s transactions listings) that the younger Garciaparra had joined the Sox. There was, naturally, curiosity.

“Some people called me and told me. They saw it online, and said, ‘€˜We saw the line score, but we didn’€™t know if you were playing shortstop for the Red Sox or the Astros. Will you please help me out?’€™ And I said, ‘€˜No, I’€™m with the Astros ‘€“ I just came in for half an inning at the end of the game,’€™” said Michael Garciaparra, who is in Fort Myers today with the Astros for their game against the Sox. “It wasn’€™t too bad. I just got a few phone calls and text messages from buddies asking what was going on.”

Michael Garciaparra — a career .262/.352/.342/.694 hitting in his eight minor league seasons — seemed mostly amused by the brief confusion. But he was genuinely excited about the fact that his brother, just a bit earlier, had signed a one-day minor league contract with the Sox in order to retire with the team for whom he played his most memorable games.

“He was always a Red Sox,” said Michael Garciaparra. “In his heart, he never wanted to leave. People said he wanted to be traded, but he never did. He always loved the Red Sox, love the fans, loved the city and playing there. It was exciting. He was happy he was able to retire with them.”

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