Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Delino Strikes Back

It started as an innocent text message - "Delino, you're in the LA Times." My mind raced with headline possibilities - "Delino, Known for Charity Work, Elected New Pope!" "Delino (again) Saves Puppies and Babies from a Fire." "Delino Reads LA Times!" Excited, I raced to LA Times website, only to find my good name besmirched by the left-leaning sports writers of LA's fifth best newspaper.

This deal was a heartbreaker for Dodgers. The L.A. Dodgers' worst trade ever? For many fans, and one Hall of Fame baseball writer, the choice is clear: Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields in 1993.

The worst trade in the 50 years that the Dodgers have been in Los Angeles? From casual fans to dedicated seamheads, no prompting is needed. The 1993 trade that sent Pedro Martinez to Montreal for Delino DeShields continues to produce the loudest moans, with obvious justification.

Second baseman DeShields was a three-year bust in Los Angeles while Martinez, caught amid varying opinions by Dodgers officials regarding his long-term durability and whether he was best suited to start or relieve, has won two Cy Young awards in the American League, one in the National, and posted a 199-87 record in 14 seasons since the trade.

Though the LA Times concedes that...

Unfortunately for the Dodgers, DeShields didn't perform like an All-Star in Los Angeles. He batted .250, .256 and .224, although he did manage to steal 27, 39 and 48 bases. Also, in a touch of irony, he turned in the key defensive play as Ramon Martinez, Pedro's brother, pitched a 7-0 no-hitter against the Florida Marlins in 1995.

Does nobody remember the laughter Delino brought? Without Delino, there would be no "Not About Delino DeShields" (Which, ironically, is actually not about Delino). Do the teenagers who write for the LA Times not remember 1997, when the Delino hit just shy of .300 and stole 55 bases. F-ing ingrates. Wait, that was was the year after I left LA. Um, scratch that.

Did you really want Pedro on the Dodgers? He viciously attacks old men.

He always hid a little person in his carry-on.

And right now, Pedro's nothing more than 206 Bones kept together by chewing gum. But Delino the Delaware Destroyer (not to be confused with George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers) is forever!


Steve Sax said...

Love the pictures. "Pedro Martinez: Enemy of the Elderly, Hero to the Half-Sized"

Delino DeShields, Sr said...

Hero in a half shell?

Steve Sax said...

Turtle Power!

Ah, crap, you got me.