The collective groan you heard coming from the North Side of Chicago in December of 2001 probably came right around the time when Delino DeShields was inexplicably signed for the 2002 season. The Cubs had gotten decent production out of DeShields in the second half of the 2001 season. Decent production, that is, if you could afford to have your second baseman powerless, immobile, and playing with a baseball glove made of a block of salt. The Cubs could not.
Cool picture! What year are you? Sophomore?
Why do the Cubs insist on doing this? They got more than they could have hoped for from DeShields when they picked him up in 2001 after he was released by Baltimore. Like they did with Rusch. Like they did with Gaetti. Why don’t they ever just cut bait and run after getting seasons like those?
Instead, the Cubs brought DeShields back in 2002. Of course the fans hated him. Of course he sucked. Of course he lost his starting job by mid-May. And so ended the DeShields era as a Cub. DeShields also, by the way, feeds into the theory that second base since Ryno left has been nearly as big a problem as third base since Santo left. Think about it. Or don’t.
Low Point: June 28, 2002. The Cubs jump out to an 8-0 lead on the White Sox in the first three innings of a game on the South Side. No thanks to DeShields. In his three at-bats in the first three innings, he lines out, strikes out swinging, and strikes out looking with 2 on and 2 out. In the next three innings, the game changes, and the Sox score 10 unanswered. DeShields, however, does not change, as he strikes out swinging before being replaced by Mark Bellhorn in the 8th. Cubs lose 13-9, and drop 2 of 3 to the Sox in that trip.
Did You Know? In 1993, DeShields was traded straight up for Pedro Martinez. Martinez went on to win 196 games after the trade. DeShields ended up on this list.