They Bop

I had no idea that Delino DeShields spent the summer as hitting coach for the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League. So you can imagine my reaction when I read yesterday that he was named manager.

Delino DeShields?

Yep, that guy.

I never thought of DeShields as manager material, but the Cincinnati Reds obviously disagree. Perhaps a baserunning instructor, but definitely not a motivational speaker.

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DeShields, nicknamed "Bop," did a lot of pouting during his three seasons with the Orioles (1999-2001). And putting him in the same clubhouse as Albert Belle was downright toxic. That doesn't mean he shouldn't manage. I just never saw him in that light.

I had a decent relationship with him, compared to other members of the media, but he could be extremely difficult and sullen. You didn't get a positive vibe from him. He didn't scream out "leader."

Billings general manager Gary Roller referred to DeShields' "positive attitude" and "enthusiasm" when announcing the former second baseman's promotion. I guess those traits become more evident as you get older.

When Roller used the phrase "infectious throughout the clubhouse," I had an entirely different image.

One of my favorite quotes from DeShields, which we repeated often in the press box, wasn't for actual publication. Sun beat writer Joe Strauss approached him in the clubhouse for a quick interview, and DeShields blew him off by saying, "I've gotta bounce." And then he walked away.

Try that with your friends sometime. You'll either be the coolest guy in the room or a complete dork. It's a roll of the dice.

Does anyone remember DeShields moving from second base to center field? Now that's a bounce.

I'm aware that his Orioles career ended on July 2, 2001, and that he joined the Cubs, but I was wracking my brain trying to recall the other player involved in the trade. Then I looked it up and was reminded that the Orioles released him.

It's been a while since I challenged you with a question, so here goes (and this one, admittedly, is a bit strange):

Name the former or current Oriole who would seem to be the unlikeliest candidate to manage, and explain why.

They have to be alive to qualify, though I often wanted to check Lee Mazzilli's pulse.

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