CANOE Network SLAM!Sports

 
SLAM! Sports SLAM! Baseball
  Wed, July 28, 2004


NEWS
SCOREBOARD


COMMENT
ARBITRATION / SIGNINGS
COLUMNISTS







Delgado's critics wrong
By BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

Six days ago, Carlos Delgado was lustily booed at Yankee Stadium.

Fans gave him the type of reception normally reserved for Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens or anyone else wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform.

Baseball's shrine is also the most patriotic stadium in the land -- the American flag, soaring bald eagles which nearly clip the Yankees lined up along the first-base line, and the best ball park singer we've ever heard in Irish tenor Ronan Tynan.

Delgado's stance of not standing atop the first step of the Jays dugout for the playing of God Bless America didn't go over very well at Yankee Stadium.

The Jays first baseman stands in the tunnel as a silent protest to war.

But now, could Delgado be headed to Yankee Stadium?

He is on the short list of possible replacements for the ailing Jason Giambi, should he be lost for the season.

It could happen, if you add one and one and one to get three.

But, more likely, the one and one and one adds up to Tino Martinez of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays returning to the Bronx.

Giambi was examined yesterday at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. He has not played since Friday. He was diagnosed with having an intestinal parasite June 29 and has appeared in only 70 of the Yankees' first 99 games.

The Yanks are getting by with Tony Clark, who had the game-winning hit in the 10th inning Monday, but Clark does not put up the same offensive numbers as a healthy Jason Giambi.

The second part of this trifecta equation is the Yankees unlimited resources.

And the third is the Jays not-so-subtle attempts to move Delgado in the final season of his four-year $68-million US contract.

Would Delgado be welcome in the Bronx? As soon as he hits homers he will be. Clemens was welcomed eventually.

Delgado denied the Jays initial request to waive his no-trade clause when the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox and the Florida Marlins came calling. He didn't want to go to one team for two months and then start all over with another team next spring.

What is a no-trade clause? It is a bargaining chip. Why should Delgado have waived it unless one of the suitors was willing to offer a contract extension?

We have heard Delgado knocked for not wanting to play in the heat of a pennant race, a la Juan Gonzalez, who vetoed a deal from the Detroit Tigers to the Yankees in 2000 after it had been worked out.

NO RANSOM NOTE

Why should he waive his no-trade unless another team sweetens the pot?

Current Jays president Paul Godfrey and then general manager Gord Ash gave Delgado his current contract and neither Delgado nor agent David Sloane walked into the meeting with a ransom note.

If you think Delgado is a bad guy for not moving on and for liking the city of Toronto, let me ask you something.

Say the Jays woke up today with a 1/2-game lead on the New Yankees, as they did back in 1992.

Say Delgado was hitting clean-up, hitting homers, driving in runs, and he awoke on July 28 unhappy.

He'd had enough. He wanted to play elsewhere and demanded a trade.

Would the Jays move him elsewhere?

No.

They would hold him to the contract and make him play by the rules.

Which is precisely what Delgado is doing with three days remaining before Saturday's 4 p.m. trading deadline.

In his previous start, Lilly blanked the Yankees over 6 2/3 innings. But all he's got out of the starts is a pair of no-decisions.