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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : DeShields Running Out of Time

August 08, 1995|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Dodger second baseman Delino DeShields realizes time is growing short. There are only 50 games remaining, and once the season ends, he and the Dodgers are expected to part company.

It has been a frustrating two years since he was traded by the Montreal Expos to the Dodgers for pitcher Pedro Martinez. DeShields, 26, knows he has not played to his capability, struggling through injuries that have caused him to consider early retirement.

This is why now, more than ever, DeShields would like to return to the lineup. He not only wants to show he can help lead the Dodgers into the playoffs, but would at least like to show his gratitude for the two years on the team.

"I want to play, they know that," said DeShields, who has not started since July 25 and lost his position to rookie Chad Fonville. "I'm waiting for my time. I know it's all about production and it's about winning. That's why I'm not going to start any controversy or anything like that.

"They've been good to me here. I've had a good time in L.A. My only regret is that I wish I could have done more here. Nobody can tell me that I can't play. I haven't survived for six years in the big leagues for nothing."

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Outfielder Billy Ashley, who has started only four games since the all-star break, was kept on the bench Monday when rookie center fielder Todd Hollandsworth was given the day off.

Still, the Dodgers maintain that they haven't given up on him and plan to find him a job in playing winter ball.

"I'm impressed with the way he's handled it," Fred Claire, executive vice president, said of Ashley's benching. "He's been very professional about it. I told him that we haven't lost confidence in him at all. In some cases, he was giving the pitchers too much credit. He had done a lot of damage to those same pitchers in the Pacific Coast League.

"He's a player who should be playing winter ball."

Claire also commented on recent criticism of Manager Tom Lasorda: "I feel for Tommy, and I've told him that. He doesn't deserve that. They have been uncalled for and unfair."

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Giant Manager Dusty Baker, on why he never knocked over the food table in the clubhouse after a frustrating loss:

"I remember when I was in Atlanta and Eddie Mathews tipped over the spread. As soon as he left the room, we washed off the hot dogs and dipped them in mustard. So what good does that do?"

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