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White Has Harsh Words for Malone

April 03, 2001|JASON REID

The irony was not lost on Devon White, who Monday returned to Dodger Stadium after having been traded Feb. 25 to the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 15-year veteran does not have fond memories of the Dodgers and General Manager Kevin Malone in particular, and Los Angeles is the last place he would have chosen to start the season with a new team.

But White said it could have been worse--he could still be a Dodger.

"[The Brewers] told me what's expected of me and I'm happy out that, I wasn't treated with that respect as a Dodger," said the reserve outfielder, booed during pregame introductions.

"They never wanted me over there with the Dodgers. They were always looking for someone else."

White, 38, directed most of his criticism toward Malone, sarcastically saying that the embattled general manager must have considered him to be a "charity case."

The seven-time Gold Glove winner questioned many of Malone's moves, including trading leadoff batter Eric Young to the Chicago Cubs in 1999 and releasing utility player F.P. Santangelo after having signed Santangelo to a two-year, $1.6-million contract. The Dodgers owe Santangelo $850,000.

"They tried to make me the scapegoat [because] they needed a leadoff man," said White, whom Malone signed to a three-year, $12.4-million deal. "They had their leadoff man and they got rid of him.

"Just like Eric Young went elsewhere and he's successful now, that tells you to look at the source. F.P. The guy signs a two-year deal and then he's released after the first year. I mean, they need to look at the source."

Said Malone: "I just wish Devo the best of luck this season."

White reiterated he does not feel similarly.

"I wouldn't put anyone in the situation I was in last year," he said. "I didn't blow up, I handled it professionally, but sooner or later the truth is going to come out.

"The same thing with Malone. You know what they say: When you do something bad to someone, it comes back on you."


Agent Scott Boras, who represents eight Dodgers, arrived at the stadium earlier than usual to support his newest client: left fielder Gary Sheffield.

Sheffield hired Boras to help rebuild his relationship with the Dodgers after he failed in his attempt to receive a contract extension or force a trade.

Chairman Bob Daly was persuaded to keep the apologetic player, in part because of Boras' involvement, and Malone, considered one of Boras' biggest fans, is also pleased about the union.

"We've developed a plan that allows Gary to do what he does best--play baseball," Boras said. "We prepared him for what would come [booing] and why, and now the idea is to rebuild his relationship with the fans to what it was before [spring training].

"The hope certainly is that the fans will understand that Gary got into an area [contract negotiations] that is not his expertise. His expertise is in baseball, and that's what he's focusing on now."

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