While we’re waiting for Dehler Park to dry …
I talked to Mustangs manager Delino DeShields on Monday about his son, Delino Jr., being selected No. 8 overall in the First-Year Player draft earlier this month by the Houston Astros. Junior is following in his father’s footsteps: Senior was a first-round pick in 1987 by the Montreal Expos.
Of course, things were different back then. Unlike today, when everything is done out in the open, the draft then oftentimes approached double-secret probation status. Teams and their scouts kept things close to the vest for fear of tipping off other teams as well as college coaches, who were seeking their own recruits.
“The Internet has changed things,” DeShields said. “I watched the whole draft on the Internet. That’s really changed the game. It’s just so different now. Back then I didn’t go to any showcases. I didn’t go to any pre-draft workouts. I don’t even remember talking to any scouts. It was just, ‘hey, you’ve been selected by the Expos.’ I’m like, ‘what?’ ”
Players also take longer to sign these days. Many wait until the deadline in August to come to terms with their clubs. Not so for DeShields in 1987.
“I was on the plane the day after (high school) graduation, you know what I mean?” DeShields said. “There wasn’t any negotiating period and all that. It was sign, I’m on the plane. Now, the higher picks, they’re all kind of posturing, waiting for one another to sign. It’s just a waiting game right now. But I’m looking forward to him getting his career started. I’m hoping something will happen here in the next few days.”
And what if his son had slipped past Houston and other teams to Cincinnati’s slot? Would dad have enjoyed managing son?
“It may have been nice, I don’t know,” DeShields said with a chuckle. “I think it’s better the way it worked out. Maybe I’ll coach against him one day in the big leagues, you know, that’d be nice, too.”