Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sheppard, Delmon out of Minnesota sports

In recent weeks, or days, two players who I never really cared for in Minnesota sports are no longer a part of Minnesota sports teams. They would be James Sheppard (Wild) and Delmon Young (Twins).

Hallelujah! No more Shep
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw on Twitter that Sheppard had been dealt to the San Jose Sharks for a third-round draft pick in 2013. I was so excited that a) he was gone, and b) the Wild actually got something for him in return.

Loyal readers of this blog know my disdain for the not-so-offensive-minded forward. I believe his last regular season of hockey (2009-10), he tallied just six points. Six. That's pretty pathetic for any NHL player, let alone a forward.

As the ninth pick overall in 2006, Shep was the pet project of former General Manager Doug Risebrough. This young kid has not spent a game in the minors, which is really too bad for his sake. Riser promised a superstar-caliber player. Instead, he looked flat and clueless on the ice.

The Wild and the Sharks have made a few deals during this offseason, which isn't something you see all the time. It really doesn't matter though. What's important is that Shep can go be below-average somewhere else.

No more Delmon either, at least not for the Twins
Bumbling outfielder Young was also just sent to the Detroit Tigers. It worked out well; he got off the Twins bus and walked into the Tiger locker room at Comerica Park instead of the visiting locker room.

This was a trade a couple of years ago that sent pitcher Matt Garza to the Tampa Bay Rays. I was a fan of Garza's stuff and was disappointed to see him go, especially after the great playoff run by the Rays. But Young was supposed to come in and be a superstar, much like Sheppard for the Wild.

Well, we waited and waited, but stardom didn't happen. The only reprieve I gave him was at the start of the season last year when he showed up a few pounds lighter, looking fit and ready to play. He did much better offensively last season, so I came around a little for him.

Fast forward to this year and those pounds seemed to have come back. He is a staple in left field, where he looks more uncomfortable than a fat kid in a health-food store. It had become automatic to cringe each time a ball was hit in his direction. His fielding style can be quite awkward.

Need proof? Just think back to when he twisted his ankle earlier this season. That's a pretty odd way to go into the wall and try to play a baseball, don't you think?

Of course, during his first game with the Tigers, playing against the Twins, Young hits a homer. That just figures. But I'd rather have him on the opposing team now. And since he's still in the division, the Twins will see him enough that they can all try and hit some balls Young's way. Then he can do what he does best, look awkward and uncomfortable while trying to make a play.