Dee Gordon Stole My Heart in 2014

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Dee Gordon may have stolen 64 bases last season for the Dodgers, but the swift and skinny second baseman also stole my heart. Coming off his best season yet, the speedy Dee Gordon was traded to Miami in a seven-player deal with the Marlins on Wednesday at the MLB Winter Meetings.

Even though GM Farhan Zaidi stated that the Dodgers were not going to be “dangling” Dee in front of suitors for a potential trade the day before, he ended up trading the All-Star second baseman after all.

"“We are not dangling him. He is our second baseman,” Zaidi said. “He’s a cost-controlled All-Star second baseman that teams would have for four more years. He’s a tremendous player. Anybody like that, teams are going to ask us about. We can’t control that.”"

I’m not sure what to think about his word spinning, but I suppose he didn’t want to reveal any details before the trade was worked out and official.

Gordon was once the Dodgers’ top shortstop prospect before he eventually shifted to second base in 2014. Gordon is much more successful at second base than shortstop since his shorter throws are more accurate. It was quite a sight to see Gordon sailing throws into the stands during 2012 when he committed 18 errors in 79 games.

Gordon was all but given up on after his defense continued to be a huge issue for the Dodgers’ middle infield. His face palm inducing defense, compounded with the fact that Gordon wasn’t getting on base and contributing like the lead-off hitter the Dodgers wanted him to be most likely spurred the new front office executives to trade Gordon while his value is the highest.

That speed.

It’s a game changer. Gordon is one of the fastest Dodgers I have ever seen play, and watching him run out a triple is a sight to behold as a baseball fan. We never got that inside-the-park homerun, Dee. Those are the moments which I will miss. His speed was a secret weapon for the Dodgers. With runs at a premium for the Dodgers, a speedster like Dee could fluster pitchers and manufacture runs.

My mom said Dee reminded her of the old school players she grew up with like

Maury Wills

.

Davey Lopes

, another legendary base stealer, will no longer have a protégé in Gordon to work with. The Dodgers just got a lot SLOWER.

Gordon reDEEfined himself over the offseason last year, and he came to Spring Training bigger and more focused to make the Opening Day roster as the starting second baseman. Gordon reinvented himself into an honest-to-goodness second baseman in 2014 for the Dodgers. He even represented the Dodgers in the All-Star Game where he scored the game-tying run as a pinch-runner. Perhaps the Marlins were already watching.

Even though I understand that the Dodgers are getting essentially four players in return for Gordon from Miami (Dan Haren is set to retire), I am still sad to see

Dee Gordon was a fan favorite. Photo: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Gordon go. The Dodgers rushed Gordon onto the scene in 2011 to replace the injured Rafael Furcal. Dee wasn’t ready yet, but his electrifying speed was a new treat to watch.

Even though his defense at shortstop was none to be desired, I still felt as though Gordon was a rare type of player. He harkened to the past when it wasn’t always about hitting monstrous homeruns. By the way, Gordon hit 4 homeruns as a Dodger over his 329 games in Blue. He stole 130 bases, and he was caught stealing 38 times. He finishes up his Dodger career hitting .272 with 17 triples, 43 doubles and 335 hits over his four seasons in Los Angeles.

Gordon’s speed is exceptional, but his problem was of course getting on base. His speed was underutilized because of this weakness. He doesn’t walk a lot, and he often opened games with a strikeout. Gordon never panned out to be the breakneck lead-off hitter they were hoping he would become. Not to say that Gordon doesn’t have the work ethic to improve his on base percentage over his career.

I feel a bit depressed that Dee will be sliding into bases in Miami. My daughter and I had a special moment during Spring Training when she got Dee’s autograph after his workout on the back fields of Camelback Ranch. He was quiet, yet you can tell he was focused during Spring Training. Watching Gordon and Alex Guerrero take grounders side-by-side at second base, I could see that Dee looked more polished than I had seen him before. Gordon looked good at second base, and he sure enough won the starting job at second upon the departure of Mark Ellis.

I wish Dee Gordon the best of luck in his career, and I’m sure he’ll steal many bases and hearts when he plays for the Marlins and for a home town crowd. Hopefully Dee will make that monstrosity of a statue spit water after he plates an inside-the-park homerun at Marlins Park.

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