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Trades from the Past - Sid Fernandez

Barry DuchanSunday, April 20, 2008
By Barry Duchan


When you think about the really good trades the Mets have made, the Cone and Hernandez deals come to mind first, but although few and far between, the Mets have made some other pretty good trades in their history, so as things continue to fall apart for this year's team, I thought I'd try to inject a positive note by looking at a few of the other good deals the Mets made.

Following the 1983 season, the Mets traded a middling relief pitcher, Carlos Diaz, and the veteran utility man Bob Bailor to the Dodgers for a pair of minor leaguers, Sid Fernandez and infielder Ross Jones. Although I'd never seen Fernandez pitch, he had compiled some eye-popping minor league numbers and it was a surprise to me that the Dodgers would let him go for a couple of run-of-the-mill players with little potential to get better. Sid Fernandez Before long, we all found out that Fernandez had a major weight problem, didn't have extraordinary stuff or a blazing fastball and had the kind of laid-back attitude befitting a Hawaiian surfer dude. He relied primarily on a deceptive motion. But he was plenty good enough.

Although Sid never duplicated the astonishing numbers he had put up in the minors, he did put up some very impressive ones and fit nicely with a Mets' team that had some other outstanding starters whose styles were totally different.

Fernandez' hits per inning ratio was among the best in baseball history and he won 114 games in his major league career, most of which was spent with the Mets. Sid tried to make a few comebacks. I believe the last time was in spring training with the Yankees in the late '90's.

Sid was fun to watch and a highly effective, if, unorthodox starting pitcher. On the other side, both Diaz and Bailor did pretty much what was expected during their short tenures with the Dodgers. So, this was definitely one of the Mets' all-time best trades.

Note: More of Barry Duchan's writings can be found on his own Metscentric blog.

About Barry Duchan: I've been following the Mets since 1962. Have to admit I was a Yankee fan as a kid, but I found it to be so much more interesting to see how a young team could build itself up rather than following a team where the season didn't really begin until October. I remember them all - Casey, Marv, ChooChoo, Don Bosch, The Stork, etc. As the years went on, I became more and more of a Mets fan, and a Yankee hater once Steinbrenner and Billy Martin entered the picture.   Read More -->

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Comments (6)

Mike, This was my favorite Met pitcher of that era. Why? He was so deceptive. He really didn't throw that hard but k'd a lot of people. I used to love watching the infield get a day off as the outfielders were getting most of the action. This was a great pick up. I wonder why the Dodgers would even deal with us. This wasn't the only trade were we picked their system for pitching. Bottom line, he was great of an era were we should have accomplished a lot more.

William, Barry Duchan wrote this piece. Barry does a terrific job on these historical posts and deserves to be recognized for it.

As for the trade, Barry was right. The Dodgers thought that Sid was fat and lazy and wouldn't pan out. They were wrong, of course, but they have traditionally been very good at judging their own talent.

I remember El Sid bailing out Gooden in game 5 of the 86 world series. Even though the Mets would lose the game, Sid kept them in it and gave them a chance. Then he did the same thing after Darling got knocked out of game 7 and allowed the Mets to come back and win. Sid was one of my favorites.

Hey, more than a few talent evaluators missed the boat on Sid. I remember Whitey Herzog responding to a writer, asking him to compare his pitching staff with that of the Mets; it was the spring of 1985. I know one thing Whitey said; I like our guy (think it was Kurt Kepshire, their #5 starter) better than that fat lefthander you guys have.

But Sid, he showed 'em. Boy, do I miss Davey Johnson, and his ability to see what a player could contribute to his team.

Can they bring back Davey now?

I have a nice joke for you people! :) Where does satisfaction come from? A satisfactory.
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