Odrisamer Despaigne was traded on Thursday to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league pitcher Jean Cosme. This trade did not make headlines or even reach certain social media pages like @everythingMLB on Instagram who have over 100 thousand followers and seemingly cover all MLB transactions.
I guess this trade just wasn’t relevant enough. Yes if you look at this trade from an analytic point of view it just isn’t very special, on one side you have Odrisamer Despaigne who had a 5.80 era in 19 starts last season for the Padres and then you have Cosme a pretty average minor league pitcher.
There has to be more to it? Right? Why am I writing this article? Apart from stats and a player’s overall performance what else matters? Well I will tell you…Fan interaction. Yes fan interaction, the way an MLB player shows his gratitude towards his fans, the way a player treats his fans. This was something Odrisamer Despaigne excelled at here in San Diego.
I went to nearly every Padres home game last season and I never saw Odie reject anyone for an autograph or a picture. I saw him many times on a Sunday morning sign and take pictures with fans after a hard workout.
Odie would make sure to get everyone as well, whether it was a group of 10 people or a group of 100 he would make sure anyone asking for an autograph or picture would get one. The Cuban pitcher would make sure that young fans would leave the game with priceless mementos that would be the highlight of their day regardless of the outcome of the game.
This is why the news of Despaigne getting traded put a frown on my face, this is why when I received a text early Thursday morning from a friend reading he was dealt, my response was “Despaigne to O’s!! Nooooooo!”
Padres fans lost a man who loved his job and showed it day in day out, a man who will actually give you retweets and favorites and respond to your messages on Twitter. Despaigne was also a man who loves the game, a man who on June 28th and June 29th will be back in San Diego as a member of the Orioles. He will be back and he will treat the fans as he has always treated them. With class.
Padres fans have lost Odrisamer Despaigne… a man of the people. I wish you the best of luck in Baltimore Odrisamer, we won’t forget that time you came ever so close to making it in the San Diego Padres record books.