Being happy for Dee Gordon, Dodgers' deserving All-Star

Being happy for Dee Gordon, Dodgers' deserving All-Star
Dee Gordon leads all major leaguers with 42 steals and nine triples. (Justin Edmonds / Getty Images)

Maybe you think he's some pampered son of a former major leaguer. Maybe you think he feels entitled or simply above the rest, or just puts off the wrong airs. All haughty and self-impressed, all the wrong kind of attitude.

Nothing could be more wrong about Dee Gordon.


Gordon was named to the 2014 National League All-Star team Sunday, and that's something to celebrate. It was something very much earned, not given.

The infielder's career has run the gamut, from No. 1 prospect to seeming afterthought. From the team's opening day shortstop, to a minor leaguer whose best prospect appeared to be as a utility player.

So when Gordon says, "It was an amazing feeling, just where I came from," it's not some trite athlete-speak. He's been through a career roller coaster and entered the season, now 26, on a downward swing.

In the majors he had stumbled as a shortstop, struggling to hit and field. He was sent back to triple-A Albuquerque where late last season the Dodgers started playing him at second base. Then as the Dodgers started looking toward the playoffs, they called him up and began working him in center field.

In the off-season, the Dodgers signed Cuban prospect Alex Guerrero for $28 million with the anticipation he would be their starting second baseman. Meanwhile, Gordon was off in the winter leagues, still getting instruction at center and second.

If he had any future with the big club, clearly it seemed as a utility player.

Throughout it all, Gordon maintain an incredible attitude. He worked hard at whatever asked. He remained exceedingly polite; no player has ever called me "sir" more than Gordon. His determination and drive would reap major benefits for him and the team.

In the spring, Guerrero struggled defensively and Gordon started his takeoff. When the season began, Guerrero was in Albuquerque and Gordon was platooning at second with Justin Turner.

But in a short time, Gordon seized the position. His play simply demanded he start.

His transition to second went better than the Dodgers had a right to expect. At the plate he showed continued maturity, more willing to put the ball in play and bunt, to take advantage of his unquestioned speed. He became entrenched as the leadoff hitter.

And now today, he leads all major leaguers with 42 steals and nine triples, is hitting .302, has scored 50 runs and, of course, is a much-deserved All-Star.

Sometimes good things do happen to the good guys.