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We can't let today pass without recognizing the 15-year anniversary of the worst trade in Orioles history. You don't celebrate one like this. You don't run to Carvel and buy a Fudgie the Whale cake, if such a thing still exists. You simply acknowledge the anniversary, place another call to your

therapist, remember the Frank Robinson-Milt Pappas deal, tell yourself that you'll eventually get over it. It just takes time.

  Or maybe you're still in denial, in which case you'll want to stop reading right now. The emperor isn't naked. The Colts won Super Bowl III. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez never made a movie together. Whatever works for you.

  I call it the worst trade without fear of contradiction. Name one that matches it, or even rivals it.

  No, seriously, please name one. There have been other clunkers. It's bound to happen. Which others do you remember that don't include Glenn Davis, the only human made almost entirely of crepe paper to play in the majors? What others didn't cost the Orioles Curt Schilling, Steve Finley

and Pete Harnisch?

  I have a confession to make: I loved the trade when it happened. Every other team in the AL East had a feared slugger in the middle of its lineup. (If memory serves me, I believe the Yankees had Jack Clark.) Davis was a prolific run producer who figured to thrive even more outside the

Astrodome. He was exactly what the Orioles needed at the time.

  Schilling was a flake, someone who agitated teammates and club officials with his immaturity and lack of respect for himself and the game. He figured to go an entire career -- and it seemed destined to be a short one -- without fulfilling his vast potential. You know the saying:

million-dollar arm, 10-cent head. Finley was a carbon copy of Brady Anderson -- great speed and glove, with little indication that both players eventually would hit for power. The Orioles also had Mike Devereaux in the outfield. One of them was expendable. Why not Finley?

  Of the three players surrendered, I worried most about losing Harnisch. Turns out, his career ended first. I recall a Sun reporter asking Frank Robinson about the trade and the risks in giving up Harnisch and Finley. Robinson said something like, "You've got it all wrong. Schilling is the

guy." He knew back then that the Orioles would regret losing Schilling more than anyone else.

  How could the Orioles know that Davis would become so fragile, and such a disruption in the clubhouse? Former manager Johnny Oates had to be restrained once from going after Davis. The Orioles and Davis never fit well together. Liz Taylor took one look at said, "That's a bad marriage."

(Did I really use Liz Taylor as an example? Man, I'm getting old. What's next, stories of how many miles I walked to school each day?)

  Here's my suggestion: Chalk it up to good intentions that brought bad results. The Orioles had the right idea. Some things are beyond a team's control. And it's not like the Astros kept all three players and built a dynasty. They stuck Schilling in the bullpen before trading him to the

Phillies for, yes, Jason Grimsley.

  We'll just agree to never talk about the bloody sock. It never happened. And I'll deny it to the end.

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