Sheffield talks about stuff

Gary Sheffield still isn’t happy with his DH role. In a Boston Globe article Sheffield was his typically candid self.

“I can be in the outfield and play every day. I don’t want to DH. I don’t feel like a baseball player when I DH. I don’t know how to be the leader that I am from the bench. I can’t be a vocal leader. I can’t talk to guys from the bench because I don’t feel right about it.

“I’m in a role now where I don’t know what to do, really. The guys are out there busting their butt for nine innings, they come in and they hit and they grind. I just sit down and hit. That’s all I do, so I can’t be in a leadership role from that position.”

Sheffield has drawn a lot of ire this year for his lack of production. But he has been uncharacteristically quiet – by his standards anyways.

We all remember the left field experiment earlier in the year that didn’t go well when Sheffield couldn’t actually throw the ball. Supposedly he is healthier now, and the production has been increasing. Since the All Star break he’s hitting 247/333/493 (not including today’s suck-fest).

And I can’t be upset with a guy who wants to play more, and do more, and contribute more. But he’s not the same hitter he once was. He goes on to talk about how tough pitchers are pitching him:

“I don’t get pitched the same like everybody else. I get pitched very carefully. Now that I’m a lot better physically, I can handle tough pitching. I can be the player that I know I am.”

“They work it down and away or up and in, and it’s always on the edges,” Sheffield said. “That’s how I’m getting pitched, but I can handle that.”

But he isn’t handling it. For the season he’s striking out in 22% of his at-bats. That is well beyond his career 12.5% average. And it isn’t just a product of his injury early on. Even since the All Star break when he’s been moderately productive, he’s still fanning at a 20% rate. As for pitcher’s pitching him tough, they can’t be pitching him any tougher than they had in past.

I’m not going to say that Sheffield sucks. Hi skills are fading, but if he can maintain his post All Star pace I have no problem with an average OBP and a solid slugging percentage. He came back too quickly, and he should have gone on the DL.

But in terms of being a vocal leader? Maybe it’s best not to lament not playing for a different team:

“The Yankees knew I wanted to go to Boston,” Sheffield said. “They picked up my option so I wouldn’t wind up there. I would have loved it because I love that atmosphere. It means something.

“At this stage of my career, I want to feel that again. That’s what I play for. That’s what gets me revved up.”

Yes the Tigers are a long shot for the playoffs at this point. But there still is a shot. And baseball is a big deal here in Detroit. The Tigers will shatter their attendance record and night in and night out in Detroit Sheffield is playing in front of sell out crowds. And the boos that Sheffield received from the home crowd today are indicative of the fact that the fans are “revved up.” I know the atmosphere in Detroit doesn’t rival Fenway, but it’s not like he’s playing in front of a bunch of empty seats.

I’m sure clarifying remarks will be coming out in the next day or so, and Sheffield will talk about how happy he is in Detroit. But this doesn’t play well, especially from a guy who’s lack of production this season has been a part of the problem.

58 Comments

  1. Jeff

    August 10, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    “I don’t get pitched the same like everybody else. I get pitched very carefully.”

    Reminds me of last year when Brandon Inge complained that pitchers were pitching to him like he was Ted Williams or Babe Ruth. Now Sheffield’s no Inge, not with his career production, but the similarity in comments is amusing.

  2. Vince in MN

    August 10, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Sheff likes Boston, huh. Well, if DD had known that before the trading deadline, maybe he could have worked a three way deal where the Red Sox got Sheffield and the Tigers got Jason Bay. Sort of a left fielder for a left fielder deal.

  3. Brian in Tampa

    August 10, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Just go away Sheffield. You are a waste of space on this roster. You cry and cry and cry. Go ruin some other team. You do 3 things well: hit long foul balls, hit into double plays, and pop up to the infield. You are DIRT!!!!!

  4. ron

    August 10, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Has Sheffield been a leader? I’m sure Leyland wanted him to be one, but it is difficult to lead 25 guys when everything seems to be about you and what would make you happy. In the above couple blurbs, there are 13 I’s, 2 My’s and a me. I think what he would enjoy about Boston is bouncing a few off the Green Monster which he is still capable of doing. Obviously, he looks at the standings like we all do and only has regrets. This is a guy who does not have leadership on his mind.

  5. David

    August 10, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – WOULD BE A DREAM COME TRUE

    HATE THE RED SOX, HATE SHEF, LOVE A TRADE OR HECK A GIVEAWAY

    A big chunk of the reason we aren’t in the number one spot is because of you! YOU USELESS POS, I’m not sure I hate any player more than him.

    Please if they won’t trade him just release him

    his VORP (even a minor leaguer) is negative

  6. Jeff

    August 10, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    A big chunk of the reason we aren’t in the number one spot is because of you!

    There’s no one player responsible for the Tigers’ predicament. If Sheff wasn’t there then the Tigers would have seen a slight upgrade from more AB for Thames and Raburn. They might have 1-2 more wins at most.

    BTW, Sheff’s VORP is slightly positive.

  7. PHT in HK

    August 11, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Who gets pitched to “very uncarefully”?

  8. stephen

    August 11, 2008 at 12:14 am

    It took over 15 years, but Sheffield has reached the point where no cares what he says any more. I bet there won’t be a clarification, because no one can be bothered. He’s just like Dennis Rodman, you put up with his b.s when he’s a stud/all-star, when he’s just average, at best, you just yawn and say ‘whatever.’

  9. Rob Howard

    August 11, 2008 at 12:19 am

    And time for my first post on DTW for 2008! That’s what moving to Texas and a bitterly dissapointing Tigers season will do!

    Anyway, good grief, just go away Sheff. I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of you stealing at bats from deserving players like Marcus Thames and younger prospects like Matt Joyce. I’m tired of the mouth, and I think those dumb comments last season hurt the team’s chemistry.

    Sheff was great for a few months- but all in all this looks like a bad deal from DD.

  10. Mike R

    August 11, 2008 at 12:46 am

    To quote Stephen from a post or two up:

    Yawn.

    “Whatever.”

    (this is literally what i did, too, which makes Stephen’s post quite creepy since i read it after I yawned at the comments).

  11. Mike R

    August 11, 2008 at 12:52 am

    Also: Glad to see he’s going “Brandon Inge” on everyone and complaining about the way he’s being pitched and how tough they are on him. Who knew MLB pitchers would be trying to get guys out? Were pitchers throwing meatballs in there for Sheff for 15 years? I guess I just didn’t realize it.

    Yawwwwwwn.

  12. judpma

    August 11, 2008 at 1:34 am

    WWWWAAAAAAAAAAAA..sheff I was hoping the Packers were trying to get you for Farve

  13. Amanda

    August 11, 2008 at 5:35 am

    Sheff is a wuss

  14. Andrew

    August 11, 2008 at 7:56 am

    And that, folks, is the Sheff that Tigers fans feared would arrive in Detroit when he showed up. It just took him a little while to warm up and start saying stupid things.

  15. Ryan P

    August 11, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Just cut him, please, and let him hurt the BoSox instead.

  16. Figdawg

    August 11, 2008 at 8:34 am

    If Leyland really meant what he said last Sunday, they would release him today. How can you have any real respect among your players when you say one thing and then let a player say that he would rather be playing for the Boston Red Sox, or playing left field? I’ll bet Matt Joyce is really thrilled with that!
    Give him his outright release and let him try to negotiate a deal with the Red Sox, or anybody else. They would laugh him right out of town.
    He WAS a great hitter. Like many great players (Brett Farve), however, he cannot accept the fact that his skills are declining.

  17. rings

    August 11, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Is it any wonder that seven franchises have been happy to see him go?
    This was a mistake from the beginning. He’s a selfish jerk that cares for nothing other than himself and his production isn’t even close to being worth the trouble or the money.

  18. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 9:12 am

    “You do 3 things well: hit long foul balls, hit into double plays, and pop up to the infield. You are DIRT!!!!!”

    Brian (in Tampa), don’t sell the man short. He does a fine job grounding out to 3B, as well. He leads the Tigers in this particular category, and his only competition was traded to the Yankees.

    Sheffield’s comments about how he wished to go to Boston from the Yankees, well… that does it. I’m not just a detractor any more. If Sheffield’s comments (overall, including the whining) don’t bother Leyland (not to mention DD and Illitch) enough to get him benched from here on out if not DFA outright, there are some people besides Sheffield himself with more nerve than guts and more cheek than balls.

  19. Brian P

    August 11, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I, being clearly in the minority, am willing to give Sheffield a “pass” for this season. As Billfer said (and a lot of comments earlier in the season echoed), he should have been on the DL. How many times do we see a player trying to play through an injury only to be a hinderance to his team? That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is: All the time. Coaches and the trainers should have recognized his inability to throw the baseball and kept him out of the outfield entirely. He should have been removed from the lineup when it was obvious he was struggling with his shoulder.

    Regardless, the pitching has been so poor that even if Sheffield hit .290 with 20+ home runs, the Tigers would still be in third place.

    The strike-out rates are alarming. Is it a product off-timing from the injury? Can he rebound now that he’s self-proclaimed healthy? Given this failed season, he deserves the opportunity to prove himself.

    If Sheffield returns from the offseason in relatively good health, would anyone be opposed to a Sheffield/Thames LF/DH platoon? The remainder of 2008 and spring training 2009 will prove if Joyce belongs in the equation.

  20. BaseballinDC

    August 11, 2008 at 10:20 am

    We should have dealt Sheffield before the trading deadline to pick up some young prospects to restock the farm. Same with Renteria.

    I’m not blaming these guys – its the bullpen that’s been the big letdown this year, but the bottom line is that we’re not going anywhere post season without better pitching, and the farm system’s pretty dry right now.

    They still have more value to someone else than us, though. Sheffield, especially, doesn’t seem committed to the team. I wish him well, but he’s never going to play the role with the Tigers he envisions.

  21. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Brian, a minority opinion is welcome. One good question you raise is this: If a player is trying to play through injury and wants to keep playing despite struggling, is it his responsibility to take himself out? Is he to blame for what the manager won’t recognize?

    However, I don’t see the logic in this statement:

    “Given this failed season, he deserves the opportunity to prove himself.”

    Sheffield has been self-proclaimed healthy since returning from the DL in the St. Louis series where he was so vital to 2 wins. Since then (like before), not much production. I’m not sure why all his struggles this year are so easy for some to chalk up to injury. He just hasn’t been good for any length of time. He’s had (at least) 2 months to prove himself. I’m not impressed.

    What more does Matt Joyce need to do to prove himself a better platoon partner for Thames than Sheffield? He’s been more productive, he bats left, he’s young with a good shot at a future in Detroit, and he doesn’t even seem to long to play for the Red Sox instead. Joyce might even make Thames superfluous. It would surprise me very little to see Marcus traded in the offseason.

    If a failed season makes you deserving of the opportunity to prove yourself, why didn’t the Tigers just stick with who they had in 2003, over and over, until everyone had proven themselves?

  22. Ryan

    August 11, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Time to get rid of Sheff right now. He looks like an almost competent hitter again. Thames/Joyce could provide similar if not better production than even the Sheff of the last two weeks. Sheff+Rogers+Jones+Jones+Pudge+(maybe) Renteria = about $40 million off the books next year. The Tigers can buy a catching tandem and a top-notch starting pitcher for that. If the choice for next year is Sheff or Sabathia, I think the answer is pretty easy. Dump that salary, and if you can get a low level prospect or two back, so much the better. I don’t dislike the guy, but he is expensive and unnecessary on this team.

  23. T Smith

    August 11, 2008 at 11:01 am

    “I don’t get pitched the same like everybody else. I get pitched very carefully. Now that I’m a lot better physically, I can handle tough pitching. I can be the player that I know I am…They work it down and away or up and in, and it’s always on the edges,” Sheffield said. “That’s how I’m getting pitched, but I can handle that.”.

    However you feel about everything Sheffield said, I have to agree with this statement. At first it sounds kinda like an Ingism excuse, but in Gary Sheffield’s case, I think it’s actually true. Either that or he’s had the most unlucky string of ABs I’ve ever seen. Every time he comes to the plate I’m awed at how the first pitch to him is always painted on an impossible corner to hit — and the pitcher always gets the call — putting him in an 0-1 count. Without fail. And then he inevitably falls to a 1-2 count. Almost every time.

    I don’t care who you are, you’re not going to produce if you’re continually battling from 1-2 counts.

    I’m not sure if the pitchers are actually doing this by design (why just pitch Sheff this way — why not pitch everybody this way, if you can?) or if that’s just the way the pitches have gone for Sheffield this year, but it’s absolutely true — whatever the case. Sheffield has had some hard pitches to turn on. Those pitches turn out to be called balls for a lot of guys, but not Sheffield. I’m convinced the World Umpire Association despises him — for arguing calls, speaking out, etc. He’s said some pretty contentious things in the past.

  24. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Yeah, probably the best reason to get rid of Sheffiled is that the Tigers alrady have TONS of better (= far and away more productive) DH candidates: Guillen, Ordonez, Thames, Joyce, Cabrera even. An unproductive Sheffield is worse than useless on this team. A team like, say, the Angels, could afford to put up with him and wait around on him. Not Detroit. If you can’t hit or at least play catcher, get out of town. You don’t belong here.

  25. Brian P

    August 11, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Let me revise my statement, Sean.

    Given this failed 2008 season, there is minimal harm giving DH at-bats to Sheffield in order to verify or disprove his health and abilities.

    I’ll admit, I’m still grasping at the 2007 outburst and the potential of seeing something similar (but to a lesser degree) again.

    Joyce worries me. He seems like someone we’ll be saying “Well, the league just made an adjustment to him” about. He hasn’t had a homerun in his last 40 at bats. He somehow whiffs at offspeed pitches more than Sheffield.

    But what do I know? I expected decent production from Jacque Jones before the season began. *shudders*

  26. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Also, poor Gary doesn’t want to DH anyway. He can’t “be all that he can be” there, well-known leader of men and all-around charismatic guy that he is. Definitely belongs in LF, where he can injure himself again and have a better excuse than questionable strike zones, pitchers pitching him too tough, and the lack of motivation that comes from being stuck playing for a non-contender alongside no-names like Granderson, Polanco. Guillen, Ordonez, and Cabrera.

  27. Jim

    August 11, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I agree with stephen

  28. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Brian, I’m feeling such disdain for Sheffield right now that I’ll need to be careful not to sound like I’m mocking your give him the benefit of the doubt stance. I don’t mean to.

    The great harm I see in continuing to give Sheff a chance in 2009 is the same harm that has already been done in 2008. You steal AB from guys who can fill the DH role better. It’s not just speculation, either. Guillen, Ordonez, and Cabrera are no gamble at all compared to Sheffield. Thames may be slightly worse even than a Sheffield in decline, except for the fact that he is much, much more dangerous – something you kinda like in a DH, a guy whose specific job it is to hurt pitchers, make them pay. Marcus can do that. Joyce may be more of a gamble, but he’s young, he has more upside, and he would be wasted on a full-time DH spot anyway.

    The Tigers would be (and would have been, in retrospect) well-served by not having a full-time DH at all, instead going with a rotation of the players I’ve mentioned, sans Sheffield.

  29. thefume

    August 11, 2008 at 11:39 am

    If you DFA Sheff, he gets what he wants: $19 million and a trip to Boston or Tampa. If you want to discipline him for his comments all you can really do is to bench him. I’m holding out a small hope that he will heat up this month and Tampa will want him before the Aug. 31 deadline, with us paying less than half of the contract.

  30. charlie

    August 11, 2008 at 11:40 am

    so much has been talked about here as to how this guy or that guy would look in the dh position. it’s in the same vein as last winters talk about how we would hit. until the game starts you just don’t know and right now we don’t know how any of those other guys would look as a dh only. it really is not much different from pinch hitting except you have more chances and we all know that pinch hitting is no slam dunk.

  31. Chris in Dallas

    August 11, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    While I can understand the criticism of Sheffield from a productivity standpoint (he’s really sucked for the most part), I don’t think trading for him should be classified as a “bad” deal. Humberto Sanchez has thrown a grand total of 8 2/3 innings since the trade, Whelan has had injury problems and Claggett started the year in A ball as a 23 year old. All 3 guys profile as relievers in the bigs anyway. At the time it looked like they might have been dealing a stud in Sanchez, but hasn’t worked out that way so far. Considering all of that, I don’t view it as a bad trade.

  32. stephen

    August 11, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    This is why you don’t release Sheff: Next year is the final year of his contract. You already owe him the money. Next year, he will have incentive both to try and make a last contract killing and to push his HR total into Hall of Fame territory. (He’s on the border). DL him now, let him go home, see how he does in March, and then release him if there’s no progress.

  33. Kyle J

    August 11, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    How about rotating Sheffield and Ordonez at OF/DH next year?

    Keep Magglio healthy for his option years.

    If Sheffield injures himself in the field, so be it.

  34. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Bringing the “what moves might be in store for 2009?” talk over here:

    I see a lot of guys gone by next season, and here’s why I think they’re expendable:

    Guillen – If not in decline, probably past his peak, rarely healthy, and not really fit for the field anywhere. It’s a close one between keeping him as DH and trading him for pitching. Or putting him back at SS.

    Thmaes the Macedonian – Not that I want to see him go, but Joyce may make him expendable for, yes, pitching. He could also be full-time DH, except that Ordonez could just as easily move there (Joyce in RF, Thomas in LF, Raburn as a platoon partner for either of them).

    Rogers – He’ll probably pitch till he’s 50, but the Tigers would need 4 “no doubt” starters to continue to carry him.

    Jones – Not apt to get better, doesn’t exactly fit into a true bullpen upgrade.

    Robertson – Has it not been established by now that medoicre was his peak, now past? The Tigers have more than enough #5 candidates to replace him.

    Sheffield – Mr. Expendable. Must go at all costs. Utterly without value for the 2009 Tigers.

    Fossum – Lots of guys could fill this role as well or better. Rapada, Lopez, some left over starter (Willis, Robertson, even Bonderman, while he recovers from his next injury).

    Lopez – He hasn’t been that great for a while. Some other team might like him as a starter – don’t think he fits the Tigers’ plan there. Cruceta could replace him.

    Rodney – Worth keeping. Worth even more trading, if the Tigers have their sights on acquiring a real bullpen stud.

    Farnsworth – Trade him back to the Yankees for Pudge? No, really – this guy just can’t figure into a bullpen upgrade for 2009. No way.

    Sardinha – Hmmm. I would guess that the Tigers could do better for a backup C without trying too hard.

    Renteria – If he is “average” for a SS, I’d rather see a different kind of average, a guy who excelled at something – hitting, fielding, hustle, leadership, scrappiness, grit, civility toward O. Cabrera – ANYTHING. Edgar is Mr. Replaceable.

    I imagine that Bonderman, Willis, Thomas, Rapada, and Cruceta will be back on the roster Opening Day 2009. That would leave 7 spots open for new guys, the new guys being 2 starters, 1 closer, 1 bullpen dude, a backup C, a 3B who can hit and even field, and a SS who’s a superior defender at the very least.

    I might go even farther (it’s nice being a GM with an umlimited budget and no accountability). I would either start making Zumaya into a starter or trade him. 200 MPH hits and walks in tight spots aren’t doing anything for me. I’d also be willing to eat half of Inge’s salary to trade him – I just don’t know what for or what I would do about C then.

    Now what the Tigers are contenders in 2009, I shall turn my attention to other fun but lesser challenges, such as harnessing static electricity as an unlimited energy source and superluminal time travel.

  35. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    “DL him now, let him go home, see how he does in March, and then release him if there’s no progress.”

    I like the DL part of that. I don’t know how apt a guy who’s blaming the strike zone and tough pitching for his problems is to make progress, though.

  36. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I concede Charlie’s point that you don’t quite know how anyone is going to perform as DH until you put them there. It’s not like anyone on the Tigers is begging to DH, as far as I know. Maybe all players consider it a comedown, a lesser role. I don’t know if Cabrera would, but he’s just so young.

  37. Ryan P

    August 11, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    So we have “Mr. Replaceable” and “Mr. Expendable”. What the difference?

  38. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    “Considering all of that, I don’t view it as a bad trade.”

    No, it was a good trade, then and now. I was very glad they got Sheffield. Too bad it’s worked out as it has, especially in 2008.

  39. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    “So we have “Mr. Replaceable” and “Mr. Expendable”. What the difference?”

    Mr. Expendable must go. Mr. Replaceable can stay on the bench if they don’t trade for/sign another SS and take a chance on Santiago as a starter again. For spite, if nothing else. If Santiago struggled badly, it would be good to keep running him out there while Renteria languished on the bench.

  40. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    All the talk of keeping players merely or mostly because of the money invested in them, while certainly not to be dismissed, made the following choices occur to me:

    a) Pay inferior players lots of money to play for you and hurt your team.

    b) Pay inferior players lots of money to play for someone else and hurt that team.

    I’m leaning toward b).

  41. Coleman

    August 11, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Hmm, odd to see the Ingespeak coming from the Sheffmouth…(no taking the easy way out Sean, I don’t think there’s a racial angle).

    And also it’s odd to see Inge suddenly drawing walks they are going out of style (well actually they haven’t been in style in Detroit for a while)…

    Some strange force is causing Sheffield and Inge to merge into the same player, and I am at a loss to identify the cause, and fear the future ramifications…

  42. Coleman

    August 11, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I checked the walkitudinal averages, and Inge has actually inched ahead of Sheffield. The surprise was the out-of-control free-swinger on the bottom (no, the other one):

    Walkitude:

    Santiago .118
    Inge .105
    Sheffield .100
    Guillen .088
    Larish .082
    Clete .082
    Raburn .067
    Grandy .066
    Cabrera .065
    Ordonez .060
    Joyce .060
    Thames .059
    Renteria .053
    Pudge .043
    Polanco .042

  43. Coleman

    August 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    “Some strange force is causing Sheffield and Inge to merge into the same player, and I am at a loss to identify the cause, and fear the future ramifications”

    And I almost forgot their matching oblique pulls…

  44. Chris in Dallas

    August 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Polanco has never drawn a whole lot of walks. He balances that out by never striking out. I’d say something about looking up “contact hitter” in Webster’s and seeing his picture, but that sounds too hack-y (no pun intended).

  45. ron

    August 11, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    They’re both sons of Bob Sheffing, who managed the Tigers to a 101 and 61 record in 1961, but was let go in 63′ because of a poor start. his nickname was Grumpy, a trait passed on to both his sons.

  46. Chris in Dallas

    August 11, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I get it. Sheff-Inge. Brilliant.

  47. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    “I get it. Sheff-Inge. Brilliant.”

    That would have went right over my head. Really.

  48. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    OPS IN TIGERS LOSSES

    Guillen .721
    Granderson .688
    Ordonez .668
    Polanco .652
    Joyce .651
    Cabrera .643
    Sheffield .613
    Rodriguez .613
    Thames .570
    Inge .475
    Renteria .434

    I thought it would be interesting to see how well a hit or walk from Thames, Inge, or Renteria predicted a Tigers win, since so little of their good hitting came in losses:

    Thames 28-19 .596
    Renteria 37-32 .536
    Inge 23-22 .511

  49. Ken in Las Vegas

    August 11, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    T. Smith, I appreciate the personal insight into the “Sheff get’s pitched to like he’s Ted “Ingey” Ruth” argument, but I feel like I’ve been seeing things through a different lense. If you ask me, Sheff gets his strike zone shrinked. I feel like he gets the benefit of the doubt more than anyone on the team. I’m not sure why we see things so differently. I don’t know how many times I thought “Wow, that was a strike. No wonder he draws so many walks.” after a Sheffield at-bat.

    And let’s be honest, pitchers don’t throw up meatballs until a washed up hall-of-famer toss-up limps to the plate and then all of a sudden tries to hit the edges. Sheff gets plenty of juicy pitches to hit, and he routinely wallops them so foul left that it reminds me of my killer hook on the golf course. I mean the guy hits at least 1 home run and a line-drive double every single game, they just don’t happen to be within the pre-conceived “regulations” that we have so foolishly constricted our game with. Take half a painkiller or down a 22 oz miller before the game Gary and put a few of those on the right side of the Prime Meridian.

  50. Andre in Chi

    August 11, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Ken,

    I couldn’t disagree more, Sheff’s at-bats call for something much more extreme…like Steel Reserve.

    http://img.photobucket.com/alb.....didido.jpg

  51. ron

    August 11, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    What was brilliant is that the Tiger owner realized that a manager change had to be made less than a year and a half after the great 61′ season. If Fetzer still owned the Tigers, in Ernie’s own words, Leyland would be ” looong gone”.

  52. ron

    August 11, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Okay it’s only been a year and a half since 2006. Feels like an eternity.

  53. Dave BW

    August 11, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Sean C: “Thmaes the Macedonian”

    I’m going to miss that guy…

  54. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 12, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    ‘I’m going to miss that guy…”

    Me, too, Dave. He’s City-State Strong, and I’m sure Athens regrets letting him go.

  55. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 12, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Sheffield’s clarifying remarks clarify one thing: He wants out. This is good news. I hope fans at Comerica continue to boo him. I don’t see him making it to September in a Tigers uniform. Surely there is a team desperate enough for his supposed “when motivated” potential during a stretch run to pick up some of his contract.

    He wants out, and I can’t wait. I’m not annoyed with him at all now. What a favor he is doing us all.

  56. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 12, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I’m going to have a talk with Sheffield as though I were a more Sean-like version of Jim Leyland, and also much larger and younger than Gary.

    “I can be in the outfield and play every day.”

    No, you can’t.

    “I don’t want to DH.”

    I’m with you. I don’t want you to DH, either.

    “I don’t feel like a baseball player when I DH.”

    Do you feel like a baseball player when you look at your 2008 stats?

    “I don’t know how to be the leader that I am from the bench.”

    You’re not a leader, on the bench or anywhere.

    “I can’t be a vocal leader.”

    You can sure be vocal, though, can’t you?

    “I can’t talk to guys from the bench because I don’t feel right about it.’

    They wouldn’t feel right about it, either. Because you suck.

    “I’m in a role now where I don’t know what to do, really.”

    That’s called retirement. Give it a try.

    “The guys are out there busting their butt for nine innings, they come in and they hit and they grind.”

    Yeah, they hit. By “grind,” do you mean something like running out an infield grounder? Just curious.

    “I just sit down and hit.”

    Yeah, you do sit down.

    “That’s all I do, so I can’t be in a leadership role from that position.”

    Try leaning on the dugout railing. Works for me.

  57. judpma

    August 12, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Sean that was TOOO GOOD

  58. JoJo SunDevil

    August 12, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    SHEFFIELD’S GONE!! Can we get back to basics now?