Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pick your poison

I was reading an article on mlive.com today written by Steve Kornacki. He spoke about how Gary Sheffield is unhappy with his role as DH for the Tigers.

Shefflield told a reporter from the Boston Globe that he doesn't want to be a DH and he does not feel like a ballplayer when he DH's.

You don't feel like a ballplayer, huh Sheff? Well, it shows because you're certainly not playing like one! You've got 10 home runs and 33 rbi's this year. You're only hitting .067 on this current homestand. These stats show that you really don't feel like a ballplayer.

He goes on in the article to state that he doesn't feel know how he can lead when he's not playing in the field. Jim Leyland's response to this whining from Sheffield was that he can lead by knocking in runs and playing his butt off. I totally agree with Leyland. But Sheff has never been able to lead by example. Wherever he's gone (Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, and now Tigers), he's been a cancer to the team. Remember, he's the one that accused Joe Torre of treating the white players on his team different from everyone else.

Leyland goes on to say that before the Tigers even made the trade for Sheffield back in '06 he spoke with him on the phone. He told Sheff, "all that I have is DH, if you don't want it, do not accept this trade". When the reporter brought this up to Sheffield, he responded "I understood that, but in my mind I'm not going to accept that. That's my role but I don't have to accept it or like it".

He's right, he doesn't have to accept it. But it's the truth. He signed a 1 year contract with Detroit back in February and will be a free agent at the end of this year. I'd be willing to put up one million dollars against Sheff finding another team that will sign him to a deal and make him a starter in their outfield. It will not happen.

A few people responded to this article suggesting that the Tigers would have been better off dumping Sheffield and bringing in Barry Bonds. I have mixed feelings about that. Yes, Bonds is a better hitter than Sheffield and wouldn't whine about not being an everyday outfielder. But Bonds come with SO much baggage it would be even more of a distraction than Sheffield is. No matter where Bonds goes, the steroid talk will follow.

Bonds or Sheffield, pick your poison. Personally, I'd take door number 3 and bring up Mike Hessman from Toledo for the rest of the year. He's been dominating the pitching in the minor leagues all year.

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