NY Sports Dog: Flushing, We Have a Problem

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Flushing, We Have a Problem

I sat on the fence yesterday after the Gary Sheffield signing was announced--just thinking.

Sheffield was once a very good ballplayer, maybe even a great one. Normally news of signing a player of his stature would be welcome.

But Sheffield is, and always has been, a difficult player to have on your team. The Mets are his 8th team overall, and his 3rd in the last 4 years.

Gary Sheffield also has race issues. Remember when he accused Joe Torre of being a racist?

On his time with the Yankees and black players under Torre:

"They weren't treated like everybody else. I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought were unfair," Sheffield told Kremer.

Sheffield later added: "He had a message to get across to the whole team, so he used me to get the message across." Sheffield said Torre didn't use the same method with white players.

"No ... I'd see a lot of white players get called in the office and treated like a man. That's the difference."
But if that wasn't enough, Sheffield also has problems with Latin-American and Hispanic players:
"I called it years ago. What I called is that you're going to see more black faces, but there ain't no English going to be coming out. … [It's about] being able to tell [Latin players] what to do — being able to control them.

Where I'm from, you can't control us. These are the things my race demands. So, if you're equally good as this Latin player, guess who's going to get sent home? I know a lot of players that are home now can outplay a lot of these guys."
Now these issues are real, at least in Sheffield's pea-brained mind, and they will have an impact on the Mets.

Remember when George Foster was tossed out on his ass in 1986 for his comments and whining about racism?

If Sheffield doesn't get playing time, will it be because of the white guys manning the corner OF positions?

Will the semi-reserved professionals, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran, be tough enough to speak up and keep peace and harmony in the clubhouse should Sheffield start mouthing off?

Now it would be one thing is Sheffield brought a big-time bat with him or some other intangible the Mets were missing, but at this point in his career, he is all but finished.

He is at the bottom of the pack in terms of fielding ability, he can't throw, and his batting stats and bat speed are in a freefall.

Dare I even mention steroids here? What an amazing coincidence that Sheffield's numbers fell off the table as the steroid chatter heated up to the danger point. That's probably just coincidence though? (wink)

Everyone says, "Sheffield over Marlon Anderson", but that really isn't the case.

It's Sheffield taking at-bats from Ryan Church, possibly Carlos Delgado, and the young guys--Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans, who won't inject his youthful presence in Citi Field.

Looking back to last season and the playoff teams you saw a consistent theme--blend of youth and vets, with the young guys providing the energy and spark over the long grind that is the major league baseball season.

Tampa Bay, The Phils, Red Sox, Dodgers. Those teams played and felt younger than the Mets for most of the season. It was only after the Mets "got younger" with the callups of Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans, and even Argenis Reyes, that the team played their best ball.

But we didn't learn. Instead the Mets again are adding players past their prime at the expense of the youth movement that has been proven over and over to be the path to success.

So yes Mets fans, we have a problem.

Adding Gary Sheffield was absolutely the wrong thing to do here.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

1 comment:

Brian said...

While I agree that he's a clown and has no business getting signed based on his character, I disagree from a baseball standpoint.

I don't think Jerry Manuel is someone who's going to be strong-armed into giving Sheffield at bats in the field for the sake of it.

Name a Mets power threat off the bench last year. Name a Mets power threat off the bench this year short of Sheffield.

Also, Daniel Murphy was a good callup and Nick Evans hit well against lefties. *But* I think it's silly to say that it was the right move because of their age. If anything they were both liabilities in the outfield. They were called up for lack of a better option due to rampant injuries.

Do we have a problem if he takes at bats away from the starters? Yes. I just don't see that happening, that's all.

Related Posts with Thumbnails