The best part of Major League Baseball’s winter meetings – or only good part if your team doesn’t make any big moves and settles for Ryan Theriot – is the rumor mill, mainly because for every deal that doesn’t happen, we get a filler story. And the filler story du jour involves Gary Sheffield’s crazy ass and the crazier reporters who are deciphering his quotes to the context that best fits their stories.
Sheffield, who last played for the New York Mets in 2009, told MLB.com’s Harold Reynolds that he’s in beautiful and exotic Orlando because his newest gig is as a consultant for some players, but then he gave us all plenty of fodder when he responded to the question of whether or not he could still play. And of course that means everyone is reporting that he still wants to play. But here’s what he actually said…
“[Teams] know who I am,” Sheffield said. “The thing is that hitting has never been my problem. I can still do that. I can still go out and hit 20-30 home runs.”
[Referring to not playing last season] “I wanted to be a Ray, be at home,” he said. “I wanted to see what that was like. I talked to [Fred] McGriff and he said, ‘Man, you ought to give it a shot and stay home.’ So I kind of held out until the last minute.”
“If it doesn’t happen this year, I’m going to go ahead and call it quits,” he said. (Via MLB.com)
First of all, factor in his new role as a consultant to young players and it’s a conflict of interests, as he could use the chance to join a Major League roster as a means of recruiting clients. It’s like back in college when I bought a four-bedroom house and rented out three rooms to sorority girls. Then I introduced them to my new business plan. No, it wasn’t prostitution. It was organ harvesting. Get your mind out of the gutter.
But here’s a bold prediction – he’s going to call it quits. He didn’t play last year because he claims he wanted to play for the Tampa Bay Rays and they waited too long to make a deal. Meanwhile, he hasn’t talked to any teams at the winter meetings. The fact remains, Sheff has a bad reputation for being a big mouth, and while that’s always been pretty amusing for us, it’s terrible for teams. Owners also don’t like dealing with players who represent themselves. Ask Daunte Culpepper. Hell, ask Gary. You can listen to an interview he did with ESPN Radio in Tampa about the Rays personnel choices on the next page…