photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
I think I finally understand Gary Sheffield’s particular, current brand of crazy. It started with the fabulous “steroids is something you stick in your butt” quote and Sheff’s unwillingness to believe the actual definition of what steroids are.
This time we got started off by a Boston Globe article where, among many other things crazy and potentially inflammatory, Sheffield said this:
I don’t prefer platooning here, but I understand because I got off to a slow start, that’s part of it, but I feel I’m playing better now. I’m back to being a threat I need to be.
Nick Cafardo/Boston Globe
Jim Leyland begged to differ:
“I told him that all I had here for him was a DH. If he did not want to accept that, do not accept the trade,” Leyland recalled. “I’m still confused by the article because it talks about ‘platoon doesn’t set well.’ Gary Sheffield never platooned here.
“Platoon is when you have a left-hand hitter and a right-hand hitter. One plays against right-hand pitching and one plays against left-hand pitching. That is a platoon.”
Leyland said Sheffield played in 39 of 51 games before going on the disabled list in May and played in 36 of the past 43 games, entering Monday’s series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Anybody that has a brain knows that’s not a platoon,” Leyland said.
Sheff’s response to this reasonable and widely-accepted definition of a baseball platoon?
“I come in some days and I don’t play and some days I play. That’s platooning to me,” Sheffield said. “You might think it’s different. It’s not a big deal, but that’s the way I feel.”
And now Gary Sheffield begins to make sense to me. It is now obvious that he has some sort of dictionary or encyclopedia which he can consult on the meaning of words and phrases, but this dictionary/encyclopedia is unlike anyone else’s. It is his own dictionary/encyclopedia: a unique, one-of-a-kind version owned only by Gary Sheffield. Cat knows where he got it. If we could get our paws on it, most things about Gary Sheffield would be explained. In this dictionary/encyclopedia, steroids clearly ARE something you stick in your butt, and cannot be taken in any other way! In this dictionary/encyclopedia, a baseball platoon is any situation where a player does not start 100% of the games!
In this dictionary/encyclopedia, a baseball ‘threat’ is a DH hitting .224 and OPSing .714! It all seems so obvious now. I don’t know why we didn’t realize it before. Why would Sheff INSIST on his crazy, sometimes provably wrong statements unless he had some source that he felt was reputable telling him otherwise?
The Tigers have put Sheff on waivers, which he will probably clear, because although his big book tells him that he is a threat and a viable outfielder, most teams will view him the way the Tigers do, i.e. as a fairly old DH who’s not producing much at the plate, with significant injury risk and a huge contract. Once he’s cleared waivers that means he’ll be trade-able. Whether or not the Tigers will be able to actually trade him is a whole other can of cat food.
Because Sheff performs best when everyone is pissed off at him, he hit two home runs in tonight’s (stupid, obnoxious, BULLPEN FAULT-FUL, JOEL) loss to the Jays.
I think the path to a successful rest of the season with Gary Sheffield is clear. Detroit reporters should ask him leading, controversy-fomenting questions every couple of days. Sheff will obviously respond with his usual mix of honesty, bluntness, and complete and utter wrongness. The front office, the fans, and his fellow teammates will respond by trying to trade him/booing him/smacking him with wet towels in the clubhouse. Sheff will slug .700. This is the obvious solution, folks and felines!
Apparently we also signed Freddy Garcia to a minor league contract. He hasn’t pitched in ages, so it’s kind of an ‘eh, why not’ move. We shall see what we shall see.
On Wednesday the Tigs face off against the Bluebirds again, 7:05 pm EDT. Should be Kenny vs. David Purcey. David Purcey has started 5 games all year and has been terrible in all of them. Like, worse than Kenny, which is really saying something with the way Kenny has been pitching lately. I am hoping for more of the same tomorrow. From Purcey. Not from Kenny. Anyways. Go Tigers!