Versatility? I’m confused.

What a golden opportunity for someone to pick up one of the premier players in baseball – not just hitter, but player.  The fact is here’s a guy who broke into the big leagues as a
shortstop, almost won the triple crown as a third baseman, moved to the
outfield, and can play first base.  sheffield.jpgHe can steal bags, hit with power,
drive guys in and catch the ball: So when the Tigers say they released him to provide the team with more versatility, I’m confused.  I think it’s a proven fact through the years the impact that Gary Sheffield can have on a team – he’s going to play with fire, he’s going to push guys that he plays with and he’s always been on winning clubs and been about winning.  So I think it’s a great opportunity for someone to pick up a player like Gary Sheffield.

There’s two things that are real interesting here. #1) He struggled all last year with the shoulder surgery but, if you watched him in spring training, has come back healthy.  The way he has been swinging the bat, you see the force, you see the Sheffield bat waggle – that’s a clear indication that his shoulder is healthy.  #2) And he can still play the outfield if you need him out there, he’s a good enough athlete.  Or you can even put him at first because he’s a proven defender.  

He’s going to be a difference maker for a club that’s interested in winning.

10 Comments

I was very confused when I saw that Sheffield. Especially with the small dollars that a team will have to pay I don’t see him being on the “market” for very long.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I know we have plenty of reason not to take Sheffield, but I truly think he is an upgrade to either of the Gabe combo currently manning right field for us.
I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion that he is an instrumental player, and should be able to provide protection and power for any teams he gets picked up by this season.
And for a $ 400,000 pricetag, how can any one not take at least a look at him.
Major League clubhouse and batting ability at a minor league price…………..We could find space for a guy who can still put fear into pitchers. Can’t we?

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Baseball is life, and like life, you make your own bed in baseball. I’m not shocked. Sheffield is getting exactly what his actions (and recent lack of production) warrant him: nothing.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

While everyone else is surprised, us here in the Detroit area are not. I love Sheff, but 2 years of a .220 average is enough. He admittedly does not like to DH and wants to play the field. Now we have a new lead off hitter in left, Josh Anderson and it we finally get Granderson moved down in the order.
Harold Reynolds, who I almost always agree with, cannot be more off base with this one. Sheff CANNOT play the field anymore. He can’t play first here (Cabrera) and cannot play the outfield and he hates DH’ing.
The Tigers top 6 in the line up is now by far the best in the AL Central.
Steven

Sheffield is no longer versatile. He played SS and 3B a good number of years ago, and he is a liability defensively at first base. Look what happened when the Yankees tried to use Sheffield at first base down the stretch in 2006! He was awful at first base, and no team would even think to start him there.

The Tigers probably should’ve waited before releasing him, you’re right about that Harold Reynolds, as he can still play in my opinion as well. Who knows why he was hitting .178 in spring training, probably just trying to get his timing down and trying to stay healthy for the season. I’m assuming that the Tigers attempted to trade him, but I haven’t heard anything and it’s possible that the Tigers just came to this conclusion to release him.

I would just toss this move up as another example of the Tigers front office not handling the job quite right…

Jason Candreva
TheYankeesDollar.Blogspot.com

Sheffield was never a good fit here in Detroit. I know plenty of fans who are pleased just to be done with Sheff. He clogs up the lineup with his home run first mentality and his comments last year about Latin players “being easier to control than the black players” was way out-of-line. I think with Sheffield gone a team-first mentality has a chance to take hold. He thrives on controversy and everyone’s-against-me situations. That act gets old in a hurry when you are in the twilight of your career. This instantly makes the Tigers a better team. I don’t believe that you release a guy making $14 million to give Leyland more versatility with the DH spot, but what else can they say? He’s an ***, the fans don’t like him and he’s a cancer in the locker room? I guess that wouldn’t confuse Harold Reynolds. I think Harold has this guy confused with the Gary Sheffield he played against 10-15 years ago. That guy was an amazing player. Now he is old and he doesn’t have his special “Barry Bonds Cream” anymore. I’m sure he’ll get picked up by some team at that cheap price and have a good month or two out of spite before fading again and retiring or being released. I won’t miss his arrogance and I’m happy he won’t get his 500th wearing Alan Trammel’s number. The Tigers will eat the $14 million and laugh all the way to the playoffs

Tigers???Playoffs???? HA. I’m a Tigers fan and I don’t see that happening this year. There is one thing that an elite team needs, and that is starting pitching and bullpen relief. We have too many hurt players in our pitching staff and in all honesty, I would say get rid of Willis before Sheff. Whats the point of getting rid of a guy when you still have to play 14 MILLION!!! Not only is he taking your money, the price on his head is $400,000 and the Twins could even pick him up. What better way for Sheff then to stick to the Tigers for releasing him. Not only will he play harder against the Tigers, he is taking their money as well. If they wanted more versatility, keep him as a Pinch Hitter. Whats worse, paying 14 million for a player that is going against you, or 14 million on a bench player.

The point is Tigers are long away from making playoff’s when you go against Twins, Royals and Indians pitching staffs. It doesn’t matter if the Tigers can score 10 runs, too bad the other team(Royals) score 11. They should have just made a trade because at least you get something in return.

That is my take

“The fact is here’s a guy who broke into the big leagues as a shortstop, almost won the triple crown as a third baseman, moved to the outfield, and can play first base. He can steal bags, hit with power, drive guys in and catch the ball: So when the Tigers say they released him to provide the team with more versatility, I’m confused.”

Harold, you’re right. Sheffield did play SS. 20 years ago while being severely under-average defensively. He moved to 3B because he sucked as **** and turns out, he sucked at 3B too. Winning the triple crown has nothing to do with defense. Being moved to the outfield isn’t a show of versatility when you do it because you can’t play any position besides first, which requires less defensive ability than the outfield.

“I think it’s a proven fact through the years the impact that Gary Sheffield can have on a team – he’s going to play with fire, he’s going to push guys that he plays with and he’s always been on winning clubs and been about winning.”

Most players are about winning. They generally like winning. I get the feeling that’s not specific to Gary Sheffield. Also, Gary Sheffield has not always been on winning clubs. (Milwaukee 89-90, 93 Marlins and Padres, 95-96 and 98 Marlins, 99 Dodgers, and 2008 Tigers). It seems to me that for almost half of his career, he’s been on the opposite of winning teams.

“So I think it’s a great opportunity for someone to pick up a player like Gary Sheffield.”

This I agree with. Gary Sheffield is remarkably like Gary Sheffield. I don’t have enough energy to criticize the rest.

I don’t get it either. Sure, Sheffield is aging, but who cares? They know he can still hit. He’s still a no nonsense guy who works hard and goes out and consistently puts up good numbers. It’s not like he’s a big distraction in the locker room or anything, he’s a good guy. I also think it was kind of rude to cut him when he’s got 499 home runs, but that really shouldn’t be a reason to keep him if they didn’t want him. Sheff will get signed by somebody and get his 500th home run.

The biggest thing that didn’t make sense to me here was how they now have to eat the rest of his salary. I mean it’s not like they’re saving any money by cutting him, they’re essentially just paying full price for him to play with somebody else, whatever, Tigers, making moves like this to clear the way for Josh Anderson is the reason you’ll finish last in the divison, again.

http://eatsleepmlb.mlblogs.com

The Tigers continue to be in disarray.
They have no consistent direction other
than going down in the standings.
I predict probable last place again this year.
Letting Sheff go – a healthier one at that – makes
no sense,,he could walk, cause a little havoc when
on base, and he hits, even hurt his numbers weren’t
that bad towards the end of last year.
Tigers have no pitching, and have become more boring
instantly without Shef in the lineup.
Dombrowski has lost his magic touch and I’m sick of Leyland
touting one thing and doing another or not having controll.
“I’m a big Sheffield fan” one moment..”this makes us better” the next….
2006 was clearly the fluke

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