Tag:Gary Sheffield
Posted on: June 10, 2008 5:00 pm

It Came From the Game Notes (06/09/08)

Writing up the Game Notes blog takes much more time than you would think. I actually started the blog commenting on only the Notes to limit my verbosity. Its nights like the past one that makes me want to vent my spleen in this little part of the web. But, I try to limit my comments to those things that are productive and those filler items found in the Game Notes. So without further ado...

Oh, but sometimes, the Game Notes let me rant. "The other two pitchers who gave up eight earned runs on three or fewer hits since 1956 were Randy Johnson and Kerry Wood." Truly, this small piece of statistical flatulence is the only way that Wood, Johnson, and Willis could be uttered in the same breath unless you are speaking of euphemisms for a phallus. Watching the abomination against baseball that was the return of Dontrelle Willis was more than I could stand. A 10.32 ERA, 1.1 IP, 8 ER, 2 HR, 5 BB, and 2 K. What a disaster. Unbelievably - almost unforgivably - Jim Leyland left him out there after he had walked the first two and given up a HR before the second out of the game was recorded. For a Tigers team that treats each win as a special, perfect flower because they are so insanely rare, you would think that the wise old manager would have pulled Willis before this debacle took the game out of reach.


Merciful, merciful relief. "Leyland went to watch RHPs Joel Zumaya (shoulder) and Fernando Rodney (shoulder) throw Sunday night at Triple-A Toledo and was encouraged, saying he expects them in the "very near future" to pitch for the Tigers." If you have the room on your roster, you might want to take a flyer on Zumaya. Of the two relievers, he has looked better in his rehab starts.

"The Indians recalled IF Josh Barfield from Triple-A Buffalo and sent down IF Asdrubal Cabrera." The call up of Barfield is a stretch by Indians management to get some hitting. Barfield isn't the answer. I don't know how they can expect a .255 minor league hitter to spark the sluggish Tribe.

"Detroit DH Gary Sheffield (oblique) is expected to take batting practice Tuesday." If Sheffield is on your fantasy team, I'd like to invite you to play in one of my leagues. Sheffield is a waste of a roster spot for the Tigers, much less your fantasy team.

"Tigers IF Michael Hollimon made his major league debut." Hollimon's presence with the Tigers is just to add some depth to the roster. Unless he suddenly begins to manifest some magical powers, don't expect him to take a roster spot for long.

"The Diamondbacks lost their fourth in a row when Randy Johnson starts after winning the previous five." The Big Unit has fallen on some hard times in Arizona. He got only one run of support from his team mates. I have to wonder if age and back problems are beginning to creep up on him. His control was not there as he had 5 BB to 3 K. For now, I would keep Johnson reserved until the Diamondback bats heat up.

"To replace Tyler Clippard, the Nationals reinstated INF Ronnie Belliard from the 15-day disabled list. Belliard had been sidelined since May 16 with a left calf strain." Belliard is nothing compared to previous seasons. He's hitting below .200 and will likely find himself on the DL again.

There were no game notes for Marlins/Reds game. I understand a good thing happened: Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 600th HR. In a different era, Junior would have been legend. In this era, he deserves the admiration of all of baseball. Not one person had identified Junior as a steroid user or have even pointed an accusatory finger in his direction. Junior showed you could hit with the big boys and do it clean. Congrats, Mr. Griffey. Next stop, Cooperstown.

"Vladimir Guerrero has 23 career four-hit games, but has yet to get five." Don't look now, but Vlad is hitting .471 in the early month of June with a HR and 4 RBI. None too soon for Guerrero owners.

Streaker sightings! "With their hits in the ninth, Carlos Gomez extended his hitting streak to 10 games and Alexi Casilla pushed his to 11."
Posted on: May 22, 2008 5:00 pm

Sheff, Its Time to Retire

I was not one of those fans who cheered when Gary Sheffield came to the Tigers.  I didn't understand why Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland brought Sheff over to the Tigers from the Yankees.  Sheff was coming off an injury and at 36 it sounded like a risky proposition to me.  But the Tigers management gets paid to do their jobs. I just babble inanely.

Sheffield's appearance with the Tigers started well enough.  He seemed to gel with the roster, offering another veteran presence to a team who had achieved so much in the year before. Gary produced.  In 133 games Sheff  was 9th in the American League with 107 runs scored, 10th with 84 walks, and for the 14th time in his career hit more than 20 HR (25).

Sheff did all this with a sore shoulder during the last 10 weeks of the season.  Perhaps the Tigers would have made the playoffs had he been playing at full strength.   Its is this supposition that leads me to my issue with this veteran.

I think Sheff is hurting his team more than he is helping.

Sheff had surgery immediately following the 2007 season on that bad shoulder.  The surgery was a success, but the scar tissue has been slow to heal.  Sheff has been forced to take Cortisone shots to deal with the pain here in late spring.  His swing is no longer what it once was.

There was a time where an opposing pitcher would never dare to pitch Gary Sheffield an inside fastball.  Slowed by age and surgery, the inside heat has become an out pitch for Sheffield.  It needs to be said that a lack of strikeouts was a point of pride for Gary Sheffield.  He's had more BB than K in 17 of his 21 seasons.  This year, he already has 26 K in 115 AB.

Worst of all, Sheff is hitting .183 with only 2 HR and 8 RBI.   On an under-performing team where run production has been at a premium, they cannot afford to have a weak arm in left or a cold bat in the DH.

The Tigers have 4 other players who can play LF or DH who can perform better than Sheffield.  Brandon Inge and Marcus Thames are both hitting for power and average better than Sheff.  Even Rookies Clete Thomas and Ryan Rayburn are hitting for average better.

Put him on the DL.  Let that shoulder heal.  In the meantime, Brandon Inge would get some valuable playing time or the team would be developing some young talent.  The Tigers cannot do any worse with the position than they are now.

I don't know who approaches Sheffield - Leyland or Dombrowski - or if this is a decision that Sheffield needs to reach himself, but its time.  Hang up the cleats, Sheff.
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