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Posts Tagged ‘Gary Sheffield’

The iconic wag of Gary Sheffield’s bat is something that most fans don’t forget if Sheffield plays for your favorite team. His production is wanted by most teams and fans of said teams. However, the controversy he brings to the teams he plays for is a different subject all together. A subject most teams or fans don’t want to deal with, yet some do because his production is needed.

In the offseason that followed the 2003 season, most Yankees fans wanted the Bombers to sign Vladimir Guerrero. However, George Steinbrenner negotiated with Sheffield (sans agent) and struck a deal with him for 3 years/$39 million with a team option for 2007.

In 2004, Gary had one of his better years as a Yankee as he hit .290, 36 homeruns, and drove in 121 RBI’s while placing second in MVP voting to Vladimir Guerrero.

2005 was a lot similar to 2004 as in he hit .291, 34 homeruns and 123 RBI’s while coming in 8th in MVP voting.

Unfortunately for Gary, 2006 wasn’t that great for Gary as he injured his wrist in April against Toronto and needed surgery. He didn’t return until September and by then, the Yankees had acquired Bobby Abreu in a trade with the Phillies. Sheffield then was tried at first base as he lost his job to Abreu. Sheffield apparently didn’t like this and had no problem voicing his opinion of the situation.

Luckily for Sheffield and the Yankees, Cashman picked up his option and proceeded to trade him during the offseason to Detroit for Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan, and Anthony Claggett. However, Sheffield would still stir the pot from Detroit. During an interview on ‘Real Sports’ he took shots at Torre (‘Treated black players different from white”) and Jeter (‘Ain’t all the way black’). So, I guess Gary was shuttled out of town at about the right time.

Regardless, Gary Sheffield was a good player on the field for the Yankees and off the field he was decent at times. However, near the end of his tenure as a Yankee, Gary became less agreeable off the field and regardless of his production, I don’t think the Yankees could have put up with him much longer. If Gary kept his mouth shut, things might have been different. Either way, on the field, Gary had a productive career as a Yankee. Off the field is a different story.

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In part two of our look back at Brian Cashman’s track record since gaining autonomy over baseball operations, we take a look at what has happened under his hand between October 2006 and October 2007. Part one can be read here.

Signings and Re-Signings

Mike Mussina resigned for 2 years/$23 million.

Signed Kei Igawa for 5 years/$20 million (Plus a $26 million posting fee)

Signed Andy Pettitte to a 1 year/$16 million deal with a 2008 player option

Signed Roger Clemens to a 1 year/$17.4 millon deal

Trades (more…)

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Stop, think back 5 years, where were you, what were you doing? I’m pretty sure if you’re over the age of 25, you’ll probably remember. Now think about your favorite baseball team, can you tell me how many people that will be in the starting lineup this year that was in 2005? I bet you can’t! It just a testament on how much this is a business and we root for a uniform more than a group of people. Yes, we have personal favorites (Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, etc al), but when it comes down to it, it’s the uniform that matters. Below, I have listed the 2005 Opening Day batting order, our projected 2010 batting order and we take a stab at the 2015 batting order. Those bolded are holdovers from previous years.

2005 Opening Day Batting Order

  1. Derek Jeter, SS
  2. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  3. Gary Sheffield, RF
  4. Ruben Sierra, DH
  5. Hideki Matsui, LF
  6. Jorge Posada, C
  7. Jason Giambi, 1B
  8. Bernie Williams, CF
  9. Tony Womack, 2B

2010 Opening Day Batting Order (likely)

  1. Derek Jeter, SS
  2. Nick Johnson, DH
  3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  5. Curtis Granderson, CF
  6. Jorge Posada, C
  7. Nick Swisher, RF
  8. Robinson Cano, 2B
  9. Brett Gardner, LF

2015 Opening Day Batting Order (Projected)

  1. Carl Crawford, OF
  2. Curtis Granderson, OF
  3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  5. Jesus Montero, DH
  6. Robinson Cano, 2B
  7. Slade Heathcott, OF
  8. Austin Romine, C
  9. ???, SS

Amazing how things change or will change…

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Now that 2009 and the decade is over (unless you’re counting challenged) we can look back and point out the years and figure out which really was the great year for certain positions. We have whipped together what we believe is the best year for each position and oddly enough Jason Giambi is the only one to appear on the list twice. If you think that someone else’s year should’ve been on here, let us know!

C – Jorge Posada (2007) .338 BA, 20 HR, 90 RBI, 171 hits, .970 OPS

1B – Jason Giambi (2002) .314 BA, 41 HR, 122 RBI, 176 hits, 109 walks, 1.034 OPS

2B – Alfonso Soriano (2002) .300 BA, 39 HR, 102 RBI, 209 hits, 51 doubles

SS – Derek Jeter (2006) .343 BA, 14 HR, 97 RBI, 214 hits, 34 SB, .900 OPS

3B – Alex Rodriguez (2007) .314 BA, 54 HR, 156 RBI, 95 walks, 24 SB, 1.067 OPS

OF – Bernie Williams (2000) .307 BA, 30 HR, 121 RBI, .957 OPS

OF – Gary Sheffield (2004) .290 BA, 36 HR, 121 RBI, 92 walks, .927 OPS

OF – Hideki Matsui (2004) .298 BA, 31 HR, 108 RBI, 88 walks, .912 OPS

DH – Jason Giambi (2006) .281 BA, 37 HR, 117 RBI, 110 walks, .971 OPS

P – Roger Clemens (2001) 20-3, 3.51 ERA, 213 K’s

P – CC Sabathia (2009) 19-8, 3.37 ERA, 197 K’s

P – Mike Mussina (2008) 20-9, 3.37 ERA, 150 K’s

CP –  Mariano Rivera (2004) 1.94 ERA, 53 Saves

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Recently Scoop Jackson of ESPN got a chance to interview new Yankees Centerfielder, Curtis Granderson and this is what he had to say:

Scoop Jackson: Any nerves?

Curtis Granderson: Always.

Jackson: But a different type of nerves.

Granderson: Naw, I don’t think it’s anything different to it. This is going to be a new first, you know, like playing in Boston against the Red Sox as a Yankee as opposed to as a Tiger. It’s going to be different playing in Yankee Stadium for the Yankees as opposed to as a Tiger. But I’ve played there in the playoffs, the highest stakes possible; I’ve gotten a chance to play in the World Series, the highest stakes possible. Had a chance to play with some of the best players in the world in the All-Star Game and the World Baseball Classic, so all of those first have already happened. But spring training, that opening day in Boston, when I go back to Detroit, I think those will be up there if not bigger [for me] than some games that should mean more. (more…)

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     I shared my thoughts on the state of the Yankees over the last five years over at WasWatching.com. This is what I had to say:

From those who were 19 years old or younger when the Yankees last won a ring in 2000:

From Kevin of Zell’s Pinstripe Blog answering the question “How would you describe the state of the Yankees over the the last five years?” –

Over the last five years the New York Yankees have gone after the wrong players. It’s not bad to go after big name players, but you need to go after the right guys. Sheffield over Guerrero? Big Unit over Beltran? The Yankees won in the 1990’s with clutch players who were hungry to win. They weren’t all about the big bucks. The idea over the last five years was to buy everyone they could. I don’t blame the organization for trying to get the Yankees back on top, but spend the money wisely. Don’t just get a player just for the sake of bringing in a big name. Get a player who will help benefit the team and is devoted to winning a World Series ring. Some other mistakes they made…Kevin Brown, Jaret Wright, Javier Vazquez, Raul Mondesi, Kei Igawa, Clemens. (in ‘07) These moves just didn’t make sense. The Yankees finally made the right moves this off-season. They brought in the two best pitchers out on the free agent market. (Sabathia, Burnett) They obtained Mark Teixeira to play first base, which is a big upgrade over Jason Giambi. They finally have a legitimate top of the line rotation, and have depth in the minor leagues. They haven’t had that for a long time now. They improved their defense as well. They have a gold glove winning player at first base, and they will have either Gardy/Melky playing in CF over Damon. If this isn’t the year they win it all, then I don’t know when it will come…

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 67 Days Until Home Opener: April 16, 2009

4 Days, 22 Hours Until Pitchers & Catchers Report

Angels, Yanks have big holes to fill / The Yankees’ rise and fall

Swisher, Bruney shed pounds this offseason / Rice Struck Fear Into Yankees

To Brian Cashman, ‘A-Fraud’ no real worry for Alex Rodriguez / Ball Four

Game used Staten Island Yankees jerseys available / Canseco looks ‘Vindicated’

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     I just watched Joe Torre on ‘Larry King Live’ and I thought Joe put things in perspective. If you listen to what he says..it really seems like the media blew the book out of proportion. He wasn’t really attacking anyone, but he wanted the readers to further understand what was really going on during those 12 years. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good book, or it’s not interesting, but everyone jumped on Torre and started bashing him. I took notes on the interview, so those who missed it can see what Larry and Joe talked about.

 CNN also had live blogging of the interview where people were submitting questions to Joe.

Here we go….

  • Tom Verducci and Joe decided to write this book two years ago. This was all decided before he left the Yankees organization. He wrote it to encompass the 12 years he spent in New York. Both the good times and the bad.
  • The book tells people the changes that went on. How the Red Sox changed their style of business and the steroid era.
  • He didn’t want to shock people with the book. He thinks that people will always resent some of the things said, but it’s the truth. Joe wanted to share his story and feelings during his tenure with the Yanks. He says that he wants his reputation to be honest, and that is exactly what the book is.

he was asked…

Why soil your own legacy?

Joe said he doesn’t think the book takes anything away from his legacy. If you keep it in context..you will appreciate the book. It was just an inside peak of what went on. He thought it added personality to the players, and helped the readers relive those golden years.

Did leaving the Yankees make you feel bitter?

He said he can’t look back on those years with the Yankees and be bitter. The years he spent with the club was wonderful.

Did you violate “the code”?

 He really dodged this question. He went on to talk about Boomer, and how he felt about the comments he made. Joe said that David and him always had that sort of relationship. They respected each other professionally. Joe asked him to come to his dinner which honored the 1998 Yankees..and he David responded by saying: I don’t like you, but I’ll go. Haha. That’s Boomer for ya.

  • Joe talks how Kevin Brown and David Wells drove him crazy. He said he didnt’ have anything against Brown, and that he actually liked him because he tried to do well. Torre said that Brown didn’t leave room for any mistakes and was hard on himself.
  • He then started to talk about A-Rod. He said that Alex is a special player, and that there is no other person more talented then him. Baseball is A-Rod’s life. He didn’t want Alex to be “the guy”  all the time. He wanted Rodriguez to be himself. Fans were only interested in wins, while Alex wants records and statistics.

– Joe said that he puts a great deal of pressure on himself, and he tried to help him out.

– Alex didn’t have problems with teammates.

– Torre said that the A-Fraud thing was more of a joke..that was said right in front of him and not behind his back.

Did Rodriguez have a conflict with Jeter?

Joe said no. They weren’t best friends, but they acted like professionals.

What do you think of A-Rod’s divorce and Madonna?

The divorce surprises him. He also understands that he’s a lightning rod, and that gives him a great deal of attention.

Is Alex Rodriguez a  minus to the Yankees?

Joe said no. He spoke about Alex coming into NY, and how everything he does draws attention.

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some other tidbits…

– He thinks the ’01 World Series was the greatest of all the ones he managed. With those 3 amazing nights..and especially since it was after 9/11.

– Joe gets along fine with Many Ramirez. He described him as a fun loving guy. He spoke about how Manny scared him to death when he was the manager of the Yankees. He hopes Ramirez returns to the Dodgers this upcoming season.

-Torre’s name is on top of Verducci’s because T goes before V. Haha

Think it will effect your players right now?

He said no.

Do you think you were burning any bridges?

No. He didn’t think there was any sensitive material in the book that he felt shouldn’t have been in there.

– Watching some of the World Series clips gave him goosebumps. He wanted to share those moments. Joe said that without the bad times..it wouldn’t be an honest book.

– His last year with the Yankees was very difficult. He said it was mutual and he needed to move on.

When did you last speak to Alex Rodriguez?

He hasn’t spoken to him since he left NY. He said that nothing in his book should make Alex angry.

You never got trust from the front office? That bothered you. Are you angry inside?

He said the front office didn’t trust him, but he isn’t angry inside. Joe said that Steinbrenner was always cracking the whip and he wanted to be in control. He wasn’t able to enjoy what he did for very long, because Steinbrenner was always thinking about the next thing. Joe went on to say that it’s worth the price you have to pay. When you get an opportunity to win..you pay the price for it.

Did you feel betrayed when you left the Yankees?

No. What bothered him was that they gave him a one-year deal with incentives. He felt that it wouldn’t change anything, and the club thought it would make him a better manager. It wasn’t about the money, but the thought that he needed motivation bothered him.

Did you sign an agreement with the Dodgers since the book has come out?

No he hasn’t. Torre says that this isn’t the first time this idea has come up. The Yankees have asked him before about not writing a book. He never agreed to anything. Torre likes to believe that it is only retracing his years spent with the Yankees. Joe is shocked by the initial reaction, but he’s not upset. He thinks that once people read the book..people will further understand exactly what went on.

What did you say about Steinbrenner?

Joe said that George would be proud of things he said. Georgie was proud to be the boss. It wasn’t criticism, but he was  just describing him. Torre said that George got him the players, and that he couldn’t have done it without him.

-Steinbrenner talked about giving out no bonuses to the coaches after the Yanks beat the Mets in the WS. After new years eve…he called them and changed his mind. Joe said that Steinbrenner just wanted to get their attention..

What are your thoughts of a Yankees/Dodgers World Series?

He said it would be wonderful to play in a World Series again. He smiled at the idea of Manny facing the Yankees again.

Betrayed by Cashman not in the book, but was implicated…?

His perspective..doesn’t mean everyone will agree that that’s the case. Joe said that he had disagreements with Brian, and he didn’t have his support at the end. Torre said that Cashman “saved his bacon” a time or two. He said that Cashman was ready for a change. Not just that..but Brian changed as well. Joe said he did things differently. His last year with the Yankees was the worst year of his 12 year tenure. He didn’t want to be asked everyday on his current status. Joe wanted a two-year contract, and he didn’t care about the terms. Torre said that if he was fired in the first year of the two-year contract that he would be paid for both years. He wanted one year to concentrate on baseball, but he couldn’t get the Yankees to agree with him

-Joe gave Larry King a Dodgers cup. Larry than poured his drink into the new cup and drank from it. Haha

How do Dodgers fans compare to Yankees fans?

He said it is hard to duplicate what went on in NY, and that you could feel the heartbeat in the Bronx. He said Dodgers fans were Lukewarm in the beginning, but when they went on to beat the Cubs..they got very excited. Joe put Yankee Stadium in a class by itself.

Joe was asked if he would run for President?

He didn’t say no. Haha. He likes Obama. He thinks he is very bright, but people need to have patience.

Was the book purely monetary? Will money go to charity work?

Not monetary. They were both paid for writing the book.

Who is the most purely gifted athlete?

A-Rod. He said that Alex can do it all..hit for power, hits to the opposite field, plays great defense, etc.

What went on with Gary Sheffield?

He said that Sheffield was always suspicious person and that he had mood swings. They had a good relationship, but he called him out once for not hustling. Joe said that he was treated fairly.

What did you know about steroids?

He said he never saw it..never talked or heard about it. Joe said he never went in a players locker and respected players privacy. Joe said that everyone is to blame for the steroid era.

Did you speak to Giambi about Steroids?

He said that they spoke around it. He was hesitant to approach him, but he wanted to make sure he was okay. He thought that he wasn’t the person who should be asking those questions, because they could have changed his livelihood. 

How are you doing Joe?

He talks about overcoming prostate cancer. He was first diagnosed in 1999..and 10 years later..he is doing fine. He said that cancer is not something you cure, but you try and extend your life as much as you can.

-He like LA. His daughter was first upset about the move, but she made adjustments.

-He said he doesn’t think he said anything bad about Bobby Abreu in the book. Haha.

UPDATE: 12:31AMET: Here is a transcript of the Larry King interview

 

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Other reactions to Torre  /  Logistically, Yanks can’t sign Dunn or others?

Joe Torre book fills the winter vacuum  /  SAY IT AIN’T SO, JOE!!!

SOFTBALL TOSSES FROM TORRE  /  The story behind The Yankee Years

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