Oops, He Did It Again
The easiest decision the Mets have to make this year is staring them right in the face: Cut Gary Sheffield.
As soon as he walks into the Mets club house today have equipment man Charlie Samuels greet him at his locker with a surplus of Hefty bags to stuff his belongings into. He came with baggage let him leave with garbage bags.
The fact that he asked Omar Minaya for a contract extension for 2010 is not surprising considering he has always looked out for number one, the reason he has moved around like a baseball vagabond. His timing couldn’t have been worse.
With all that has befallen the Mets this year, Sheffield’s future ranks up there on the priority list with ordering more paper clips. So what he has a team leading 10 home runs (wow) and has filled in admirably. They rescued him from the scrap heap (how bad does a team want to rid themselves of a player than to choke on 14 million dollars of severance like the Tigers did?) and they can deposit him right back there in the waning days of a brutal season.
Why would he think in August the Mets would commit next year to a soon to be 41-year old outfielder with barking hamstrings? Because he’s Gary Sheffield. It’s irreverent he was put on waivers and claimed but pulled back. Any GM worth his salt will tell you dozens and dozens of players are put on waivers after the trade deadline to gauge interest.
If someone claimed him, and the Mets could not agree on compensation, then their only recourse is to pull him back. After all, the Mets need warm bodies at this stage of the sorry season. By the way, he hasn’t homered since June 29th.
Sheffield has always been an ingrate. The surprise here is that it took until August 20th for his true persona to surface. Sitting out last night to “clear his head,” is tantamount to quitting on the fans and teammates. He was slated to be in the line-up last night.
The point is the Mets have already had their quota (for two seasons) of aggravation, and don’t need it from someone who is in the twilight of his career. Let him walk, run to the door (and don’t let it hit you on the way out you bum).
Does his presence in the lineup really matter at this point? The Mets are going to finish in 5th place with or without Sheffield.
Don’t just help him pack, but drive him to the airport too.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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