Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Tempest in a Teapot
2006-02-25 06:36
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Sheff riffs, Sheff and Cash talk, Sheff chills. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

2006-02-25 07:22:31
1.   Ravenscar
I dunno, it really DOESN'T seem like "nothing" to me. It seems like the seed of further problems.

Am I the only one who interprets this as something more (to what degree, small or large as yet unknown) than the titled teapot tempest?

2006-02-25 07:46:09
2.   mikeplugh
It won't amount to much of anything. Sheff is guaranteed to have some kind of chip on his shoulder at some point and he's always one to shoot his mouth off instead of letting the emotion of the moment pass.

He'll be fine, and he'll produce as he always does.

By the way, I'd like to annouce the creation of my new Yankee blog here. It won't be as super fantabulous as Bronx Banter and probably won't be updated everyday like BB, but it's one of my pet projects this season. Take a look from time to time at:

See you around here and there.....

2006-02-25 09:04:05
3.   bloodyank78
Alex is right, there isn't anything there. Along w/being a Yank fan, I've been a Gary Sheffield fan since '88 w/ the Brewers. Someone told me about a hard hitting relative of Doc Gooden and I've followed Sheff ever since. That said, THIS IS NORMAL, he's done this shit his entire career. I believe its how he motivates himself. Once the season starts and Sheff puts all the pent up energy and frustration into the end of his bat, we will get to see the tape measure home runs and Larry Bowa dropping for his life as Sheff rips his usual lasers down the 3B line.
2006-02-25 09:22:39
4.   kylepetterson
It's amazes me that when you read his interviews, he manages to talk so much without saying a thing.

"Lord, I was born a ramblin' man. Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can. And when it's time for leavin', I hope you'll understand, that I was born a ramblin' man."

2006-02-25 09:39:53
5.   wsporter
It's just Sheff being a Chef. He's always stirred the pot, he always will; he seems to get some perverse pleasure out of doing it. We all know people like that. If you read too much into it or get caught up in it he'll drive you nuts. I think the thing to do is acknowledge him, let him know he's accepted and valued and move the F on.

If he's healthy and stinging the ball he'll get his extension. If not maybe not.

2006-02-25 10:56:09
6.   The Mick 536
One late GM said trade them while they are still worth something. Someone out there must have a right fielder with some pop and a catcher. Chemistry on the team fouled up enough as it is. Have to get younger.

On the other hand, tough to give up his bat, despite his lack of charm. He plays hurt. Always agressive. Runs hard. Swings hard. Can play third if you ask him.

2006-02-25 14:26:43
7.   Rob Gee
Here's the difference between a journalist doing their job and the lazy non-story Klap put out yesterday:

And this guy quietly puts out stories day after day, even if they always have a pro-Yankees slant.

Love the last quote from Shef. The guy's a keeper - let the fire burn baby. I'm sick of the Yanks being big PUSSYcats. This team still hasn't found an identity. Hopefully when they do it's got an edge.

2006-02-25 14:53:27
8.   Ravenscar
Hurm. Well, I guess I AM the only one who thinks so.

I suppose I can accept that.... we shall see what happens.

2006-02-25 15:54:04
9.   Marcus
My take is that after Sheffield came out with the first wave of positive comments after his conversation with Cashman he was being sincere. He wants to stay with the Yankees, he likes playing in NY and the fans and even the front office. But being sincere rarely gets you the most money. After a short period of mulling what he said or reading how it was portrayed in the media or (most likely) getting goaded by the media, he realized he left a few bargaining chips on the table and wanted to get them back. So he blew up for a few hours to show that he's capable of being a huge thorn in the side of whoever is stopping him from getting what he wants, but that last sentence in the article Rob Gee linked to brought it all back to how he really feels.

I think Cashman can handle this without having to pick up the option right now to please Sheff. But we all knew this would happen, and I'm sure everyone involved (including Torre and Sheff's teammates) realize where Sheff is coming from and aren't going to be distracted by it. I would be very surprised if Sheff dogged it on the field or did anything else to disrupt the actual performance of the team, so I'm not too worried.

2006-02-25 19:36:15
10.   wsporter
Then of course, there is this guy:
2006-02-25 23:18:54
11.   Matt B
Rob Gee: I dunno...I agree Klapisch's column was lame, but he's a columnist and this is just reportage. There's nothing here that wasn't in every other article about this on Saturday in the NY papers. I don't see what's special about this.
2006-02-26 06:44:41
12.   debris
Considering Sheffield's age and his OPS trend over the last three years, 1.023, .927, .891, Cashman would be nuts to pick up his option at $13 M. (Shandler, by the way, projects continued downward movement to .873.

John Dewan of STATS, Inc. has just published The Fielding Bible, reviewed yesterday by Gammons over at ESPN. According to Dewan, Sheffield, over the last three years, has been the worst defensive right fielder in the game.

2006-02-26 10:52:12
13.   singledd
#12 debris:
I agree with you, however it must be considered that Shef was #3 in OPS for RFs in MLB. Thats top 10%. How much do you sacrifice 'D' for that kind of 'O'?.

In 2004, he was definitely playing hurt.
While I agree he is regressing, the question is simply how he compares now, to what else is available.

But of course, Cashman should not give anybody a new contract at this point. Everyone is wait and see. If Shef puts up similar numbers to last year, I would be happy to see another year.... maybe 2, if he will mostly DH. If the guy is looking for a 3 year contract, I think there will be few takers. At this poinyt, he should only need 2 years to get to 500 HRs, which probably puts him in the HOF.

2006-02-26 13:18:37
14.   rbj
Oh boy oh boy. ESPNClassic is showing a game between the Bristol Barnstormers and Birmingham Black Barons. Birmingham used to be a Negro League team. Charlie Pride (who was a Black Baron) sang the National Anthem and Willie Mays is there. It's not ML quality, but still, a real live game.
2006-02-26 14:37:33
15.   Zack
March 2nd rapidly approaches, and I am just waiting for MLB to offer their package for the year, I can't wait! Of course, my work level will decrease radically, but so be it...
2006-02-26 14:39:39
16.   Start Spreading the News
regarding 12, I know Debris likes to pick and choose his stats to illustrate the Yankee demise, but usually he is more measured in his criticism.

Let's look at the stats that debris didn't use since Sheffield doesn't play right field for the Red Sox.

For starters, let's consider more of Sheffield's body of work as oppposed to just his last three years of performance.

Runs Created ESPN from 2000-5
Rank among RF in League give in parentheses
131 (4), 122 (6), 100 (7), 140 (1), 117 (3), 114 (1)

From baseball reference, runs created 2000-5:
141, 125, 100, 145, 119, 112

The Hardball times: 2004 , 2005 -- runs created includes clutch factor
123 (3), 131 (1)

Now the picture becomes less clear. If Sheffield had been an Yank in 2002, debris would have been on record saying that Sheffield is on his inevitable decline. And he would have been wrong. Instead Sheffield rebounded in a big way.

Since debris has cited his sources that predict Sheffield's demise (or at least unworthiness of $13 mil), I will cite a few of my own.

First let's see what could happen next year:
Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA predicts a 41% chance of Sheffield improving next year with his defense remaining the same. There's a 10% chance he will have a breakout year, 11% chance of some collapse and a 3% chance that serious attrition. BP says that this attrtioon also captures his risk of injury. So given that Sheffield playing time throughout his career, BP estimates that there is a minimal risk of lost playing time due to injury for Sheffield.

PECOTA even estimates his value in salary to be $13,975,000. So BP estimates that the Yanks may be saving money next year by only giving him $13 mil.

Also Mitch Litchman on Sheffield from the interview about his new book: "Sheff's defense is not good at all, but he can still hit the heck out of the ball. There really is no such thing as a "warning sign" as far as projecting a player to precipitously or suddenly decline in performance."

Mitch on Sheffield's defense: "Keep in mind that one year UZR's don't tell you a whole lot about a player's true defensive value (or his defensive projection). For that, you want multi-year UZR's. For example, Giambi has generally been quite minus in the past. A-Rod is usually much better than 2005 (historically he is a GG caliber SS), Damon has been better, and Sheff is usually not that bad. Posada is probably not as good as his 05 defensive numbers either."

So assuming that Sheffield has a better year, Cashman would be "nuts" to NOT give Sheffield an extension.

2006-02-26 15:10:58
17.   David
This discussion has made it clear that Sheffield's ideal position would be DH. Too bad the Yanks don't have another good RFer. I wonder if Andy Phillips could learn to play RF?
2006-02-26 15:37:22
18.   Marcus
Everybody get your barf bags ready:

//Torre has been impressed with left-hander Al Leiter, who opted not to retire during the offseason and is in camp as a non-roster player.

"What I've seen so far, I like him," Torre said. "When you look at it, there's no room. But if somebody makes a case, you've got to figure something out. That's the way I look at it."//

The article also says that Pavano may start the season on the DL. And Sheff had some minor back spasms. Maybe you do have to put out/on the red light?

2006-02-26 17:03:19
19.   joe in boston
Gary, Gary, Gary..what are you talking about? Can anyone follow his logic ? And if you're Brian Cashman, do you kind of lead him on like that ???? Or just get the deal done and keep everyone happy. Maybe it's a case of the Godfather's "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" - maybe ?
2006-02-26 18:50:36
20.   Simone
Anyone watching the Olympics' closing ceremony? That wind machine rules! The guy on the snowboard was amazing. Even I would love to try that even though I'm scared of things like rollercoasters, etc. I can't wait for Bocelli to sing though I now believe that YMCA is the international song known to all on the face on the earth. LOL! I love the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies. I bet China puts on a wonderful show.
2006-02-26 19:30:24
21.   Simone
Ricky Martin? Ricky Martin? LOL! Isn't anyone else out there just dying from the corniness? What were they thinking?
2006-02-26 19:31:21
22.   yankz
I found this hilarious....

Manager Ozzie Guillen, a former teammate of Thomas', didn't want to get involved.

"I won't put my nose in something above me," Guillen said. "He never mentioned my name and if you don't mention my name, I try to stay away from every part of the conversation."

2006-02-26 20:26:17
23.   Simone
I just saw Kenny Williams' rant on ESPNews. What a fool. Frank Thomas is arguably the best player in White Sox history. If he is able to get his 500 homeruns and make the Hall of Fame, what are the White Sox going to do then? Who was the last White Sox player to make the Hall? I can't recall. Clearly, Williams learnt his lessons in how to treat star player from how Jerry Reinsdorf treated Michael Jordon.
2006-02-26 20:27:19
24.   Zack
Well debris, even barring the fact that I agree with SSTN on his breakdown, here is the list of potential free agents next year playing RF:
Gary Sheffield (Team Option)
Shannon Stewart
Michael Tucker
Matt Stairs
Brian Jordan
Matt Lawton
Moises Alou
Jeromy Burnitz (Mutual Option)
Jacob Cruz
Jose Cruz Jr. (Team Option)
Trot Nixon
Frank Catalanotto
Jermaine Dye (Team Option)
J.D. Drew (Player Void Option)
Jose Guillen

Hmmm, lets see, anyone there as good as Sheff, or even close? Nope, ok, pick up the option. No brainer...I mean, who would we take, Trot Nixon?? Don't make me laugh!!

We could, i suppose, trade for a RFer, but really, unless it is a steal, I just don't see it being worth it...

2006-02-26 20:29:24
25.   Zack
I think Williams and Guillen seem a perfect match for each other, neither knows when to shut their mouths. Though of course they won the world series, so I suppose they don't have to...
2006-02-27 08:37:44
26.   pistolpete
>>That said, THIS IS NORMAL, he's done this shit his entire career. I believe its how he motivates himself.<<

A complacent Sheff is bad. If anger and resentment is what fuels this man, I suggest Cashman wait until about mid-September to open a dialogue.. ;-)

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