January 17th, 2007

More on Sheffield

Lots of cheers for the returning Tigers on Wednesday, but Sheffield was the primary story and a very good interview. As I wrote in my story for the site, he’s an outspoken personality. But I don’t think he’s going to be a distraction for the Tigers. If anything, I think he can benefit this club because he knows how to deal with attention.

I couldn’t get all of Sheffield’s quotes from the caravan stops in the stories, but here are a few others:

On leadership: "I don’t see myself as a leader yet, because I haven’t gotten in the locker room and gotten to know the personalities. One thing people have to realize is when I come into a locker room, I don’t ask for any of this [role]. Guys gravitate to me because I’m open. You can approach me. I don’t put myself on a celebrity status where I go dress over here and everybody else dresses over there. I do everything with the guys. I play jokes with guys. A lot of writers might not see it, but I’m just like one of [the other players]. I think that’s where my leadership comes from."

On watching the Tigers from afar: "Obviously everybody in the league knew they had a great pitching staff and they were becoming a great team. And as the season went on, they became that great team. Now, going forward, it’s pretty much the same team with the addition of myself. Hopefully I can just add to the pieces."

On his goals as a home-run hitter: "My goal is always in the 30s. I know that I can reach 40 home runs, somewhere in that range, but I’m always consistent in the area of the 30s. If I can do that, I’ve done my job, but the main thing here for us is to win championships."

On his book: "It’s an inspirational book. I looked at a lot of guys’ books, and a lot of it is all about baseball and what their experiences were when they were in a 3-2 situation, things like that. I think my book is more along the lines of when you’re going through certain situations, what is your mindset and how you get out of it. It’s inspirational to younger people."

It must be winter caravan time …

when you’re hitting the road thinking about jersey numbers that go with the temperature readings outside, and the jersey numbers are either infielders or catchers. It’s either Lance Parrish or Vance Wilson cold as I leave home this morning. But at least you’re thinking baseball. Off we go.