Sheffield has a decision to make

There’s a difference between players who should retire and players who want to retire. Rob Parker wrote a good column in Wednesday’s Detroit News detailing why Gary Sheffield should call it a career now rather than put himself through another surgery. The reasons are understandable, and it should remind everyone that there’s no guarantee Sheffield will be back next year. He has a visit to the doctor coming up once the season’s over, and if they recommend major (i.e. reconstructive) surgery, that might be more than he wants to do.

Sheffield has said that he doesn’t consider a shaving of his shoulder a major surgery, because he has done it before without too grueling of a rehab. But he said after Wednesday’s game that he doesn’t want to go through surgery and rehab and be stuck in the same condition he is now, trying to fight through more shoulder pain. If he can heal his shoulder through offseason workouts without surgery, that’s his ideal solution. Realistically, though, that’s hard to imagine.

He has said before, when he was taking cortisone shots this summer, that his family worries about what he goes through to keep playing a game when he’s already financially set for life.

"They’ve asked me before," Sheffield said Wednesday. "The thing is, I love this game. When they told me this before, it’s just something about having a great year and you can’t handle [going out with] 30 home runs or 40 home runs and a .330 batting average. You feel like you can just do it one more year, and one more year turns into a multi-year. Then, next thing you know, here I am."

Asked how determined he is to keep playing through the end of his contract, though, he said, "I really haven’t thought about it. We just finished our last home game. Those decisions will be made in the offseason. But right now, we have three games to go, and that’s all I’m focused on."

For all that has been said during Sheffield’s career about contract issues, he has given the impression this season of a loyal person who wants to live up to his deal. In any case, his decision shows why it’s not just pitchers who have to weigh whether to play with pain.

Other thoughts while trying to figure out how the best of Saturday Night Live’s 2006-07 season ended up on a DVD at Starbucks. …

  • Should the Tigers go after Barry Bonds if Sheffield were to retire? Before you answer, consider that while the DH spot would open up, it also brings up a new debate: Would Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen benefit from DHing every once in a while, like they did when Sheffield was on the disabled list in August?
  • Stop asking what the Tigers would give up for Johan Santana. Just stop it. The Twins control his rights for at least another year. If they decide they can’t possibly sign him, they’ll deal him, and not to a team in the same division. They could try to grab him in free agency, but the sky’s the limit for him if he hits the open market, and this is not a franchise that wants to do long-term deals at the going rate for free agent starting pitchers. That’s the point of the Tigers’ investment on pitchers through the draft.
  • Satellite radio and baseball on a driving trip rules, especially when you can channel flip between games that mean something in the playoff picture.

20 Comments

I am not a Bonds fan but you can’t deny the plus he would bring to the team in the sense that he would fulfill the DH role and at the same time provide you the LHB power bat we so deperately need.
It’ a hold your nose deal but if Sheffield were to retire it would make good sense.

A question might be would the team accept him? IMO, yes they would with open arms and with a sense of humor.

The guy I covet right now is Prince Fielder.

Some very good points about Sheffield.I thinks there needs to come a time when you can say enough is enough. Sheff was good for the team this year especially the fact that it allowed Maggs to be piched to more with that feared power hitter presence in lineup. It was not the typical Sheff year, probally less than DD had in mind. I say get someone else, I think i speak for everyone when i say i’m tired of injures espically the kinds like Bondo’s, when they say they are good to go,when they’re they clearly are not and let down the team in the process

I don’t care how good Bonds is I can’t support that guy. Cheaters are really bad for this game.

I hope Sheff finds a way to come back…that being said I don’t want Bonds here, no matter what. I think Detroit is a pretty accepting town, but Bonds has way too much baggage, and I don’t see the benefits outweighing that.

NO TO BONDS! It’s addition by subtraction. Even at a reduced amount he’d cost too much. He’d distract too much. He’s not reliable enough to be in the line up when we need him. AND he’s another year older and closer to looking like Ruth in his final year with the Braves in Boston. Why would we want that. We’re really too desparate if we want that. No to Bonds!

YES TO SHEFF, if he’s physically OK. He was absolutely “nails” before being hurt. Made the whole line up better. Much more athletic than say a Bonds. He can run and has a chiseled body. Just needs to square up the shoulder so he can take those vicious swings. If healthy, he’s a 32hr,20 steal, .305 hitter. I’ll take that any day. Really if we could “find” a marginal LH slugger and catch some luck on the cheap we’d be fine. Look at what Matt Stairs did this year in Toronto. No need to panic, we’ve got a good club and only need to find 6 more wins to be in the playoffs.

No to Bonds. Yes to Sheff.

I hope Sheffield is okay, when he was healthy this year he did a lot for this team. A lot for Maggs and for a while looked like he was showing this team how to take a few pitches??

As far as Bonds that is a tougher question. I heard the other day on Mike and Mike that after he took his last at bat, he took his applause, went straight into the club house, hugged his kid packed is locker took his nameplate and left before the game was even over??? And he wonders why people think he is JERK.?? If that doesnt show that he is an ungrateful *** amd needs to go I don’t know what does. Maybe he needs to go to the Yankess they are a low class organization and club, he would probably fit right in.

If Sheffield retires after playing one year of his three-year contract, can we get one of our three pitchers back? But seriously, I see this guy making every effort to play at least one more year. And if he doesn’t, well, pitching is the name of the game anyway. We’ll just have to deal with it.

Regarding Bonds, no man, you can’t do that. I think we all agree that we’re very proud of our team and that would no longer be the case if it included Bonds. Can you imagine the venom we’d receive at visiting ballparks? They boo Sheffield just because he’s a former Yankee. Imagine how Bonds would go over.

what’s wrong with Casey at DH?

we got a lotta good guys

Hope to see Hessman play at least some in these last 3

Nap–I agree with you on Hessman but not Casey.

I’d like to see Hessman play some 3B. We all like Inge and he is a Cuddly Tiger. But,

out of 21 qualified (in terms of plate appearances) 3rd sackers he ranks 20th in BA. Only Punto is lower. He ranks 14th in RBIs and 17 in HRs. That’s a lot of offense you sacrifice for his D. Only 5 guys have made more errors than Brandon has this year.

As far as Casey at DH, well: 1) he doesn’t hit HRs

2) he doesn’t drive in runs

2) he clogs up the bases

In his defense, he (contrary to what I have seen posted here) does hit LHP and he can approach the magical .300 mark. I don’t think he will be able to continue to do that though. His defense is good and it would be a shame to eliminate that part of his game.

DH is a very critical assignment and you need that player to be a run producer either through knocking down fences or by being able to hit to all fields, hit .300 and run like a rabbit not the Easter Bunny.

I don’t particularly want Bonds here either. But my contention is that IF Sheffield were gone, there would be a fit here for him based on his history with Jim Lelyand. I also think that the fans here would end up much like the ones in SanFranciso and end up “lovin’” him.

If Illitch is going to get stupid crazy handing out money we would be far better served by going for A-Rod.

I hope Sheffield can turn things around. If anyone at his age can–it would be him.

But I don’t think that is very likely.

The whole steroids/Bonds issue is obviously media generated and overblown. We have 2 guys on our roster that have been implicated. I think we would all be not horribly surprised if we knew the number of ballplayers who have used. Bonds is treated like he invented the stuff.

That’s doesn’t condone any of this because these guys should be willing to carry on the tradition of ballplayers being role models. There should still be that expectation in this glorious game of baseball that every kid can admire.

That’s a whole other topic though.

“Cuddly” is the last term I’d use to describe Brandon Inge.

Well by tht I mean he is a fan favorite and pet.
Besides, my wife thinks he is really cute with his boyish manner and smirk.

Some of these guys are so entrenched as Tiger ballplayers that some fans take real offense to any sort of logical or constructive criticism. How could we possibly thing that Brandon could NOT be a Tiger?

Therein lies a bit of a problem. It’s not like being tenured and if your performance suffers you actually run the risk of being “offered up”. If there is a team out there that really wants a guy like Brandon do you not think DD will listen to what they have to say?

I like watching Inge in the field. I don’t much like watching him hit.

He is not what I consider to be an “untouchable”. There are seveal guys that I simply would not trade. (This doesn’t mean that I want to trade all the others.)

Guys that are “Untouchable”

Verlander

Bonderman

Zumaya

Rodney

Miller

Granderson

Polanco

Ordonez

Maybin

Guillen

Guys I think they should keep:

Raburn

Seay

Miner

Jurrjens

Bazardo

Robertson

Guys I hope and dream can have one more good year:

Rogers

Sheffield

If the tigers do not end up with a power LHB over the winter I think we will see them try to hurry Jeff Larish along.

No to Bonds– the upside is tremendously appealing but I just can’t see him with the Olde English “D.”

Yes to Sheff: get the shoulder healed and play at both corner outfield spots when the DH spot is needed for Guillen, Maggs, or others.

No to anyone resembling Matt Stairs. Nice guy but the last thing we need is another old, slow guy.

I’d consider letting Hessman play third. I love Brandon– just like loyal, hard nosed players but when he comes up with men on base, I cringe.

As far as XM is concerned, Jason is correct. XM is best for long trips– no more scratchy AM stations and all that jazz. My only complaint is that there is one spot near my cabin in West Virginia where I lose XM for about 2 minutes (the moutain side blocks me.) Invariably, I reach this spot right when the Tigers have the bases loaded in the 8th and 9th inning.

Have a good one guys– I’ll be on the road tonight listening to the game on XM. My only complaint is that I have to listen to the White Sox announcers– they’re god awful. Despite not being in the playoff race, nothing beats a road trip and listening to baseball…

Last year Magglio Ordonez struggled at the plate and some fans wondered if he was able to deliver the goods. This year noone was wondering that. Gary Sheffield had some obstacles this year that extended beyond his physical limitations from his injury. Personally I have every confidence that he will return in fine form. If he happens to read this I highly, highly reccomend he apply castor oil packs to his shoulder. Even more effective with hot stones but applied at night with gauze over top is also effective It does wonders for joint and muscle pain. In any case he is a worldclass athlete in great physical condition and will be a great Tiger.

p.s

The headline Tigers slink away from Cleveland was totally out of line. Tigers definitely don’t slink. Hope not to read similar headlines again. It’s upsetting enough when they lose.To have the reporter who covers them make statements like that is unacceptable to me.

With all due respect, I will hold on my assessment of Hessman. For goodness sakes, if a guy with this kind of power could hit consistent major league pitching, he wouldn’t be a career minor leaguer. No harm in playing him at third for three games, but he is not going to be part of nexst year’s puzzle. I will stand also on my belief in Brandon Inge. You can’t just compare the numbeer of errors to other third sackers. Several of his errors were errant throws on hit balls that for other third basemen would have been doubles going by their face. I realize 3b is a power position, but Jack Hananhan nor Mike Hessman is our answer to third base. As for Shef, the man is too much at ease around Leyland to bail out if his shoulder is okay. Don’t discount that part of Leyland’s contribution to this team. Two things that I want you to remember about Inge before you totally wash him away; the 1 for 28 start set a bad tone at the beginning, and then the broken toe compounded that situation. If you have a Perez or a Casey batting in front of Inge, it might be a different situation than a Monroe who for three fourths of the season wallowed in front of him. If next year doesn’t pan the way I think it can, then I’ll be the first Tiger fan to say I was wrong. Can’t wait for 2008.

That cuddly Inge with the cute and boyish smirk could probably whup every guy on the team. :-)

Now, we’re just talking about Hessman playing some this weekend, right? Like I said last time I tried to stop talking about Inge, I don’t care if he’s here or not, but you have to get an upgrade to replace him. Hessman definitely is not that. He can bang on those minor league pitchers, though, I’ll give him that. But we need someone who can hit the big boys.

What I’d like to know is, why doesn’t Bonds just retire? Before he brings his act to the American League, why doesn’t he just go away altogether?

Jason,,Hats off to Carlos Pena and Dmitre Young for their accomplishments this past season. It was exciting to see two former tigers get recognized,,especially Young after his struggles last season. As we all knew as tiger fans,,watching these two players,,there was something special. My question is what is the probability that pena doesn’t sign w/ tampa bay,,and if not,,would the tigers consider taking a second look at pena? I understand we need a a power leftie in the line-up,,would it be feasable to move pena to left field?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25,537 other followers