Again Sheffield shocks the Dodgers
Saturday when Gary Sheffield rescinded his trade demand through the media, the announcement shocked the Dodger camp at Vero Beach. This month-long saga with Sheffield has created national headlines and a distraction for the entire Dodger organization as they try to prepare for the 2001 season. During this saga he has insulted Bob Daly, the CEO of the Dodgers, daily, implied he deserved to make the most of any Dodgers, and showed the fans that their support of him is unimportant.
In Sunday’s Los Angeles Times Sheffield said he changed his mind for “my teammates and all the fans who really love Gary Sheffield.” He did not think of his teammates when he created a distraction for the entire spring or when he insulted five of them. He did not think of his fans in Los Angeles when he demanded a trade. The Dodgers can win without him as they showed last August when he had flu. I doubt he has many “fans who really love Gary Sheffield” anymore.
Sheffield offered no apology when he rescinded his demand, but plans to meet with his teammates behind closed doors Tuesday. As a Dodger fan, I am not forgiving Sheffield if he says nice words about Dodger fans. He must show me his dedication on the field and must keep his mouth shut.
There is no question the Dodgers would be a better team with Gary Sheffield than without him. Since 1998 he has performed well offensively in a Dodger uniform. In 90 games with the Dodgers in 1998 Sheffield hit .316 with 16 home runs and 57 RBI. In 1999 in 152 games he hit .301 with 34 home runs and 101 RBI. In 2000 in 141 games he had a .325 batting average, 43 home runs and 109 RBI. Although he has had difficultly fielding the ball in the outfield, his offensive production has been unmatched by any Dodger. Last Monday Sheffield said he could not perform well in a Dodger uniform. Though he has changed his mind about being a Dodger in 2001, is he sure that he can perform well in a Dodger uniform now? The last thing the Dodgers need is a player who is underachieving or has an attitude problem.
Since February 18 when the Dodgers made Sheffield’s demand for a “lifetime” extension or a trade public, almost daily he has insulted Bob Daly. He has called Mr. Daly a “liar” or “unprofessional.” The Dodgers cannot allow Sheffield to call their CEO names and then forget it. This will send the message that if any Dodger, who has a contract dispute, can insult management and can get by with it. At least the Dodgers must take disciplinary action against Sheffield.
During this period Gary Sheffield has acted like a spoiled brat. Today I am writing about Sheffield while Adrian Beltre has surgery to repair a hole in his large intestine. Sheffield has ruined his good relationship with the Dodgers. It will be almost impossible to repair. For the betterment of the Los Angeles Dodgers Sheffield needs to be traded even if he wants to stay.