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Sheffield shines despite booing

4-17-01

Gary Sheffield has done well this season despite being cheered for everything that he does right and being booed for everything that he does wrong.  Most good baseball players have the ability to block everything out while on the baseball diamond, and Sheffield has shown this ability during the season. While Kevin Malone challenges a fan to a fight in the stands, Sheffield tries to silence the fans by performing excellently.

During the spring Gary Sheffield provided a distraction, but two weeks before the regular season he removed the distraction and apologized to the Dodger organization as a whole.   Sheffield had requested a “lifetime” contract extension from the Dodgers.  When Bob Daly declined the request, Sheffield threw a temper tantrum in the media, insulting Daly and criticizing the Dodger organization for giving fellow teammates bigger contracts than his.  He demanded a trade, but the Dodgers did not comply.  Two weeks before the season he withdrew his trade demand, apologized, fired his agent, and replaced him with Scott Boras, who works well with the Dodgers.

Since Sheffield's apology he has been letting his bat do the talking.  He wants to equal his performance in 2000 of a .325 batting average with 43 home runs and 109 RBI. After a slow first week, he batted .444 with five home runs and nine RBI to be co-National League Player of the Week.  He played a vital role in two Dodger victories.  During the week he had two multiple home run games.  The Dodgers hope Sheffield will continue to lead them offensively.

© Sarah D. Morris

 

 

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