Dear Gary Sheffiled: What is Wrong with You?

July 14, 2007 at 5:44 pm 6 comments

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Here we go again…

Gary Sheffield has strong words about New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, former Yankees teammate Derek Jeter, San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds and steroids in an interview with HBO’s “Real Sports” that will air Tuesday.

Sheffield says Torre treats black players differently from white players and says Jeter, who is from a mixed-race marriage, “ain’t all the way black,” during the interview with Andrea Kremer, as reported by Newsday.

As for Bonds, Sheffield says “if I took what Barry Bonds took, why don’t I look like him?” He also says that he never took steroids because “the bottom line is steroids is something you stick in your butt — period.”

Gary Sheffield has a long history of picking verbal fights and complaining he has been mistreated. But Sheffield’s words about Joe Torre are sharp and vicious, whether he meant them to be or not, writes Buster Olney. Blog

He added that he would be willing to talk to baseball’s steroids investigator, former Senator George Mitchell. “I don’t feel like it’s all that much of a threat to me,” he said.

A copy of the interview was made available to Newsday, the newspaper reported.

Sheffield, who was traded to the Detroit Tigers during the offseason, claimed that black and white players in the Yankees clubhouse were treated differently, specifically how players Tony Womack and Kenny Lofton were handled by Torre. In the interview with HBO, Sheffield says the black players on the Yankees’ roster would be “called out” in the clubhouse by Torre, while the white players would be called into Torre’s office to discuss matters.

“They weren’t treated like everybody else. I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought were unfair,” Sheffield told Kremer.

Sheffield later added: “He had a message to get across to the whole team, so he used me to get the message across.” Sheffield said Torre didn’t use the same method with white players.

“No … I’d see a lot of white players get called in the office and treated like a man. That’s the difference.”

He had a message to get across to the whole team, so he used me to get the message across.

Gary Sheffield, on Joe Torre
Sheffield said he doesn’t consider Torre a racist. “No. I think it’s the way they do things around there,” he said. “Since I was there I just saw that they run their ship different.”

At that point, Kremer says to Sheffield that the Yankees most high-profile player is black. “Who?” Sheffield says.

Told Jeter, Sheffield says: “Derek Jeter is black and white.”

Later, he said there was no real significance to Jeter’s bi-racial heritage, but added: “Derek Jeter used to come to me and try to tell you what Joe Torre is all about, he’s a good man, he’s this, he’s that, but like I tell Derek Jeter, that’s you. It’s one thing that they treat you a certain way; you don’t feel what other people feel.”

Torre, asked about Sheffield’s comments prior to Friday night’s game in Tampa Bay, said: “I don’t even want to answer those kinds of questions. I’m more comfortable not answering.”

In the visiting clubhouse at Safeco Field on Friday, Sheffield stood behind what he said — that Torre is not a racist — but also tried to clarify some statements. In the piece, when it was mentioned that the Yankees’ most prominent player — Derek Jeter — is black, Sheffield quickly clarified that Jeter is “black and white.”

When asked the significance of that, Sheffield said, “It’s really no significance. It’s just you ain’t all the way black.”

On Friday, Sheffield said he and the Yankees shortstop were best friends on the team, and that Sheffield’s son is also of mixed race.

“They’re trying to make it a problem with him, when my son is the same. I’d say the same thing about my son,” Sheffield said. “No one knows he’s black until they look at the back of his jersey and see ‘Sheffield.’ ”

Jeter declined comment.

As for Bonds, a former workout partner and friend of Sheffield’s, the Tigers’ outfielder says Bonds scoffed at him when he was using vitamins. Sheffield says he then got substances from BALCO, claiming not to know they were steroids.

Sheffield allegedly told a grand jury that he used steroid cream on his legs and “clear” under his tongue, but didn’t know they were steroids.

He said his relationship with Bonds deteriorated because of a lack of trust.

“I trusted this man, he allowed me to stay in his house,” Sheffield says. “I started seeing the control factor. I started seeing, wait a minute, you aren’t going to tell me what to do.”

On Friday, Sheffield said he doesn’t speak with Bonds.

“We don’t have no communication,” Sheffield said. “I love and respect Barry to this day. I had a problem with him at that time, but I moved on and forgave.”

Sheffield reportedly began the interview by saying: “I tell myself every offseason I’m not going to say anything crazy. I’m just going to have a peaceful season … Can’t do it. I’m cut from a different cloth.”

Is anyone else sick and tired of hearing this 38 year old baby cry about what he calls racism? I’ve had it up to my eyeballs! The guy is ridiculous! He needs to learn to shut his mouth. He needs to take a long look in the mirror next time he tries to call someone a racist. The plank in his eye is much bigger than the splinter in other people’s eyes.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com was used in this report.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brittney  |  July 14, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I absolutely despise the Spankees,so if what Shef is saying is true,I wouldn’t be suprised. But I honestly can’t say much about this,because I don’t know the whole situation and whatnot.

    And obviously Shef is very opinionated,but everyone’s entitled to theirs. I for one,like that he is not afraid to speak his mind.

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 15, 2007 at 5:39 am

    I just can’t believe how racist he can be in his comments (especially when he dissed latin players a month ago) and we just say “oh, it’s just Sheff being Sheff.” If this was, dare I say it, a white person making the comments that Sheffield makes then this would be a racist issue and he would probably be all over the news. Even if it was a latino player, or an Asian player. In the NBA, Bogut got destroyed when he made comments that probably had more validity than Sheffield’s do.

    Reply
  • 3. Trip  |  July 15, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t like Sheffield’s allegations that Torre treated the white players differently than he did black players. Due to his recent comments about latino players, Sheffield more than likely only saw what he wanted to see in the locker room and turned it into something that can be construed as racism. But as far as him speaking out and making dumb comments, let him be my guest. The more he does, the more he makes a fool of himself, and that is his right.

    Reply
  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 15, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Sheffield obviously has some problem with every other race. I love how he said that his child will be treated like Derek Jeter (becuase they will both be half black and half white) until they see the last name Sheffiled on his jersey. I’m sorry but when did the Sheffield become the greatest thing since sliced bread and the number one conspired against guy? What a joke. If his boy plays baseball people won’t make any comments, they will say that his dad was a great hitter. Sheffield needs to stop thinking the world revolves around him.

    Reply
  • 5. suzy  |  July 22, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    It’s been my expirience in life that anyone who is not willing to take responsibility for their life and their actions point shout and fuss at anyone else they can. The mere fact that the only thing he can come up with is the oldest most worn out card in the deck (racism) speaks folumes about his lack of character. If everyone ignores his ignorance and iresponsibility then he will quietly go away like everyone else in sports who can’t cut it any more.

    Reply
  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 22, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks! I agree with you. The only thing though is that Sheff can still cut it. But I agree with everything else you said.

    Reply

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