By Mike Steffanos
If you don't mind, I'd like to weigh in briefly on the Sheffield situation.
I read something today by the Post's Joel Sherman that I strongly disagreed with. Let me preface this by telling you that I consider Sherman one of the most worthwhile reads on baseball in the local media.
I know, I know... the above statement got me in trouble with those of you that can't stand Sherman, but I really believe it. After my Mom's stroke and the subsequent dumping of all kinds of responsibilities in my lap my time has been at an extreme premium.
It's not just the blog which has suffered. I have so little free time to even follow the Mets that I am very careful of what I spend that time reading. Like most writers in town Sherman has some bias towards the Yankees, but he's generally fair and doesn't insult my intelligence with the generalities and simplified story lines that seems to be permeating the media these days.
Having said that, I just think he's wandered off the deep end on today's article on Sheffield:
IT is the 2009 Mets. So, of course, the story never gets better. Only more humiliating. Only more dispiriting. Only more bizarre.
Gary Sheffield went from on his best behavior to, well, being Gary Sheffield. That means the five-month honeymoon is over replaced by Sheffield's familiar demands for more money combined with less professionalism. So even one of the Mets' few feel-good stories this year -- Sheffield proving to be a mature, useful player -- has now exploded on them.
Look, Sheffield has been somewhat of an ass the last couple of days, but to say he has "exploded on the Mets" is quite an overstatement.
The Mets are right not to be looking to keep Sheffield after this season. He needs to sign with an American League team where his bat can play as a DH and occasional outfielder.
And yeah, they should have let him go to the Giants or whoever claimed him since he's not in their plans, but they chose not to. Whatever.
Sheffield has been immature and has undone some of the positives of his previously exemplary time here -- but no children or cute, fuzzy animals were harmed, and in the wreckage that this season has become the Sheffield situation is a relatively minor piece of flotsam and jetsam. To compare him to a loaded gun that has gone off ranks right up there with Fox News' government insurance death panels in hyperbole.
If Sheffield sticks around until the end of the season that's fine with me. If he leaves tomorrow that's also fine. Neither my life nor the future of this franchise will be greatly affected either way.
For the most part I have respected (and have been quite surprised by) what Sheffield has done for the team in 2009. If his behavior gets no worse that it has been the last couple of days, my opinion will remain mostly positive. If it gets worse and they part ways with him -- meh, that's fine, too. As stated, it makes no sense to bring him back next year, anyway.
One thing, though -- the idea of "punishing" Sheffield by waiting until after September 1 and then releasing him when it's too late for a contender to add him to the playoff roster is not a smart one.
While there may be some satisfaction for those of you who are really angry at Sheffield in doing so, what message does it send to other players around the league? Would potential free agents think twice about a team that is willing to do things for purely vindictive reasons?
It's just not worth it. Two wrongs really don't make a right. If Sheffield becomes truly disruptive, dump him. If not, let's move on to more truly positive steps for the future.
Now a little on what I hope will be a return to regular posting.
Apologies again as my hopes of getting back to regular blogging before this have been thwarted by trying to sort through the convoluted mess my Mom allowed her finances to become. Anyway, once again I'm going to take a shot at posting.
To be honest with you, part of my problem in writing for this blog is that the sheer lack of posting has atrophied my ability to knock together a coherent post in the limited amount of time that I have to put into it. It's been about five months since my Mom's stroke and the ensuing consequences have forced my blogging onto the back burner.
Anyway, I am definitely going to try yet again to go back to regular posting as of today. I have a couple of things in mind for writing subjects, but we'll try to keep things relatively simple for a while as I try to rebuild my atrophied writing muscles.