Gary Sheffield is back for a second stint in New York, but this time it's with the Amazin's. Sheffield is so close to that magical home run number, 500, currently sitting on number 499. The Mets, a very left-handed-heavy team, needed a right-handed bat with some pop. Most fans were hoping for Manny Ramirez, instead they got another headache with lesser stats.
With the season so close, and the Mets back from spring training, the Metropolitans opened up their stadium with an exhibition game against the Red Sox. The game saw the Mets winning a one run game, with K-rod coming in and dominating the ninth as Met fans hope he will do all year. Though this wasn't the big story, the bigger story was the Mets got an "historic" right handed bat, that brings a lot of luggage.
Ryan Church put it best when he said "It's only obvious what's planned." He is right, it is obvious, the Mets wanted a platoon the entire offseason, but Daniel Murphy beat out Fernando Tatis, so that put another everyday lefty into the lineup. The Mets, knowing that Tatis is not going to replicate what he did last year, went in a new direction. Signing Sheffield allows them to try catching bigger lighting in an even bigger bottle this year if Sheffield can still produce.
Now I think Sheffield will still be able to get around on balls and hit the rocket right out of Citi Field and any other ballpark he plays in. But he is now 40 years old, he is a bit slower and never really been a great defender. Church, who had a great start to last year before his injury, is younger, and a pretty good right fielder.
The job should be Church's until he loses it, but with Omar and Manuel, that doesn't seem to be the way. In some weird way, it seems Church has already done enough to lose half his playing time, and could be one cold streak away from losing all of it.
I am against this pick up, I would have rather seen Nick Evans, who had a great spring, get the shot at being the extra outfielder, then signing Sheffield. Sheffield brings a lot of drama, especially if he finds himself sitting on the bench everyday if Church and Murphy start hot.
Sheffield had a problem being a DH, and that means he still got to hit, in the National League, there is no DH, so if Church and Murphy are on a roll, Sheffield will be riding the pine for awhile. We all know that won't sit well with Sheffield at all.
With the season so close, you have to ask yourself why take the risk at hurting team chemistry, but the fact is the team has choked two years in a row and the Mets don't want to spend anymore money.
Sheffield was a quick and cheap solution, though got to hope he won't be a quick and cheap problem, because, if he is, the Mets will be in for another long long season and Citi Field just can't afford that.