Gary Sheffield: Is He Jeff Conine All Over Again?

Wendy AdairAnalyst IMay 4, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 17:  Gary Sheffield #10 of the New York Mets celebrates his 500th career home run in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 17, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Gary Sheffield was signed by the Mets to add some veteran leadership to the team and for his contributions to the lineup.

David Wright as the "Captain" does need to be supplemented with veteran leadership that Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran do not seem to be bringing to the table. 

Gary Sheffield was a free agent who decided to come to the Mets after receiving a text message from Wright and the two seem to have created quite a bond.

Sheffield seems to fully acknowledge Wright as the Captain and feel that he can help Wright light a fire under their teammates to be more aggressive.

This is not the first time New York has pulled this move.

In the later part of the 2007 season, Jeff Conine was brought to the Mets from the Cincinnati Reds with the hopes of taking them into the postseason.

At the time, Conine took David Wright under his wing, let him try on his World Series Ring, and used it to light a fire under Wright and some of the younger players.

At the time this did not go over well with some of the Mets established veterans, namely Paul LoDuca and Tom Glavine, who had both been extremely protective of David Wright after most players looked to him as the captain. 

Wright went on to have an impressive September, batting close to .400, but we all know how the season ended as Wright and Moises Alou were pretty much the only players who did hit well in September.

Last season, Wright took Daniel Murphy under his wing, and Murphy credits Wright for helping him get acclimated to playing in the Major Leagues and being in the New York spotlight.

He is also working hard to show his teammates that the game needs to be played hard for nine innings, that a game is never over until the last out is made.

The Mets have been accused of giving up, surrendering, choking (the list goes on). When veteran players come on the team, they know something has to change.

And it has to start with the young guys.

Both Sheffield and Wright know the Mets' attitude has to change, especially later in the game when their backs are against the wall.

It will be interesting to see how this season develops and whether the Mets have what it takes to knock the Phillies down from the NL East throne they are perched on as 2008 World Series Champions.