When it was announced last month that 40 year old Gary Sheffield was acquired by the New York Mets, the outcry from New York fans was heard all the way to Las Vegas where I sat back and said "way to go Omar."
Here are just some of the countless anti Gary Sheffield articles titles that littered the Bleacher Report.
Gary Sheffield To Become a Met?
Enough With The Sheffield
Gary Sheffield—Is he The Next Jeff Conine?
Gary Sheffield Signed With The Mets, Bad Idea
Please don't get me wrong on this. These articles were written by some of the most respected Met Fans on the BR and some of my good friends.
What made me get a little ballistic were the comments from these articles. The vast majority were extremely negative, pointing out his age, his so called bad attitude, his inability to play the field, his poor arm, him not being able to catch up to a fast ball, and his whiny self serving personality.
It took a 14 year old Met fan, Nick Carlo to say first that this was a good deal for the Mets. Good Job.
My comments were based on watching this guy just murder pitchers for many years and wherever he played he was a winner. People don't seem to like when players speak their minds especially on sensitive issues.
Here in New York while with the Yankees Sheffield said about Joe Torre that he was not very nice to minority players. Joe Torre, a G-d at the time denied such reports. Yankee fans have still not forgotten that.
Here's the point to all this. Coming into tonight, for reasons some may cite the injuries to Mets players, Sheffield has played a major role.
He hit over .400 on the 10 game road trip, and along with David and Carlos have kept the Mets competitive.
Going into tonight's game here's Gary's statistics.
AB R H 2B T HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVER OBP SLG OPS
All he did tonight was go 2 for 3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI's and would have had a fourth if Razor Shines did his job correctly.
His average now stands at .277 and all the above numbers have gone up as well. In 20 games he has 18 walks and provides as good protection for David Wright as did Carlos Delgado.
There have been over the years that I have been watching the game certain players, despite their statistics, just their mere presence in the batters box that is intimidating to pitchers. I can think of a few right off the bat. Dave Parker, Chipper Jones, Barry Bonds, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle.
In our generation Gary Sheffield is that man. I know the season is still young but let's give credit where credit is due.
Gary Sheffield was a tremendous pick up for the Mets and deserves every bit of respect that we can give. Keep up the great work.