Gary Sheffield is at it again. He has a voice like no other in baseball, one that many people find very annoying, including me. Sheffield could not have made a more stupid comment than the one he just made. Race is the most difficult and dangerous subject for a player to talk about. When a player calls out a former manager for treating players of different races differently, he better have some excellent evidence to support his claim. Sheffield did that and he has no evidence. That’s just where the problems begin.
“Black players are treated differently than white players, particularly at Yankee Stadium. Black players had an issue with Joe Torre. They weren’t treated like everybody else.” Sheffield said. Now when Sheffield says “Black players”, he indicates that there are more black players who have a problem with Torre, but I don’t see anybody else coming forward. That’s because any other players who have the same opinion as Sheffield, are smart enough to keep their mouths shut.
“Even I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought was unfair” Sheffield also stated. When the Yankees are struggling or need a player to step up, Torre has always called out the team’s best players. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have been called out by Torre. In the midst of a terrible season, I’m sure struggling players like Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu have been called out. It’s Torre’s way of managing his ball club and there is nothing wrong with it. Sheffield basically called Torre a racist in his handling of the Yankees, but later stated that Torre wasn’t a racist. That’s interesting, because Sheffield said that he treated black players worse and differently, because of their race. Sheffield may want to figure out what a racist is, because the contradictions that he made don’t make his comments any stronger.
Sheffield made comments earlier this year about the decrease in African-Americans in Major League Baseball being a result of Latin players being “easier to control”. Well, in my article about those comments, I suggest that there would be more racial comments and arguements to come. Sheffield had once again provided the spark. His previous remarks got many Latino players upset, now he is going after the New York Yankees.
Another person Sheffield had a problem with was New York Yankee captain Derek Jeter. He called out Derek Jeter for being not “all the way black”, yet Jeter’s African-American father may disagree with that. To make statements like that crosses the line even more than his remarks about Torre. The face of the Yankees, Jeter has rarely ever been shone in a negative light. In the current social world, comments that a person isn’t “all the way black” are not uncommon, but to make them in an HBO interview, about one of baseball’s golden boys, and to use that term, is unacceptable and idiotic. It should infuriate Jeter. Sheffield is saying that Jeter is not good enough for his race, that he doesn’t represent his race adequately. News to Sheffield: Jeter’s ancestors went through the same pain that Sheffield’s did, fought for the same rights, and Jeter is just as black as Sheffield is.
If I am Gary Sheffield, I better be prepared to duck the next time I face the Yankees. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sheffield was hit multiple times during their next series. Players have always been known to stick up for their teammates and their manager. The Yankees are no different and they should protect their star shortstop and manager by knocking Sheffield down and sending a message: You’ve gone too far.