July 13, 2007

Same Old Song From Shef

Gary Sheffield has a book to promote, and the obnoxious superstar has fallen back on one of his tried-and-true attention-grabbing schemes -- accuse a former manager of racism. Sheffield accused Yankees skipper Joe Torre of treating blacks different than whites and claims that Jeter wasn't "black enough" to notice the difference:

New York Yankees manager Joe Torre treats black players on his team worse than white players, controversial baseball player Gary Sheffield has charged.

"I know when I was [with the Yankees], the couple of blacks that were there, every one of them had an issue with the organization," Sheffield, who played outfield for the Yankees between 2004 and 2006, told Andrea Kremer in an interview that airs Tuesday on HBO's "Real Sports."

When pressed on who specifically within the organization black players were upset with, Sheffield said, "They had an issue with Joe Torre."

"They weren't treated liked everybody else," said Sheffield, who currently plays for the Detroit Tigers "I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought were unfair. ... [Torre] had a message to get across to the whole team, so he used me to get the message across."

Sheffield has been down this road before. Dodger fans will remember that he accused the O'Malley organization of being racist, and specifically leveling the charge against Tommy Lasorda. Of course, this was after the Dodgers made it clear that they didn't want the locker-room cancer to return at the end of his contract, even though the Dodgers clearly missed his power at the plate afterwards.

Last week, he accused Major League Baseball of racism, too. He said, in essence, that Latin American ballplayers suck up to management more than black ballplayers do, and that's why the percentage of black ballplayers has dropped by half in the last generation. I'd guess that the Latin American stars in MLB might take issue with his disparagement of them, but also point to a draft system in the US that devalues the development of domestic talent in favor of athletes not subject to the draft at all.

Let's all agree not to buy Sheffield's book. Then he can proclaim book readers racists -- and disappear quietly with the tens of millions of dollars he made in this racist system.


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Comments (16)

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli | July 14, 2007 12:41 AM

Funny how you can make millions and still manage to be unhappy. That takes some effort.

Here's to the angry millionares.

Speaking as an unemployed person I think I could put up with a little racism, even the imagined kind, from a company that paid me bucketloads of money.

Sheff's next book will be about Jim Leyland's racist managerial style. What a guy.

Posted by Douglas V. Gibbs | July 14, 2007 1:34 AM

The racism claim (or victimology) is a natural by-product of so-called multi-culturalism where segregating the races is encouraged, setting us back to long before the fight to eliminate segregation in the 60's.

Posted by Niccolo | July 14, 2007 2:17 AM

Let the poor idiot go back where he came from, and see how long his millions last there.

It seems like it's going to be forever, but he'll be broke in the blink of an eye.

Posted by swabjockey05 | July 14, 2007 5:58 AM

It's amazing how our "culture" enables a racist to get away with calling everyone else a racist...and make money doing it. At least Shef has talent. How ‘bout the rest of the professional, racist race baiters?

Posted by Robert | July 14, 2007 6:13 AM

Most of the Latino players on the Detroit Tigers agree with Shef that Latinos are cheaper and ultimately "easier to control" than black US players, although they attribute that to the system and not racism. (i.e. lack of a draft and affiliated minor league clubs).

There is often a glimmer of truth in what Shef says, although I agree he fans the flames and finds racism everywhere.

To be fair to Shef, his point was not that Jeter “was not black enough to notice”, but rather that he did not categorize him as a black player. As with Shef’s own son, Jeter is half black and half white and Shef does not think of either as black.

Shef may be promoting his book as you say, but in this case the press came to him. If you are familiar with the practices of the Eastern sports press, you will know that manufacturing controversy is a skill that has there been raised to an art form.

And it is in that direction too that some blame must be placed for this latest muck up.

Posted by USMC Ken | July 14, 2007 6:52 AM

I love it when anyone sticks it to the Yankees! You go Sheff.

PS. With his attitude, he will make a great Federal Government employee when he retires, he is going to fit right in!

Posted by truthwins | July 14, 2007 8:01 AM

I keep wondering why the Latino players don't count as "black." The story a few weeks ago was that only 8% of MLB players are black, but that has to mean "African American." Isn't Sheffield merely saying that MLB treats some "black" players differently than others? But where would the story be in that?

Sheffield has been a problem since his rookie days with the Brewers, when he pouted about not playing shortstop (they put him at third) and when he talked about making errors intentionally when he was unhappy.

Posted by TombZ | July 14, 2007 1:32 PM

Notice how well it pays to be a black racist who cries racism at the drop of a hat.

There's apparently a large audience who likes to consume a particular form of crap.

It doesn't want to acknowledge the fact the curtain rang down on the vast majority of their valid complaints a generation ago.

What would that mean for them, if they did?

Posted by km | July 14, 2007 1:52 PM

As a "locker room cancer" and a blak player, Sheffield is confused about why he didn't get treated as well as he would have liked. It wasn't te black, it was the "locker room cancer". No one likes a white or Latino "locker room cancer" either.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | July 14, 2007 3:16 PM

Shef's story: Black players are treated differently by coaches and managers.

The REAL story: Gary Sheffield is jealous. The Latino players have taken over the game because they work harder and have more talent.

You may wonder why there are no racism complaints from latino players who play for Black managers. Yeah, why isn't there? Because those latino players are too busy hitting .345, vying for a gold glove and still shaking their heads that they get paid for playing a game they love.

Grow up Shef. Be a man.

Posted by Adjoran | July 14, 2007 3:34 PM

I really don't give a rat's patootie what ANY steroid cheat freak has to say about anything.

Posted by jaeger51 | July 14, 2007 5:33 PM

I think someone should complain about the obvious racism in the NBA. White basketball players are obviously being discriminated against! There isn't a populationally proportionate amount of them on the rosters, so it must be racism! Outrage! Outrage!

Posted by flenser | July 14, 2007 6:36 PM

I keep wondering why the Latino players don't count as "black." The story a few weeks ago was that only 8% of MLB players are black, but that has to mean "African American."

Maybe I'm guilty of not keeping up with the latest in multi-culti thinking, but "black" has always been a synonym for "African-American".

Latin American players do not count as black because they are not (usually) of African heritage.

Posted by truthwins | July 15, 2007 9:24 AM

Flenser, come on! "Latin American players are not of African heritage"?? Carlos Delgado, Julio Franco, David Ortiz, Jose Reyes, Francisco Cordero, Vladimir Guerrero, Alfonso Soriano, Edgar Renteria, just to name a few. I would bet that most Latin American players are of African heritage.
My point is that "8% of major league players are black" can only be true if you ignore a ton of players of African heritage who just happen not to have been born in the U.S.

Which makes me question the "racism" charges that Sheffield is making. Are the black players from the U.S. a different "race" than those from Central America? It might be something else, but it sure ain't racism.

Posted by flenser | July 15, 2007 6:12 PM

Some people from Latin America are of African heritage, as I said above. But "Latin American" does not mean "black".

A lot of players from the Dominican Republic are black, for example.

Magglio Ordonez would count as "Latin" but not as black.

Posted by truthwins | July 15, 2007 7:09 PM

Sigh. Yes: some Latin players aren't black. Please go back and read my post very slowly so you can comprehend it. I don't think I ever said no Latin players are black. "Most" does not mean "all."

So what are we -- or anybody who is prone to wring their hands about racial matters -- supposed to think about these (in my opnion) absurd distinctions?

Gary Sheffield wants us to believe that racism is pervasive in major-league baseball, but somehow that racism doesn't get directed at certain members of a particular race. Maybe, just maybe, baseball people have a problem with a particular member of the race in question and it really isn't the broad problem that particular person would have us believe.