In this confusing, turbulent world of unceasing change, it is always reassuring to know that a few precious things will always stay the same. Among these rocks in the surf is Gary Sheffield, who as you may recall is 42 years old now and did not play last year, but met with Joe Madden at the Winter Meetings to explore the idea of making a comeback with the Rays. Apparently the Rays never followed up on this, with the result that Sheff is “99.9%” sure he’ll retire, and also, of course, is feeling “a little disrespected.”
As you’ll probably recall, Gary Sheffield feels disrespected when the wind blows, or when a bunny looks at him the wrong way. Not to get all Psych 101 on you but I always figured that was how he kept himself motivated. And I imagine he could be a real headache to manage, but I always loved watching the man hit. He had the perfect at-bat music the last year or two of his Yankee career (Ludacris’s “Move, Bitch,” a song I often wish I could blast while trying to push through the thick swarms of slow tourists outside my office building), and it would pump up the crowd while hapless third-base coaches and players cowered as far from the likely path of his scalded liners as they respectably could.
If this is the end for Sheff I wish him all the best, and I hope he finds a good post-playing outlet for all that competitiveness and bad-ass energy.