Friday, August 17, 2007

Sad State

Americas will believe just about anything.

Barry Bonds is bad. Check.

New Yorkers are following along.

Gary Sheffield is bad. Check.

The Bronx doesn’t buy it.

“I can’t believe Gary Sheffield was booed at Yankee Stadium,” Javier said. “He always played hard for us.”

He played hard and he played hurt and there were times when he seemed to lift the whole team on his shoulders. Mike Mussina once joked, “I think a piano would have to fall from the upper deck to get Sheff out of the lineup.”

Sheffield would have flicked a piano off like an errant sunflower seed. That’s how tough he was for this team and this city.

“The media is exploiting issues between Sheff and Joe (Torre) and people are eating it up,” Javier said. “Sheff speaks his mind and that makes him an easy target, but he gave us everything he had on the field and he shouldn’t be treated like this. It’s very sad.”

Very sad, indeed.


Donna said...

Any Yankee fans who boo Gary Sheffield are way out of line.

Henry said...

Donna, I am with you on that.

Jeb said...


I love your blog, love the Yankees and love your politics. I agree with about 95% of what you write. BUT, I do have to disagree with you about Sheffield and Bonds.

Sheffield would have gotten cheered at Yankee Stadium had he not make Joe Torre out to be a racist. In fact, Sheff has spent a career bouncing from place to place burning bridges wherever he's
been and saying ugly, hurtful and unempowering things to people. He's simply not a nice person and the fans should boo him for what he said about a very decent man, Joe Torre. We're all on this planet for a short time and our goal in life should not be to hurt as many people as possible, which Sheffield seems to delight in doing.

As for Barry Bonds, I won't try to convince you that he's a cheater. If his appearance, statistics after the age of 38, leaked testimony, association with BALCO and statements by his mistress don't convince you, nothing will. I respect you as an idealist, but a positive test and/or admission of guilt are not the only ways to prove something.

But, please do me one favor. Please read the following article (click link below) and then tell me that Bonds isn't a bad person and all the disdain for him is solely race based. Please read it I beg you.

Personally, I can't stand Mark McGwire for cheating and charging $1,500 for his autograph, same with Sosa, same with Bonds. It's just not a black and white issue. But Bonds is more than a person who just used steroids to break a cherished record, he's also a rotten person who hides behind his children when the heat is on and should be ashamed of himself.

Ross said...

A groundskeeper in the Pirates organization died and all of the players agreed to raise money for the family by signing autographs and other memorabilia. One player refused. His name is Barry Bonds.

I'm with Jeb on the Bonds/Sheff issue. It's annoying how you continually defend Bonds when there is nothing to defend. Sometimes it seems that you're being contrary just for the sake of being contrary. Besides the fact that Bonds ABSOLUTLEY took steroids, there are numerous stories about how nasty and arrogant he really is. Maybe Gary Sheffield isn't as bad. I still appreciate what he did for the Yankees. However, the fans have every right to defend their manager from hurtful remarks.

This is not a race issue. Last time I checked the fans had turned their backs on Mark McGwire.

Henry said...

If the issue of race could be cleared up by saying “hey, it happened to a white guy, too,” then it would already be fixed. It is not even close to being fixed. Racism will live on and on and on if people keep leaning on ridiculous arguments like that.

Todd Drew said...

I have decided to stay out of the comments because I get my say in the post. This is your say…


Jeb, I think agreeing with 95 percent of what I write will probably land you on some type of government watch list with the rest of us.

But thanks for reading and weighing in.

Heading to the Stadium…

Ross said...


I don't deny racism exists. However, Bonds and Sheffield aren't being booed because they are black. Sheffield is being booed because of specific statements he made about Joe Torre, a well respected manager. Bonds is being booed for a slew of reasons. There's the steroids, the terrible attitude, the arrogance etc. I've said this before: if it were another black player like Ken Griffey Jr. or Ryan Howard breaking the homerun record, fans would do NOTHING BUT CHEER. Both players are universally respected and praised. Neither one is suspected of steroid use. I could go on and on naming black players who would not be booed if they broke Aaron's record. I don't deny racism exists. I do deny that Bonds and Sheffield are hated because of their race.

Superfrankenstein said...

Actions speak louder than words. Sheff carried the Yankees while playing through pain. That's bigger than some stupid newspaper quote. I'd rather have Sheff on my team than 99% of the ballplayers who never offend anyone.

Jeb said...

Todd, I am sure that I'm on the government watch list because of my frequent emails with friends complaining about this stupid war and our witless President.

One last thing to you Todd, please read that article about Bonds and comment on it for me. And when you do tell me - is it racist to despise Bonds for refusing to sign his name to help out that family?

As for Henry saying that racism is the driving force behind everything, I don't know what to tell you dude. There are white and black players that I hate BECAUSE they cheat, say or do awful things (Michael Vick comes to mind and I liked him before I found out all this stuff) and there are white and black ballplayers that I love BECAUSE they play hard and don't say ugly things and apparently live clean lives. If it's racist to judge an individual on his or her own merit, then so be it. If even criticizing someone who happens to be black is racist, then that means that blacks are immune from all criticism, which can't be right.

Superfrankenstein, you're right, actions do speak louder than words. There's a reason why Sheffield has played for 7 teams -- his actions have overcome his supposed greatness. Remember, he made errors ON PURPOSE to get traded from the Brewers. This is not a guy you want on the team. Remember how he went off last year about the extension? Do you his actions in last year's ALDS when he batted .083? He definitely would not be buying into this year's team concept. Sorry, but it's true, he's a bad person.

Henry said...

Racism is institutionalized and pounded into the fabric of this country. It’s not about whether you are a racist or not. It’s about race coloring the perception of everything. The fact that you don’t like Barry Bonds does not make you a racist. But race does have an impact on how Bonds is viewed in this country. How could it not?

Race plays more of a roll than it ever has. 9/11, the wars, the wall along the Mexican border and the Great Immigration debate have driven racism into a new frenzy in this country.

It may not touch you and you may not be a racist, but it’s everywhere in this country. Even in New York City, which has the most diverse population in the country, more than 85 percent of the police stops and frisks last year were done on Black and Latino men.

Saying you are not a racist isn’t good enough if we ever want this to be a country for everyone.

You sound like a reasonable person. If you can’t see this I’m really going to be frightened.

Todd Drew said...

I’m commenting only because you specifically asked, Jeb.

I don’t think John Steigerwald’s column says much of anything. If you want a reason to dislike Barry Bonds he gives you one.

There are no quotes from Bonds so we don’t really know what happened. The photographer’s account may be right on or it may not be entirely truthful, who knows?

The biggest problem is that you could write that same story about any athlete. No one can do everything. There are hundred of stories from angry families who couldn’t get something for a sick child. Sports writers seem to dig them out when they suit their needs.

Steigerwald’s column probably has some truth in it, but truth isn’t what he was looking for.

Watch Bill O'Reilly tonight and he will tell you why the war is great, Halliburton represents all that is good about American business and that the current presidential administration is among the finest in history. It will all sound very reasonable to a lot of people.

There is myth and reality in everything.

Donna said...

The media is looking for anything on Bonds. It is impossible to separate myth and reality because there is so much of both.