ajc.com | Sports | TERENCE MOORE
Terence Moore gets paid for this?
Shorter TM: Gary Sheffield is unhappy. Moore says that he’s been labeled a bust (huh?) because he had a bad playoff series. Gary wishes Tom Glavine was still around. Gary won’t be with the Braves next year (at least if AOL still owns the team). Deion Sanders talked Gary out of quitting baseball, which is weird because Deion quits all the time. (Moore took 844 words to say this.)
(Via “Willing to read Terence Moore’s columns” correspondent Creg.)
To clarify, I don’t make a habit of reading Terence Moore’s stuff any more, I just stumbled across this one on Baseball Primer. Here’s what I posted there (and in my email to Mac alerting him of the story)…
I don’t think any Braves fan with half a brain considered(s) Sheffield a bust just because he failed in the playoffs. This is just another example of Moore lending his rabbit ears to every black athlete in town.
He did it with Justice. He did it with Deion. He did it with Brian Jordan. Now he’s after Sheffield.
Sheffield is unhappy? I am shocked! Shocked I tell you!
Seriously, Sheff has caused trouble at every stop a long the way so there was no reason to expect his stay in Atlanta to be any different. Sheff starts every season with the same goal (and unfortunately it’s not to win the World Series), to twist ownership’s arm into giving him a fat contract extention. When he doesn’t get his contract he uses the media to try and put pressure on ownership.
This is the exact same song and dance he did here with the Dodgers. We are still in the early stages but I’ll give you a sneak preview of how this plays out. The progression goes like this: Continued whining about ownership’s “lack of commitment to winning”, suggesting that his concern over his contract could start to affect his play on the field, quotes from his agent and/or wife that Gary is very unhappy and if his contract isn’t extended soon the team’s relationship with Gary will not be salvagable, and the final stage is when Sheff tells anyone who will listen that the team should make him a Brave For Life (BFL). Of course making Sheff a BFL would involve giving him a huge long term contract. If Atlanta decides not to make him a BFL it will be because they are not committed to winning, not loyal to the veteran players or their fans, etc.
I say that the BFL stage is the last stage because that is when the Dodgers gave up and traded him to the Braves (in what turned out to be a pretty good deal for the Dodgers). Maybe the Braves won’t give up so easily. In that case, I would be excited to see what Sheff would pull next.
Well, Sheffield certainly hasn’t his contract status affect his on-field play lately — his OPSs in LA were .979, .930, 1.081 and an even 1.000. It dropped to .912 (his career average is .916) last year when he was finally “happy.”
Sheffield seems to play better when he’s unhappy about his contract. As Sport Sullivan said in “Eight Men Out” — “You know how much to feed a horse to get a good day’s work out of him? Just enough so that he knows he’s hungry.”
Sheffield’s a malcontent, there’s no way you can argue anything different. But I don’t care if he sleeps with Cox’s wife and pees in the Gatorade cooler, as long as he plays winning baseball. For the last several years, he’s done that.
One of the main questions I have about the Braves is: Why is Bobby Cox so successful when he does so many things that seem stupid?
Chief among my answers (after his and Leo’s skill with pitchers) is his ability to prevent stuff like Sheffield contract demands from becoming a problem for the team. He might say something to Sheffield but he certainly won’t say anything to the media the way the LA management did. I suspect that Bobby’s bland media persona is important in keeping the team going.
Well I don’t know about everybody else, but if Sheffield hits a home run everytime Terence Moore says he’s unhappy, I can deal with the wasted paper and ink that result from his columns.
Call me a nut, but I didn’t see this column as “Sheffield causing trouble”. *shrug*