Gary Sheffield isn’t one to keep his thoughts to himself. He’s also not the type of person to let the consequences from what he says impact his play on the field.
One day after causing a commotion in the New York media, Sheffield will look to continue his hot hitting when the New York Yankees play the middle game of their weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Sheffield’s problems started Friday when it was learned he had some unflattering things to say about some of his teammates in a story to be published Monday in New York magazine.
“I know who the leader is on the team,” Sheffield told the magazine, apparently referring to himself. “I ain’t going to say who it is, but I know who it is. I know who the team feeds off. I know who the opposing team comes in knowing they have to defend to stop the Yankees.
“I know this. The people don’t know. Why? The media don’t want them to know,” he added. “They want to promote two players in a positive light, and everyone else is garbage.”
“It’s typical. That’s the life of being me,” said Sheffield, who is hitting .303 with 22 home runs and 83 RBIs. “It’s tough for me to do interviews when people have pens that have motives. It was supposed to be a positive interview.”
Sheffield then went out and took out some of his frustrations on the Blue Jays, hitting a two-run home run in the Yankees’ 6-2 victory in the series opener.
“He certainly doesn’t shy away from any controversy or back off the way he feels just because it makes somebody else happy,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Sheffield. “But he knows what his job is. No matter what the situation or what the talk is, he still goes after it.”
With the win, the Yankees moved within 3 1/2 games of first-place Boston in the AL East and stayed three back of wild card-leading Oakland.
Russ Adams drove in both runs Friday for the Blue Jays. The 24-year-old shortstop is batting .390 (23-for-59) over his last 14 games.
The Blue Jays have lost two straight and are six games back in the wild-card race.