As a Mets fan, I would love to root for Sheff, but …

   I know all the swell things we typically pronounce about the coming of spring and the newness of everything, but I’ve always been a guy who’s kind of attached to the older things among us. I assume this world view plays a role in my affinity for old baseball cards and memorabilia; in any event it clearly plays a part in my relative lack of enthusiasm for rookies as opposed to aging veterans.
   Thus when spring training ends and the players head north (or should we now say “east,” because of the massive migration of clubs to Arizona?) I have a tendency to watch the old guys looking for some final redemption, as opposed to some untested 20-year-old in search of his first million bucks.
   With that backdrop, I watched as Gary Sheffield wound up with my Mets. Now there’s a guy I’ve tried really hard to warm up to over the years, in part because he’s Dwight Gooden’s cousin, and Gooden was may favorite player back in the 1980s and 1990s. He’s also one homer short of 500, which is a handsome statistical curiosity likely to be met with a big hum-hum across the land.
   But with Sheffield it was a little tougher to rev up to actual fandom, so I had to end up merely respecting his hitting skills and enjoying the debate about whether the cousin would wind up with a plaque in Cooperstown, since Dwight obviously didn’t.
   I have my doubts, especially given the confluence of his best years during the steroid-soaked years, which is not to suggest any involvement but merely to note that the taint from that era is likely to affect – to varying degrees – virtually all who played during that span.
   In Sheffield’s case, it also doesn’t help that he’s played with eight different teams. Ultimately, however, it’s likely to be his own words that will be held against him, regardless of the fact that some of that came when he was very, very young and might otherwise have been forgiven for making the odd, utterly stupid pronouncement. Like this one about his tempestuous, failed tenure as a Milwaukee Brewer:
   “The Brewers brought out the hate in me. I was a crazy man. … I hated everything about the place. If the official scorer gave me an error, I didn’t think was an error, I’d say, ‘OK, here’s a real error,’ and I’d throw the next ball into the stands on purpose.’ ”

   Ouch! Try picturing those words etched into a plaque in Cooperstown.

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10 thoughts on “As a Mets fan, I would love to root for Sheff, but …

  1. Mr. O’Connell:

    I find it amusing that your latest column is about favorites and good guys vs. not so good guys. How is it that you can make this distinction for ball players, yet continue to bury your head in the sand when it comes to people harming our beloved industry? Why don’t you do the right thing and help the collectible community? Sheffeld is a saint compared to the crooks at Coaches Corner. Please respond!


  2. brett 75 on said:

    I agree that it is hard to root for the guy and he is not Hall worthy. I wanted to sorry to all the fellas about the confusion yesterday. I hope no feelings were hurt. I do agree there may be something fishy going on at Coach’s Corner, but I must stress this might not be the proper place to discuss it, Brett

  3. Hi Brett,

    thanks the comments and sorry things were a little heated yesterday. You know, collectors and sports fans are a passionate bunch. I do appreciate you being open minded on Coach’s corner. If you feel this is not the place to discuss this then may I ask where you think it should be discussed? I think this is a perfect place since you have TS O’Connell running this part of their web site and you have readers and collectors who agree and disagree with us providing their views and opinions.

  4. brett 75 on said:

    I just believe anything negative about the hobby needs to be redirected somewhere else. Where? Don’t know. I understand there are some fraud signatures out there, but the real ones far out number the fakes, brett

  5. Former Subscriber on said:

    No worries, Brett. I think what’s frustrated people most about the whole SCD/Coach’s Corner relationship has been SCD’s total unwillingness to acknowledge the obvious. We’re talking about years of this, and that’s really the sad part because SCD was once among the good guys. But they thought that if the complaints were burned and deleted in-house it would all go away. Sweep it away and no one will notice.

    While I too hate that we don’t see more positive reader comments here, I frankly don’t think T.S. or SCD deserves them. This magazine is strangling itself to death in public and it’s incredibly unfortunate. I owe much of my love for our great hobby to SCD. To see them on life support because of their own greed and stubbornness stinks.

    T.S., I’d bet my collection that you’re a decent man. You’ve personally done a lot for this hobby over the years. But your refusal to stand up against these people pisses me off. Same for you, Dean Listle. Stop cashing Coach’s Corner’s checks and move on. Likewise, stop pretending our hobby doesn’t have problems. (All of the great ones do, by the way.)Do that and I’m pretty sure you’ll start earning back some of your old friendships.

  6. MarkE on said:

    TS has lost any respect I could ever have for him. I honestly believe he is "partners" with Coach’s Commode and Chris NO-Moral-ASS!!!

  7. on said:

    Boy things are much calmer today. Some excellent points were made. Brett, I’m sure you have seen in SCD and elsewhere estimates of how many signaures are bogus. That’s whats so great about Steiner and Upperdeck products – they are real. Have you read Operation Bullpen? that may change how you feel about the ratio of good to bad autographs. I’m not sure how decent TS can be, people are spending their hard earned money on CC’s items and getting ripped off. worse, what if they sneak cc’s items into major auction houses or what if they are successful in getting a JSA or PSA certificate?

  8. brett 75 on said:

    Who is posting as Brett 75? None of the comments made on this topic are coming from me.I have made only 2 comments from the two other posts. The only real posts made by brett 75 will be made in the forum itself where you are required to sign in to make posts .All future posts are a Fraud on the blogs ,Brett

  9. brett 75 on said:

    Matter of fact, I changed my mind. I will continue to post here when I feel the need. I will not allow someone else to ruin something I take joy in. You can still catch me in the forum though, brett

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