Yes, I know Gary Sheffield joining the Mets is not breaking news at this point but I wanted to let it soak in and read all the press around this one before I made my thoughts public. Now that I have had a few days to think about it and hear the mixture of opinions, I have to admit, I like it even more now then I did before.
I heard a Phillies fan rant on a Sirius sports talk show about how he thought this signing would make him so happy and be a bigger reason for the Mets eventual collapse again this year. I have read articles from those who have met him, known him or just follow the sport closely with most waiting for him to implode. I have also heard some Mets fans wondering where this will leave the team with a guy who has limited mobility as an outfielder and offensively has declined in the past couple years, with only one home run to reach 500.
I think it's a win, win deal for the Mets and I don't blame GM Omar Minaya one bit for doing this deal. You are paying him the league minimum which helps make it easier if you have to cut him. He is the nephew of one of the Mets greatest pitchers in franchise history, Dwight "Doc" Gooden and Mets fan have a lot of love and respect for those who played with their team. If Sheffield is truly accepting of his role and lasts the season, the possibilities are endless as to how he could positively affect this team. I remember people ready to count Delgado out a couple years back as well and yet, he still remains a major contributor to this team. Maybe, just maybe he also shows some of those in this clubhouse how to be a positive leader and could help form a melting pot where many are pointing to it being more of boiling point waiting to explode.
The truth is, the speculation will continue but until we actually see the true role he plays, we will never know. I think personally that the league minimum is a nice price to find out just exactly what he has left in his tank. One report had it costing us Marlon Anderson's roster spot to find out which I do hate to see but it's a long season and anything can happen between now and October. Right now, I think Sheffield could be the cure this team needs to avoid a slump and a locker room leader when and if a decline begins. And hey, if he is done physically or blows up, what did we truly lose besides a few dollars, it wasn't like it was a perfect clubhouse as it was and can't get much worse.