Sheff Checks Out

SheffieldHeadSo Gary Sheffield is calling it quits.

Had he not played for the Tigers, I wouldn’t give this much thought, but he did, so I do.

That’s because there’s been no other Tigers player in my lifetime that has left me wanting more than Sheff.

Sure it would’ve been nice to see something, anything from the likes of Edgar Renteria, Juan Gonzalez or Fernando Vina, but Gary Sheffield was a superstar at just about every stop in his career — and he was bringing his act to Detroit. This was a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

But a collision with Placido Polanco in July 2007 essentially ended what was shaping up to be a Sheff-like season: .265, 25 home runs and 75 RBI over 133 games. His OPS that season was a hefty (Shefty?) .819.

Alas, we were robbed of what could’ve been three of the most quote-rich years in club history.

In ’08, he appeared in 114 games and hit just .225 but still smacked 19 homers.

Sheffield finishes his career with 509 home runs, 1,676 RBIs and a .292 career batting average. He is 24th on the all-time home run list and 25th on the career RBIs list.

(snip)

Sheffield will be eligible to be elected to the Hall of Fame after the 2014 season.

“I am sure it will be mentioned and debated but from my standpoint I know who is in the Hall of Fame,” Sheffield told the newspaper. “A lot of them don’t belong in the Hall of Fame. If someone wants to debate me, check the stats.”

If Sheff had three full, healthy seasons in Detroit, the stats would’ve been more impressive than they already are.

As it was, this quote from him after the ’07 injury pretty much sums up his Tigers career:

“I can’t be myself,” Sheffield said. “Guys throwing 88 miles per hour, and I can’t do nothing with it.”

Even though he was always one perceived slight from becoming a team’s bad seed, he
was an exceptional player — even though we only saw glimpses in Detroit.

I think Gary Sheffield’s a Hall of Famer. Do you?

The Non-Sequiturs: Trick or Treat Edition

pumpkin.jpgEach October, I’m astounded to learn that Halloween is the second-largest retail holiday of the year. I’m not a fan of Halloween, though I do like the occasional, or frequent, Kit Kat.

It’s a treat to be able to watch the World Series on Halloween, though the Aubrey Huff and Edgar Renteria sightings are undoubtedly the “trick” part of the equation.

  • In our highest vote-gettin’ poll of the season, Fungo readers were emphatic on what the Tigers’ next offseason move should be: target Nationals’ slugger and free-agent-to-be Adam Dunn.

    Twenty-four percent (148 voters) of the 628 readers casting votes selected Dunn as their top choice. Here are the runners up:

    • Sign Jason Werth (16%, 103 Votes)
    • Sign Victor Martinez (15%, 97 Votes)
    • Trade for a starting pitcher (14%, 88 Votes)
    • Pickup Jhonny Peralta’s option (14%, 88 Votes)
    • Sign Magglio Ordonez (12%, 73 Votes)
    • Other (5%, 31 Votes)

    Thanks to everyone who voted and a special thanks for those that left comments. It was a great discussion. Keep those comments rolling in.

    Continue reading “The Non-Sequiturs: Trick or Treat Edition”

Edgar Renteria Comes Clean on His Awful Season. No, Not 2008.

RenteriaBobbleHead.jpgWe’re not one to hold a grudge — ahem — but after reading this about Giants’ shortstop Edgar Renteria

… [He] played all last season with a bone spur in his right elbow, about the size of a piece of pea gravel.

— snip —

Renteria hit a career-low .250 with 19 doubles, five home runs and 48 RBIs in 124 games before the Giants turned to hot-hitting Juan Uribe as they fought for a playoff berth down the stretch. It was the fewest homers for Renteria since 1998 and resulted in a season that he called simply “embarrassing.”

… don’t you wonder how he would characterize his 2008 season with the Tigers?

In case he comes up short, here are a few suggestions: slothful, unprofessional, disrespectful, arrogant, dreadful.

Any I missed?

The Top 10 Tigers Stories of 2008: #9 – Edgar Renteria Can’t Play

Number 9Sure, it hurt when the Tigers sent Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez to the Braves for Edgar Renteria. There was some — i.e., a tad — concern about Jurrjens’ durability and, well, to get a player of Renteria’s caliber at such a vital position you have to part with some value.

We know how that worked out.

In 2007, Edgar Renteria hit .332 with 12 homers and a .390 on-base percentage. The most glaring part of the Failed Renteria Experiment was his .977 fielding percentage; but that tells only half the story. His fielding percentage was virtually .000 on balls he should’ve had. He and Miguel Cabrera and then Carlos Guillen helped give the Tigers one of the most ineffective left-sides of the infield in the majors.

If not for a strong second-half of the year, Renteria would’ve finished nearly 80 points below his ’07 average. (He batted .254 before the All Star Game, .296 after.)

Now he’s the Giants problem — maybe for two years. For Tigers fans, it only felt like two years that Renteria played in Detroit.

Discuss.