He Said, She Said
Someone is lying, but I'm just not sure who. Something tells me it is the Yankee camp. Yesterday, when the story first broke, it was the Mets who supposedly turned down the deal. Now, the Yankees are insisting it was them and people say the Yankees were never interested in this deal that included Gary.
Yesterday, however, Yankees manager Joe Torre asserted that such a trade wouldn't take place. "We turned it down," said Torre, who relayed the same message to Sheffield. "... I wanted to make sure he heard it from me ... Yes, they asked. We said no."
Well, it is well known the Yankees want Cammy and want Cammy badly, so it is more likely the Yankees approached the Mets about Cammy, and the Mets were reluctant to trade him. They are extremely happy with him and if he goes, he is going to go in a big way. The Mets are going to get a lot in return. As of now, the Yankees are reluctant to trade Cano and Wang, so who would they trade for Cammy? Enter Sheffield.
After the deal started getting conjured up, a newspaper said the Mets tried to pawn off Kaz Matsui or Tom Glavine with the deal to shed a player and more payroll, and that is when they Yankees could have rebuffed not wanting to add that extra payroll. It is certainly obvious that if they wanted Cammy and did not want to include Cano and Wang in any deal, Sheffield was a tradable commodity....well, that was before his tirade.
"How many people who are in my category as a player, who have done what I've done, and did the contract in the fashion I did? When you've got players on this team making the kind of money they do and they didn't defer nothing. So I look at the whole scenario. I sacrificed, and I sacrificed."
"Now you put me in an uncompromising situation. Then we both are going to be uncomfortable."
"This was my first choice to come here," Sheffield said yesterday, before the Yankees' last game of a three-game series with the Orioles was rained out at Camden Yards. "I made a lot of concessions to come here. And I'll make it clear: If I have to go somewhere else, a lot of things are going to have to change. Or else they're going to have a headache on their hands."
"If I'm traded, I'm not going to be happy," Sheffield vowed yesterday, before the finale of this three-game series between the Yankees and Orioles was rained out. "And if I'm unhappy, you don't want me on your team. Period."
"Things are going to have to be changed about my whole situation. Contract. Years. Anything. Other than that, you might not want to trade for me, because you're going to have a very unhappy player."
Now the Yankees lost one of their only remaining tradable commodities. Matsui is still an option if they get desperate as well as Cano and Wang, but there is not much. In fact, they may not even have enough to get Mark Kotsay. Money is no object (Kotsay has a $6.5 million option for 2006), although the Yankees may not have enough prospects to interest Beane, even if they made Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano available.
So let's get this straight. Yankee fans thought that Cano was too much for Cammy much less Cano and Wang when the fact is, they are not enough for Kotsay let alone Cammy. The Yankees are desperate and teams know this. What are the Yankees to do? They simply cannot fill their need for a centerfielder unless they trade the farm, including Cano and Wang with at least Philip Hughes included as well. As good as Wang and Cano are playing, no one is drooling over them.
Not only is Sheffield intent on making waves, but he wants all his deferred money ($9 million) up front upon being dealt. "We don't need that," is what one member of the organization said about Sheffield. Now the Mets getting Sheffield is thankfully dead, but the rumors keep persisting about him going somewhere. Now his name is being thrown about in a deal with the Marlins for Juan Encarnancion and AJ Burnett. The money would seem to be sticking point and the Yankees would presumably have to pick up money, but it is clear that Sheffield is going nowhere.
The Yankees could be doing some spin control with Gary by saying the Mets were quickly rebuffed after the proposed the deal saying that Sheff was never going anywhere, but it is clear they were trying to pedal him. They have and offensive juggernaut and could have stood to lose a bat and still have been fine while strengthening the defense and still adding a good hitter. When they realized they had an unhappy camper, they went into defensive mode to try and appease their prickly slugger. Who is telling the truth? Probably a bit of both. The Mets wanted no part of the deal if they could not shed Matsui or Glavine, but the Yankees wanted no part of picking up either of those two, but the Yankees would have done Sheffield for Cammy and Cairo presumably as it does a lot for their team.
As for Sheffield's tirade in response to the rumors, he could have just said no comment. In a PR lesson, he needs to look no further than Mike Cameron who made concessions to sign with the Mets but is taking a different angle to the questions about the trade.
"I thought it was pretty cool," Cameron said after the Mets' 6-3 loss to the Phillies. "At least I made it to the back page with Sheffield. It's cool, man. It is what it is.
"I've been rumored on every hot rumor thing. Baltimore, San Diego, all sorts of places. I'll keep showing up and try to put it out there in right field and do what I do."
"Dude, I've been on the block and speculated since February," he said. "Take it for what it's worth."
Sheffield seems like one very, jaded, pissed off man.
Spiral notebook night did not go as well as planned. Originally, the plan was for the kids to come get their spiral notebooks with some Met catch phrase, most likely catch the energy as they were probably left over from last year, and then watch the Mets in the game. Unfortunately, Kaz Ishii does not like to see kids happy. Ishii inexcusably walked three people in row in the 4th inning, only two subsequently give up a two run single and a three run homer.
"If you're looking for his head, I'm not going to give you that," manager Willie Randolph said about taking Ishii out of the rotation. "Obviously, he's having some problems getting through an inning or two, but right now, he's still in our rotation. We'll see."
Is it possible to implement of no Japanese player mandate on this team? For some reason, the Mets do not seem to bring out the best in players from Japan.
- Matt Ginter and Jae Seo went head to head in Norfolk's 3-1 victory over Toledo. Anderson Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a triple to bring his average up to .385 and Rodnye Nye went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a double. Jae Seo pitched well to pick up his sixth victory of the season and went 8.1 innings, giving up six hits, one run, one walk, and struck out nine. He is 6-2 on the season with a 2.99 ERA and is now 6-2 with a 1.92 ERA, 7.56 h/9, 8.88 k/9, and a 3.89 k/bb in his last eleven games. Matt Ginter pitched well in the loss going six innings, giving up four hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out five.
- Binghamton beat New Britain 10-6. Aarom Baldiris went sixty-six games without a homer this season and smacked two yesterday. He went 4 for 5 with two runs scored, two homers, and four RBIs. Mike Jacobs went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, one homer, and two RBIs. Jacobs' homer was his fifteenth on the year.
- Brevard County beat St. Lucie 4-3. Andy Wilson went 1 for 3 with a homerun, two RBIs, and a walk. Phil Humber had a decent outing going seven innings, giving up four this, three earned runs, one walk, one homer, and struck out seven.
- Brooklyn beat New Jersey 5-4.
- Kingsport lost to Greeneville 5-3.
After hitting just .216 in April, Mets outfielder Lastings Milledge has been one of the more productive players in the Florida State League, batting .351 in his last 40 games with 37 runs scored, increasing his season averages to .304/.390/.430 in 207 at-bats. His problems on the base paths continue however, as the 2003 first-round pick has been successful on only 15 of 27 stolen base attempts.
New York Mets Hitters: Five Highest by VORP
Player VORPNew York Mets Pitchers: Five Highest by VORP
David Wright 25.3
Cliff Floyd 24.1
Mike Cameron 19.8
Mike Piazza 16.9
Jose Reyes 10.9
Pedro Martinez 36.6
Kris Benson 14.3
Roberto Hernandez 13.3
Victor Zambrano 12.1
Aaron Heilman 11.0
The 2002 Mets, filled with aging, underproductive stars, finished fifth, 26 ½ games out of first. In 2003, they lost 95 games. Last year, they lost 91. This year, despite signing big-money stars Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez, they are in last place, under .500 after last night's loss.
All of which leads to this unnerving thought, even amid a 6-3 victory: Maybe, instead of being a buyer in the next month, Ed Wade should see whether he can get any prospects or youth for his more marketable veterans.
Maybe these Phillies are closer to those 2001 Mets than they are to the championship that their brass professes is still in them.
"I'm not going to prove anything else in an All-Star Game," Martinez said. "I do what I do. Everybody has seen enough."
"Would we like to have done it today? Yeah" he said. "But the history is that some of these guys take a little longer than others."