SEATTLE (AP) -Detroit slugger Gary Sheffield had an idyllic view of the New York Yankees when he joined the team before the 2004 season.
Those opinions quickly changed, and once again, Sheffield isn't shying away from sharing his thoughts.
The latest controversy surrounding Sheffield surfaced Friday, with comments he made to HBO's Real Sports, in an episode scheduled to air Tuesday night. Sheffield had strong words for Yankees' manager Joe Torre and shortstop Derek Jeter...
Sheffield claims black and white players in the Yankees clubhouse were treated differently, specifically how players Tony Womack and Kenny Lofton were handled by Torre. In the interview with HBO, Sheffield says the black players on the Yankees' roster would be "called out" in the clubhouse by Torre, while the white players would be called into Torre's office to discuss matters.
"I think it's a, a way of, the way they do things around there, you know," Sheffield told Real Sports. "They run their ship differently."
Oh. I get it. Joe Torre is a racist. Now maybe I'd simply dismiss this as another rant from the non-stop mouth of Gary Sheffield, but it looks like Shef has found someone to back up his claim:
Gary Sheffield isn't the only player who feels Joe Torre treated black players differently than white players, as Sheffield's former teammate, Kenny Lofton,
chimed in with his thoughts yesterday before his Rangers played in Anaheim.
"All I can say is, Sheffield knows what he's talking about," Lofton told The Associated Press when asked to respond to Sheffield's comments about Torre. "That's all I'm going to say."
Lofton's one-year tenure in pinstripes was a tumultuous one, as he was signed to a two-year deal by George Steinbrenner to hit leadoff and replace Bernie Williams in center field, only to have Torre declare the job an open competition in spring training.
During the team's season-opening trip to Japan that March, Lofton griped about being batting ninth in the opener despite the fact that he hit .174 with no steals during spring training.
Of course Sheffield and Lofton have plenty in common. Despite being blessed with awesome athletic abilities, these chronic whiners have never been able to settle down and find a home. Sheffield has been with 7 different teams, Lofton with 11.
Funny...if Torre was such a racist, you'd think a leader like Derek Jeter would speak out. But according to Sheffield:
... when it was mentioned that the Yankees' most prominent player - Derek Jeter - is black, Sheffield quickly clarified that Jeter is "black and white."
When asked the significance of that, Sheffield said, "It's really no significance. It's just you ain't all the way black."
Of course this isn't the first time this season that Sheffield has played the race card...