It’s clear that Gary Sheffield blames the Rays for his career ending earlier than he would have liked. And that bitterness shines through in an interview with Sports On Earth, in which Sheffield talks about his post-playing career as an agent…

Other Tampa natives, like Tino Martinez and Fred McGriff, had played their twilight years near home, and Sheffield wanted to do the same. So before the 2010 season he had dinner with manager Joe Maddon…He never heard back….His dinner with Maddon was not pleasant. “I was getting disrespected by an organization that had feared me when I stepped up to the plate against their team. They started giving me names of reasons why they couldn’t bring me to the team.” (Sheffield declined to say which comparison to a veteran Ray angered him, but a peek at Tampa’s 2010 roster suggests that it may have been Pat Burrell.) When Sheffield saw that the Rays didn’t want him, he retired. But the veterans they brought in after turning him down amused him. “They turned around, right after they told me what they told me, and brought in Manny Ramirez, who quit on two teams, and Johnny Damon — to DH — and he doesn’t have the power that I have.”

If the Rays did compare Sheffield with Burrell, it was likely just as much about their personalities as their bats. It was clear during his time with the Rays that Burrell just didn’t fit in. And while Johnny Damon may not have had the bat of a Sheffield, his clubhouse presence was infinitely better.

Sheffield does go on to say that BJ Upton is the only Rays player he follows, but notes that he gets frustrated by Bossman (who doesn’t?), saying “He has the best tools in the game. I keep telling him, ‘You could be great.’”

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Sam Fuld has been granted arbitration eligibility a year early as a “Super-Two” player. Typically players become eligible for arbitration (and a big raise) after three years. But a handful of players that are close (2 years and 139 days to be exact) get to join the party. This ruling will cost the Rays $0.5-1.0 million on next year’s payroll. [MLBTradeRumors]
  • The World Series is underway. Here are three clips that sum up Justin Verlander’s game one performance. [BI Sports]
  • And here are the 10 highest-paid players on the two World Series teams. Must be nice. [BI Sports]
  • I know some in the Bay Area are hoping for a Jonny Gomes reunion. But there are plenty of people in Oakland hoping he won’t leave. [SwinginAs]
  • Here’s a chart that looks at how much teams have spent on payroll since their last playoff performance. For the Rays, it is $64.2 million. For the Blue Jays, it is $1.1 billion, with a B. [BI Chart]

 

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