You know, if Gary Sheffield is going to hit like this after catching a bunch of crap for making controversial remarks, maybe the Tigers should just let every men's magazine talk to him. Ask him about anything.
Esquire could interview him about chewing tobacco use and its effects on dental hygiene. Maxim might ask him about players being unfaithful to their wives on the road. FHM could consult him on whether black players or Latin players are better dressers.
Why restrict the inquiries to men's magazines? Let Food & Wine ask him which cities have the worst food. Gourmet could do a feature on Sheffield's favorite clubhouse spreads. In O, Oprah could ask him to rank other gospel singers compared to his wife. Real Simple could ask him to critique the interior design of his teammates' lockers.
Just keep sticking microphones and recorders in front of Sheffield's face. Maybe letting him talk clears his head. It helps him work out pent-up aggression or frustration. Or maybe he just likes to jibber-jabber. Whatever the reason, it's kept that bat of his smokin'.
Last night, in the top of the first inning, Sheffield apparently thought to himself, "You know, I haven't hit a home run to right field this season. I think I'll do that." And then he crushed Kevin Millwood's next pitch into the seats.
When he came up again in the third, he may have thought, "Nah, I like hitting 'em to left better. Sheff's swing looks better on TV when he pulls the ball." Then he smacked another Millwood pitch down the left-field line.
But you know what? Despite what the national media might think right now, Gary Sheffield has sympathy for his fellow man. He showed his compassion in his next time at-bat in the fourth inning. He could've taken Millwood's next pitch to centerfield. Or left-center. Or right-center. Or made it pinball between the foul poles before landing in the seats. But Sheffield let Millwood off easy with a single. C'mon, he wasn't going to make an out. Sheffield isn't that compassionate. He's gettin' paid to do this.
Maybe Sheffield thought that baseball was trying to control him. Silly baseball. Where he's from, you can't control him. You might get him to strike out or pop it up for a while, but in the end, he's going to go back to who he is. He's going to hit that baseball like a man.
These are the things Gary Sheffield demands, Texas Rangers.
(Oh yeah, Pudge and Carlos Guillen hit back-to-back home runs, too. Because the Latin players in the Tigers' clubhouse support Sheffield. But were they quoted in any magazines this week?)