Sheffield with the Yankees
|Outfielder / Third baseman|
November 18, 1968 |
Black players had an issue with Joe Torre. They weren't treated like everybody else. Even I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought was unfair.
When you see Major League Baseball putting academies in other countries, obviously that throws up a red flag. You wonder why they ain't going up in our neighborhood. Bottom line, what I see, I talk about… I see it over and over. If anybody can show me I'm wrong, then show me.
I thought I knew there was a God. I always acknowledged that, but at the same time, I didn't live by those laws.
This is what people don't understand. When they might see me do something that's not 'God-like,' then they say, 'Well, I thought you were saved?' I am saved. I'm not perfect. I have emotions still. My name's still Gary. These things here are not all cleaned up. I'm showing you my path.
Regardless of what you're searching, you ain't gonna find it until you include God. Because, if you have a problem with women, drugs, or whatever the case may be, the only person that can fix that problem is God.
If you're equally good as this Latin player, guess who's going to get sent home? I know a lot of players that are home now can outplay a lot of these guys.
If I'm coming in at 4:00 in the morning and my kids have been in bed since 8:00, 9:00, that's not setting a good example. The responsibility that I have kids inside my household has made me realize now that I have to be an example.
Derek Jeter used to come to me and try to tell you what Joe Torre is all about, he's a good man, he's this, he's that, but like I tell Derek Jeter, that's you. It's one thing that they treat you a certain way; you don't feel what other people feel.
I tell myself every offseason I'm not going to say anything crazy. I'm just going to have a peaceful season… Can't do it. I'm cut from a different cloth.
I am sure it will be mentioned and debated but from my standpoint I know who is in the Hall of Fame. A lot of them don't belong in the Hall of Fame. If someone wants to debate me, check the stats.
I've been the best player on every team that I played on, so if I can't be the poster child of your team, then what else is it? It's got to be a black-white issue. Every white player I know who's the best player on their team is the poster child of that team.
The rage was in me, and if it wasn't for the rage, then I wouldn't know how to be calm. They feed off of each other. Just like when Malcolm X fed off Martin Luther King. They needed each other.
In L.A., wives can fly on the plane; with the Yankees, they can't. With other teams, the wives always have functions to bring them together. Not here. You don't know what half the wives look like.
I don't trust that many people. Just my mother and my wife and a couple of friends. When I trust people, it doesn't end well.
The owners have the right to pay you whatever they want to. They don't have to pay you if they don't want to.
When McGwire started the home run mania, attendance came back. The owners understood that the sudden spike in homers wasn't accidental. All baseball knew it. But baseball is run on money, and home runs meant money. Baseball turned a blind eye.
When you challenge me, I like my chances in a fistfight. On the field, I use the same approach. I'm going to win. And I'll do it by any means necessary. If you're not willing to go that route, don't come my way.
I'm not one of those people who have to try and remember what they told people, because I always tell the truth. That should count for something, right?
Well, everybody is trying to make this a money thing. If you send me to another team, let's see what I ask for. I won't ask for nothing. I'll play under the same terms. So it is not Gary wants more money. Gary has money. What else do I need?
I had no interest in steroids. I didn't need them, and I didn't want them. I never wanted them. From the get-go, I've frequently mouthed off about their negative impact on the game.
I wanted to retire after I played for the Mets. My family said wait one year, that there was no need to rush it. I gave it a year and now it's time to say goodbye.
Most people figured I'd be in jail. I've been proving people wrong my whole life.
My dad's a bodybuilder. My whole life I've been taught to train the hard way. I believe in earning strength, not buying it. My grandfather raised me old school: In baseball, you work for whatever you get.
I've played for teams that were family-oriented organizations. They made you feel like family. The Yankees are strictly a business. Baseball is your life and everything else is secondary.