Detroit (AP) Gary Sheffield is one Home Run shy of 500.
The question is: What uniform will he be wearing when he hits it?
The Detroit Tigers released the nine-time All-Star on Tuesday, leaving him without a team as he closes in on becoming the 25th player to reach the milestone.
The slugger’s stay in Detroit was a disappointing one. The team was hopeful Sheffield would be a powerful presence at the plate in the final season of the $28 million, two-year contract extension it gave him after acquiring him from the Yankees for prospects.
But Sheffield failed to deliver in large part because he often was injured.
The move came a day after the Tigers acquired outfielder Josh Anderson from Atlanta, forcing the team to make some tough decisions about its roster a week ahead of opening the season in Toronto.
Sheffield, 40, had a .178 batting average in 18 spring training games this year. The designated hitter had eight hits — including five home runs — in 45 at-bats.
An e-mail seeking comment was sent to Sheffield on Tuesday, and a telephone message was left with his representative. His uncle, Doc Gooden, and other family members had planned to attend Detroit’s season-opening series, hoping to watch him reach 500.
Sheffied might be done. No one want him. He is a prickly dude at times. Did you know his Uncle is Doc Gooden? Maybe the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree. Gary has often been suspected of Juicing too. Sorry Gary, your Uncle Doc has a better chance of getting signed. -TO