Geoff Jenkins Released; 5th Starter Determined

P2242975 Jenkins.jpg

In a surprise move, the Phillies released Geoff Jenkins today, content with eating the over 8 million dollars they owe him.  The Phillies are trying to find another right handed bat to balance out the line-up and Jenkins is a lefty, so he does not fit into the plan for 2009.  However, picking up Jenkins to begin with was not a great move, which I stated way back when that happened.  His numbers were steadily declining with his age and the Phillies more than overpaid for him.  What I did like about Jenkins though throughout 2008 was his personality, his work ethic and they way he fit into a tight knit clubhouse.  Jenkins is a super nice guy with a great sense of humor.  He will be missed.  I have a few photos of Jenkins for you throughout this piece to remember him by.

And now on with my rant; Todd Zolecki has reported that the Phillies may now be interested in Gary Sheffield who was just released by the Detroit Tigers.  Let me state for the record that as much as I opposed picking up Jenkins in 2008, I am even more convinced that Sheffield is a far worse idea. 

P7261028 JENKINS.jpg
I’d rather have 2 Jenkins’ than one Sheffield.  And here are the numerous reasons why:

In 2 years with the Tigers, Sheffield played in a TOTAL of 18 games in the field.  Yes, 18 out of like 324 games; he served as the team’s DH.  Therefore, at 40 years of age, it is obvious Sheffield can no longer field.  Not to mention Sheffield himself said publicly that he wanted to go to the Rays, an America League team.  Apparently, he knows he can no longer play outfield and thus, prefers the DH role.  So, if the Phillies pick up Sheffield, are we then saying we believe Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, who have been injury prone in the past, will stay healthy ALL year long?  Not to mention Raul Ibanez, who is 36 year old.  Someone please hire us a Geriatric Nurse, quick!

So you say Sheffield can hit?  Sure, 20 years in the majors and he stands at 499 home runs.  Great.  But his numbers in the last 2 years, as he has gotten older, have declined.  He hit .265 in 494 at-bats in 2007 and then hit .225 in 418 at-bats in 2008.  You cannot say he did not get his AB’s, because as the regular DH, he did.  How can the Phillies, or any other team, expect improvement if he gets to hit off the bench only once every 2-3 games?

And then there is my favorite issue: personality.  Sheffield is the same guy who picked fights with Joe Torre and Derek Jeter of the Yankees; two of the MOST respected guys in baseball.  He called Torre a racist and then turned around and said Jeter  “ain’t all the way black.”  Hypocritical, if you ask me.  Not to mention, Joe Torre is one of the best managers in the game and wouldn’t hurt a fly. 

Not convinced yet?  How about the steroid allegations?  Sheffield admitted to using steroids, P2232711 Jenkins.jpgexcept that he says he did not know they were steroids.  How many times have we heard players say that now? 

Do you believe it?  Read the article here about Sheffield’s issues, and former relationship with Barry Bonds, and judge for yourself.  And even if the man is innocent, do the Phillies really need that kind of distraction in their clubhouse?  Again, I’d rather have 2 Jenkins than one Sheffield.

I do hope my rant has been a waste of time and that the Phillies do not go anywhere near the problem child, Sheffield.  But as in life and baseball, stranger things have happened.  Crossing my fingers and toes that this will NOT be the case here…

UPDATE:  The Phillies have contacted Sheffield’s agent.  UGH!  No word yet on what will happen next.

Also, in a day filled with weird news, the Phillies also just announced that Chan Ho Park has won the 5th starters spot!  JA Happ’s future is uncertain except that he, Gary Majewski, Jack Taschner and Bobby Mosebach will now compete for 2 bullpen spots.


(All Photos by Jenn)


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  1. rrrt

    So Jenn, tell us how you REALLY feel. 😉 My initial thought was that he is a righthanded bat to balance out all the lefties, and the investment is minimal, but I have to say I too worry about the “chemistry”. To me, he just doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who will fit into the Phillies’ clubhouse.
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  2. raysrenegade

    I love it when a redhead go on a tangent.
    I totally agree with you on Sheffy’s past. But I also know that for $ 400,000, it is a small price to pay to get some offense.

    You also forget he had a bum shoulder for 2007, and got that surgery in the off season and never got back into his swagger until almost August of 2008. I do think he is an addition to any ball club, but the Phillies do not have a spot for him right now.

    Little known fact, if Joe Torre lost respect for you, you never got it back without maximum effort. But that is the way it is suppose to be right? Jeter, well my other half says he makes an ugly woman on SNL, so I guess he doesn’t have that going for him.
    Awesome rant……………..I hope they find a way to keep J A Happ. I like the way that kid pitches.

    Rays Renegade

  3. phillies_phollowers

    Julia – got that right!
    Jeff – Seriously. I am freaking out here!
    Sue – maybe I held back too much there? Ha!
    Renegade – Oh yeah, and I totally forgot about Burrell…guess you don’t need him either :O) As for Shef’s price, I think the trade off in personality just isn’t worth it. And as for respect, yup, the way it should be :O) OMG – the Jeter SNL thing is SO freakin’ funny! Think I’ll have to post that one day for fun :O)

  4. Jane Heller

    Don’t worry, Jenn. The Phillies won’t go after Sheffield. He should be with the Rays, since he lives in Tampa and can only DH at this point. Somebody will pick him up, because he still strikes fear in pitchers’ hearts with his waggling of the bat, but you’ll be safe. (I hope I’m right for your sake!)

  5. scofid

    Jenn – As a fellow Delawarian or whatever you’re called when living in Wilmington (okay, no comments about that!), I hope that the Phillies don’t pursue Gary Sheffield. His act, wagging bat or not, becomes very old, very quickly. He may be headed for the HOF but the Phillies team chemistry is too good to be infected by Sheff. I can just imagine the things he’d be saying about Chase Utley…


  6. crazy19canuck

    Jenn – gave you a shout on my blog…I don’t think Philly or Tampa is the place for Sheffield.

  7. phillies_phollowers

    Wright Way – I 2nd the motion :O)
    Jane – Hope U R Right!
    Scott – yeah, Delawarian I guess…although I am a lower, slower, Delawarian :O)
    Canuck – Thanks for the support!!
    Elizabeth – Seriously, we could use a rookie instead if need be!

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