Gary Sheffield has reminded us from time to time over the years just how miserable he was during much of his time in the Milwaukee Brewers' organization.
In his recently published book, "Inside Power," he reminds us again.
"My story in Milwaukee turned from good to bad and from bad to worse," Sheffield says in the book, which he wrote with David Ritz. He is referring mainly to the years 1989 through 1991.
Sheffield, who now plays for the Detroit Tigers, was drafted out of high school by the Brewers with the sixth overall pick in the 1986 amateur draft. He made his major-league debut Sept. 3, 1988, and played in 24 games at the end of that season.
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Sheffield had issues with management, issues with his teammates and issues with Brewers fans.
"I've never been more miserable," Sheffield writes, referring to the time after the '91 season, when he played in only 50 games because of wrist and shoulder injuries. He batted .194, a career low.
"Milwaukee wasn't my kind of town. Milwaukee wasn't my kind of team. Far as I was concerned, Milwaukee was hell."
Sheffield said management didn't believe him when he told them he was injured. He didn't like being booed in 1988. He didn't think Brewers pitchers retaliated after opposing pitchers threw at him, unlike the way they did when Paul Molitor was knocked down.
He was miffed that Billy Spiers, a white infielder, was installed at shortstop, the spot Sheffield contends he had earned and deserved. Sheffield says if he had been white and Spiers black, Sheffield would have been the regular shortstop.
"When a reporter wondered whether I thought the decision had racial overtones, I wasn't about to lie," Sheffield writes."
Sheffield says the Brewers interpreted some of his remarks to the press as a sign of disloyalty when he viewed it as being honest.
"Management asked me to tone down my remarks," Sheffield writes. "I refused. Harry Dalton, general manager, made many decisions I didn't like. . . . When Dalton suffered a heart attack, I was accused of causing it."
In the 1989 season, Sheffield says he injured his foot in a game against Kansas City in the first half of the season, but the Brewers' trainer "said it was nothing." Sheffield's play suffered and he was sent to the minors, where he refused to play, contending that something was wrong with his foot. A doctor eventually told him his foot was fractured. He filed a complaint with the players union, saying he had been "unjustifiably" sent down. He was sent back up.
"Management apologized," Sheffield writes. "They wanted me to know they'd made a mistake. But to me the apology didn't mean anything."
Sheffield says owner Bud Selig made a $7 million contract offer to him at the beginning of that season, but withdrew it after the injury episode.
"Suddenly my eyes opened," Sheffield says. "Suddenly I saw the baseball world the way it really is: business rules. Money rules."
Sheffield writes that he "loved" manager Tom Trebelhorn because "he was like a father" and had the "patience and personality of a good schoolteacher."
Besides Trebelhorn, Sheffield singles out two people he actually liked during his time in Milwaukee: batting coach Don Baylor and designated hitter Dave Parker.
When Parker was traded to the Angels, "that broke my heart." Baylor also moved on.
"Losing Don and Dave devastated me," Sheffield writes. "From what I could see, white players got preferential treatment, and it made me angry."
Sheffield was dealt to the San Diego Padres and in 1992 he batted .330 and was named player of the year by The Sporting News and was selected the comeback player of the year.
In the book, Sheffield repeats what he has said in the past about steroids.
"I've never touched a strength-building steroid in my life - and never will," he writes.
He says he was before the BALCO grand jury for 10 minutes and testified that he was unaware that a cream he rubbed on his knees contained steroids.
"Whatever it was, it didn't make me stronger," Sheffield says.