Delusion of the Day: Sheffield and 3,000 hits

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Gary Sheffield joined the 500-homer club earlier this season and said yesterday that his sights are now set on reaching 3,000 hits as well:
I’m going to try to get there. Someone told me I had an outside shot at 3,000. So I said, “Why not?” I wasn’t thinking about it. Then they said not many guys have 500 homers and 3,000 hits. So now I want to try. Why give up when I’m pretty close and when I can still play? When I set my mind to something, I go after it. So I’m ready to sacrifice two more offseasons to get myself into the kind of shape I used to be in when I knew I was going to play every day.
I’m of the belief that Sheffield is one of the most underrated players of the past couple decades and has an excellent Hall of Fame case that includes 509 homers, 253 steals, a .292 batting average, nine All-Star selections, six top-10 MVP finishes, and the 27th-best adjusted OPS+ of the past 50 years. With that said, he has almost zero chance of getting to 3,000 hits.
He has 2,679 right now and will likely get to around 2,700 by season’s end given that he has 64 hits through the Mets’ first 111 games. That would leave him 300 or so hits shy of 3,000, which is a huge number for someone who turns 41 years old in two months and has produced more than 100 hits in just one of the past four seasons. Sheffield’s hit totals over the past four years are 45, 131, 94, and 64.
Even assuming that he somehow boosts that number to around 100 per season going forward–which isn’t usually how the whole aging thing works for guys on the wrong side of 40–Sheffield would likely need to be playing in 2013 at the age of 44. He’s been limited to part-time duty for a Mets team that is decimated by injuries this season, so full-time gigs don’t figure to be in his future.
Great hitter, underrated player, legitimate Hall of Fame case. But almost no chance for 3,000 hits.

The Braves will be serving some insane food this season

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Lots of teams have crazy concession items and lots of them will circulate photos of the more gonzo ones in the coming week leading up to the baseball season. The Braves, however, have been one of the more aggressive players in the gimmick concession item game in recent years, and they just sent around a release talking about some of the stuff they, and their concessionaire, Delaware North, will be serving at their new ballpark, Sun Trust Park, in 2017.

Among them:a blackened catfish po boy, which is a blackened 6-ounce filet of catfish cut up among three tacos, with a cajun remoulade. Some BBQ beef brisket sliders. A double burger. An ice cream bar. They’re also going to have a regionally-inspired thing called “The Taste of Braves Country,” showcasing southern cooking from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Which they’re calling “Braves Country.” Accurate enough, I guess, even if some of us are old enough to remember when they aspired to be a national team. Alas.

The big item, though, is this one:

It’s called the “Tomahawk Chop” sandwich. It’s a fried pork chop with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. It serves four and costs $26. I’m guessing it tastes fantastic, but I think the name is pretty cringeworthy for the same reason the cheer which gives it its name is. And, given the dynamics of the Braves move to their new stadium, the choice of BBQ sauce is . . . amusing? I dunno.

Anyway, enjoy, Braves fans.

Max Scherzer will not be ready for Opening Day

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Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.

[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.

He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.

Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.