Sheffield “disrespected” by Rays, now 99.9% retired

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Remember when Gary Sheffield showed up to the Winter Meetings and said he was just there “to advise” a couple of young players?  And then remember when he later admitted that he had an interest in playing again, specifically for the Rays?

You might also remember that Rays manager Joe Maddon took Sheffield out to dinner as a courtesy and to “get to know him,” but that the Tampa Bay front office did not want to add a 42-year-old who sat out for all of the 2010 season.

As expected, nothing ever came of that dinner.  The now well-run Rays don’t throw money at veterans, especially veterans that they have no use for.  Maddon was simply being nice in listening to what Sheffield had to say.

Yet, Sheffield went on to tell ESPN 1040 in Tampa on Thursday that he “felt a little disrespected” that the Rays never bothered to call him once the Winter Meetings ended.  The .292/.393/.514 career hitter said that he is now “99.9 percent” committed to retirement because his hometown team won’t have him.

That Joe Maddon is a real jerk.  Or something.