Interesting I thought at first and cheered slightly due to my lack of appreciation for this intimidating specimen at the plate.
After rationalizing this move over an evening of playing catch at the park I've come to the conclusion this is a dumb move for a few reasons.
1. They're paying him $14million to not show up so why not pay him $14 million to scare opposing pitchers with his unorthodox batting stance.
2. They have no genuine threats to replace him. Marcus Thames? Sure he can hit a lot of homeruns but so can Sheffield with a significantly higher batting average upside. Jeff Larish? Sure a ton of pop too but with a low batting average and a significant smell of AAAA player slash Dallas McPherson.
3. They could have waited a couple games and sold more tickets for the 500 HR show. Nothing wrong with releasing him after a few games after he hits his milestone. Instead all Detroit fans have a more exciting show watching another 0-7 start and a competition for last place.
I look at it this way. How many of you would tell a co-worker to leave now with full pay for a full year who was one of your most productive and reliable employees? Or would you prefer to reap the rewards from there hard work for the year and not re-sign them at the end of the season?
Either way Sheffield is gone and I hope he hits number 500 in Detroit against Detroit. The fans can wonder how there club spent $14 million on a guy playing for another team while there all being laid off from the big 3 motor companies... Maybe the Detroit management should send Xmas bonuses to there fans instead of wasting it.