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Sheffield claims he's being 'blocked' from speaking to The Boss

According to the Associated Press.

NEW YORK -- Gary Sheffield said he's being blocked by "middle men" from speaking with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner about his desire to stay in New York and will comply with the team's request to form a list of clubs he'd prefer to be traded to.

New York exercised Sheffield's $13 million option last weekend, blocking him from becoming a free agent. The Yankees acquired right fielder Bobby Abreu in July while Sheffield was injured and appear to be preparing to trade him before next season.

"My situation, honestly, the truth about it, I never was comfortable," Sheffield said Wednesday night at the opening of the Brooklyn Diner's Times Square location. "I was always feeling a little insecure about where I fit here and where I belonged, or do they want me here? And I had to play on those terms, and I was being a man about it and going out and trying to do my job under the conditions."

Sheffield joined the Yankees before the 2004 season, personally negotiating a $39 million, three-year contract with Steinbrenner, his Tampa-area neighbor.

Steinbrenner has cut back on his public involvement with the team, and the 76-year-old owner fainted Oct. 29, the second time he fainted in public in three years. Sheffield said he didn't speak with Steinbrenner "just because of his health."

"If it wasn't for his health, I'd have made that conversation happen, but my situation ain't worth that to me," Sheffield said, adding that "you've got middle men blocking him. ... They get in the way and their personal feelings get in the way."

Sheffield wouldn't identify the people he was referring to.

Reached later, general manager Brian Cashman declined comment.

Read more.

Update [2006-11-9 5:29:9 by anaconda]: Sheff taking more cheap shots at Yankees

This story from the NY Times describes his latest attacks in typical Sheffield fashion.

However, I found this to be quite interesting:

Asked if life with the Yankees had been everything he might have expected, Sheffield answered flatly: ?I will tell you that not everything is rosy in Yankeeland. It?s all a facade ? it ain?t real.?

None of this should surprise anyone who knows Gary Sheffield, but this guy truly is a piece of work. I think it's safe to expect more cheap shots to follow in the upcoming days or weeks until he is finally gone.