posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 01:47 PM
-- Gary Sheffield is hitting .295 with 26 home runs and 83 RBI in the first year of a three-year $39 million contract with the New York Yankees.
The Yankees' 35-year-old right fielder has made more than $90 million during his 17-year career and is comfortable enough, he says, that he could walk
away from the $26 million remaining on his contract.
More numbers: Sheffield's had one cortisone shot this season for the chronic pain in his left shoulder and will have another when the Yankees return
to New York later in the month.
In an interview reported by the New York Times Thursday, Sheffield said the mental and physical pain caused by what has been described as bursitis in
his shoulder makes it possible he will retire following this season.
Asked whether he ever thinks about retirement, he said, according to the Times, "All the time."
Sheffield also has a damaged acromioclavicular joint in the shoulder and when the joint is disrupted, as can happen with a checked swing, it can
result in a shoulder separation. Furthermore, he's also playing with a torn ligament in his right thumb.
Manager Joe Torre said team trainers have told him Sheffield can't damage the shoulder further through normal baseball activity, though Sheffield did
hurt himself on a checked swing in Tuesday's 7-1 loss to Texas.
"Some days are worse than others where you can't deal with it mentally or you want to quit the game altogether," Sheffield said Wednesday.
If the Yankees win the World Series, Sheffield said, it would probably make retiring easier.
"I know what I can do and I know the level I can go to, and I planned on going to that level when I became a Yankee," Sheffield said. "I haven't been
able to do that, and that's what's frustrating."