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Gary Sheffield


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Sheff does a hatchet job on Jeter, A-Rod

Catch more of Gary Sheffield all weekend as the New York Yankees battle your Toronto Blue Jays only on Rogers Sportsnet.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Gary Sheffield knows who leads the New York Yankees, and it apparently isn't Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez.

Sheffield all but appointed himself the Yankees' most valuable player in an interview with New York magazine, accusing reporters of distorting the truth and ruining team chemistry.

"I know who the leader is on the team," Sheffield told the magazine. "I ain't going to say who it is, but I know who it is. I know who the team feeds off. I know who the opposing team comes in knowing they have to defend to stop the Yankees.

"I know this. The people don't know. Why? The media don't want them to know. They want to promote two players in a positive light, and everyone else is garbage."

Sheffield was batting .302 this season entering Friday night's game against Toronto, a percentage point behind Jeter and well behind Rodriguez's team leading .316.

Rodriguez also leads in home runs (30) and RBIs (85). Sheffield's 21 homers and 81 RBIs are tied for second in both categories.

Sheffield said the heavy scrutiny that goes with playing in New York inhibits friendships in the locker room.

"This is the first team I've been on where no one sits at their locker," he said. "It's where you build your chemistry, just talking about life. I'm used to having six chairs around me, but here if there are six chairs, then there's going to be 20 reporters."

Even if the clubhouse were less hectic, Sheffield said he wouldn't grow too close to any teammates.

"I don't trust that many people," he told New York. "Just my mother and my wife and a couple of friends. When I trust people, it doesn't end well."

Sheffield was never known for his congeniality during tumultuous stops in Milwaukee and Los Angeles. He blamed the media for his reputation.

"It happens because you're white and I'm black," Sheffield said. "My interpretation of things is different. You don't see it the way I see it. You write how you understand it, how you would articulate it, not how I, as a black man, would articulate it."

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