Newsday’s Neil Best is the lucky recipient of an HBO screener, and once again, we’re left in pure awe at the quote machine that is the Tigers’ Gary Sheffield.
Gary Sheffield (above, left) asserts black and white players are treated differently under Yankees manager Joe Torre, says Derek Jeter “ain’t all the way black,” and denies he ever has used steroids because “steroids is something you shoot in your butt” in an eye-opening interview with Andrea Kremer for the next edition of HBO’s “Real Sports,” debuting at 10 p.m. Tuesday night.
In the middle of the interview, Kremer reports that Sheffield believes white and black players are coached differently, then asks him to name teams on which they are not coached the same. He immediately answers: “The Yankees.”
How so? “I know when I was there the couple of blacks that were there, every one of them had an issue with the organization,” he says. Kremer asks him whether by “organization,” he means George Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman or Joe Torre.
“They had an issue with Joe Torre,” Sheffield says. “They weren’t treated like everybody else. I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought were unfair.”
Kremer presses for details and he says, “He had a message to get across to the whole team, so he used me to get the message across.”
And he never did that with white players? “No . . . I’d see a lot of white players get called in the office and treated like a man. That’s the difference.”
Kremer points out that the Yankees’ most prominent player is black. “Who?” Sheffield says. Derek Jeter. “Derek Jeter is black and white.” Kremer then confirms that Jeter is half black and half white. “Exactly,” Sheffield responds.
Kremer asks what the significance of that is. “There’s really no significance. You just ain’t all the way black,” he says.
Later, Kremer asks Sheffield about his alleged steroid use, including his grand jury testimony that he used steroid cream on his legs and liquid (or “clear”) under his tongue.
He says he started using those products when Barry Bonds, his workout partner at the time, saw his stash of vitamins and yelled, “What are you taking that stuff for? It’s stupid.”
So he got the other substances from BALCO, not knowing they were in effect steroids. In fact, he still denies every taking steroids, even though he was told the clear was for “muscle recovery, like when you lift weights you can recover.”
He said, “In a million years, I don’t care what anybody says, steroids is something you shoot in your butt. I do know that . . . The bottom line is steroids is something you stick in your butt “- period.”
Sheffield wonders why “if I took what Barry Bonds took, why don’t I look like him?”