According to the AP Wire, Mike Sweeney has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later and/or cash considerations. And so ends another chapter of the Mariners 2010 season.
I am happy that I got to see Mike Sweeney yesterday down in Tacoma go 3-4 including two home runs. Sweeney deserves to go to a team that intends to use him rather than languish here in Seattle unwanted. I am happy for Mike, yet a bit sad to see this wonderful player leave without even another chance to see him play with the big club.
Sweeney plays the game with heart and passion and I wish him well in his future. This move makes sense for the Mariners, as they are out of the race and need to focus on re-building with guys like Justin Smoak, Ackley, Saunders etc. I had a feeling after watching yesterday’s game in Tacoma something had to happen soon with this veteran, and though I was hoping Sweeney would be coming back to Seattle, I was sort of expecting something like this development.
Truth is that Sweeney has forced the Mariners to keep him around since spring training even though he wasn’t part of the future. Sweeney hit well for both the Mariners and the Rainiers this year and I look for him to be productive for the Phillies.
Just like Griffey, we will probably not get a farewell event with Sweeney and he will fade into the memories of Seattle fans along with countless other players that have passed through town on their way to greener pastures. I loved watching Sweeney dig-in at the plate and take those big hacks like he did yesterday at Cheney Stadium.
Sweeney took a lot of heat locally in the press and blogosphere all year for being a friendly guy who was always smiling and hugging other players. But even some of the local cynical types begrudgingly gave him some respect this year as he proved he could still produce just like in his All-Star days with the Kansas City Royals. As his stats show here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/sweenmi01.shtml Sweeney has a career .298 average since coming-up with the Royals in 1995.
Mike Sweeney is a class-act in an era where most sport figures are selfish and only concerned with their image and next year’s salary. We were lucky to have him around here for a couple of years and hope he knows that many of us appreciated not only what he did, but who he was.