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He’ll be missed …

One of the classier players in major league baseball walked out of the A’s clubhouse for good today, as Mike Sweeney was released to make room on the 40-man roster for third baseman Jeff Baisley, who was called up from Triple-A. Sweeney was hobbled by bad knees this season but was activated last week and has been saying he’s 100 percent.

This likely brings his impressive career to a close, since Sweeney said last week that he needs more surgery on his knees and that 2008 could very well be his final season. Doesn’t seem like the right way for this career to end, does it? He’s a five-time All-Star, to say nothing of the fact he’s stuck on 199 homers and a .299 career batting average. Sweeney hardly says a bad word about anybody, but he made it clear — in his polite manner, of course — that he didn’t agree with the A’s decision. He also took the time to address the team as a group when the news came down, just to reiterate how much he enjoyed playing with them. When the A’s signed him after he played 13 seasons with Kansas City, a Royals writer told me Sweeney was one of the 10 nicest people he had come across in his life. Having known the guy for just one season, I can’t really argue that point.

From the A’s perspective, they want to give Baisley a shot considering third base is such a question mark right now (with Chavez’s health troubles and Hannahan’s hitting struggles.) They didn’t want to bump a valued prospect off the 40-man roster, expose him to waivers and have him get claimed by another team. Just seems to me that Sweeney deserves a better send-off if this is the end of the line …

Joe Stiglich

  • http://www.timelinemp.com Danny

    I’m shocked that he didn’t have more of a say in this. I expected this to be an amicable parting of ways, like that last double in Baltimore just took it out of him and he knew he was done.

    But then again, this new version of Athletics baseball doesn’t have much of a soul does it? We’re cutting loose or trading anybody for any reason. It speaks again to why nobody is coming out to these games. For me, I’m not disappointed in the players nearly as much as I’m losing respect for the front office.

    Sweeney deserved better than this. Maybe KC will pick him up for the remainder of the season and let him retire as a Royal with dignity. God Bless Mr. Sweeney.

  • Son of Hendu

    Jack “Hammer Hands” and Daric “Louganis” Barton shouldn’t be given the right to hold one of Sweeney bats.

    Sweeney is a pro’s pro. He could of went Milton and bad mouthed his way out the door. But he is class act.

    Sweeney desevred better. If the A’s were in the race, Sweeney would still be here. Thanks Mike. I wish we would of got you years ago.

  • Byron Shirley

    Sweeney deserved better, but I also see the flip side of the coin and think we need to find a replacement at 3B soon.

  • Bee

    There is never an easy way to say good bye to a valued veteran who is at the end of his career. I certainly understand the need to protect our prospects that we obtained at high price, but I think the A’s could have had some kind of public recognition of Sweeney and the gentleman he is, say at Thursday’s game–a farewell thing right before the game. For him to say that he didn’t agree with the decision, speaks volumes. Mr. Positive remained positive even when he was pissed.

    Much as I love Jack Hannahan as a person and on defense, we need someone who can hit at the hot corner, and someone else with a decent bat at first. Spring Training will be interesting. I am not sure we will ever see Chavy back to decent health so we need to be looking for his replacement now, and it seems like that is what the A’s are doing. Maybe Hannahan, Barton, Pennington, Murphy, Baisley, etc. can do winter ball or an extensive hitting program in the off-season and come into Spring Training hitting well. It will be fun to watch it all unfold in Arizona.

    I’ll miss Mike Sweeney. I am sorry his two knee surgeries didn’t do it for him. If he needs more surgery, it’s not worth the risk of losing a top prospect. I think he should retire. He’ll do it with class and grace.

  • Scott No2

    No matter what, Sweeney would have been gone by next year. Actually I was surprised the A’s signed him.

    No doubt about his career, awesome numbers. but he is so injury prone. it ruined his career.

    See ya.

  • Scott -3

    Mike Sweeney is a total stud – shame on the A’s management for creating this ugly situation. They should have let him retire with the class a person of his caliber deserves. Karma will bite the A’s in the Arse.