Today the Royals signed Mike Sweeney to the ominous one day contract, after which he announced his retirement.(Obviously) It's swell that he was able to retire a Royal. But deep down I wonder how much those last couple of years with the A's, and Mariners/Phillies hurt his image in Kc.
Mike was (and still is) a awesome guy, a true champion both on the field and maybe even more so off. What he had to endure as Royals team captain, as the teams figurehead through some of the most horrid and downright hellish times is unbelievable. And not just the crap on the baseball field, but the belittling by ignorant drunkards with there shouts of "Sweeney Sucks".(Very original) In fact several times I almost got in a fight with such douche's. Mainly due to the fact that Mike was my sister's favorite baseball player, and those shouts really made her upset.
Sure Sweeney's back problems are well documented and the simple what if's are so many. But IMO had he been able to play at 100 percent between 03 - 07 things would certainly have been different for the Royals.
When Sweeney left in 2008 the man took out a full page add in the Kc Star thanking the fans.
Sweeney was one of a kind ballplayer and perhaps one of the last people to ever wear a "C" on their Royals uniform.
On many occasions I was able to call a Mike Sweeney home run before the pitch, he was one of those rare players that every now and then you could feel was about to do something and he'd never disappointed.
If I ever had any beef with Mike it'd be that I once sent him a baseball card in the mail and asked if he could please sign it for my sister a huge fan of his, so I could surprise her with it. Interestingly enough I got several autographs that summer by writing my favorite players, but Sweeney was not one of them. Now four years later my sister has grown up and really doesn't care about baseball anymore.
Certainly Mike is one of a kind and most likely a future Royals Hall Of Famer, but forever to me he'll be:
#29 Mike Sweeney .