Mike Sweeney Is An Idiot

Dave · May 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Fernando Rodney walked the bases loaded. Fernando Rodney threw Mike Sweeney eight pitches. Zero of them were strikes. Mike Sweeney made an out anyways.

Mike Sweeney is Yuniesky Betancourt without the defensive value.


92 Responses to “Mike Sweeney Is An Idiot”

  1. Brzeczyszczykiewicza on May 8th, 2010 10:46 pm

    Everyone is saying Jose Guillen, but wouldn’t DeJesus be a better Royal to get? And weren’t the Royals looking to trade him? And it’s still Dayton Moore so I bet we can still get him cheap.

  2. Diehard on May 8th, 2010 10:47 pm

    Look at the moves of this management team:

    Guti: Good move
    Jack Wilson: mediocre
    Eric Byrnes : bust
    Milton Bradley: bust
    Kotchman: so far not good
    Figgins: so far not good
    Keeping Griffey and Sweeney: not good

    Sweeney is an easy whipping boy. I think the problem may be alot bigger than that.

    This is the product of Jack Z focusing on improving pitching and defense first and trying to patch up the offense until he has the right guys to bring in or develop. The pitching is here, the defense is good. If we had a league average offense, this team would likely be at or above .500 right now.

  3. visbea on May 8th, 2010 10:48 pm

    Instead of a boycott, I would like to see an organized group of people go to a game with a posterboard sign that says SWEENEY. And once we got them in the ballpark, we’d all tape a piece of paper that reads: DFA on the SWEENEY posterboard and hold the signs up at the end of every inning.

    (sometimes the ballpark attendants try to discourage you from bringing in negative signs)

  4. davepaisley on May 8th, 2010 10:54 pm

    Pizza out and Iron Man 2 was WAAAAAYYYY better than this crap.

    The Sweeney double means six more weeks of winter, so yeah, nothing getting better sooner.

    Of course, they are going to have to make a move of some sort, even if it’s just to jolt the team psychologically, so maybe we do get to see Jose Guillen again.


  5. Chris_From_Bothell on May 8th, 2010 11:03 pm

    Still believe in this front office?
    Still believe in Wak?
    How many more days of running out this kind of “talent” before we say the plan was fundamentally flawed?

  6. PackBob on May 8th, 2010 11:08 pm

    Now the Mariners have the 2 worst ABs of the decade.

  7. CarpCarter on May 8th, 2010 11:12 pm

    Still believe in this front office?
    Still believe in Wak?

    No and nope.

  8. visbea on May 8th, 2010 11:13 pm

    I DO NOT want Jose Guillen on this team.

    Do I still believe in the FO?

    Yes. If everyone was hitting how they were expected, we would be playing .500 baseball. The “mistakes” that the FO is guilty of are:

    (1) signing Griffey back for one more year (but I’m not sure that was actually Jack’s decision)

    (2) Taking Sweeney instead of Garko (but have you seen how Garko is hitting for Texas, and having Garko instead of Sweeney hit twice a week is worth was projected to be what worth .2 WAR?)

    Do I believe in Wak? Less and less each day. His bullpen usage, pitch-hitting, I assume he had a hand in keeping Sweeney, and the RUNNING, oh, the running. And it is starting to piss me off that he doesn’t argue ANYTHING. If he does go out to argue, its very cordial, just for clarification. Even Griffey in his FSN interview said (jokely, but I think seriously) that the only thing that could have been better about last year was if Wak got thrown out of a ballgame.

  9. GarForever on May 8th, 2010 11:15 pm

    this is seriously un-entertaining, time-wasting bullshit.


    My only solace is that my teething, 3-1/2 month old son was inconsolable for most of the game (at least I assume that was the source of his agonized screams; maybe I’ve already visited the curse of my team preference upon him, and even he’s perspicacious enough to see how bad this team sucks, and it REALLY upsets him). Since I was attending to him, I couldn’t really do anything but watch the game, or something that was a better use of my time, like watching paint dry or dust collect. At least tonight, Sweeney’s dumbass 9th inning AB notwithstanding, they looked like a major league team. A bad major league team, but still…

    Until Sweeney’s gone, I am.

  10. wetzelcoatl on May 8th, 2010 11:18 pm

    Look at the moves of this management team:

    Guti: Good move
    Jack Wilson: mediocre
    Eric Byrnes : bust
    Milton Bradley: bust
    Kotchman: so far not good
    Figgins: so far not good
    Keeping Griffey and Sweeney: not good

    Sweeney is an easy whipping boy. I think the problem may be alot bigger than that.

    Ok i see a few problems here. First off Bradley is hardly a bust seeing as we got him in exchange for Carlos Silva so even if he doesn’t produce and never takes another at bat in an Ms uniform we didn’t give anything up. Also Kotchman and Figgins have only been slightly bellow what was advertised, solid defense, mediocre at the plate. Also you are forgetting some other positive moves especially picking up Branyan last year as well as Aradsma who along with Guti pretty much make up the Jack Z triple play of low cost high reward acquisitions. Also League for Morrow could end up being a positive move especially when you consider how well our starters have been without Morrow. So while there have been some busts I don’t think you can really say that Jack Z has don’t anything but a good job overall not to mention the fact that really who else was available to play short or first at a price we could afford?

  11. fremont on May 8th, 2010 11:19 pm

    OK, it feels good to go after some of the players, e.g., our Designated Huggers. But, we’re going to have to commit heresy and point a finger where it belongs: Manager Don Wakamatsu. How many times does some misbegotten “belief system” prevent him from creating good matchups in the late innings of tight games? There was zero reason to send Sweeney to the plate against Rodney. For gawdsakes, send Griffey–but not Sweeney.

    My prediction? Wak is wearing out his welcome. He is a large part of the problem.

  12. aaron c. on May 8th, 2010 11:30 pm

    Still believe in this front office?

    Seriously? Come on. Sweeney and Griffey are annoying, but when you take over an organization with as many problems as this one the only way to build a competitive roster quickly is to accept some risk. That risk paid off in a lot of ways last year. It hasn’t so far this year.

    There’s no reason to be reactionary when a scenario that everyone acknowledged as a possibility comes to fruition.

  13. the tourist on May 8th, 2010 11:52 pm

    Still believe in this front office?

    Very much, yes. Probably even more so because of how horrible the previous front office was. Now it’s just time to wait for Jack to draft us a Fielder and a Braun. 🙂

  14. Liam on May 9th, 2010 12:35 am

    For Griffey and Sweeney: Bad Process, Bad Outcome: Poetic Justice.

    For everyone else: Good Process, Bad Outcome: Bad Break.

  15. Seattleken on May 9th, 2010 12:42 am

    Still believe in this front office?

    Yes I still believe in Jack, overall he’s made positive moves and is very good at getting cheap undervalued players.

    Where I disagree with him and the majority of the M’s community thinking this team was a 90 win club. Their run diff was awful just like 2007, and like Bavasi he overestimated his team value.

    So moves focused on win in 2010 have hurt.

    Trading Morrow for League – hurts as Toronto may have a wonderful power arm rotation by 2012 even though I like League hes just a setup guy.

    Signing Figgans for 4 years – I thought would be awful in years 3 and 4 looks like we wont even get our 9M worth in year one.

    Getting Lee for so cheap was great, so that in my mind was a huge win even though it was a move for 2010 – I’d be moving him in June for two top prospects and upgrade our bad farm system.

    So overall I’m very pleased with Jack, as atleast his moves make sense and he does find gems on the trash heap – he just needs to realize that you can’t win consistently without a balanced team of pitching, defense and offense.

  16. scott19 on May 9th, 2010 12:43 am

    Rodney hadn’t thrown a strike since George Washington was in the British army!
    Oh, that’s the problem: Sweeney hasn’t been a good hitter since before that.

    LOL…that’s too funny!! 🙂

    Actually, an uncle of mine from Michigan who’s a die-hard Tiger fan, had absolutely nothing positive to say about the Fernando Rodney “experience” there last year, either. So, that pretty much tells ya where the Hugmeister is these days when he can’t even do jack with the bases loaded against a guy who’s, at best, a Jose Mesa wannabee.

  17. low on May 9th, 2010 12:51 am

    On the plus side it is exciting to see Michael Saunders get a shot to play left field on a regular basis. It’d be pretty hard for him to be worse than he was last year. Maybe he can help bring the team out of its collective slump.

    I’m particularly looking forward to Saunders’ first major league home run. I’m predicting… Tuesday.

  18. beadyeyes123 on May 9th, 2010 1:06 am

    I’m still sold on Wak and Jack and as much as I am angry like you guys it’s tough to read you guys slagging on him for hitters WHO SHOULD BE hitting (ahem Ichiro, Figgy, Kotch, even Lopez and his ridiculous OBP should be around .250-.260 with some power right now).

    I firmly believe Jack would make a trade now if somebody was dealing. Face it guys, nobody wants to deal decent players at this point in the season. If they were, Jack would pull the trigger.

  19. beadyeyes123 on May 9th, 2010 1:13 am

    Wak does need to do something about the bullpen. Why are we carrying 7 relievers when he leaves Aardsma out there to start a second inning of relief. Anybody else feel strange about that move?

    I get it, he’s “saving” the bp but really…get rid of the extra pitcher and put another body on the bench. Either that or Dave has it right, you can’t carry that useless extra pitcher (Sean White) and carry two useless DHs who can’t play the field anymore.

  20. Gomez on May 9th, 2010 1:23 am

    After he swung at that second ball, a) I had a pretty good feeling the plate appearance wasn’t going to end well and b) there would be much howling about it, and understandably so.

    On the bright side, Ichiro had himself a good game at the plate, Franklin is still terrific in CF and Brandon League threw another solid inning.

  21. Lefebvre_Belebvre on May 9th, 2010 1:33 am

    I think this headline is a bit harsh.

    I watched Sweeney’s AB and I don’t remember thinking on any of his swings “Damn! Why did he swing at that crap?”

    Even by the chart you posted, pitches 1, 2, 4, 8 look like they could go either way in an umps opinion. Plus, we know how horribly unreliable pitch location charts are.

    If he didn’t swing at the last pitch and they called him out on strikes everyone would be ripping him a new one for taking such a close pitch.

    Just saying. Calling him an idiot and ripping on him for this game is pretty weak. Especially when he’s had one of only two at-bats in the last 100 (estimate) to actually drive in a run for the team.

    The problems are so deep that blaming our back-up DH seems like the least of our worries. How about the fact that our 7, 8, 9 hitters are the weakest in baseball.

    Whenever they come up the pitcher breathes a sigh of relief knowing he is going to A) have an easy inning, or B) be able to get out of any jam he may have gotten into with the hitters in front of them (which hasn’t happened often, I admit.)

    As for those ripping Wak and Z. Maybe you should try a different form of entertainment. The Putz-Guti trade alone buys him 2 more years before anyone should even think of questioning Z.

    This is only Year 2 of cleaning up the Bavasi mess. Can we wait until some of his draft picks and the restocking of the farm system has taken hold before we even comment on cleaning house?

    All that being said. This team SUCKS and is brutal to watch!! Which is why God invented the DVR. Just fast forward through the game and watch the good parts.

    But even in this darkest hour we still hope and pray they can do what the Rockies have done in recent years.

  22. TerryMc on May 9th, 2010 1:41 am

    I’m not all up in arms…

    Yes, I absolutely wanted Sweeney to leave his bat on his shoulder, but I watched those pitches and unlike the previous at-bats where the balls were a mile out of the strike zone, Rodney was throwing up borderline pitches. Once Sweeney had two strikes (in my opinion) the pitches were close enough that I couldn’t see laying off them. I hated the results and was upset with one of the early non two strike swings but I’m not going to jump off the cliff with Dave on this one over a nice graphic of the at-bat.

  23. jephdood on May 9th, 2010 2:26 am

    Geoff Baker advocating Sweeney be given (get this) MORE playing time.

    Brilliant! (wank)

  24. KaminaAyato on May 9th, 2010 3:17 am

    I still believe in the front office and management.

    It may be frustrating given that while we’ve been able to upgrade defense at the cost of the offense, but given the state of the market, that was the commodity that he could take advantage of.

    It’s been just over a year, and people are already questioning the FO?


    Nobody wants to look long term. A chunk of you who primarily post on the gameday posts want to win NOW. And while that’s good and all, if we were to have tried to win now and blow up the future again, is that what we really wanted? And what if it didn’t work? You just wasted a year in the rebuilding process if not more. For all we know, Z was trying to get that offensive bat, but teams realized that if the M’s got that offensive bat or two they needed, they’d be pretty scary. So what if they decided to black-ball the M’s this season to prevent that?

    See, when the Cliff Lee trade went down my first thought was that it was a way to trade Bavasi’s prospects for Z’s prospects in 2011 plus get a rental Cy Young for a year. I didn’t even think about trying to win the division. I figured that he was trying to build the foundation (Guti, Ichiro, Figgins, Felix) and go from there.

    What’s been bugging me more is the part of the fanbase who go to games and do nothing but complain. If you don’t want to watch the games, then don’t. I certainly don’t need you there. If you don’t want to give the FO time to build it their way, because heaven forbid that it take them *gasp* more than 2 off-seasons to turn a team into a contender, then I don’t need you there either.

    On Friday night, I wanted a base hit from someone so all the people staying to possibly see a no-hitter would leave. And after the half-inning when Junior got a hit, I saw at least 25% of the field level leave.

    I’ll still watch the games. Sure, the baseball the M’s play isn’t exciting. No one’s going to wow the crowd with spectacular shots. But if I had it my way, and if it was possible (and if I could afford it), I’d be out there in the bleachers each game with a large M’s flag waving it and doing chants for each batter because it would be what I could do for the team (It’s just not possible because they don’t allow noisemakers and I’m not creative enough to think of good cheers for each player.). Sure, I beat the Japanese side to death here, but if the Sounders can do it, and the Seahawks do it, the M’s sure as hell could and should.

    That’s what I’m frustrated about.

  25. GarForever on May 9th, 2010 6:11 am


    Well put regarding the need for some patience. I think Jack Z and Wak are victims of their own success to a certain degree, having perhaps unreasonably raised expectations prematurely through what happened in 2009 and the apparent coups of this past off-season (Lee, Figgins, even unloading Silva’s contract for someone who is at least potentially productive). I certainly believe that Z’s and his team’s ability to evaluate talent is far better than Bavasi’s, and that he at least has a philosophy, and I applaud the current M’s front office for not overpaying for offense, especially in doling out what are almost certain to be really bad contracts for guys like Jason Bay and Matt Holliday.

    All that having been said:

    I think we as fans have every right to be upset when we see the team doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result: in other words, the definition of insanity. At some point, Wakamatsu is going to have to get over his phobia for pinch-hitting, and he and Z both need to get their heads wrapped around the fact that Sweeney is no longer a major league hitter (that double he hit is an example of “even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then,” and unfortunately will probably suffice to buy him at least three more weeks on the club). Though he didn’t do it last night, the time will come soon enough when Wak puts Sean White — a mediocre pitcher on his best day — back into a high leverage situation. We can still be passionate about the team, still believe in the overall direction of the FO philosophy, and still have every right to get upset about watching the manager make infuriating decisions that don’t put the team in the best position to win, or get upset that the team looks chronically lost at the plate outside of two guys, or rail against what appears from the outside looking in to be an entirely emotional and irrational FO decision to keep TWO DHs that can’t hit quality major league pitching.

    Do I think that Wakamatsu overall is a good manager? Yes, better than most. Do I think he does some extremely stupid things, like not reminding Sweeney not to take the bat off its moorings before Rodney — a guy who just walked the bases loaded — threw him two strikes, yes I do.

  26. TiltedMug on May 9th, 2010 7:27 am

    Yes, it’s all Sweeney’s fault! It’s your fault 6 guys in the lineup were hitting less than .200, Lopez is at .215, and one of the six is hitting below .100. That’s all on you Sweeney, you bad person type hitter who had an RBI in the game and was inches from lacing the game winning single down the 3rd base line. Lets all blame Sweeney. Good grief.

  27. flashbeak on May 9th, 2010 7:34 am

    How about let Felix batting DH?
    He hits a grandslam against Johan Santana in 2008 as I recalled…

    I was at that game!

  28. flashbeak on May 9th, 2010 7:36 am

    Yes, it’s all Sweeney’s fault! It’s your fault 6 guys in the lineup were hitting less than .200, Lopez is at .215, and one of the six is hitting below .100. That’s all on you Sweeney, you bad person type hitter who had an RBI in the game and was inches from lacing the game winning single down the 3rd base line. Lets all blame Sweeney. Good grief.

    See, the thing is, we all know Sweeney can’t hit and will never hit again. We know he brings us zero defensive value and is essentially a waste of a roster spot. Those guys, well, we’re expecting positive regression to the mean to give them a little kick. Sweeney is a lost cause. The fact that he’s batting in high leverage situations tell us that this team doesn’t want to win quite enough.

  29. JMHawkins on May 9th, 2010 8:00 am

    Do I still believe in the FO?

    Yes, but I’m starting to have my doubts. The inexplicable dumb moves, and the lack of doing anything to correct them, has me wondering. Were the good moves sheer luck? Was the Guti trade the FO equivalent of Sweeney’s double last night? I hope not, but frankly, Sweeney’s bases-loaded groundout was the on-field equivalent of having Sweeney in the starting lineup last night.

  30. SunDevil1 on May 9th, 2010 8:13 am

    I read Baker’s blog comments as a direct slam on Dave.

  31. flashbeak on May 9th, 2010 8:24 am

    Quite frankly, I am convinced Geoff Baker knows nothing about baseball. He’s a career journalist. In two years, he could be writing for Cosmopolitan. I’m sorry, but anyone who has a strong feeling that everyday playing time for Mike Sweeney could solve our offensive woes, then I’m not going to take their baseball analysis seriously.

  32. Rick Banjo on May 9th, 2010 8:38 am

    He’s a career journalist.

    I wouldn’t even go that far. He’s a damned clown who knows making people upset gets him more reads.

    And yes, I still believe in the FO, but they need to see this for what it is becoming.

  33. Liam on May 9th, 2010 8:54 am

    Yes, it’s all Sweeney’s fault!

    I know, he didn’t even do anything.

    A league average hitter is a replacement level DH, so more is expected from him and Griffey than the rest.

  34. msb on May 9th, 2010 9:10 am

    Quite frankly, I am convinced Geoff Baker knows nothing about baseball. He’s a career journalist. In two years, he could be writing for Cosmopolitan.

    FWIW, he’s been a baseball writer for 12 years.

  35. G-Man on May 9th, 2010 9:15 am

    I agree with more playing time for Sweeney. The sooner he gets enough AB’s to convince management he sucks, the sooner he’s released.

    And the one he’d be keeping on the bench would be Jr. – no significant loss.

  36. ctdawg on May 9th, 2010 9:56 am

    A boycott is the dumbest idea ever. What is that going to prove? I’ve read a couple articlethat say that the Mariners are looking for offensive help but no one is willing to deal this early in the season. Do you want the team to overpay for a mediocre bat but that may or may not help? Impact bats aren’t available right now. I think the best course will be to wait until Bedard comes back and then see what they can get for hyphen, Vargas or Fister. There will definitely be a team looking for pitching at that point.

    As for the Sweeney at-bat last night, that umpire was all over the place. Sweeney ripped that pitch early in the at-bat just foul down the line, inches away from winning the game. After getting a couple good cuts in, he had to protect the plate.

  37. Liam on May 9th, 2010 10:09 am

    I think the best course will be to wait until Bedard comes back and then see what they can get for hyphen, Vargas or Fister.

    There’s a decent chance that Lee, Bedard and Snell won’t be with the team next season so RRS, Vargas and Fister are not as expendable as people would think.

  38. terry on May 9th, 2010 10:31 am

    Geoff Baker advocating Sweeney be given (get this) MORE playing time.

    Brilliant! (wank)

    Was that before or after GB argued Guillen is the answer?

    The guy has jumped the shark.

  39. Gomez on May 9th, 2010 10:40 am

    Baker is who he is, but there’s a point inside one of his inflammatory remarks. Three of those pitches MIGHT have been strikes to the umpire if taken (remember that the digital box is simply a guide, the zone is at the umpire’s discretion and everyone, pitcher catcher hitter and umpire, knows it… which affects decision making).

    But Sweeney could have taken the rest, and to say there was nothing wrong with him swinging at as many as he did isn’t totally accurate. A vet should have a sense of where the strike zone ends, understand the game situation and know when to back off a pitch.

  40. Utis on May 9th, 2010 11:18 am

    Sweeney is far from being the biggest problem. For one thing, he doesn’t play every day. The Kotchman and Figgins gambles are failing on as big a scale as the Branyan gamble worked. Kotchman is 1 for 31 during this homestand and he has been batting 3rd. Kotchman is performing at the level of a late inning defensive replacement 1st baseman which perhaps is all that we could have expected. Figgins is walking and that’s about it. He needs to move to the lead off spot to maximize his skill set. With this lineup, Ichiro should be hitting third. It’s not his ideal spot but he is one of the only guys on this team who might consistently drive in some runs.

    Yes, having a power bat at C or DH or LF or 3B or SS would allow the team to carry weak production at 1B and 2B. However, the team knew what it had when the plan was made. The flaws of the defense + OBA plan are now being revealed but they were not unknwn (They were discussed here). It seems unfair to blame Sweeney for the failure of the plan. It was a risky plan.

    Fortunately, because of the weak division, Jack Z still has time to make some adjustments. Should the team not be able to adjust, I have confidence he will make good moves if we become sellers.

  41. scott19 on May 9th, 2010 1:00 pm

    There’s a decent chance that Lee, Bedard and Snell won’t be with the team next season so RRS, Vargas and Fister are not as expendable as people would think.

    Agreed, Liam. I’ve noticed some of this “we should move this guy or that guy” talk lately due to the chronic lack of offense and a perceived “glut” in starting pitching (particularly left-handed)…yet a lot of those same folks will be crying the blues for pitching depth next year at this same time when the first three are likely playing somewhere else.

  42. tykris928 on May 10th, 2010 7:34 pm

    It should be Sweeney getting released!!! Griffey may fall asleep in the clubhouse, but worse is Sweeney continueously falling asleep in the batters box!!! I’ll pay money to see the M’s with a washed up future HOFer but not a washed up nobody.

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