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Old 01-14-2005, 10:04 AM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Mike Sweeney: Ive been Misled!

Well folks it was inevitable. This guy now wants out of town as well. Its official now, The Kansas City Royals are the worst run team in baseball:

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...s/10642207.htm


By JEFF PASSAN

The Kansas City Star


First baseman Mike Sweeney, frustrated with the Royals' shallow plunge into the off-season free-agent market, said Thursday he felt “misled” by the team's plan to build a contender around him and would not rule out trade possibilities.

Minutes before he signed a club-record five-year, $55 million contract extension March 29, 2002, Sweeney and Royals owner David Glass spoke about the team's future. Sweeney said Glass told him he planned to increase the team's payroll incrementally until it ended up in the $60 million range.

After spending $44.7 million on last season's 104-loss team, the Royals' 2005 payroll currently projects to between $41 million and $42 million.

“It looks like the plan isn't what I thought it would be,” Sweeney said. “It is a bit frustrating. I'm not the owner. And I'm not the GM. But I am a player who wants to win. It's frustrating when you're told they're going to build the team around you. I was willing to do that. I said, ‘Just show me that it'll be worth it for me.' Not financially, but just show me you're going to build a team, a winning team, around me.

“I don't feel like Mr. Glass lied to me. He's a fine man. I just feel like I've been misled a little bit.”

Glass, the Royals' owner since 2000, said he does not recall telling Sweeney about a substantial payroll increase. Nor, Glass said, does one guarantee success.

“I think Mike's just misled or doesn't understand,” he said. “I don't think the size of the payroll determines how good your team is. There were a lot of teams with a smaller payroll that won a lot more games that we did. The quality of the players matters most.

“We're putting a team together with a lot of young talent. I hope Michael wants to be a part of that.”

When general manager Allard Baird shopped around his veterans last season, Sweeney's name surfaced in trade talks. Sweeney, 31, said in mid-June he wanted to stay with the Royals.

A limited no-trade clause, along with worries about his back that caused him to miss time the last three seasons, thwarted any movement. If Sweeney were traded, the cost of his contract's final three years would jump from $33 million to $37.5 million.

Last season, the Royals traded outfielder Carlos Beltran. This off-season, they lost third baseman Joe Randa via free agency to Cincinnati. Sweeney remains the only position player from the 2000 Royals team that scored 879 runs.

And Sweeney's position on staying with the Royals, likewise, has softened.

“I'm definitely not throwing up the white flag and saying get me out of here,” he said. “But I am saying I'm frustrated. If Allard Baird came up to me and said, ‘Mike, this team who's a winner every year wants you to play first base,' I'd have to pray about it, speak to my wife, speak to my family and then make a decision.

“Would I slam the door on it? No way. I'm not 25. I'm 31 years old. Only God knows how many years I have left to play. I want a chance to play in October.”

Sweeney enters his 11th big-league season wanting to prove, above all, he can stay healthy.

Originally a catcher, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Sweeney moved to first base in 1999 and immediately became one of the American League's best hitters. His last full season came in 2001, a year after he hit .333 with 29 home runs and drove in 144 runs.

Back problems flared during 2002 and continued into last season, when Sweeney hit .287 with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs in 106 games.

With the expectations of an American League Central Division title already squashed, Sweeney missed last season's final 42 games because of a herniated disk. He has missed 146 games over the last three seasons, most because of back troubles.

“No one played better last year, including Michael,” Glass said. “He had a lousy year.”

Two weeks of fly-fishing trips with family and friends constituted Sweeney's off-season. After that, he outlined a rehabilitation plan with Robert Watkins, a back specialist in Los Angeles, and returned to Kansas City primed to work.

On Thursday, for example, Sweeney woke up at 6:30 a.m., lifted weights with his trainer for almost three hours and spent three more hours hitting, running, throwing and fielding ground balls. He followed with another hour and a half of back exercises and said he has felt pain-free in his two weeks of baseball-intensive workouts.

“For our success this season, we're a different ballclub when Mike's in the middle of the lineup,” said Baird, who would not address the possibility of trading Sweeney. “Completely different. But the overall success is going to come from the young kids stepping up to the next level. No doubt, when Mike Sweeney is not in our lineup we're a completely different team.”

With the Royals choosing to rebuild through their minor-league system instead of making free-agent splashes, they will trot out a lineup next year that includes youngsters John Buck, David DeJesus, Angel Berroa and, sooner than later, rookie Mark Teahen.

To bolster their weakness at the corner outfield spots, the Royals traded for veterans Terrence Long and Eli Marrero. Their big free-agent signing was No. 2 or 3 starter Jose Lima, and the Royals also brought in third baseman Chris Truby as a stopgap for Teahen.

“I would have liked to see them be a little more aggressive,” Sweeney said. “I didn't think our team payroll would be around what it is. When I signed my contract, I was under the impression it would start around 55 or 60 (million dollars). ... We had a great showing in 2003. I was really excited after that season. I saw what moves we made in 2004. It seemed like we were really making a push to capture the division.

“Everyone in baseball knows the Central Division is the weakest. But you have to go out there and try, make some good off-season acquisitions. Build around your veterans and hopefully supplement them with guys from the minor leagues and free agents. I'm looking at the team for '05 and it's not what I hoped it would be as far as stacking the team to win a division in 2005.

“I don't want to come off like I'm sitting back and crying because we don't have a team like the Yankees. The whole reason I'm frustrated is because when I signed my contract I was promised something else.”

Said Glass: “We don't gauge how we're doing based on how many dollars we've committed.”

Which is why, Sweeney said, he will soldier on. He wants to embody the captain's C on his chest by advising the younger players. He wants to return to his pre-injury standing.

“He wants to win, too,” Glass said. “The fact that he's frustrated is probably a good sign. If he just wanted to earn his salary and come and play and go home and not worry about it, he wouldn't be Mike Sweeney. But he also can help in that regard by being a good leader and setting a great example for the kids.

“We're all in this together.”

In the meantime, Sweeney will continue working out, remedying his back and spending time with his wife, Shara, who is expecting in August a sibling for their first child, Michael.

And, he said, he'll leave it up to Glass, Baird and the rest of the organization to assemble the winner he felt promised.

“I've never felt bad for myself and never been angry at God because I'm playing a game I love,” Sweeney said. “There are so many things that are horrible. There are people in Asia with the tsunami. There are people in Kansas City without a home. It's trivial whether the payroll is going to be $40 million or $60 million.

“I guess I'm just a man of principle. When you tell somebody something, you try to fulfill it.”
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:09 AM   #2
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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I'd like to trade him at this point. He is the highest paid player on the team, and he is basically worthless.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:10 AM   #3
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saulbadguy
I'd like to trade him at this point. He is the highest paid player on the team, and he is basically worthless.
Yep, I agree..its time to rebuild completely. At this point, its time for him to move and and be with an actually winner for once.
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning:

Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:13 AM   #4
Cochise Cochise is offline
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I can't say I really blame him for wanting to have a chance to play in october before his career is over. I mean, the guy has back trouble and is 31, he's not going to be around in 10 years. And who knows if the Royals are ever going to get this small ball thing right, or if it's even possible.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:18 AM   #5
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
And who knows if the Royals are ever going to get this small ball thing right, or if it's even possible.
Its possible, but they have people running the show who dont seem to have a clue how to do it right??? So basically, by the time they figure it out, or MLB decides to change its rules to allow profit sharing and salary caps like the NFL, it will be too late for Sweeney. I say trade him for whatever we can at this point.
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning:

Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:19 AM   #6
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I like Mike Sweeney as a guy, but as a leader, he blows.

He's not real vocal to his teammates, he's oft injured, and he's soaking up a large part of the team salary. If possible, I'd trade his ass for just about anyone right now. Preferrably a corner IF or OF player with some youth..........
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:25 AM   #7
ENDelt260 ENDelt260 is offline
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Who the hell would trade for him?
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:28 AM   #8
Sure-Oz Sure-Oz is offline
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I hope he has decent value.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ENDelt260
Who the hell would trade for him?
Therein lies the problem. Nobody wants a 31 yr DH who can fill in at 1b with a continuing back problem, not to metnion, he's making +$11MM/yr (oh, and it will be +$12MM/yr if your team wants him).........
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:34 AM   #10
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Maybe the Royals feel they were misled when they signed Sweeney. They thought they'd be getting a healthy player who was one of the elite hitters in the AL.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by siberian khatru
Maybe the Royals feel they were misled when they signed Sweeney. They thought they'd be getting a healthy player who was one of the elite hitters in the AL.
Good Point. Funny how he failed to ask God that question??
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning:

Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deberg_1990
Good Point. Funny how he failed to ask God that question??


I thought you were 'done with this team' anyway like you have said a million times before?
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:01 AM   #13
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Maybe we can get a MLB (that's middle linebacker) and another corner for him.

Let's call Washington (Nationals and Redskins)
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deberg_1990
“I'm definitely not throwing up the white flag and saying get me out of here,” he said. “But I am saying I'm frustrated. If Allard Baird came up to me and said, ‘Mike, this team who's a winner every year wants you to play first base,' I'd have to pray about it, speak to my wife, speak to my family and then make a decision.

“Would I slam the door on it? No way. I'm not 25. I'm 31 years old. Only God knows how many years I have left to play. I want a chance to play in October.”
If Mike can stay healthy this year, he'll get the chance to play in October:

The Royals have games at the Sky Dome on Oct. 1 and 2.

I'm betting that Mike won't be playing . . .

--Infidel Goat
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saulbadguy
I'd like to trade him at this point. He is the highest paid player on the team, and he is basically worthless.
Ask him to take a pay cut, then see how bad he wants to win.

The Royals are spending 1/4 of their payroll on a guy who if we're lucky, will play 100 games this year, at least half of those as a DH. It's moves like this that make me think Allard needs to go back to scouting and leave the GM job to somebody else.
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