Mike Sweeney has to get on a plane to Philadelphia. But he took time this afternoon to drop by the clubhouse and say goodbye to all of his teammates. Gave each of them a hug, I’m told.
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu has always been a huge Sweeney backer. Was instrumental in him coming here to Seattle and then in making the team out of spring training this year. The two had met while working together in Oakland in 2008.
“He just came in and said goodbye to everybody, he was catching a flight a little bit later to Philly,” Wakamatsu said. “He picked up his stuff, touched as many people as he could and then went on his way. He hugged everybody. Hugged my son. Spread a little love before he left.”
Wakamatsu said he’ll remember many things that separated Sweeney from other players.
“The passion,” he said. “How much he cared about other people rather than himself. How much he played recklessly regardless of his body. He’d go in there and run over the catcher. He’d go in there hurt. He loved the game and he loved the fact that he always wanted to give something back. And he knew how fortunate he was to have the career that he’s had. He just cares about other people and that’s a special trait to have.”
By the way, I’ve got some additional information on that whole Chone Figgins to Atlanta trade rumor that surfaced last week. I told you over the weekend that it was the Braves who first contacted the M’s on Friday. That was before Braves leadoff hitter Martin Prado got hurt that same night.
The Braves were unimpressed with Figgins as a second baseman and instead wanted him to play center field. They also felt he could be a replacement at third base for Chipper Jones once he retires after this season. But the Braves, I’m told, were not going to take on all of the remaining Figgins contract. They were looking for a discount.
The M’s told the Braves they were not going to move Figgins and that was that.
Jose Lopez is good to go and back in the lineup tonight. So, the limited everyday stint for Matt Tuiasosopo is done for now, it would appear.
Josh Bard has a stiff neck and will be available only on an emergency basis the next day or two. In other words, don’t expect Adam Moore to be pinch-hit for.
Shawn Kelley is to throw two innings for Class A rookie level Everett tomorrow.
SS Elvis Andrus
3B Michael Young
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Vladimir Guerrero
RF Nelson Cruz
LF David Murphy
2B Cristian Guzman
C Bengie Molina
1B Mitch Moreland
LHP C.J. Wilson
2B Chone Figgins
1B Casey Kotchman
CF Franklin Gutierrez
DH Russell Branyan
3B Jose Lopez
LF Michael Saunders
C Adam Moore
SS Jack Wilson
RHP Doug Fister