Mariners Analysis

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sweeney stupidity

It's hard to be a sports fan in Seattle and not be subjected to KJR. Whether it's Stark from ESPN, Krueger etc... there is no way you want to miss these interviews but at the same time you cringe at some of the drivel that comes out.

We've all heard the local media overplay the subject of veteran leadership and how clubhouse tension doomed last years team. The reality of course is lack of talent is what caused the team to suck last year. Period. Does the media like to mention players like Sexson and Vidro are no where to be found this year? (It's not a common theme, and IMO should be mentioned far more prominently then it has.)

No, instead they focus on "moving the runners along" and "playing the game the right way."

Which leads me to Mike Sweeney.

The odds he makes this team should be low. He's old, he's been injured and been ineffective. Not a good combination for a team rebuilding. Probably the biggest roadblock would appear to be the Griffey signing. Suddenly the team need for "veteran leadership" appears to be filled.

But if you listen to some members of the media, you'd get the impression the Mariners almost HAVE to keep Sweeney on the team. A calming influence, a veteran leader, a solid citizen... install overused cliche at your leisure.

The single overriding skill the team should be focusing on for Mike Sweeney is can he hit. Does he have the skills to make this team win ball games WHILE ON THE FIELD. That should make up 99% of the decision making process. You can immediately identify the media hacks who begin with the other stuff first when talking about Sweeney, as if the hitting component is a bonus.

I don't have anything against Sweeney, and if he can fill in a short term gap so be it. But if he does make the team, it's probably a reflection of just how little talent stood before him. And that's a much bigger problem than lack of leadership in the clubhouse.