You can’t have a guy on your team who wears a hopeful smile in every photo and not consider re-signing him. The value of that grin goes beyond baseball. It reaches into our hearts and scares up some of that emotion we so carelessly bury under layers and layers of swearing and louder swearing.But in baseball, unlike junior high, nobody can succeed with their puppy-dog eyes alone. Eventually, one has to be effective in some fashion to get by. And while Greg Dobbs set a bad precedent by “being totally useless” yet still “being on this team.” But that’s where Mike Sweeney’s old fashioned, apple pie grin comes in. Gives him the edge. When filling in the blanks on the bench, the Phillies might take into account the spritely embraces that sugarcoated their dugout for the second half of 2010.
Sweeney knows it, though. He knows not everyone deserves him. He claims three teams have been in touch, but his stipulations include that the team he plays for be good. So we’re not out of the running! And if trades were fueled by Twitter trends, Sweeney would already be not playing for us.
That’s because there is nowhere for him to play. Sure, it’s fun to expect guys to come off the bench and be immediately spectacular, but chances are that’s not going to, as they say, “happen.” We had enough guys last year that played every day and couldn’t produce much more than sad trombone noises. To go after Sweeney, then keep him caged in the dugout like some sort of ultra-friendly lion that just wants to love you, would be downright cruel.
Sweeney needs to roam the plains, free to offer his cuddles to whomever he deems worthy [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, we get it. Hugs.) And the Phillies may just not be offering that. But we’ll know for sure by next Sunday.