Mike Sweeney spent 13 years with the Kansas City Royals, not counting his minor league time in the organization, and was the team captain for about half those years.
He was an All-Star, a team MVP and an all-around All-American kind of guy – then and now.
So why did he get booed during a pinch-hit at-bat Monday night, and why does he expect to hear more of the same today, when he starts as the Seattle Mariners designated hitter?
“My son Mikey asked me that,” Sweeney said of his five-year-old. “He wanted to know why they were booing me. I told him, ‘You’ve got to be pretty good to be booed.’
“I loved my time here and did my best. I still have friends here. I don’t fully understand it, but I’m ok with it.”
Oddly, the booing of Sweeney did not intensify when he singled home a run in that Monday appearance. In limited time this year, Sweeney is bating .158 with two RBI.
“This is a special place for Mike, and we wanted to make sure he got at least the one start here,” manager Don Wakamatsu said.