In what is the second of many more times Joe Torre will make the “Random Stupid Quotes And Stupid People” feature, Torre feels that, despite it being June 23rd and having only 6 hits on the year, the Dodgers need to, and will continue to exert patience with Mark Sweeney.
From yesterday afternoon’s article from Michael Schwartz:
“The thing about players when they get older, it’s a series of adjustments,” said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. “I think that’s what Mark is going through right now.
Huh? Let me get this straight… the reason Mark Sweeney has been an abortion of a baseball player this year is because he has to make adjustments, since he’s old. Uh, since when is making adjustments a concept that’s exclusive to old men in the game? Mark Sweeney has to make adjustments just like Russell Martin or Matt Kemp. That’s like Torre saying regarding Scott Proctor: “Well, the reason Proctor has been bad is because when you get to around your early 30’s, it becomes a matter of mixing up your pitches and trying to throw strikes. I think Scott is going through that, right now.” Again, what the hell?
Right now, I think he’s pressing a little bit
No shit, Joe?
and it’s tough because you don’t play. You’re waiting for that one at-bat, [and] you’re never going to throw him up there in an at-bat when it doesn’t mean something.”
Say this in April, I totally get it. May? Alright. But June 23rd?! Are you kidding me?!
Just to illustrate how freaking awful Sweeney has been this year, do you remember how we all pissed and moaned about Olmedo Saenz last year, when it was obvious how cooked he was? Here’s Saenz’s numbers through the first half of last year:
Saenz through All-Star Break 2007 (63 AB’s): .206/.333/.397, 3 HR’s, .730 OPS.
Sweeney 2008 (56 AB’s): .107/.203/.143, 0 HR’s, .346 OPS.
Yes, that’s right, folks. 2007 first-half Olmedo Saenz is kicking the living crap out of Mark Sweeney. THAT’S how bad he is. For the record, even Saenz’s second half stats last year are better. And, of course, as evidenced last year, everyone but our GM and manager noticed how washed up they were.
Still, Torre feels Sweeney has something left based on watching his body language and demeanor on the field, saying the hitter does all the right things [. . .]
Except hit the fucking ball.
“He’s certainly aware of his age, he’s certainly aware of eventually this thing’s going to be over, but I don’t sense that he’s there yet,” Torre said.
Thank You, Joe, for giving us the groundbreaking information that he’s aware of his age and knows that his career is going to eventually be over. We were worried that he was suffering from alzheimers, but apparently not; good. Now he’s right on his way from being aware of his age to being aware of how many outs there are in an inning!
Torre added Sweeney still has a “great swing path,”
That’s very true. I’m sure the opposing teams feel the same way, as this deeply skilled and great swing path just flows through the strike zone and creates a nice, big cluster of… air.
The Dodgers’ organization is always looking for improvements, but Torre said it hasn’t gotten to that point with Sweeney where Los Angeles feels it could find an upgrade over him at Triple-A or through a player available in a trade.
Do you hear that, folks? Having a .107/.203/.143 line through late June isn’t bad enough and, therefore, isn’t worth an upgrade. That’s right… Mark Sweeney is having a season that is still good enough to keep him employed.
Don’t you wish Joe Torre was your boss? I mean, let’s picture that Torre was, like, the head of a hospital and Sweeney was, oh, I don’t know… a surgeon.
Sweeney: Say, boss, I’m afraid I botched another surgery today. Today, I had this guy in who was supposed to get a colonoscopy. Instead, I gave him a sex change. I’m really sorry, boss. I know this is coming right after the 14 year old boy I gave a vasectomy to, but it’s just been a bad year. I’m just getting up there now and I don’t think I can…
Torre: Mark, when is your birthday?
Sweeney: Uh, October 26th, 1969.
Torre: And do you think you’ll be doing this forever?
Sweeney: Well, no, boss. But what does this have to do with anything?
Torre: What?! Everything, Mark. Yes, you should have given the man… eer, woman, their colonoscopy, but you know what? You’re aware of your age and know that this isn’t going to last forever. You see, it’s just a matter of adjustments you have to make, that’s all. But I’m still impressed with you.
Sweeney: Even though I have malpractice suits up the ass and my patients hate what I’ve done to them?
Torre: Yes. You see, the problem with all these patients is that they just pay attention to the results. What they can’t see and fail to understand is the body language and demeanor that you put into your surgeries. Take that Nikki Cox girl you had earlier this year. Yes, all she was there for was to get her tonsils out, but as you were giving her plastic surgery, you put heart into it. That shows character to me and you can’t put a price on that, you know. So, even though I got a couple of sharp, younger doctors from Johns Hopkins I could hire, forget it; it’s not to the point where we need an upgrade. In fact, I’m giving you a raise!
Back to reality… in terms of upgrades? Terry Tiffee, John Lindsey, Xavier Paul and, heck, my 86 year old Grandmother are on the phone, Joe.
And, for the record: yes, that’s right. I blame Mark Sweeney not only for his sucktitude on the Dodgers, but also for the butchery of Nikki Cox.
“There’s nobody that jumps out at us to say it’s a surefire thing,” Torre said.
Hi, Joe. Terry Tiffee, here. Did you know that this year at Triple-A I have been hitting .405/.446./.595, while ranking 2nd in average, 12th in OBP, and 12th in OPS in the ENTIRE minor leagues?! Oh wait, probably not, since I was DFA’d not long after my cup of tea in L.A.
Mean, cruel bastard…
Hi, Joe. I’m John Lindsey. I might be 31 and still in the minor leagues, but at least I can make adjustments, this year! This year I am hitting .314/.396/.567 with 15 HR’s in Las Vegas. Yeah, you can’t use me…
Hello, Mr. Torre. My name is Xavier Paul. I’m also at Las Vegas. This year, I’m hitting .305/.373/.444 and also have a cannon of an arm in the outfield. Then again, what good is that? Our body language sucks.
“Could somebody else be better? Yeah, possibly. But in order to make a decision on a guy like Sweeney you’re certainly not going to take a chance and say, ‘We think.’ You want to know that it’s a better option for you.”
And when will you figure that out, Joe? In mid-August with more than 70% through our season gone, and he’s hitting, like, .032? How can any alternative be any worse? In order to make a decision on a guy like Sweeney, you ask yourself whether he’s contributing to the team. If it’s not early in the season, which it’s not, and he has shown no signs of coming out of it, which he has not, and weigh the fact that there are younger, cheaper and superior talent in the minors, then you say: “HELL YEAH, RELEASE HIM!!”
But noooooooooo… instead, what have we learned today, kids? We should keep Mark Sweeney on our team and be even more patient with him because:
1. He has to make adjustments, like every other player who wants a career in the Major Leagues.
2. Because he has a killer demeanor and body language.
3. He knows how old he is and is aware that his career will come to an end, one day.
4. Having a .107/.203/.143 line is, apparently, acceptable and no one would come in and be an upgrade from that.
For the record, yes, I acknowledge that Mark Sweeney is one of the all-time great pinch hitters and has been valuable most of his career, so I can understand getting some rope for the first month or two. But when you are almost at the All-Star break and only have 6 hits the entire season, after not being that impressive with us last year, is at age 38, shows no signs of improving, with people in the minors who couldn’t do any worse, then the decision is obvious. Yet to be defended constantly with such unrelated, vague, and fellacious reasoning is beyond ridiculous. Which, by the way, reminds me of something: if the only thing you hear people describe a player is by their character and other things unrelated to their performance on the field (or at least greatly emphasized more than anything else): chances are? They suck.
Body language?! Demeanor?! Yes, folks, this is who is running our team… God help us all…