From this morning’s L.A. Daily News, Mark Sweeney explains the reasons of his struggles this year:
I never make excuses, but
Yet here comes the excuse…
The situations I have been in haven’t been ideal for pinch-hitting and putting your piece into a team, because offensively we have struggled. There are times when you feel like you’re in the flow of the game and you want to put your piece in, whether it’s advancing a runner or putting a ball in play.
O.K., I am now convinced that Sweeney is on crack. What the hell does this mean? For starters, what is an ideal pinch hitting situation and non-ideal pinch hitting situation? I’m guessing that he means one where he’s able to come up with runners on, as opposed to the bases empty and, because he feels he’s getting more of the latter, that’s why he has struggled.
So, basically, the reason he is now hitting .098 is because of the fact that his team cannot give him “ideal situations” to come in and do his job.
O.K., let’s look a little more in depth into this.
In his 61 at-bats this season, only 29 of them (less than half) have been with the bases empty. In these 29 at-bats, he is 2 for 29 (which is a third of the amount of hits he has all season, by the way), which amounts of to .069/.100/.103 line.
O.K., fine, so, you’re right, Sweeney Poo (poo?). Discounting the fact that some of these at-bats also count the starts that you’ve had this year, we get it; you’re not great with the bases empty. You’re a lean, mean, pinch hitting machine when it matters… that’s right, with runners in scoring position!
Sweeney with RISP: 1 for 17, .059/.227/.059
Err… O.K. They can’t be in scoring position. Just on base.
Sweeney with runners on first and second: 0 for 3: .000/.000/.000
O.K., so you mean second and third?
Sweeney with runners on second and third: 0 for 3: .000/.000/.000
Sweeney with bases loaded: 0 for 1: .000/.500/.000
No…? How about leading off an inning?
Sweeney leading off an inning: 0 for 8: .000/.000/.000
Close and late?
Sweeney close and late: 2 for 19: .105/.250/.158
How about scoring position with two outs?
Sweeney with RISP with 2 outs: 0 for 10: .000/.167/.000
Oh, forget it, you just suck. And for that matter, quit your whining, Mark. Guess what? You decided to spend your career specializing in a role that is one of the hardest in the game. What the hell do you expect, to step into the game with bases loaded, 0 outs every night? To blame your failures on the rest of the team for not giving you “ideal situations” is ludicrous, especially when you have completely sucked in every which possible situation. I’m sure our starting rotation also doesn’t like our offense and it’s a freaking rarity when they get “ideal situations.” That hasn’t stopped most of them from doing their part. Your job is to hit the ball… regardless of who’s on base. A bases empty situation doesn’t exempt you from doing your job.
There’s your veteran leadership…