He also wants to take a bullet for you.
He has also made it very clear that what’s said in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse.
Of course, Sweeney was also the one who publicly aired that last bit about the stuff said in the clubhouse staying in the clubhouse, even though he was the one who said it in the clubhouse, then took it out of the clubhouse, essentially breaking his own rule in the process.
Perhaps Sweeney is losing it. Or maybe he’s just caught up in the firestorm that is quickly becoming the Seattle Mariners’ 2010 season. Who knows for sure. All we really know is that this — this talk about taking bullets, getting in fights, and refusing to talk to the press — is getting out of hand.
It started with the Eric Byrnes botched squeeze beach cruiser incident. That led to Milton Bradley’s emotional problems just a few days later. A short while after that, we caught wind of Griffey Napgate. Which in turn has spawned the Rampage of Mike Sweeney.
Just yesterday, Sweeney reportedly challenged any member of the ballclub who broke the now infamous Napgate story to fight him, mano a mano. Not feeling the love from their elder statesman, no one stepped up to throw down with the old man. Based on this reaction (or non-reaction), Sweeney inferred that no one amongst his locker room brethren could possibly have leaked the news of Griffey’s gameday snooze to Tacoma News-Tribune beat writer Larry LaRue, hence LaRue must be a liar. Somewhere in there is a logical fallacy we all learned about in high school English class. We just need to find it.
Sweeney has instructed his teammates not to talk to LaRue from here on out, and after day one, the 24 guys in blue have heeded their leader’s words. Never mind that LaRue is the longest-tenured beat writer in the M’s clubhouse (he’s been there since 1988) or that he was previously held in high regard by the players. Like a group of high school girls determined to take a stand by not engaging in conversation with the enemy, the Mariners will not speak to Mr. LaRue. Yay for maturity.
On top of all that (yes, there’s more), Sweeney has been quoted in the press on numerous occasions the last few days saying he’d “take a bullet” for anyone on the team. Really? Would you really do that, Mike? Because I doubt it. I can think of maybe ten people I’d actually take a bullet for. But twenty-four? Of my coworkers, no less? Sorry guys, but you’re on your own.
There are certain heroes out there who are mentally wired to take bullets for others. Secret Service agents, military personnel, law enforcement agents. For a professional baseball player to use that phrase so loosely is a travesty. Because if someone pulled a gun on, say, Jose Lopez, I’m not so sure Sweeney would dive in front of his third baseman and absorb the blow. And with no track record of taking bullets to back him up, Sweeney is more or less blowing hot air. We don’t need that.
Gentlemen, let’s focus on playing baseball.
Let’s focus on winning ballgames.
Forget about Rip Van Griffey.
Forget about Sugar Ray Sweeney.
Just go out and do your jobs like professionals. Stop embarrassing yourselves in the public eye. And don’t blame the media or the fans for your problems.
One story got blown out of proportion, and instead of taking it in stride (like men), you’ve gotten all childish on us in the past 24 hours. People are going to talk about you. It happens.
Don’t turn this into a Biggie-Tupac thing.
Don’t make this the sequel to Mean Girls.
You are grown adults, making millions of dollars. You’re better than this. You need to be better than this. Kids look up to you. Fans respect you. An entire city depends on you.
I say this out of love, from the bottom of my heart: Grow up.