Stuck on the Royals during their Dark Ages, Mike Sweeney was the player who stayed. While players like Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran left, being replaced with prospects that never panned out or cheap free agents, Sweeney stayed. The consummate good soldier and veteran leader, the Royals just were not good enough to make the playoffs during his tenure.
Now, having returned in February of this year as a special assistant to baseball operations, Sweeney has managed to reach the postseason during his first year in the front office. Even if he was unable to bring the playoffs to Kansas City as a player, he is still getting to experience the sweet taste of the playoffs as a member of the team.
Even though he left the Royals, just like everyone else did during those days and made the playoffs with the Philadelphia Phillies, Mike Sweeney personified the Royals during his tenure. For the better part of a decade, Mike Sweeney was the face of the Royals – the player that everyone hoped to see bring the postseason back to Kansas City.
However, as great of an option as Sweeney would be, there is really only one choice to throw out that first pitch tomorrow: