07/09/2003 9:42 PM ET
Sweeney to sit out All-Star Game
First baseman will attend festivities, but not play
Rosters: AL | NL
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney, who has gone 0-for-1 in
each of the last three All-Star Games, will have to wait at least another
year in his quest to get that first All-Star hit.
Sweeney, who was selected for Tuesday's Midsummer Classic in Chicago, won't be
able to participate because of nerve irritation in his neck and back that
has kept him on the disabled list since June 19. American League manager
Mike Scioscia replaced him on the roster with Yankees first baseman Jason
Sweeney reported that he felt much better Tuesday after receiving a
cortisone injection Monday. He accompanied the team to Anaheim for its
current series with the Angels and is scheduled to get a second opinion from
sports spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins while in the Los Angeles area.
"I'm happy for him (Giambi)," said Sweeney when he got the word upon arrival
at Edison Field in Anaehim Wednesday. "He's one of the best players in
baseball. Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to play, but it's still an
honor to be an All-Star.
"There's no other player that I would choose to play than Jason," said
Sweeney, who indicated he would be going to the All-Star Game and would
take his place beside teammate Mike MacDougal for the pregame introductions.
Sweeney was asked if he would have liked to have seen another Royal named to the
"There's a lot of guys that are deserving in this clubhouse," Sweeney said.
"But he's hit 20-something home runs (23) and a lot of RBIs and he started
out slowly but he's still one of the best in the game. I'm real happy for
Jason, he's a good buddy of mine and I'm really happy for him."
Royals manager Tony Peña agreed with Sweeney's sentiments regarding
Giambi being named to the AL team.
"It's great, I think he deserved it."
"Sweeney can't play and they (American League) need another first baseman so
why not Jason Giambi," said Royals catcher Brent Mayne.
"It would be better for us if we had another player added, but what are you
going to do, they need another first baseman," Mayne said.
"Jason's a great player," said Royals left fielder Raul Ibañez. "He's a
two-time MVP and he's a great player and would seem to be a great fit. He
The Royals have said they hope to have Sweeney back when they reconvene on
July 17 following the All-Star break.
Sweeney said Tuesday that he felt "pain free for the first time in three
weeks" and said he felt "like it was time to let the horses start matching
Sweeney is hitting .321 with 12 homers and 50 runs batted in. He said the
fact that Kansas City had more than one player selected to play in the All-Star
Game for the first time
since 2000 was a sign of respect for the American League Central leaders.
"We're not the Royals of the past," Sweeney said. "We're the Royals of the
future and the present ... To have two players selected from our team is
definitely an honor." Robert Falkoff is a reporter for
MLB.com. Sandy Burgin contributed to this report. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball
or its clubs.