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Sweeney to sit out All-Star Game
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07/09/2003  9:42 PM ET 
Sweeney to sit out All-Star Game
First baseman will attend festivities, but not play
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Mike Sweeney will attend the All-Star Game in Chicago, but he won't be able to play. (Brita Meng Outzen/MLB.com)
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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 Giambi.

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.

    Mike Sweeney   /   1B
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Hit chart
Royals site
"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 team.

"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."

2003 All-Star Game

2003 All-Star Game information >

"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 deserved it."

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 forward."

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.



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