The fans at AT&T Park were treated to a dose of history during last night’s game. A player who has recently been mired in controversy, who nevertheless remains a fan favorite in San Francisco positioned himself on the precipice of a record that will surely define his career. The drama unfolded last night against the Florida Marlins and in his first at bat of the night, their beloved hero brought them to their feet with one perfect swing. I’m speaking of course of Mark Sweeney, who moved into second place on the all-time pinch hits list, with an RBI single in the sixth inning. It was Sweeney’s 151st career pinch hit, putting him 61 behind Lenny Harris’ all-time mark.
Sweeney, known as one of baseball’s “good guys,” is probably best known for being thrown under the bus by Barry Bonds this offseason. That’s the sad part, because he’s had a long, solid career. He’s played for six different franchises, including the Padres three times. When a team brings a guy back that much, it’s obvious they enjoyed having him around. He’s a great clubhouse guy, is all about the team and is the kind of guy who would run through a wall if his manager asked him to. He even took the high road after his teammate tried to save his own ass by tossing Sweeney in the gutter. Basically, he’s the anti-Bonds. And frankly we think it’s oddly appropriate that he had his brief moment in the spotlight last night with all the Bonds hoopla surrounding the game. It was almost like the universe was balancing itself.
We have two Padres fans here at R&R, and on behalf of us we say congratulations Mark. You’re a great player and an even better guy and we couldn’t be happier for you. Feel free to come back to the Padres any time, we’d love to have you. And we promise no one will accuse you of providing them with the amphetamines found in their system.