|The biggest source for Sweeney's self-assurance: He says he's played clean. |
Beginning when his neck and back began bothering him in 2002, Sweeney said teammates would tell him he should take a certain illegal substance, and he would be back playing in no time. Sweeney says he always stood by his convictions that such a shortcut was "just not right" and would cheat himself.
He increased his stretching instead.
So as much venom is aimed at him by KC fans now just imagine if he'd used and got caught. I get why people were disappointed in him because his production didn't live up to his contract. People also blame him for all the games KC lost while he was here - I understand that line of thinking too, I really do but anybody who believes that the Royals stunk because Sweeney was making 11 million dollars couldn't be more wrong and weren't paying attention. Here's the thing people, he took less money to stay in KC, Appier didn't, Dye didn't, Beltran didn't - Sweeney did. No it didn't work out but I seriously doubt that anybody was more upset about that than Sweeney.
I'm more curious as to who the teammates were that was telling him to use. It should be noted that Chuck Knoblauch and Jason Grimsley were both on that 2002 team. Grimsley admitted to using HGH and named names, notably for Royals fans Knoblauch was one of them (even more notably Sweeney wasn't). Grimsley and Sweeney were good friends so no doubt Grimsley let him in on his dirty little secret. I just wonder if there were more and if so, who?
Royals fans should feel that proud that right in the heart of the steroid era one of the greatest hitters in team history never used to even recover from injuries let alone enhance his performance.