How to describe Ryan Sweeney? Let's try this on for size:
Insult to injury.
The Andrew Bailey deal was bad. There's no question about that. Josh Reddick dominated in Oakland, Baileysucked in Boston, and even if he puts together one good year with the team in 2013 there's no way we're getting our money's worth out of that particular bargain. Let's not even talk about Head and Alcantara. I don't think any of us need that particular headache.
Now, usually receiving a free add-on to a deal can't be a bad thing, so long as the player in question isn't a bad contract that will take up valuable space on a team's payroll and roster. That being said, there was something special about Ryan Sweeney and how he compared to Reddick that made his presence on the 2012 team grate.
It did not start that way, no. It's easy to forget, but Sweeney was the one who very nearly won the first game of the season in walkoff fashion, his game-tying triple coming just inches shy of the top of the wall. Of course, that was the closest he would come to a homer all season, but with one month in the books Sweeney was one of the only producing players on the team.
Much like Mike Aviles, though, Sweeney's hot streak did not last long. A disaster May, injuries, and the rise of Cody Ross would likely have spelled the end to his time starting with the team had every other outfielder not found their way onto the DL--it's a sad state of affairs when Sweeney can be considered the relatively healthy one. As it was, though, he was still trotting out there with some regularity, giving Sox fans less and less reason to want to see him with each passing day. There's something truly frustrating about watching a guy as large as Sweeney produce so little pop. Add in a sudden aversion to walks--one even worse than Adrian Gonzalez'--and there was little to like.
And all the while, Josh Reddick was knocking ball after ball out of the Coliseum, That's not Sweeney's fault, but it can be hard to separate the two.
By the time Sweeney punched his way onto the disabled list with a broken hand, he was barely even a factor on the roster. Non-tendered less than a year after he was first traded to Boston, his chapter in Fenway history will be one easily forgotten.