Nice Guys: Thome, Ibanez, Sweeney

Got an e-mail from the folks at Sports Illustrated. In its latest player poll, current or former Phillies were named the three nicest guys in baseball. I couldn’t agree more about Thome. The guy is as genuine as they come. Ibanez is unfailingly polite. Good guy. Sweeney is a hugger.

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15 Comments

I’m surprised Adam Dunn wasn’t on there. I hear he’s funny as all hell.

Ibanez’s niceness is the only reason he hasn’t been DFA’d yet.

Man, I miss Sweeney. You get a hug! And YOU get a hug! And YOU get a hug…! His enthusiasm in the dugout was felt throughout the entire ball park when he was around. Really do wish him well.

Ibenez worth ethic is why he’s not DFA. Lots of us are still Raul fans.

Ibanez. Typing fail.

Jamie Moyer should be on that list. One of the nicest players I’ve ever met. I don’t remember a game where he wouldn’t sign autographs and chat with fans before the game started.

Agreed, every single game you would see moyer talking to the fans and signing autographs before the game. I lost count how many times i got his autograph on something

Moyer belongs on this list for sure!

Chase Utley definitely should be on the list as well! I took my younger cousin to his first Phillies game a few years ago on Fan photo day. The players aren’t supposed to stop for autographs or pictures with people, but as he was getting pushed past us I yelled that is was his first game. At this point Chase was like 20 people past us and came back, signed his baseball, talked to my cousin & took a picture with us. It is something that neighter of us will forget!

That had to be an isolated thing for him. I would almost say Utley is one of the most unfriendly on the team. Normally *IF* he signs autographs he says nothing, doesn’t smile and doesn’t even look at you. He just stares at your hand, takes your card/ball/whatever and signs it and hands it back to you, all while keeping his head down and not making any eye contact. *neither

It’s funny how fans’ opinion of whether a player is “nice” is dependent on whether or not they signed an autograph for them.
The pursuit of autographs at games is an interesting social ritual. Fans think they are entitled, and that’s really not the case. Unless a player is voluntarily signing things, it’s borderline rude to scream his name and thrust a baseball in his direction expecting him to sign it for you.
They’re at work, and I’d guess that most of you don’t like being bothered at work either.
Get a grip on your expectations of these guys. Buying their jersey and cheering for them are about the limit of what you are entitled to. Anything else is over and above what you should expect of them.

I personally never got the ritual myself, muleman. But based on your own expectations of what they could or couldn’t do, by definition, the ones who do sign autographs and interact with the phans are “nice”.

If they want to be “nice”, particularly with kids, I don’t see anything wrong with that. My own personal memories as a child of athletes being accommodating and “nice” has unquestionably defined how I feel about them.

Signing an autograph doesn’t make somebody either nice or not. It has nothing to do with the autograph, as much as fans want to make it so.
I’m not sure how you came up with your interpretation of what I wrote. It’s not my definition at all, but yours.

Such a sanitized, antiseptic, bland view of the game. It is part of the players job to impress the kids at least and to associate a good feeling with the baseball experience and hope they keep coming back and in turn bringing their little ones with them and so on and so forth. There is a word for this which currently escapes me. Wait a minute… Oh yes, now I remember, it is called tradition.

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