Kalish will take Sweeney's spot
BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney may be out for the rest of the season after he had surgery on a broken left pinkie sustained when he punched a door leading to the dugout Monday night, manager Bobby Valentine said.
Sweeney, who vented his frustrations after an eighth-inning ground out, had X-rays that showed a fracture on the knuckle of his left little finger. Valentine said it is "close" to a season-ender for Sweeney, who was not seen at Fenway Park before Tuesday's game.
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Valentine said he harbors no ill feelings for Sweeney, who has expressed regret for his actions.
"Boys will be boys," said Valentine, who added that the door Sweeney hit has many dents from other players not pleased with their performance. "He just must have went at it in the wrong direction."
Sweeney, a subject of trade speculation leading up to Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline, had hit a grounder to second base for the first out of the eighth inning of Boston's 7-3 win over Detroit. After sustaining the injury, he attempted to take the field in the top of the ninth and play his position in right field. However, after attempting to make a warm-up toss, he realized he could not carry on and was replaced by Cody Ross.
Valentine said he expects to see such acts but never has addressed them with his players ahead of time.
"I don't think I've ever had a specific meeting about it," he said. "You know, it probably falls under the category of knowing the difference between right and wrong. You know, check in the right at the door and leave the wrong behind. But like I said, I would say that daily in the 15 games that are being played there will be something kicked and something whacked. I remember Mike Piazza used to hit the concrete so hard with his fist that someone suggested that he try hitting it with his head sometimes because he needs his hand so much."
General manager Ben Cherington said he has not spoken with Sweeney. He called the player's actions "a mistake," but stopped short of scolding a guy who has gutted it out on several occasions this season.
"Just disappointing on how it happened," Cherington said. "I know Ryan feels badly about it. Ryan's been a good teammate, good guy in clubhouse, played hard all year, played through some injuries early in the year when we needed him to. I don't want to make more out of it than what it is, which is a mistake. Until I get a chance to talk to him about it, I don't want to say more than that."
When asked if he thought Sweeney would miss the rest of the season, Cherington said, "Seems that way."
Sweeney told reporters after the game that he "felt terrible" and that he had let the team down "if it's bad." On Tuesday, Sweeney tweeted: "I Just want to apologize to my teammates, #RedSox, and fans. I don't normally loose (sic) my cool and this was not an intentional action."
Sweeney will be replaced on the roster by Ryan Kalish, who is making his second appearance with the team this season.
The 27-year-old Sweeney was just 11 for 70 (.157) since the end of May. He hit 11 doubles in April, but has just nine extra-base hits since, and his average had fallen from .373 to .260 in that span.
Kalish hit .217 in 18 games earlier this season with Boston.
Tony Lee is a regular contributor to ESPNBoston.com.
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