February 17, 2014 3:30 PM

Mike Sweeney settles into new role during first day back with Royals

Mike Sweeney showed up at 5:30 a.m. for his first official day as a special assistant to baseball operations for the Royals. He compared it to the first day of school: Unsure of his surroundings, unfamiliar with all the new faces. Manager Ned Yost described Sweeney as a positive influence, and valuable to “pitch in where he needs to pitch in.” For 20 minutes on Monday, Sweeney huddled with Billy Butler: “I was just challenging Billy: ‘You’re one of the best hitters on the planet. Be a fountain.’”

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