CLEVELAND — Beyond the Dugout is back again virtually on Zoom. For years, 3News' morning anchor Dave Chudowsky has been interviewing Indians players, coaches and staff during Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona. The segments air weekly on GO! in the morning on channel 3 and here on WKYC.com.
Due to the pandemic, Chudowsky did not travel to Arizona this year -- but that is not stopping him from asking the tough questions you want answered. Well, not really! The questions are fun and help fans get to know their favorite players better.
This week, Chudowsky is putting another coach on the hot seat as we meet Brian Sweeney. The Indians' bullpen coach is in his fourth season on the Indians Major League staff and his second in his current role. In his previous role, Sweeney compiled and decimated advance scouting reports and statistical data for the Major League staff and was a key contributor to the success and development of the club’s current Major League pitchers. The pitching staff has finished in the top four in AL ERA in each of the last three campaigns and led the AL in ERA in 2020.
Before coming to Cleveland, the 47-year-old coach spent three seasons in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He also played in the majors, originally signed by Seattle in 1996. Sweeney pitched in 73 Major League games and went 4-2 with two saves and a 3.38 ERA between the Mariners (2003 & 2010) and San Diego Padres (2004 & 2006).
After digging deep, Chudowsky found there was much more to Sweeney than just coaching baseball. He’s also a volunteer firefighter in New York where he was born.
“It’s in my blood," he said. "My dad was a career firefighter for 35 years in Yonkers, New York. I have cousins and friends that are firefighters, and when I grew up I guess I decided I wanted to take part in my community. I joined our local fire department and became a volunteer so I could support the people in our community."
Chudowsky also found out he has something in common with Sweeney as they are both part of the girl dad club. He’s married to his wife, Connie, and has two daughters, Ava and Mia.
“I have a female cat, too," Sweeney said. "Her name is Shambles, so females are all over the place for me."
You will have to watch the attached video to learn his Monday motivation, hear his funny story about Indians Manager Terry Francona and if he’ll tell Chudowsky what really goes on in the bullpen during games.