Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Ex Files: Nick Swisher

The 2009 World Series starts today and that means that Nick Swisher will be involved in the game somehow. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to review his tenure with the Sox and his time after.

Nick came to the Sox from Oakland in January 2008. He cost the Sox three promising young prospects. Two have made iffy contributions to the A's and one is still in the minors. Swisher arrived with a lot of fanfare. He waltzed in and tried to take the city over with his charm. He nearly did it too.

In the first half of 2008, Nick didn't bat very well, but he managed to come through when the team needed him most. When not producing on the field, he became the clown player of the dugout. This is a role that every clubhouse needs to loosen things up.

Eventually, Swisher's playing time was reduced. Instead of continuing his comic stylings and keeping everybody loose and into the games, Nick pouted. He pouted when he wasn't playing and he pouted when his role was late inning defense. For a guy who pouted so much, he played in 153 games that year. That doesn't sound like a reason to pout to me.

Nick wore out his welcome and was shipped off to the Yankees with a minor leaguer for three players. None of those three players have done much for the Sox. Swisher landed on a team that made it to the World Series. How did he fare for the entire year?

Swisher wasn't setting the world on fire, but he did a little better than he did with the Sox. He even pitched an inning of relief. The Yankees used him in three less games than the Sox did a year before. Did Swisher pout? There were signs of him starting to pout, but it was nothing compared to his tenure on the South Side.

So far Swisher is bombing in the postseason. Will he step it up in the World Series? Only time will tell. My guess is no. I can write this while Nick is still playing because I can say with utter assurance that he will never play in a White Sox uniform again. He's a likable guy, but not a team player. As Swisher's time with the Yankees has proven, he's willing to do the work but only if it's his idea.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I don't disagree with anything you said. Fair call.

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