There are certain places where sports intensity takes on a new form of life. Places where the blood pressure of fans only dips down to normal when the game has ended.
New York City is one of those places.
Now in his fourth year with the Yankees, one would think Nick Swisher should be aware of this by now. He should know that New York fans will always let the players know how exactly they feel. Whether it’s idol adoration or a real “Bronx cheer,” New Yorkers' words are never minced and left to interpretation.
So with all that being said, it appears as if Swisher only likes the fans attention when things are going “his way.” You know like during the “Swisher Salute” and the praises of intensity when he’s being silly and just “having fun.” But on the other side, he’s “hurt” when everything isn’t coming up roses.
Fresh off his best performance since Game 3 against the Orioles in ALDS (Well it was his first hit since then), Swish must have been drunk with self-importance. When asked about getting booed because, well he’s been playing awful, he said, “I don’t ever remember that happening. But hey, man, that’s New York for you… If you get a hit, you might not hear much. But if you make an out, you’re definitely going to hear about it.”
Hmmm, that sounds a lot like a guy placing a sizable portion of blame on the fans for his lack of, well, anything. “It’s a crazy game. Being here in New York, obviously there’s a lot of expectations. I don’t know what to say, bro. I’m just going to kind of let it go.”
Before this shameless self promoter began this tell-all admission he should have milled over his gripes in his head before voicing them. Bottom line is he’s not the first player to be booed and heckled in New York and he surely won’t be the last.
Swisher needs to realize that every Yankee great that has ever played this game has been booed by the Bronx faithful. Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, even Jeter have heard the universal displeasure from the fans. Taking the good with the bad is part of being a New York Yankee.
So, taking all this into consideration, maybe Swisher never did have the thick skin to play here. Maybe he’s more interested in participation trophies, hunky-dory love fests, and “atta-boys.” Overcoming adversity doesn’t seem to fit into his equation. Sunshine and lollipops are when Swisher loves his “Bleacher Creature” cadre.
I’m sure Swisher isn’t the only one that feels this way. We, as humans, can only take so much before a breaking point is reached. But, as a professional athlete, keep it inside. You’ll never win in a bar fight with the fans.
“It hurts. Sometimes I’m a sensitive guy.”
Nick, when you are arguably the worst playoff hitter in postseason history, what do you expect us to do?