NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Uh-oh. There’s trouble in paradise.
Hurt by jabs, jeers and insults from the home crowd, off-and-on fan favorite Nick Swisher acknowledged Sunday he wasn’t much in the mood for roll call at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees outfielder, mired in yet another postseason slump, gave the Bleacher Creatures just a wave during Game 2 of the ALCS instead of his customary salute. He admittedly took his warmup throws near the infield, away from the faithful in Section 203.
Swisher’s catharsis included letting reporters in on his disappointment.
“That’s the last thing that I ever thought would be in this ballpark, that people would get on you that bad,” Swisher said after Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers, which put the Bombers in a 2-0 series hole. “Especially your home, where your heart is, where you’ve been battling and grinding all year long. It’s just frustrating, man. … It hurts. Sometimes I’m a sensitive guy and some of the things people say, they get under your skin a little bit.”
Swisher went 1 for 3 with two strikeouts, hearing boos during each at-bat. But it was what happened Saturday — comments on Twitter and from the stands — that really got under his skin.
“A lot of people saying a lot of things that I’ve never heard before,” Swisher said. “I missed that ball in the lights and the next thing you know, I’m the reason that (Derek) Jeter got hurt. It’s kind of frustrating. They were saying it was my fault.”
New York will play its next three games in Detroit. If Swisher can turn it around and the Yankees manage to get back to the Bronx for a Game 6, the 31-year-old may find himself again beloved by the crowd.
“I’ve been so fortunate to be here and play every day,” he said. “When things kind of turn like that, it kind of hurts a little bit. This is the type of city and crowd that really rallies around their team. That’s the reason we’ve got 27 championships. To go through a stretch like this where it’s kind of a negative attitude, a negative-type setting, that’s tough.”
Swisher’s 4 for 26 postseason is just the latest in what has become a major smudge on his pinstriped career. He was just 6 for 47 in the 2009 playoffs, 6 for 34 in ’10, and 4 for 19 last year.
Sure, he’s been productive in the regular season and his positive effect on the clubhouse can’t be overlooked. But the soon-to-be free agent knows that in the Bronx, it’s all about October. And if the Yankees decide not to bring him back, that would surely be looked at as a contributing — if not the deciding — factor.
“Hey, that’s part of the game. Rightfully so. There are a lot of expectations here and I guess when you don’t get the job done, you’re going to hear about it,” said Swisher. “I’m one of those guys that if you give me a hug, I’ll run through a brick wall for you, man. … It’s tough. It’s really tough. You want to go out and play for your city, play for your team. Right now, it’s just really tough.”
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