I was once asked by a New York Yankees fan why most Chicago White Sox fans don’t like Nick Swisher. I laughed and asked the Yankees fan if he was kidding. Apparently he wasn’t, because he asked me the question again. So, to put this all to rest, I will answer why I and other White Sox fans didn’t much care for Swisher’s time in Chicago.
I remember when the White Sox traded for Swisher I was really excited. I didn’t care that the White Sox gave up Ryan Sweeny, Gio Gonzalez and Fautino de los Santos to acquire him because Swisher just hit .262 for the Oakland Athletics. This would be a good thing for the White Sox because finally, they had an outfielder who hit for average and had some power.
At first, I liked Swisher’s boyish attitude towards the game. He showed that he had fun every time he played. He was always smiling, playing jokes on his teammates, friendly with the media and just seemed like a fun guy. However, it started to go downhill pretty quick.
I have no problem with a guy having fun playing baseball, because let’s be honest, it is just a game and players should have fun. The problem was that Swisher apparently started to irk some of his teammates the wrong way with his constant jokes. He also started to have one of his worst offensive years of his career.
Swisher hit .219 while he was with the White Sox, the lowest average in the MLB. While the ladies still clamored for Swisher, a lot of White Sox fans started to show their frustration with him as fans started to boo him and get annoyed with his antics. They weren’t funny or cute anymore.
Swisher was benched in September by Ozzie Guillen, who called out Swisher publically saying, “I have to put the best lineup out there to win the game. To me, the best lineup right now is without Swisher.”
For whatever reason, as the White Sox went to the playoffs in 2008, Guillen added Swisher to the playoff roster. I thought that maybe the time off cleared Swisher’s head and perhaps the White Sox could beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. Swisher didn’t do much, only hitting .250, and the White Sox lost in four games to the Rays.
The White Sox loved Swisher so much that they traded him to the Yankees in 2009 for Wilson Betemit, Jeffrey Marquez and Jhonny Nunez. I thought that was a good trade. At least the White Sox got something for a player whose career seemed finished.
Swisher’s career wasn’t finished and he helped the Yankees get to the postseason hitting .249 in 2009. He received a World Series ring in 2009, and in 2010 he was even an All-Star, hitting .288. I was shocked. How could this happen? Swisher played so poorly for the White Sox. How could he have turned it around?
What makes most White Sox fans even more upset is that the players the White Sox got for Swisher didn’t do anything. In fact, Betemit was traded himself and Marquez and Nunez didn’t do anything to help the White Sox, either.
As for the players the White Sox traded to the Athletics to receive Swisher, Sweeny didn’t produce as the player he was supposed to be, Santos became a decent reliever for the Athletics from 2009-2012 and Gonzalez has now become a great pitcher for the Washington Nationals.
So, there you have it. That is why most White Sox fans can’t stand Swisher. Now, let’s put that to rest so I don’t have to think of his time in Chicago ever again.
Leave a comment, and follow me on Twitter @EvanCrum1319