When Nick Swisher signed with the Indians in December of 2012, it was a joyous occasion. The Indians were proving to us that if they were close to contention, they would loosen the constraints on their payroll to find those pieces that would potentially push them over the top of that hill. With Michael Bourn being the second piece to that spending spree, the Indians were thought to be positioned to push themselves to the elite tier in the AL Central, if not in all of baseball. But a funny thing happened on the journey to relevance and contention.
Fast forward to now, and you’ll see a looser team without Bourn. And glaringly, without Swisher. Both of these players, once deemed the unquestioned leaders of the Indians clubhouse, are now in Atlanta. And when it comes to the infectious and cheerful outlook of Nick Swisher, it was a clear case of addition by subtraction.
The simple takeaway is this: You can’t call yourself a leader if you don’t produce and you can’t stay healthy. Everyday, Swisher’s grin was stapled to his face; in good or bad times. In just about every other walk of life, his personality is everything you’d wish you could be. In between the lines of the playing surface, however, it just shows that you may not care about your job. And for what the Indians were paying him, he had every reason to smile. But with the lack of production, it’s no wonder that the younger and healthier players on the team were starting to sour on the Swisher bubbly act.
Pretty much everyone likes, or even loves, Nick Swisher as a person. He’s got a TV job somewhere once he decides to say his playing days are over. He’s perfect for it. He’s eternally the life of the party. That once-annoying way he used to be is not an act; it’s real. We should all try to live our lives the way he seems to live his.
Unfortunately, this is a results business, and Swisher was a sunk cost with little flash of what he was brought here for. Swisher’s track record was meant to bring more than a Wild Card playoff game. A game that the Indians lost 4-0. Too much for too little when it counted. Swisher still smiled during the postgame scrums
Swisher seemed to suggest that he was blindsided by the trade to Atlanta. Maybe all he had to do was look around.