Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yanks 5, Rays 4

Nick Swisher: ties it in the eighth with a homer, wins it it in the ninth with a two-out single.

This is what Reggie used to do, and Munson, and O'Neill and Bernie. Before them, Mickey and Yogi and Joe D, Tommy "Old Reliable" Henrich and "King Kong" Keller, and Johnny Mize and Country Slaughter, the two late-season pick-ups that would serve as the twin protoypes of a couple of dozen moves by The Boss, David Cone and Cory Lidle and all the rest. This is what Ruth and Gehrig did, what Jeter still does.

Remember Swisher was brought in last year to be no more than a fourth outfielder, to hit and run behind Xavier Nady in right and Damon in left.

Now he's not only an All-Star on the reigning World Champions; with Girardi managing like a point guard feeding the hot hand, he's batting third.

One thing that was overlooked by a lot of people in remembering George Steinbrenner--overlooked by most everyone except, significantly, Derek Jeter--was that The Boss was forever foremost a football man. Lose three baseball games in a row, you order a double. Lose three football games in a row, you slash your wrists. Steinbrenner was upset when the Yankees lost exhibition games--remember that?--and a three-game sweep at the hands of the Red Sox or Orioles would send him flying into a rage.

Just by way of saying: the greatest compliment Steinbrenner could pay a baseball player was to say, "I'd love to have him on a football field." Rafael Santana comes to mind.

Nick Swisher was a football player, recruited by Notre Dame to play free safety.

Allow me to state, as a USC Trojan For Life, I'm glad Nick Swisher chose baseball.

1 comment:

SundevilJoe said...

Agree. Last season, Swisher was simply an entry in the lineup card and, I might add, was usually near the bottom of the order. Now, much is expected of him.

You just knew he was going to make it happen in the bottom of the 9th.