New Yankee Nick Swisher does it all, from big hits to being the best pitcher on the Yankees' squad during last night's horrible loss, to tweeting on Twitter after each game. But I wonder how much the fun will last, given Jorge Posada's crankiness about him in the postgame.
When Squawker Jon and I were yakking on the phone last night, he wondered how the other Yankees were reacting to Swisher's enormous grin while pitching. Jolly Old St. Nick really was jolly on the mound. And decent, too. Not only did Nick get Carlos Pena and Pat the Bat Burrell out, but he struck out Gabe Kapler! And Nick had the ball saved!
Swisher looked just as pleased talking to reporters, talking about his 0.00 career Earned
Run Average and saying you "gotta find something to laugh about in that moment." He continued, "If that's what it takes to get us back together and get rocking, then I'm all for that."
But Jorge Posada was not amused.
When Kim Jones said to Posada about how "this game apparently ended with some laughs, with Swisher on the mound," Jorge cut her off and said, "Nobody was laughing tonight." The catcher went on to say, "I think today was embarrassing."
Lighten up, Francis.
Yes, it was a terrible loss, but if you can't laugh at seeing Nick Swisher on the mound last night, then I don't know what to say to you. Besides, there's an expression about laughing to keep from crying - last night's loss at the hand of the reigning AL Champions was depressing enough.
It is frustrating, though. Every time some new Yankee with a spark and a sense of humor comes on this team, like Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon, it seems like he gets beaten down into submission at some point by the more humorless guys on the Yankees. And forget about it if you have a, well, different personality, like Alex Rodriguez.
And the thing is, this ultra-serious, buttoned-up way has little to do with real Yankee history. Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and the Bronx Zoo Yankees, to name a few examples, were hardly wallflowers. They even had laughs during losses and everything!
Heck, the hallowed late '90s Yankees once had Wade Boggs eliciting some laughs during his 1997 pitching appearance. I don't think his team's catcher, Joe Girardi, sniped at him in the postgame though for having fun out there, though.
My guess is that Girardi remembered that game, and put Swisher in last night for that reason. Joe may not be a barrel of laughs himself, but he seems to realize that a lighthearted tone is important - remember the pool outing this spring?
Unfortunately for Girardi, some of his players seem to think that there is no laughing in baseball.
The sad thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if one of those so-called "True Yankees" had a stern talking-to with Swisher after he - horrors - looked like he was having fun out there last night. Sheesh.
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