Nick Swisher's relationship with the fans at Yankee Stadium — especially his beloved Bleacher Creatures in right field — admittedly has taken more hits in these playoffs than he's managed at the plate.
Swisher is mired in his fourth consecutive postseason slump since joining the Yankees, and the pending free agent has been noticeably stung that the fans booed their one-time favorite and several teammates throughout most of the back-to-back home losses Saturday and Sunday against the Tigers.
"As the game progresses, you're trying to go up there and get a hit. If you don't, people let you know about it," said Swisher, who is batting .154 with one RBI through seven postseason games this October. "It's a tough spot. Hey man, I guess that's playing in New York... That's New York for you.
"It's a crazy game. Being here in New York, obviously there's a lot of expectations. I don't know what to say, bro. I'm just going to kind of let it go."
But the always gregarious Swisher couldn't let it go, especially since he believes some fans made it personal with verbal attacks this weekend aimed at him and several inappropriate tweets about him to his wife, actress JoAnna Garcia.
"(Saturday) night was pretty big. A lot of people saying a lot of things that I've never heard before," Swisher said. "Prime example - 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."
Swisher, who may have played his final home game as a Yankee if the series doesn't return to New York, normally does an emphatic military salute to the Bleacher Creatures during their customary first-inning roll call, but he admittedly took warm-up throws closer to the infield and noticeably toned down his interaction with those fans during Sunday's 3-0 loss.
"That's the last thing that I ever thought would be in this ballpark, that people would get on you that bad," said Swisher, who is an unfathomable 1-for-34 with runners in scoring position in his postseason career. "Especially your home, where your heart is, where you've been battling and grinding all year long. It's just frustrating, man. You never want to be in that spot. It's not like you're trying to go out there and do bad on purpose. It's just tough, man.
Yankees' Nick Swisher says fans blamed him for Derek Jeter's injury after he misplayed ball in right field during Saturday's ALCS Game 1
New York Daily News | Oct 15