CLEVELAND — Whether it is disappointment with a slow start at the plate or the Indians’ struggles in April, Nick Swisher is frustrated over what he sees as unfair treatment from the Cleveland media. After Friday’s 12-5 win over the White Sox, Swisher voiced those frustrations.
"We kind of got off to a rough start. There have been a lot of bad things written about this team in the papers. We pay attention to all that stuff," Swisher said after the Indians 12-5 win over the White Sox to snap a six-game losing streak.
This hasn’t been the first time that Swisher has expressed his displeasure. After a 7-1 loss to the Angels on Wednesday, Swisher started things off by asking the questions that he thought reporters were going to ask. During the previous homestand against Kansas City, he chided a reporter when asked if he thought his two doubles in a win would help get things back on track by saying "you guys ask me the same (stuff) every day."
Swisher continues to say that the focus is on wins and losses and that the Indians can not worry about the stats. A look at the standings would show the Indians at 12-17 and in last in the AL Central. As much as Swisher would like others not to look at the stats, they show a team that in April hit only .220 with runners in scoring position and had the American League’s worst fielding percentage.
For a player who came out of spring training on a roll, Swisher has been inconsistent in the regular season. He went 1 for 3 on Friday but is only hitting .214 on the season, which is tied for his third-worst start in his career after 29 games. At this point last season, he was batting .257. He came into Friday’s game with the sixth most strikeouts in the American League with 32. After going 5 for 16 in the Royals series, Swisher was 5 for 21 on the recent six-game road trip.
Swisher’s fielding numbers aren’t much better. He has four errors and is 12th among AL first basemen in fielding percentage. He had nine errors all of last season.
Swisher’s disdain toward the media the past couple weeks is also surprising considering he spent four years dealing with the New York media. You would have expected him to say "there has been a lot of stress in here that first month of the season, with people saying things, people writing things." in New York but not Cleveland.
For a player who is a huge part of the Indians marketing efforts and is a fan favorite, Swisher should show some fire as one of the team leaders, but targeting the media is off base. It is also contradictory when he says there is more of a focus on media opinions than statistics.
Many have pointed out that it is still early in the season and there is plenty of time to turn things around, but until both Swisher and the Indians get on a winning streak, the media aren’t going to be the only ones asking when things are going to turn around.