Nady and the Swish

swish.jpgWhen the Yankees announced the acquisition of Nick Swisher from a trade with the Chicago White Sox for Wilson Betemit, I was curious. With the impending loss of Bobby Abreu to free agency, I was looking for any way that the Bombers would bring back the patient hitter. I figured Swisher would play first and Bobby would be brought back to platoon with Damon and Nady. (Photo: Getty Images)

I was excited at the prospect of having baseball’s most patient hitter in 2008 in a lineup with Abreu (another of baseball’s top three most patient hitters) and the Yankee elite. I was stoked on Swish’s almost immaculate defense guarding the right corner bag. I was excited for another switch hitter to be in the every day lineup.

I was, as is now apparent, wrong.

Instead, Brian Cashman ignored my pleas and signed Mark Teixiera for first base, ultimately letting Abreu join our west coast nemesis (The Yankee devils HAVE to hate Angels) for a steal.

No one is going to complain about Tex being on the team. I’m glad he’s here (and not in Boston). He will make Mattingly proud, for sure. His bat and glove will fill both offensive and defensive voids for the next several years.

xaviernady.jpgSo now we come back to a dilemma. Forget about Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner for a few minutes and look at the contest being fought for Bobby’s Right Field Roost between Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady.

I’m pretty unoriginal when it comes to making strong arguments based on anything but stats, so here are a few factors for Joe Girardi to consider when making his decision for the everyday right fielder position.

THE EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT:

Nady hit 25 HR’s last yea; Swisher hit 24. But in six full seasons, Nady has only hit 87 HRs. In only four full seasons, Swisher has amassed 104 homers.
ADVANTAGE: SWISHER

But in batting average, we see Nady’s .280 career AVG (.303 in ’08) overcome Swisher’s dissapointing .244 (.218 in ’08). Nady also struck out less, had a higher OBP, and pulled in more RBIs. He also had many more hits (but somehow less runs?)
ADVANTAGE: NADY

Swisher stole 3 bases last season, Nady stole two. Whoever is going to replace Bobby needs to be able to gank some bags. Bobby stole around 20.
ADVANTAGE: ABREU

Both have commendable defensive percentages. Swisher has a near immaculate career record of .990 (.975, 5E in OF in ’08) to Nady’s .984 (.985, 4E, in OF in ’08).  Bobby Abreu carries a career .984 (.993, 2E OF in ’08).
ADVANTAGE: YANKEES (You can’t go wrong any which way here.)

The White Sox have won a world series this decade. The Pirates, well, they existed this decade. Kind of.
ADVANTAGE: SWISHER

Nady was born in 1978 and is 30. The much younger Nick Swisher was born
in 1980 and is 28. The free agent market dictates that Nick Swisher,
being in his twenties, is automatically better than the 30-something
year old Nady.
ADVANTAGE: SWISHER

Swisher throws left handed and bats as a switch hitter. Nady is right
handed all the way around. Being right handed in right field makes for
an awkward throwing situation.
ADVANTAGE: SWISHER


Nick Swisher has a website. Xavier Nady, does not. Hey Nady, get with the 20th century  21st century.
ADVANTAGE: SWISHER

Two words: Swish’s Wishes. You cannot get much cooler than that.
ADVANTAGE: SWISHER

Nady used a pink bat on mother’s day to promote breast cancer
awareness. Nick Swisher dyed his facial hair. Nady had a weapon that he
can carry over to the Yankees. Swisher had to lose his pink with the
clean cut. 
ADVANTAGE: NADY (unless Swisher grows a pink moustache.)

Swisher has only played in the almighty American League (A’s, White Sox). Nady has played almost his entire career in the National League (Padres, Mets, Pirates). Yuck. The National League is gross.
ADVANTAGE: SWISHER

Nady’s agent is Scott Boras. He’s a jerk.
ADVANTAGE: SWISHER

 swisher.jpgI believe the evidence here is overwhelming. It is time to put Nick Swisher in the corner pocket and let him play every day baseball. Keep Nady around for damage control when/if someone goes down. You never know when Matsui’s knee may implode or Johnny Damon needs to be put in protective custody from his hairdresser, who is obviously trying to kill him.

johnnydamonshair.jpg

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10 comments

  1. juliasrants

    Just thought I’d drop by and send some love from Red Sox Nation your way! Damon needs more then protection from his hairdresser – a court order might be more in line. I can understand your problem with the Angels (Red Sox have a much better time beating them!) but do you see the Yankees keeping both Swisher and Nady? There has been so much discussion flying around about one or the other being traded that I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already. And maybe Nady doesn’t have a website because in his spare time he is practicing baseball instead of playing video games. Just a thought.

    Julia
    http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

  2. roshkoch

    On the serious side, I hope the find a way to keep both. I know it isn’t likely, but unless an injury finds it way to the Big Apple, I don’t see this bigamous marriage lasting very long. The only way this works is if it is a temporary, one season deal, with one of them moving to left field in the off season when either/and/or/both Damon and Matsui ride off into the sunset (more likely for Sui to leave than Johnny.)

    The only person that needs to worry about being cut from the team is Johnny’s hideous hair.

  3. paulie_21

    Rosh, you’ve summed it up–the biggest concern may be contract issues–Nady is a free agent after the year is over, and, as you said, is a Scott Boras client. However, that may add extra motivation, and Scott Boras knows after the Alex Rodriguez debacle a few years ago that the **** he pulls doesn’t fly in the Bronx the way it does, say, in Queens or Beantown. Plus, if he puts out a good year (.290, 25, 100, which should be easy in this lineup if he gets proper playing time), the yankees will have an easy time resigning him with Damon, Matsui and Andy Pettite coming off the payroll. This may be all the more reason to keep both, in fact, and move Swish over to LF. Then you have the question of injuries and productivity. Johnny Damon admitted he was close to retiringtwo years ago, when he turned out a rather disappointing season. He was good last year, but at his age, there are no guarantees. And Matsui, once an iron-man, can’t stay off the DL and is no spring chicken himself. Either way, hopefully Melky or Gardner or Austin Jackson steps up soon, because this outfield is going to change in a big way in the next two years.

  4. roshkoch

    V – Thanks. I try.

    Jesse – Unfortunately, the Yankees are the only team that can afford to eat at the Scott Boras buffet on a regular basis. The Unamed-Rod debacle from a couple years ago, and the pick up of Tex and Nady have just welcomed him into the fold. He makes me feel dirty. I see him as weaselly little rat, scurrying around taking dumps all over everything.

    I read somewhere, shucks I have to remember where, that Damon’s wife said this was his last contract. That always remains to be seen (STAY RETIRED BRETT FARVE, JUST STOP) with professional athletes.

    If both Damon/Matsui go, there is room then to not only move Swisher to left field, but to tinker with the catching spot in case Jorge isn’t able to go full force anymore. Jorge is still a more than adequate DH, if need be, and I know how fond of Jose Molina you are. We also have Jesus Montero, though he will likely outgrow the backstop and move to the outfield. If we bring another outfielder in, we could go back to the platoon system of OF/DH duties. I am a fan of that, as it keeps guys rested, but still getting at bats.

    We’ll have to see what happens then. What I know now is we have a team that is complete and abundant. I don’t care what the haters say, this is a Yankee year.

  5. roshkoch

    Mark, I have already added him to my queue and tagged him, hoping he reads, and gets a chuckle, out of my arguments for him. I also hope he grows a moustache. I think the Yankees, in a move of solidarity, should all grow ’em. I’d even grow one with them.

  6. Jane Heller

    My favorite part of your post was “the much younger Swisher.” By two years? LOL. Far be it from me to disagree, Rosh, but I like Nady better. I agree that he won’t give us a Gold Glove in right field, so there wouldn’t be an upgrade over Abreu. But Swisher isn’t much of an outfielder either, is he? My preference is to keep both. We lacked a strong bench last year, and having both guys would give us one. Plus, I think Paulie’s right and Nady will perform great in his contract season.

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  7. roshkoch

    It is perfectly acceptable to disagree Jane. Everyone is entitled to be wrong. πŸ˜‰ (jk)
    Swisher’s numbers in outfield were pretty legit. I am pretty sure he is a natural first baseman, but his stats wandering out in the outfield are very formidable. It was his offense, not his defense, that kept him out of Ozzie G’s good graces.
    Swish also brings some goofiness and fun that the Yanks need. Sometimes the guys look so stoic, and now with Jason gone we need a new class clown. I’m voting for Swish to grow a moustache in ’09.
    I am a firm believer that both players are top notch and can help the team this year. I’m excited for Yankee baseball in 2009.

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