‘Twas a tie game in the bottom of the eighth in last night’s Tigers-Indians contest when Nick Swisher hit a dribbler up the third base line. Now, Swisher is usually known as a guy who plays hard. And what he should’ve done — what every Little League coach in the world would’ve been yelling at him to do — is run to first just in case something weird happened and the ball went fair. Even the most lackadaisical hot-doggin’ big shot could’ve told him that turning his back on the play was most definitely a bad idea.
But Swisher didn’t run, and what do you know, the ball spun fair. And the Indians lost a potentially key baserunner in a big intra-divisional matchup. And Nick Swisher learned a valuable lesson. And probably got yelled at a lot in the locker room by manager Terry Francona later on. Or at the least got a raised eyebrow that indicated “do that again and your new home will be ‘Terry Francona’s Doghouse-ville.’”
Speaking of kids, note the youthful excitement on Tigers catcher Brayan Peña’s face as he eats Swisher’s lunch. Peña is having a transcendent experience at the Church of Hustle.
Swisher also fell on his face while rounding third base in extra innings.
On the plus side for Swisher, hustling and having great game awareness isn’t as important to being a professional outfielder as being a great athlete who’s really skilled at hitting. So in the long run he’s fine. Don’t tell the kids that, though!