Swisher Complains Negative Press Is Adding Pressure

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My first reaction to the Indians’ Nick Swisher’s voicing his displeasure for all the negative press that the team has received over its poor month of April was “Good for him”. I reacted that way because I have been very frustrated myself with the bashing of the Indians slow start. I feel like this team has earned some trust and I would have hoped that a slow start after the amazing season they put together last season would be supported with some benefit of the doubt. However, when this is coming from a guy making $15 million this year and under-performing for the second season in a row, it is hard to get behind what he is saying. If he were hitting the cover off of the ball and playing an above average first base then his complaints might carry more merit.

In my opinion Swisher appears to be hitting the ball much better but the facts do not lie. He is batting .218 with two home runs and 11 RBI’s. The team’s starting pitching is 3rd worst in the league and their defense has committed the most errors in the league. When taking these facts into account and an underachieving 12-17 start, it makes it hard to fault those coming down on this team. Swisher was quoted saying, “There has been a lot of stress in here, the first month of the season…..People saying things, writing things”. He went on to say “There has been a lot of bad things written about this team in the papers…..We pay attention to all that stuff.”

In those two quotes from an upset Swisher, the real problem here has come to the forefront. Swisher is basically saying that the team is playing with extra pressure or “Pressing” due to what is being written and said about them. He then confirms that they are influenced by the press by stating that they are paying attention.

I think that many would say that part of the problem has been identified. The idea would be to not pay attention to what the press is saying and control what you can control which is your game. If reading and listening to the press is bringing on more pressure which you have identified as a problem, then the solution would be to stop listening and reading what the press is saying. Swisher is a beloved guy in Cleveland, if he performs on the field there will be no shortage of positive press coverage supporting him. He should know how this works, he played in New York City.

Swisher may have been looking to use this as an attempt to unify his team though. He went on to say “We’ve got to step up together as a group. If we are going to get it done, it’s going to be in here.” It kind of sounds like he might be playing the “Us against the world” card in hopes to spark his team. However, admitting to all that the press is being too hard on his team hardly seems like a calculated move. I understand the perceived short leash given to this baseball team can be frustrating. It is early and I love the identity that this team established last year. They need to get back to the Identity that is our Cleveland Indians. A good reminder to athletes in Cleveland is that it is not the press’s job to keep morale up in the clubhouse. That’s your job.

By: Brad Ward

Follow @CST_BradWard

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