LADY AT THE BAT: Long Relief No, Comic Relief Yes

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Long Relief No, Comic Relief Yes

This year, the Yankees decided to break camp at the end of Spring Training without a long reliever on their roster. If they didn't think it would cause a problem this early in the season they were proven decidedly wrong last night. It appears they assumed, wrongly, that the rotation would be off and running right out of the gate. But Chien-Ming Wang's up-in-the-zone pitches had other ideas.

So the Yankees finished the game using four short relievers, including Jonathan Albaladejo, who was stretched to his max. You know by now who the fourth pitcher was: Nick Swisher. Swish went out there and had fun, which is what he's done since he got to New York, which is probably what he has done his whole life. He walked around the mound with a bounce in his step, a smile on his face and laughter coming out of his mouth. A lot like Mark "The Bird" Fydrych.

Hearing about Fydrych's death was shocking, to say the least. "The Bird" took MLB by storm during 1976, his one magical season. He was known for the fun he had while pitching: smoothing out the mound with his hands, talking to the baseball and slapping five with his teammates. Not high-fiving, of course. People didn't start doing that until long after Frydrych had retired.

I think it's fitting that the always-animated Swisher pitched last night, in a laugher, laughing and having fun, on the day "The Bird" left this earth. A fitting tribute, indeed.


[Fydrych Photo: AP]


Anonymous said...

Swish was hilarious! I'm glad he's not a giant sour-puss like Posada. It's not Swish's fault he's pitching in a game like that, maybe Posada has is projecting his feelings about calling a garbage game :)

Bernadette Pasley said...

I totally agree! Swish is just what this team needs. Posada needs to get his World Series rings out of his butt and start enjoying baseball.