From Today's Chronicle:
A's Swisher takes advice, acts like rookie
-By Susan Slusser
Before Oakland's 9-6 loss to New York at the Coliseum, Swisher explained that he is listening to the advice of some veteran players and just trying to do his job without some of the chatter and swagger that has characterized him since he came up in September.Consider Nick Swisher hazed.
"As of late, I haven't stood out,'' said Swisher, who made a diving catch in foul territory and hit a two-run homer and had an RBI single. "I try to be the guy who hides in the corner. It's not me, but it's something I need to work on, to be the guy who lies in the weeds, does what he's told.''
When third baseman Eric Chavez told the A's to straighten up and fly right on the team bus after being swept at Washington last week, the remarks were especially aimed at some of the younger players. Among other things, Chavez explained the next day, some of the young players were "too comfortable. '' When he was coming up, he said, there were standards to adhere to, and Chavez didn't want those to slip.
"Still, there have got to be certain boundaries. I keep telling Swish he's lucky Tony Phillips (a fierce type who played for Oakland when Chavez was a rookie) isn't here.''
Several veterans have ridden Swisher pretty hard. Mark McLemore did so last fall, and catcher Jason Kendall has spoken to the right fielder numerous times this year. The themes, according to Kendall, are, "As a rookie, you want to lay low and don't do anything until someone says something. Keep your head in your locker and don't say anything.''
Two tell tale signs that Swish was recently been hazed:
- Veterans were trying to "put Swisher in his place" because he was too cocky.
- After the hazing he's been told that's he got it easy compared to when the veterans had to go through it when they were rookies.
I'm glad to see Chavez stepping out of his shell and lead the clubhouse for a change. He may not be a cheerleader, but he can lead with his bat and whatever wisdom he can impart.
This does not mean I condone hazing in any form because hazing, when perfromed by idiots, can go horribly wrong. The Carrington family has my deepest condolences.