Swisher and Francona discuss the outfielder signing for the Tribe
The Indians unveiled the team’s newest outfielder, Nick Swisher, at a press conference at Progressive Field on Thursday afternoon. The former Yankees standout could barely contain his enthusiasm throughout the event, speaking about his excitement to join the Indians and play for manager Terry Francona, while being close to his roots at Ohio State University and Parkersburg, WV.
TribeVibe caught up with both Swisher and Francona to get their thoughts on the slugger joining the team.
New Indians Outfielder Nick Swisher
On how he feels to have signed for the Indians:
“We’re excited to be here. This is the team that rolled out the red carpet in the right way, hit me in the heart in the right spots, and like I said before, every time we would sit back and look at the situation, all roads would lead to Cleveland.
On whether he originally expected to sign with Cleveland:
“[I was surprised] because we had a good amount of teams going on, and at the end when everything was on the table, we kind of laid it out, and like I said, this was the place we wanted to be… you never know how things are going to shake out. You never know how the market is going to work, but to be in the position we are – getting five years – that’s what we wanted – and we could not be more excited about the opportunity. It’s going to be great.”
On his time with the Yankees and his role in the Indians clubhouse:
“It was a great time. I had an awesome time, you know. I like to think I have fun wherever I go, but just to be part of an organization like that with the tradition – and the winning tradition – that rubs off on you, so hopefully that is something I can bring over here. Maybe be more of a leader in the clubhouse then I ever have been before, and I’m excited about that. I’m excited to get together with the guys, and be part of that team. From what I’ve heard from the guys, it’s a great locker room, a great group of guys, a bunch of guys that want to win, and I’m hoping this year we have a chance to.
On his feeling after his “recruiting visit” to Progressive Field:
We were walking out of here like ‘man, these guys did it right!’ It was just an amazing situation to be in, and I think they tugged on the right strings. They went Ohio State on me, they brought back Jim Tressel – one of my idols, who I hadn’t seen in years – and like I said, they did it right, and I could not be happier about the way it turned out.
Indians Manager Terry Francona
On his expectations for Swisher in the Tribe’s lineup:
He has hit anywhere from 2nd to probably 6th in the order. You can bet he’s not going to hit 6th, but I can see some scenarios where maybe he does hit 2nd. We’ll see, and you know I was being honest when I said I want to sit down and talk to guys about it.
On his philosophy for selecting the batting order:
You can’t let guys choose their spot in the batting order, but when there’s a comfort zone, I want there to be that, and I want there to be some consistency where I don’t want guys showing up every day and having to look at the lineup. I don’t think that’s healthy. You know, you go through injuries and things like that where guys have to make adjustments, but I like to be really consistent.
On the impact of Nick’s father Steve Swisher, a former Major Leaguer:
I think more often than not you see guys respect the game that grew up in households like that…I’m sure that Steve is extremely proud of Nick. I was actually watching him during the conference and you could see he was kind of beaming, as he should.
— TribeVibe Contributor Max Lom