Tonight, ESPN will air a special E:60 on Nick Swisher. No, you didn't read that wrong, it's not a typo, and yes, it's that Nick Swisher. Here's the summary:
Into a clubhouse that was known for its seriousness, Swisher injected some much needed joie de vivre. His relentless energy and enthusiasm initially encountered some resistance in the business-like atmosphere in the Bronx-but eventually his teammates were won over by his attitude and performance. With Swisher, the Yankees won the World Series for the first time in nine years and, for the first time since perhaps long before then, they've been having fun. Jeremy Schaap reports for E:60.
Wow. Just wow.
Give me a minute.
Alright, here we go.
It's not like this is anything new for ESPN. Let's face it, they know their market. New York is a huge media market, the Yankees are a huge media market, champions are a huge media market. People tune in for the best and, sadly, that's what the Yankees are these days.
But come on, really? Swisher? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. It's not like the Worldwide Leader has ever let reality stop them from creating a perfect superstar. That's why LeBron puff pieces are a dime a dozen and actual reporting gets submarined faster than you can say "Maverick Carter is probably guilty of kidnapping and robbery."
It's less likely that Swisher injected joie de vivre so much as ESPN has injected some human interest into a team full of prima donnas, mercenaries and business haircuts. That serious locker room was not suddenly awash in good feelings because of any of Swisher's antics, but because of the simple fact that the $40 million they would spend that year on Mark Teixeira and C.C. Sabathia had made them almost prohibitive World Series favorites.
Every year we seem to get a new version of this story, whether it's A-Rod finally finding his place and fitting in with the veterans, Jason Giambi throwing on some sort of crazy underwear to break a slump, or now Nick Swisher's How I Met Your Mother guest appearance really bringing the club together as a family. When it comes right down to it, though, the Yankees are having fun as long as they're winning, and there are a lot more obvious reasons for that than Nick Swisher (nice BABIP and New Yankee Windtunnel feuled year aside).
But "Yankees' millions of dollars paying dividends" just doesn't have quite so nice a ring to it, I guess.