Nick Swisher is one of our Moneyball favorites and he's agreed to check in with Athletics Nation periodically throughout the season. This is the first check in with AN for 2005. He and I talked on Saturday morning while he was in his hotel room. Enjoy. - Blez
Blez: Talk about your two home run game early in the year against Baltimore.
Nick Swisher: The two home run game (against Baltimore) was just awesome. To be able to hit two home runs in a major league game is something you dream about as a kid. I couldn't have been more happy, and more than that we won the game.
Blez: Do you remember what pitches they were?
Swisher: Fastballs, man. (Laughs)
Blez: I know the trip to Tampa Bay was tough because that idiot kept getting on you.
Swisher: I didn't even hear the guy. If he was such a good heckler, I would've heard him.
Blez: Did anyone tell you about him?
Swisher: Yeah, the media. I didn't care about a freaking heckler. It's part of the game man, everyone heckles. I mean, you should hear these people out in Anaheim out there in right field.
Swisher: Yeah. They're good.
Blez: They riding you?
Swisher: Yeah. But this so-called heckler guy. You do what you do, but I didn't hear him.
Blez: It's hard to not notice it on TV because the guy is really loud and there's about 100 people at the games in Tampa.
Swisher: You can probably hear him on TV, but when I'm locked in and zoning in, I can't hear that stuff.
Blez: How do you feel like your at-bats have been so far this year?
Swisher: They've been OK. I'm still getting to the point where I can get my zone back. But after that first week went by, pitchers have started making the adjustment. I'm not seeing many fastballs anymore. I'm seeing a lot of offspeed pitches. I have to learn to make that adjustment.
Blez: What do you feel you have to do to be more effective against those offspeed pitches?
Blez: Just hold back a little bit?
Blez: Do you feel like you're trying to pull pitches too much?
Swisher: No, not really.
Blez: What's life been like on the road so far?
Swisher: The road has been great. That's really when you get a chance to hang out with the team and get to know them better. Because at home, everyone has their family and kids and stuff.
Blez: Have you learned anything about any of the guys that you may not have known before?
Swisher: I've learned more about guys, but I'm not at a point where I can jump in guys' personal lives. (Laughing)
Blez: Do you guys bring the XBox on the road?
Swisher: Well, we have these little PS2's we play. I did find out that Dotel is pretty good at racing games. Racing video games.
Blez: Do you want to talk about opening day and how that was?
Swisher: Opening day was phenomenal, man. You can play 100 years in this game, but no one can ever get used to opening day. I was excited, nervous and all these different thoughts are going through your mind and be at ease.
Blez: Is it hard to kind of stay within yourself and try and learn to carry over the patience to the major league level because you want to make an impression so badly?
Swisher: No doubt about it. That's definitely something I need to learn. With Hudge and the other guys on the team, I've got a good group of supporting guys.
Blez: How do you feel about right field? You've made some pretty nice catches out there.
Swisher: I love it. Brad Fischer has been a huge influence on me this year. He's really pushed me to be one of the best defensive outfielders I can be. Me and him have worked every day at something new. With his help, it has really helped.
Blez: Have you learned the positioning on your opponents pretty easily?
Swisher: Well, yeah. He tells us before where to set up. But after you play them so many times, it just becomes second nature.
Blez: What were some of the people in Anaheim saying to you?
Swisher: Just the usual. "Swisher, you suck." (Laughing) If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that.
Blez: You'd be a rich man?
Swisher: Oh my gosh, you don't even know. It's at least 100 times a game. They need to come up with something new.
Blez: Cause it loses its effect?
Swisher: Yeah, it's just not hard any more. It used to be.
Blez: Have you been talking to Dad?
Swisher: Yep. I try to give him a call every day.
Blez: He been watching every day?
Swisher: Well, he hasn't as much of a chance because he's been coaching again. He's coaching in Double-A Redding.
Blez: How's he doing down there?
Swisher: Good. It's weird him being out of the game for seven or eight years and then finally getting back in. It's weird because it's sometimes hard reaching him.
Blez: How do you feel about the team's performance so far?
Swisher: Good. Things have been great so far.
Blez: How was that game last night? Must've been great. (Referring to the Hatteberg single off Rodriguez)
Swisher: Oh gosh, it was awesome. That's was the greatest thing in the world. That was just unbelievable. It was so loud. You couldn't hear yourself and finally Hatty got that hit and I was like, "Hell, YES." It was awesome.
Blez: Thanks, Swish. Good luck and I'll check in with you again in a couple of weeks.
Swisher: No problem, buddy. My pleasure.