It took a lot longer than I expected -- the White Sox have done some surprisingly good damage control -- but now that Swisher, who's never met a microphone or camera he didn't like, is off to a hot start in the largest media market in the country things are starting to heat up. Swisher apparently did a Q&A with the NY Post (See how hard that was to link. I'm looking at you Trib and Sun-Times.) in which he heaped effusive praise on his teammates and manager. The piece was shown to Ozzie Guillen Sunday, which, of course, elicited a response.
[T]his trade was all about getting rid of the strong personality of Swisher. It wasn't about baseball skill, or money, or the future. It was only about getting rid of a perceived problem for the sake of no longer having to deal with said problem.
There are whispers that Swisher rubbed much of the coaching staff and some of his teammates the wrong way with his outspoken behavior, and, most of all, his pouting when his season turned south. Now that he's no longer a member of the organization, I'm sure there will be plenty of leaks about him being an uncoachable, hard-partying, distraction in the clubhouse.
And even if all of those things are true, this is still a bad trade. The Sox simply didn't get any value in return.
"I heard the same [stuff] on April 20 [last year] about me," Guillen said. "He’s got to say what he’s got to say. He was talking about people he’s only known for two weeks. That’s hard to make that statement when you only know people for two weeks, but that’s Nick.
"I’m not pretending to be the best manager. I never will. But I guarantee that I will manage a lot longer than he will play. That’s all I can say. And I’ve got more friends in baseball than I have enemies. Some people can’t handle the way I manage. It’s not easy. When you manage, you have to deal with 25 to 50 people every year. To make [all of those] people happy, you can’t.
"But it’s easy when you hit .350 or .390. Everybody is a good manager. It’s easy to blame people."
It's hard not to side with Guillen on this one. Swisher wasn't long for Chicago because he rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. But he's an extremely talented baseball player, and it was imperative that the White Sox get some extreme talent in return.