TUCSON, Ariz. – Nick Swisher is yet to step one foot into U.S. Cellular Field wearing a White Sox jersey, but is already growing to Aaron Rowand cult status.
Forget they fact that he’s single and has been known to refer to himself as “Swish-a-licious,’’ he also brings a swagger and cockiness with him that will instantly be embraced on the South Side. If that means crashing into walls to track down a ball or strike a pose after a home run, so be it.
Swisher, who was checking into camp early on Tuesday, made it known that he plays the game hard and he plays to win. If the way he tries to accomplish that is taken as cocky, guilty as charged.
“Why do you gotta say it like that?’’ Swisher joked, when asked by one reporter about his reputation as having a “swagger.’’ “Nah man, I love playing the game, and if it comes off like that, hey, some people look at it like that. Hey, I don’t mean to be like that. I’m just out there having fun. For me, this is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.
“When you get to that point, you want to soak it up for everything it’s worth. For me, I go out and play the game hard, bring some intensity. I’m not going to come over here and change the way I play the game. I’m coming over here and doing the things I’ve been doing so I can get better year in and year out.’’
As far as the idea of playing in Chicago, he said he’s already “giddy, like a little school kid.’’
“I’m a guy, as you can tell I’m pretty shy, it’s tough for me to speak to people,’’ he said sarcastically. “I think it’s going to be great. Chicago is a great town. My old man played [Steve] with the Cubs for all those years and told me about Chicago and what a great town it is.’’