MINNEAPOLIS - White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen benched a slumping hitter Tuesday night.
No, it wasn't Paul Konerko, who nonetheless is facing some extended down time with a .213 batting average.
It was Nick Swisher.
More than a few Sox fans have been badgering Guillen to sit Konerko for good and play Swisher at first base,
Guillen has considered any and all options, but he'd have a difficult time justifying a switch like that considering Swisher (. 228) is batting just .187 in July. He did break an 0-for-17 tailspin Tuesday with a home run in the ninth inning.
Swisher had no complaints about being held out of the starting lineup.
"I'm just going to relax and I'm going to be the best cheerleader in the game tonight for my team,'' said the 27-year-old switch hitter. "No one likes sitting out; no one likes not playing. But, hey, you know, Ozzie knows what's best. I'm just going to use it more of a mental day than anything, just kind of get away from everything.''
In his first season with the White Sox after coming over in a trade from the Oakland Athletics, Swisher has not performed up to expectations.
He was great in June, batting .315 with 7 homers and 23 RBI, but Swisher didn't hit in April (. 213), May (. 176) or July.
"I have no idea,'' Swisher said when asked about his latest slump. "I really wish I had that answer. I've changed up my stance a couple times. I'm just going to go back to what I know best, leg kick, two hands, and we'll see where that takes us.''
For the most part, Swisher has been able to maintain his overly positive attitude.
"I'm not much of a stat guy,'' Swisher said. "But obviously when you look up there and you're not hitting what you want to, sometimes that gets on your nerves a little bit.
"But, hey, I'm just going to keep battling, keep grinding. It hasn't been the year I've wanted, but it doesn't matter. I'm playing for a first-place team. That's what keeps me going, it keeps me driving, it keeps me working.''