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Swisher frustrated; Guillen doesn't care
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff

Cleveland Indians' Kelly Shoppach is almost hit by a pitch from Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Mike MacDougal during the sixth inning Friday.


Associated Press

Cleveland Indians' Franklin Gutierrez, left, slides safe in safely past the tag of Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski during the second inning Friday.


Associated Press

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Published: 9/26/2008 10:42 PM

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As hard as it is to believe, even happy-go-lucky Nick Swisher can get down in the dumps.

The outfielder/first baseman certainly has been lately over a lack of playing time and his own lack of production (3-for-15) on the just-concluded road trip.

"I was just frustrated because I wanted to be out there," said Swisher, who started just one game in New York and rode the bench against Minnesota before getting a start Friday at home against Cleveland. "I'm a competitor, I'm a fighter and I want to be out there doing the best I can to help the team win.

"I was down, there's no doubt about that."

Sox manager Ozzie Guillen went anything but Dr. Phil before the game when informed about Swisher's doldrums.

"I don't care if Swisher is happy or not," Guillen said. "I don't blame my players if they're upset when they're not playing, but the rules in baseball are I can only play nine guys, I can't play 10. It's not a softball team."

Swisher said he had a talk with someone about the situation, but Guillen said it wasn't with him.

"No. not yet," Guillen said. "But if you knock at the door, be careful, because I'm Judge Judy. I will say something you don't want to hear."

Piranhas at the Cell? Sox general manager Kenny Williams has heard all the talk about trying to make the Sox more like the pesky Minnesota Twins.

He isn't buying it.

"What you are saying is you want me to go out and find some bloop hitters for this ballpark?" Williams said. "You want me to find some bloop hitters?"

OK, how about some more speed then?

"Who wouldn't want speed?" he said "It's a rare commodity. You put that team in this ballpark and they will have some tough times.

"You are always fighting for a blend and that's not going to change."

Wedge shot: Think the Cleveland Indians don't remember how the Sox knocked them out of the wild-card race with a sweep in Cleveland to end the 2005 regular season?

Think again.

"There's some irony there, I guess," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge admitted before the start of this weekend's all-important series against the Sox. "But right now I just want us to get off on the right foot tonight and I want us to play some good baseball tonight.

"I don't give a (darn) who wins between Chicago and Minnesota. I give a (darn) what we do."

He said it: Sox general manager Kenny Williams, responding to an report that he and Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf are negotiating a contract extension: "That's so low on my list of priorities right now. I don't know. Whatever the last thing is on my list of priorities, that's underneath it."