Struggling Swisher refreshes mental approach

Struggling Swisher refreshes mental approach

Struggling Swisher refreshes mental approach
SEATTLE -- It was at Safeco Field last season that Nick Swisher enjoyed one of his best days as a professional athlete, learning that he'd won the American League Final Vote and would be heading to his first All-Star Game.

Vowing that he is bringing a clean attitude into this nine-game road trip, Swisher is hoping Seattle will be the beginning of his climb back to a level of standout performance.

"Today I'm coming in here with a fresh mind, ready to go," Swisher said. "Now I've just got to go out there and show you guys. I can't keep coming in here thinking about the same things every day. My mind has changed."

Swisher was hitless in his last 15 at-bats entering play on Friday, but he said that the last thing he wanted to do was waste New York's off-day fretting about his .204 batting average.

Instead, Swisher spent part of his day Thursday taking in "The Hangover Part II." He said that his father, former big leaguer Steve Swisher, has been a strong influence in convincing Swisher to turn the page.

"He said, 'Hey, you've done it for two months. I did it for a long time,'" Swisher said of his dad, who was a career .216 hitter in nine seasons with the Cubs, Cardinals and Padres.

"It's so much easier to listen to people who've been there and done that. For me, it's more on the mental side than anything, and I'm doing that and fighting my battles. I'm ready to get out there and get some knocks because everything else feels good."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he senses Swisher has been largely the same presence in the clubhouse and on the field, but he also has no doubt that the prolonged offensive struggles are weighing on him.

"It's somewhat of a concern just because you know frustration builds for players," Girardi said. "The big thing is, can you block the frustration out and get back to doing what you do?

"It's difficult to look up there [at the numbers] in May and that's what's going on. Players have so much pride and work so hard in what they do. If he can control the frustration level, I believe he's going to hit."