Yankees at Indians: Familiar faces in new places

Nick SwisherThere might be a few double-takes here at Progressive Field this afternoon, as we all get a look at some very familiar names in strange new uniforms. By now, we’re used to seeing Travis Hafner in his new Yankees colors, but that probably isn’t the case for the sellout crowd expected on hand here for the Indians’ home opener.

By contrast, it’s still a little odd to see Nick Swisher yukking it up taking ground balls at first base in Cleveland red and blue, and also strange to see Terry Francona perched atop the back of the Indians’ batting cage. Jason Giambi in an Indians warmup doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, either, but we’ll all get through this together.

Swisher met with the media this morning here in Cleveland and was his usual self, wearing a t-shirt that said “Awesome Amazingness” — surprise, surprise, Swisher boasted that he had designed it himself. While he said that he has moved on and is happy to be with the Indians (he signed a four-year, $56 million deal in December), Swisher acknowledged with a little prodding that it “hurt” not to receive an offer from the Yankees after last season.

“That team was amazing. The city was amazing,” Swisher said. “You guys [media] were amazing to me. My teammates were so great to me, and when you are in a place for four years, that’s a long time in baseball. You develop some relationships. Sometimes when you leave, that’s not exactly what you want to do sometimes. But the way that Cleveland has come in and approached the situation and treated me like a king over here, I just could not be more honored to be putting the uniform on for them every single day.”

Hafner received a standing ovation during his last at-bat for the Indians in 2012 and said that he was not sure it would be his last with Cleveland. The Indians did show some late interest in bringing him back, but by then Hafner had already made up his mind that he was going to head to the Yankees and try to assault the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium.

“Not every roster can have a full-time DH,” Hafner said. “There was some interest on both sides but I wasn’t exactly sure how it would play out, if there would be space or whatever. The opportunity with the Yankees came up, I talked to a lot of people and it seemed like a great fit for me with the ballpark and the franchise and having a chance to play with Hall of Famers and really good leaders. It’s something I was looking forward to.”

There will be a cool pregame ceremony here in which several Indians will receive ceremonial first pitches from their fathers. Taking part will be: Terry and Tito Francona, Sandy Alomar Jr. & Sr., Nick and Steve Swisher, Michael and Mickey Brantley and Zach and Steve McAllister.

First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. ET Lineups for both teams and expanded game information is available via MLB GameDay.

5 Comments

Yeh, the Yankees were great the last couple of games, at least offensively. They feasted on the Indians but it will be a real test when they play the Jays and the Orioles. Cano is hot which is good. Gardner is coming on and getting production from a few of the old retreads like Overbay, Hafner, and Wells. Dare we hope that this team will carry us through until a few of the injured come back? And will we want Tex back in place of Overbay, ARod in place of Youk, Granderson in place of Wells? We’ll have to see. Early yet so don’t want to get too excited. I wish Joba would shave off that stupid moustache. Maybe that’s what is causing him to pitch like he is doing this year so far.Now we’ve seen CC back on track and Kuroda what about Nova and Hughes? Next 2 games will be interesting. Andy has been super in his first 2 starts. Hope he can keep it up and doesn’t get injured. If he’s out for any length of time it will hurt this team badly. For a 40 yr. old he’s been great. Haven’t seen Mo much lately which is probably a good thing because we’ve scored so many runs. Hope he doesn’t get rusty.

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Saw the last few batters robert G and trust me I was cursing a mile a minute. Joba the Bum needs to go on weight watchers. He looks way overweight. Anyway, looked at tonight’s game on ESPN and could not believe my eyes. WOW a 7-0 lead, breakup the Yankees

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Joba loads the bases with Reynolds coming up in the 9th. Grand slam would bring the Indians to within 1 run after being down 11-3 in the 8th. What a wonderful bull pen we have. Where the hell is Robertson? Why is Girardi trotting Kelley and Joba in the late innings when they’re so unreliable. Unbelievable poor managing of pitchers.

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Hey Seeknay. Guess who Girardi is bringing in in the 9th inning? Your buddy, Joba. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joba loses this game with the Yankees up 11-6. This game was a blow out up to 8th and then our bull pen did their usual job and allowed 3 runs. I wonder how many Joba will give up before he gets yanked?

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Kuroda does a great job and in the 8th Girardi brings in Kelley and like the bull pen has done so far this year he allows a home run and 3 runs to score. It’s a good job we had an 11-3 lead. What’s with the bull pen? They’ve been terrible so far. I guess with a big lead Girardi decides not to use Robertson as set up and goes to Kelley instead and he bombs. Hopefully we can put this one away with a lead of 11-3 going into the 8th. It’s a good job Havner and Cano were clicking on offense tonight.

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