NEW YORK - While Alex Rodriguez is squarely in the cross-hairs of scrutiny, there is a growing post-season target on Nick Swisher's back as well.
Swisher, one of the most popular New York Yankees, is hoping to parlay this season into one of those monster deals the team is famous for. He's a free agent at season's end and the feeling is that his best chance for that kind of contract is in New York.
The fly in the ointment for Swisher, 31, is his record overall in six playoff seasons. Including the two games so far this year, the first baseman/outfielder has played in 40 games and is hitting .169 with a .297 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .315.
"You just have to go out there and make it happen," Swisher said. "People go on production; that's what it boils down to. I haven't produced as much as I would have liked to in the past post-seasons, but that's done with. I can't go back and rewrite history. All I can do is move forward and look forward to having an awesome post-season this year."
Coming off a season when he hit .272 with an .837 OPS, 24 home runs and 93 RBI, the Yankees are counting on Swisher to deliver in these playoffs. It will have an effect on what kind of an offer he gets.
"At the end of the day, it's all about winning," Swisher said. "People put so much stress on people's numbers in the post-season, but if you win, it doesn't matter. Nobody brought up anything bad in 2009 when we won, but when you don't do as well people start pointing fingers in certain directions."
True enough. And if there's a failure to launch this fall, those fingers will be pointed right at him.