Nick Swisher was a fan favorite during his four seasons with the A’s and left the team not by choice but because he was traded to the White Sox following the 2007 season.
He’s been back to Oakland as an opposing player plenty of times since then, but after being booed by A’s fans last night Swisher voiced his frustration to Nate Stulhberg of CSNBayArea.com:
I’ve never been booed this much in my life. That’s all I really got to say about that. You boo Chavvy. You boo me. For what?
“Chavvy” is Eric Chavez, who spent the first 13 seasons of his career with the A’s before joining Swisher on the Yankees last season.
My guess is that simply playing for the Yankees explains a large part of the booing, but considering Swisher was traded away (in a good deal that got the A’s both Gio Gonzalez and Ryan Sweeney) and Chavez mutually parted ways with the A’s after playing for them from age 20 to age 32 it does seem a little odd that the crowd in Oakland would choose them as booing targets.
I’d normally say that perhaps A’s fans are simply frustrated in general and wanting to lash out at someone following five straight .500-or-worse seasons, but with the team playing very well of late and looking like legitimate playoff contenders that explanation wouldn’t make much sense either.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.