Nick Swisher ‘can’t wait to hit against’ Cliff Lee

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The New York Yankees are sick and tired of Cliff Lee.

They’re sick of listening to everyone talk about him. They’re tired of answering questions about how awesome he is. And they’ve certainly had enough of watching him in their nightmares as he bounds off the mound after yet another strikeout, cackling madly to himself as if to say “how can it be this easy?”

The Yankees’ frustration boiled over just a bit in the form of a Nick Swisher mini-rant on Wednesday, when the outfielder became incensed when he overheard a reporter asking a teammate about you-know-who.

“You guys are talking about Cliff Lee?” said Swisher, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN-New York.”[Expletive], who cares?”

More from Marchand:

As he walked off, Swisher said, “I can’t wait to hit against his [behind].”

Later, when asked about saying this out loud with reporters present, Swisher cut off a question when the words “Cliff Lee” were uttered.

“I’m not talking about Cliff Lee,” Swisher said. “I don’t give a [expletive].”

Oh Nick. Don’t you know that if you insult Lee you’ll only make him angry? (And yes, like Mongo, Lee will park his ox wherever he likes, thank you very much)

Of course, you can understand the Yankees getting tired of the constant Cliff Lee questions, especially when there is this annoying thing called Game 6 that they have to deal with first. Should they find themselves unable to score any runs against Colby Lewis on Friday, the issue will be moot – except for the “Cliff-Lee-in-pinstripes” queries.

As far as Swisher goes, I’m glad he popped off. Maybe he shouldn’t voice such opinions out loud, but the sport would be a lot less fun if everyone just regurgitated Nuke LaLoosh clichés all the time.

And maybe Swisher really can’t wait to face Lee. His career line against the ace left-hander? .320/.419/.640. Wow.

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Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.