No matter how fans felt about his play on the field, Nick Swisher was generally considered one of the nicest and most lovable guys in the game.
But not everyone seemed to be receptive to that.
Swisher’s former manager with the Chicago White Sox, Ozzie Guillen, had some harsh words for the former MLB outfielder during Wednesday’s postgame show on NBC Sports Chicago.
Guillen was asked which player he disliked more – Carlos Gomez or Nick Swisher – and Guillen scoffed because it was not even close.
“Oh my God, nobody can compare that with Nick Swisher,” Guillen said. “I hate Nick Swisher with my heart. I think he hates me back, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Guillen has previously hinted he is not a fan of Swisher and hardly seemed to miss him when the White Sox traded him to the Yankees after his lone season in Chicago in 2008 in exchange for utility infielder Wilson Betemit.
But he also acknowledged on Wednesday that the two never had a relationship.
“I never talked to him, I was managing him, but I don’t like the way his attitude was all fake,” he said. “And I don’t like fake people.”
When brought up that he had only managed Swisher for one season, Guillen replied, “It was one year too long.”
Guillen and Swisher both have big, although contrasting, personalities, so it is easy to see why the two may not have meshed.
The White Sox had traded for Swisher, giving up pitcher Gio Gonzalez, outfielder Ryan Sweeny and pitching prospect Fautino De Los Santos for him.
While Swisher hit 24 home runs, he had a slash line of .219/.332/.410 and was benched down the stretch in September due to his struggles, which may have contributed to the animosity between the two.
Swisher seemed to enjoy a change of scenery the next year with the Yankees. He raised his average 30 points and on-base percentage 40 points en route to helping the Yankees win a World Series. The following season Swisher was an All-Star.
Perhaps one day we’ll find out more as to why the hatred between the two runs so deep 12 years later.