Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter get most of the credit and blame in New York, but if the Yankees are going to return to the World Series, a sports psychologist might help make the difference.
Outfielder Nick Swisher, in the final year of his contract, is hoping regular offseason visits with a sports shrink will mean a big season.
"It's one thing to be in great physical shape, but anybody can do that if they work hard enough," Swisher told the New York Daily News. "The mental game is something you can always improve, because there isn’t really a point where you can ever be mentally prepared enough.
"When you talk to these guys, they start spinning your mind and making you think of things you normally wouldn't think of. I wanted to work on all the things I was bad at; my mental game was something I wanted to get better."
Swisher was lousy in April and May for the Bronx Bombers a season ago, but with a different approach to preparation, he expects things to be much better.
"I'm a hyper guy. I feel like I’m coming here this year a little more chill, a little more mellow. I’m excited, because I know what I’m ready to do. I’m physically prepared and now I’m mentally prepared, so now it’s just going out and doing it."
Swisher isn't your typical ballplayer. He's married to JoAnna Garcia, a successful Hollywood actress, so it's unlikely he'll have to worry about post-baseball bankruptcy.
"Money’s not a big thing for us," said Swisher, who's earned over $26 million during his career. "I do what I love, and that’s coming here to the ballpark and playing ball every day."
Yankees fans are hoping Swisher, 31, can perform better in the playoffs. With a career .169 average, 4 homers, and 6 RBI's in 124 at bats, Swisher is among the worst active postseason players in the majors.
Nick Swisher and his wife Joanna Garcia visited the troops in Afghanistan over Thanksgiving 2011.
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