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Swish feels like 'luckiest dude on the planet'

CLEVELAND -- Nick Swisher put on a show for the Indians on Friday. He launched a game-changing home run in Cleveland's home-opening win over the Twins, fired up the crowd with his on-field antics and entertained reporters in the postgame interview session.

One year after joining the Tribe as a free agent, there is no denying Swisher is comfortable with his surroundings.

"I just feel like I'm the luckiest dude on the planet, man," Swisher said. "I've got a beautiful wife. I've got the most amazing daughter. I've got the greatest job ever. I just don't see what putting a frown on my face is going to do. I'm going to be who I am. I'm going to smile. I'm going to have fun."

Last season -- the first under the four-year, $56 million contract he signed with the Tribe -- Swisher hit .246 with 22 home runs, 27 doubles and 63 RBIs in 145 games. His average was his lowest since 2008 and the 63 RBIs marked the fewest for Swisher in a full season. Throughout last year, Swisher dealt with a left shoulder issue.

Indians manager Terry Francona feels things will be different for Swisher this season.

"I think you'll see more consistency, which will lead to probably better numbers," Francona said. "He had such a good September that his numbers -- some of the categories -- were kind of what his career marks were. I think you'll see more consistency out of the chute, which will lead to better numbers."

Swisher said there was certainly more of a comfort level entering this year.

"I feel like there's not that awkward period of meeting everybody," Swisher said. "Everybody in this organization, top to bottom, knows who each other are, knows what their job is and we take a lot of pride in that. We take a lot of pride in the locker room that we have. That's not something that comes overnight. That's something that we've really worked on and something we're continuing to build on.

"I just know I'm so happy in my life, where I'm at. I'm so happy that I made the choice to come here to Cleveland, man. It's been absolutely amazing. We've had a lot of fun just in the first year alone."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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