This should come as no surprise to anyone who encountered Nick Swisher during his 12-year career in the big leagues: Thanksgiving in his house is going to be loud, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
“This year, bro, we’re blowing it out,” Swisher said on Wednesday. “The last couple of years, we’ve all kind of been separated from each other, and we haven’t been able to travel as much to see everyone and spend the time that we wanted to. We’re going for it; we’re calling in everybody to bring the family back together.”
Before they carved the turkey and present side dishes, Swisher and his wife JoAnna handled the phone lines for the McAlister’s Deli Holiday Hosting Hotline, offering advice to stumped holiday hosts.
Swisher’s go-to advice: Wait until your turkey cooks to a temperature between 170 and 180 degrees, and make sure your carving knife is ready for the job.
“Cutting the turkey, that’s a whole other ballgame,” Swisher said. “You’ve got to make sure your knife is sharp, because at the end of the day -- if you’re going up in there with a dull knife, man, you’re just not going to be able to get it done. You’re going to make this beautiful turkey and then you’re going to ruin it in front of everybody. And that’s the last thing we want, you know what I’m saying?”
Currently a special advisor to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, Swisher relocated from the West Coast to Tampa, Fla., where he frequently mentors the club’s next generation at the Himes Avenue Minor League complex.
“If you look at what’s going down on the player development side right now, there’s a lot of amazing things and a lot of amazing names that have jumped off the screen this year,” Swisher said. “Volpe’s tools are off the charts, and the ability for him to play at the level he did, being at the size he is -- it’s absolutely fantastic, because he’s just a kid, right? He’s still growing; he’s still building this man-body.
“The one thing I love most about Volpe is he’s a great kid, and he loves the game. He wants to play it, learn and get better. Peraza is in that same boat. Peraza had a chance to go up [to Iowa] for the Field of Dreams game, and I know he had an absolute blast. Their talent and work ethic is off the charts, and those boys love being a Yankee. That means the world to me as well.”
Swisher said that the Yankees’ 2021 season was “an emotional roller-coaster,” and he believes that the club will put forth a more consistent performance in ’22. Swisher lauded the return of manager Aaron Boone and the hiring of third-base/outfield coach Luis Rojas, and he expects that the team’s recent moves to clear roster space are indications of exciting moves to come.
“I’m an optimist, bro,” Swisher said. “We’re going to go out, get the right guys this offseason and put together great chemistry in the locker room. Just like you, I know the holes that need to be filled. With the moves that have been made over the last couple of days, it seems like they’re making room for some guys. When you’re a New York Yankee, you expect to win the World Series every year. It’s coming.”