SI.com's Jimmy Traina spoke recently with Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher about his first season in New York.
SI.com: You were a big part of Hot Clicks last Wednesday, because we featured your rumored girlfriend, actress Joanna Garcia. Can you confirm or deny?
Swisher: She is my lady. Joanna is my lady.
SI.com: She had a great role in Not Another Teen Movie as a cheerleader who said dirty things.
Swisher: [Laughing] I haven't seen it yet. I've seen the movie, but I don't remember her being in it.
SI.com: You've become a fan favorite in New York. How has your first season here treated you?
Swisher: New York has been absolutely wonderful, man. Coming here has been a godsend for me. Not only that, I really have to thank the fans and my teammates for the way they welcomed me in. They made me feel like part of the organization and family, and that's exactly what you're looking for when you come to a new team.
SI.com: Earlier in the season, you were leaping into the right-field stands when you'd come out to start the game, but you don't do it anymore. Did that get you into trouble?
Swisher: Yeah, man. That was a Lambeau Leap gone wrong.
SI.com: But you've still managed to have a special relationship with the Bleacher Creatures out there.
Swisher: It's amazing. The Bleacher Creatures are what makes that stadium. To have that honor to play right field in front of them every day has been great. I think I've developed a great relationship with them. It's been awesome the way they've really brought in the new stadium and we're having an absolute blast.
SI.com: You also got to pitch early this season. How was that?
Swisher: I think in that situation, it's not something that's gonna come up frequently, so to be able to get that opportunity to do it, I mean, hey, you know, I took a lot of pride in it and I tried my best and ended up getting out of the inning. But hopefully that never happens again.
SI.com: If the Yankees clinch the division and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and the last couple of games are meaningless, would you ask Joe Girardi if you can toss an inning?
Swisher: No, I will not. But I'm here for the team, whatever they need me to do. I'll go out and give it my best shot.
SI.com: All the talk about the new Yankee Stadium has been about it being homer-friendly, but you've actually hit better on the road than at home until recently. Why do you think that is?
Swisher: I don't know, man. I think it was a mental thing. Hopefully I've gotten over that. I've been working real hard to keep my same approach that I have on the road at Yankee Stadium.
SI.com: Another tradition that's started is the pie in the face of the player who gets a walk-off hit. How did that start?
Swisher: You gotta give all that credit to A.J. [Burnett]. He started up the pie thing and it's taken off. It's been a lot fun. I think this year, not being here in the past, it's been kind of different and I think it's been a change for the better. So we're having a blast, it's been a great season for us and we just want to keep it rolling.
SI.com: If a game is tied in the eighth or ninth inning, do you guys talk about who's going to get the pie?
Swisher: No. That's never even brought up.
SI.com: You and Johnny Damon seem to have an interesting celebratory gesture. What's the story there?
Swisher: I don't know. It just started off in spring training as kind of like a "rock on" thing. Me and Johnny are hyper so it started from there.
SI.com: Some people thought it was something dirty.
Swisher: Those people just need to learn the truth.
SI.com: Someone on Twitter wanted to know where you get the inspiration for your variety of home-run handshakes.
Swisher: They just kind of start. Something clicks, whether it's an inside joke or whatever. Each guy has his own little thing. Some guys like handshakes, some guys don't. So you gotta lock into the guys who do, at least for me, and soak them up.
SI.com: If I asked your teammates who the most fun, wacky Yankee is, most would say you. Who would you say?
Swisher: One great thing about this team is not only do we have a bunch of great players, but we have a bunch of great people. It'd be tough to narrow it down to one person. But I'd have to say Eric Hinske. He's a character, great guy, has a huge heart and is great to have in the clubhouse.
SI.com: You're one of the few Yankees on Twitter.
Swisher: I [tweet] solely about the games, about baseball and the Yankees. It's just another way to get personal with the fans. It's been great, the fans have really welcomed it. I think I'm getting close to a million followers.
SI.com: When Mark Teixeira recently won a game, you tweeted "Texual healing." Did you come up with that yourself?
Swisher: Texual healing! Absolutely. Twitter's just fun. You can have a blast with it. I think people look at Twitter the wrong way sometimes, but athletes are taking it to another level.
SI.com: From looking at your Twitter page, you do a lot for charity.
Swisher: Yeah, hit my Web site up, NickSwisher.net, for more on that. My grandmother, who was the No. 1 lady in my life, passed away from cancer in 2005, so I've done a lot of things related to cancer, to try to find a cure for that. Whether it's a friend or relative or whoever, everyone has dealt with cancer in some way. And I think we need to go out there and figure this thing out and find a cure for it.
SI.com: I just have some rapid-fire questions here to wrap this up. You're a big Ohio State fan. What did you think about the loss to USC?
Swisher: I thought the guys played well. USC has a great team. You have to tip your hat to them. We'll fight back and we'll see where we stand at the end of the year.
SI.com: What are your favorite TV shows?
Swisher: I'm a HUGE, HUGE fan of Wipeout. I think that might be the funniest show out right now. And I like watching Entourage. But if you're talking all-time show, I'm a big Home Improvement guy. Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, man. It's got me hooked because when we get home late from the games, it's always on.
SI.com: What was the last movie you saw?
Swisher: I just watched Transformers 2. It was amazing. Go see it. PEOPLE, GO SEE IT! The animation in that movie was ridiculous. I may go back and watch it again tonight.
SI.com: What do you think about Megan Fox?
Swisher: Yeah, uh, I think she's, uh, she's doing just fine.
SI.com: What was the last song you downloaded to your iPod?
Swisher: Rockstar by R. Kelly.
SI.com: What is your favorite place to go to in New York City?
Swisher: I can't tell you, man. I can't give away my secret spots.
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