Swisher's slide fractures Twin's fibula
More than an hour later, Nick Swisher still looked shaken. His intent had been to break up a potential double play, but his hard slide resulted in a fractured left fibula for Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
"As soon as we hit and we both went down, I asked him, 'Are you OK?' and he said, 'I'm OK,' and that's when I got up and ran back to the dugout," Swisher said. "But then when I saw him kind of limping off the field -- that's not a good feeling."
As he approached Nishioka, who was just to the left of second base and standing sideways as he made his relay to first, Swisher extended his left leg parallel to the ground as he slid, hitting Nishioka below the left knee at full speed, sending him airborne and allowing Mark Teixeira to beat the relay to first.
Swisher, who patted Nishioka on the back twice as the infielder lay face-down, was visibly upset after returning to the dugout. Initially unable to put any pressure on the leg as he was helped off the field, Nishioka seemed to be putting more weight on it as he approached the dugout.
Swisher said he apologized to him in the X-ray room. "He said, 'Hey, man, that was my fault. I didn't get out of the way,' " Swisher said. "I was just trying to break up the double play; there's nothing that I try to do other than that. I'm glad it wasn't any worse than what it was."
It was unclear if Swisher fully understood the extent of the injury when he spoke to the media. Nishioka likely will miss a month. But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire took no issue with the slide and said: "Swisher's a clean player."
Ignorance is bliss
Every ballpark has them, and by Phil Hughes' count, Fenway has four of them. But Hughes, who's scheduled to start Friday's opener against the Red Sox, said he'll do his best to ignore the radar guns.
"It's tough a lot of times, especially when you kind of know [the velocity is] not there and you're trying to make up for it," said Hughes, who struggled to get his fastball over 91 mph in his first start.
Asked how he could help prevent Hughes from pitching to the gun, manager Joe Girardi said: "By trying to keep everyone in this [news conference] room from focusing on it."
Reliever Pedro Feliciano (left rotator cuff) had been scheduled to play catch Wednesday or Thursday of this week, but the team doctor suggested he wait until early next week for precautionary reasons.
Not taking 'em lightly
The Red Sox may be winless, but in no way are the Yankees thinking automatic sweep this weekend.
"We're not playing their record, we're playing their team," Joba Chamberlain said. "So we have to go in and do what we've done the first six games and continue to get wins."
Said Swisher: "I don't care if they're 6-0 or 0-6, bro. It doesn't matter. It's Yankees-Red Sox. Either way, man, you know it's going to be a great series and a lot of fun to play them."