Mar 16, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Nick Swisher (33) runs the bases after hitting a home run in the third inning against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Swisher and Kenny Lofton are beefing


Things are not cool right now inside the Cleveland Indians fraternity. One prominent current member of the Indians and one legendary retired player are beefing.

On one side of the Indians rift is present-day outfielder Nick Swisher. On the other side is former superstar centerfielder Kenny Lofton.

Their beef began earlier this offseason when Lofton denigrated the 2013 Indians’ one-game-and-out playoff performance. In Kenny’s eyes, the ’13 Indians weren’t really a playoff team, even though baseball considers the one game opening “series” a part of the postseason.

“A playoff is a series, not one game,” Lofton said. “It’s not the Super Bowl.”

This got back to Nick Swisher and…Nick Swisher was not amused.

Swisher confronted Lofton at Indians Fan Fest and told him to either get on board the Indians train or vacate the station entirely.

Later, when Lofton showed up at spring training, his reception from Swisher and the other Indians was frosty to say the least. Lofton elected to cut short his visit, not wanting to get socked in the teeth.

When asked to elaborate on what went down, Swisher would only say, “That was handled. We handled that.”

Was it handled though? Cause Kenny Lofton hasn’t backed down. When asked to comment he texted back to Anthony Castrovince, “U guys need to put in there on what’s the definition of playoffs and that should answer Swisher’s comments.”

So Lofton is sticking with his position that the Indians didn’t really make the playoffs in 2013, and Swisher is sticking with his position that Kenny Lofton is a jerk.

What we’ve got here is an old fashioned Mexican stand off. With mouths instead of guns.

Finally, something interesting happens with the Indians.

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Tags: Cleveland Indians Nick Swisher

  • fresser

    Lofton could suit up tomorrow and outhit Swisher by 50 points. He is a major part of glorious Tribe lore. Swisher is a smiling underachiever. Is Lofton wrong? Do playoff teams have to finish the season with ten wins in a row to get in?

    • Ryan Kaminski

      Sure felt like a playoff game from where I was sitting. I love Lofton and that whole team, but it was a playoff game. It’s not really a big deal. Not sure why he felt the need to knock the team.

  • timmaguire

    They’re both right. That one-game “playoff” was to fill the last playoff spot. It was not itself playoffs. The Indians got to the door, but did not step through it. Kenny’s right, a team that almost made the playoffs shouldn’t act like they made the playoffs.

    Nevertheless, the Indians had a big turn around last year and they should be applauded for a great surprise season. So Nick’s right, Kenny’s being a jerk for denigrating a crew that outperformed expectations so dramatically.

  • Aaron Somers

    @timmaguire:disqus @disqus_HtxiUKdUt2:disqus @ryankaminski:disqus I think you guys are all right when you boil this down to the basics. Swisher and the rest of the team should feel good about what they accomplished in 2013. It should give this group a confidence heading into 2014 as well, especially considering that division is arguably still somewhat wide open.

    Can I understand where Lofton’s opinion stems from? Sure. His Indians were arguably more successful. Does that make him right for “attacking” this current team? No, likely not. Lofton’s an Indians legend, absolutely, and what he says will carry some weight because of that but it doesn’t give him a free pass to say whatever he wants.

  • Rick Nelsen Jr.

    Nice points Aaron. Still, the front office shouldn’t let Swisher and Pestano trash him. I think Lofton was only reflecting what the fans felt about the new post season format. It didn’t feel like the playoffs to me, either.

    • Aaron Somers

      I’m inclined to agree with you. It’s just one game. It’s just simply not the same as a full best of seven (or even best of five) series.