Swisher falls short in Home Run Derby

Updated: July 13, 2010, 3:30 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- With the eyes of the whole baseball world on him, New York Yankees All-Star Nick Swisher felt the pressure during the Home Run Derby on Monday night.

[+] EnlargeNick Swisher
AP Photo/Chris CarlsonSwisher hit four homers in the first round, but that wasn't enough to advance.

"You feel naked when you go out there," Swisher said after hitting four home runs, which was not good enough to advance to the second round. "You've got all of these cameras standing around, no batting cage. At this time of day, it's tough to see. You've got the shadows out there. That big fence standing [in front of] the pitcher. It's different. It's just completely different. For the next time, I'll be ready."

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz won the competition, blasting 11 home runs in the final round.

Swisher said hitting a long ball early in his round relaxed him because it allowed him to overcome his greatest fear --- a goose egg. He knew if he failed to hit a home run, he would hear it from his Yankees teammates forever.

"I was like, 'Man, just hit one,'" Swisher said. "And after I hit one, I said, 'Just hit one more.' And after I hit four, I was done. It was fun. It was a blast."

Swisher is trying to enjoy the All-Star festivities as much as possible, trying to take it all in. He wants to return again, but he knows there are no guarantees.

"I'm here for the fans," said Swisher, whose father, Steve, was a one-time All-Star. "I'm having an absolute blast, and I couldn't thank everyone enough for the opportunity."

Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »



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