Swihart Happy to Be Back with Team
By Michael Silverman
PORT ST. LUCIE -- Blake Swihart returned to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers Monday morning.
He was very happy to be back.
“I’m doing a lot better now, family’s doing good, just the support, honestly everything has been awesome -- the ceremony was good,” Swihart told reporters after being home in New Mexico over the weekend for the funeral of his younger brother, Romell Jordan, who died suddenly last week. “Seeing all the flowers sent from everybody, all the messages I’ve received, not only by the team but all around baseball, it’s been great.”
Coming back to Florida counted as a reunion with his professional family. He acknowledged how supportive they were as soon as the news spread.
“I mean, it just proves how close we are as a team, we’re really brothers,” said Swihart. “There’s times where, during the year, where we’re with these guys more than we are with our own families. They’re family in their own right. It just shows how close we are as a team. It’s been awesome.”
He acknowledged that he saw the entire team had stuck around JetBlue Park last Thursday when the Nationals came to play. Ordinarily, those not playing do need to stick around for games against foes the team will not be facing during the season. During a pregame moment of silence, Rick Porcello put a supportive arm around Swihart’s shoulder.
“It was special -- I think AC said it the best, it was a game where everybody could have gone home because we weren’t playing the Nationals this year,” said Swihart. “I kind of didn’t think about them all being there until I took that first at-bat. It was special, a special moment, and being able to put on my uniform for him was awesome.”
Swihart plans to play on Tuesday in West Palm Beach against the Nationals.
“Definitely, I’m ready to go, feeling good, and I’m excited to get back into shape,” said Swihart.
“I don’t feel behind. I mean, if I need to go get at-bats, I can get them. Just go day by day, get ready to go. I think I missed three days. It won’t be too bad.”