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Nick Swisher credits Nolan Ryan for rise

ARLINGTON, Texas -- New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher played on three pretty good Oakland Athletics teams -- along with then-third-base coach Ron Washington. That includes the 2006 squad that went to the ALCS. So he's played a bunch of games against some pretty mediocre Rangers teams.

Now the Yankees and a rejuvinated Rangers franchise stocked with talented young players and a Hall of Fame president (and now a co-owner) square off in the 2010 ALCS beginning with tonight's Game 1. Swisher said, that from the outside looking in, Nolan Ryan deserves get major credit for changing the culture of the franchise since his days with the A's.

"They were a different team. They didn’t have nearly the talent they do now," Swisher said. "They didn’t make the effort to get guys like they’re making now. I think one of the best things that happened to this organization, I think, was bringing Nolan Ryan in. I’ve never gotten the pleasure to meet him, but he seems like a go-getter, man. He wants to win and you can tell with Cliff Lee, bringing him in, I mean that’s a big pick up for them. Everybody knows they have a good squad."