Joe Girardi is making a gutsy call behind the plate for the New York Yankees.
Preparing for his first playoff series as a manager, Girardi confirmed Tuesday that light-hitting backup Jose Molina will catch A.J. Burnett during the postseason.
That probably puts longtime Yankees star Jorge Posada on the bench when Burnett pitches, because Girardi said Hideki Matsui “is probably going to be our DH most of the time.”
Burnett is slated to start Game 2 in the best-of-five first round Friday night, and then a potential Game 5. Both games would be at Yankee Stadium.
“I just hope we win that game. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got to say,” Posada said.
Burnett went 5-5 with a 4.96 ERA and .270 opponents batting average in 16 starts with Posada behind the plate. The hard-throwing righty was 5-2 with a 3.28 ERA and .221 opponents batting average in 11 starts with Molina catching, according to STATS LLC.
Miguel Cabrera apologized to his teammates for being drunk last weekend while the Tigers were trying to clinch the AL Central .
Before batting practice Tuesday as Detroit prepared to play Minnesota in a one-game playoff for the division championship, Cabrera told reporters he was sorry for his actions and the stress he caused. He insisted the alcohol consumption – between two games the Tigers lost – didn’t negatively affect his performance.
Cabrera went 0-for-4 and stranded six runners in a 5-1 loss to Chicago on Saturday, a game that started about 12 hours after Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski picked him up at a police station following a fight with his wife – apparently over his late arrival from a night out.
Eric Bruntlett, who scored the winning run in the World Series clincher for the Phillies last year, was left off the postseason roster. Bruntlett batted .171 with no homers. … Fredi Gonzalez will return to manage the Marlins in 2010, the team said. Gonzalez’s job was considered in jeopardy because owner Jeffrey Loria was upset that the Marlins failed to make the playoffs, although they finished 12 games above .500 with the lowest payroll in baseball. … The White Sox have exercised club options for 2010 on right-hander Freddy Garcia and left-hander Matt Thornton. … Baseball owners unanimously approved the Ricketts family’s proposal via conference call to become the owner of the Cubs. The transaction, valued at $845 million, is expected to be closed by the end of the month.