A-Rod demoted to 8th, Giambi benched
Torre makes drastic moves with Yankees scoreless over past 15 innings
'Definitely on a high'
Oct. 6: The Yankees' Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada, and the Tigers' Ivan Rodriguez and Todd Jones rave about Kenny Rogers' performance.
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.
DETROIT - Now he’s 8-Rod.
Alex Rodriguez, 1-for-11 with no RBIs in the AL playoffs and stuck in a prolonged October slump, was dropped to the eighth spot in New York’s batting order on Saturday as the Yankees tried to avoid being eliminated by the Detroit Tigers. (Get live updates from Yankees-Tigers game.)
It’s the lowest A-Rod batted since May 7, 1996, when he was a 20-year-old shortstop for the Seattle Mariners.
Not long after learning of his demotion, Rodriguez, told reporters he wouldn’t discuss it and then spent time talking with Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson — a meeting between Mr. October and Mr. April through September.
“I told him don’t worry about it, Go in there and play,” Jackson said. “He’s happy he’s in the lineup and he’s got a chance to help.”
Jason Giambi — 1-for-8 in the series — was dropped from the Yankees’ starting lineup for Game 4, and Gary Sheffield was back at first and in the cleanup spot after sitting on Friday.
Looking for an offensive spark, Yankees manager Joe Torre had Melky Cabrera in left field and batting ninth. Hideki Matsui was moved from left to designated hitter.
Giambi got a cortisone shot in his right shoulder because of inflammation following Friday’s game, but said he told Torre he could play if needed. Giambi, who played first base on Friday, said he got the injection so he would be ready for Game 4.
“I told Joe I was fine,” he said. “It’s not about me. It’s about winning. I’ll just go in there and hit if I get a chance to.”
“There’s tension in this clubhouse. We’ve worked too hard this year to go home like this,” said Rodriguez, who hit cleanup in Friday’s 6-0 loss after batting sixth in Games 1 and 2.
If Rodriguez doesn’t hit, and New York doesn’t advance, the Yankees may have to consider trading the 31-year-old, who was acquired from Texas in 2004 for second baseman Alfonso Soriano.
“It’s about winning,” he said. “I don’t want to deal with the residual effect if we don’t — even me.”
Torre shook up his lineup for Game 3, but the Yankees went 0-for-18 with runners on base and were blanked over 7 2-3 innings by an emotional Kenny Rogers as the Tigers took a 2-1 lead.
Torre is hoping Cabrera, who hadn’t batted in the first three games, would recharge the Yankees’ powerful lineup.
“He seems to give us another dimension,” he said. “I wanted Sheff back in and Jason hasn’t been swinging the bat real well. Somebody has to bite the dust.”
To Jackson, Torre was more focused than usual as the Yankees prepared for a crucial game.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Tigers manager Jim Leyland couldn’t relax if he wanted to. Following his club’s shutout win, Leyland couldn’t had a restless night thinking about New York’s sometimes scary lineup.
“I kept closing my eyes and all I could see was Abreu and Giambi and Jeter,” he said. “One way or the other, in the next two days, it’s going to be over. I’ll be glad I don’t have to look at them until next spring and that’s a compliment. I mean, you can have nightmares.
“I was up at 4 o’clock eating M&Ms.”