Results tagged ‘ Ozzie Guillen ’

Joe makes some history with 500th victory

The Yankees’ victory at Nationals Park Friday night was career No. 500 as a manager for Joe Girardi. He became the 123rd manager in major league history to reach that plateau.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, with a 500-373 record Girardi was the first manager to get 500 victories with fewer than 380 losses since current Nationals manager Davey Johnson in 1989 with the Mets when he got to 500 April 29, 1989 with 329 losses.

The only other managers to do so in the expansion era since 1961 were Hall of Famers Sparky Anderson and Earl Weaver. Girardi was also the first manager to collect 500 victories prior to his 48th birthday since current Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen, who was 45 years, 227 days old when he got to 500 Sept. 4, 2009 with the White Sox.

The Yankees have signed the following picks from the 2012 First-Year Player Draft: C Austin Aune (second round), RHP Nick Goody (sixth), RHP Taylor Garrison (seventh), CF Taylor Dugas (eighth, RHP Derek Varnadore (ninth), 1B Matt Snyder (10th), LHP Caleb Frare (11th), C Chris Breen (12th), LHP James Pazos (13th), RHP Andrew Benak (14th), RHP Stefan Lopez (16th), LHP Timothy Flight (17th), LHP Dietrich Enns (19th), OF Danny Oh (27th), 1B Saxon Butler (33rd), LHP Eric Erickson (34th) and RHP Charles Basford (37th).

Captain needs to get home

The Yankees return home Monday, and no one should be happier about that than the team captain. Derek Jeter suffered through a tortuous trip on the personal level as all things considered the Yankees were fortunate to come away with a 3-3 record on the trek through Toronto and Chicago.

More than in any other season, Jeter appears lost on the road in 2010. He was hitless in four at-bats with a walk Sunday and grounded into his 20th double play of the season. Jeter was 2-for-23 (.087) with one home run and two RBI on the trip and is stuck on a .270 batting average for the season.

The discrepancy between home and away is alarming. Jeter is batting .230 with three home runs and 24 RBI on the road, compared to .314 with seven home runs and 35 RBI at Yankee Stadium. His career numbers are .322 at home and .307 on the road, so this year is clearly out of the ordinary for Jeter.

To win two close games against the White Sox the past two days was huge for the Yankees, who are already without Alex Rodriguez and had Mark Teixiera (bruised right thumb) for only one at-bat. Marcus Thames came up big-time for the Yankees, a sort of anti-Jeter on the road by going 8-for-17 (.471) with one double, five home runs and eight RBI. Two of his home runs were off right-handed pitchers, a very encouraging sign.

The Yankees’ other RBI came from Brett Gardner, who hit leadoff with Jeter dropping to No. 2, on a single in the third inning in what was a strange at-bat. Francisco Cervelli led off with a double, the first of four hits in the game that raised his average from .240 to .253. Gardner did not show bunt on the first pitch and took a strike. He made a sacrifice attempt on the second pitch and bunted it foul. Swinging away on 0-and-2, Gardner singled up the middle to score Cervelli with a second run that held up.

The Yankees found a new starting pitcher on the trip in rookie righthander Ivan Nova, who earned his first major-league victory Sunday. In his two starts on the trip, Nova allowed three earned runs and 11 hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in 11 innings. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Nova will get another start, although it will not come up at the expense of A.J. Burnett, who will remain in the rotation. The odd man out remains Javier Vazquez, who is likely to be used as a backup for Phil Hughes in his starts to keep his innings down.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen went so far as to say Nova was the Yankees’ best pitcher in the series, quite a statement considering Mariano Rivera had two saves. Guillen did not have a good day. He lifted his best hitter, Paul Konerko, in a one-run game in the eighth for a pinch runner who tried to steal on the first pitch and was thrown out trying to steal second base.

Perhaps Ozzie’s mind was clouded by watching one of his least favorite players, Nick Swisher, have a great series against his former team. Swisher, who hit .219 for Guillen in 2008, was 5-for-13 (.385) with a double, two homers and five RBI in the series. Over the past two years for the Yankees, Swish is hitting .333 with one double, five home runs and 11 RBI in 45 at-bats against the White Sox.

Swisher torments Guillen

It is fairly well known that there is no love lost between the Yankees’ Nick Swisher and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. In his one season in Chicago, Swisher batted .219 and was banished to Guillen’s bench. When the Yankees traded for Swisher after the 2008 season, Guillen was not sorry to see him go.

Swisher has been able to garner a healthy measure of satisfaction the past two seasons by making life uncomfortable for Guillen in games between the Yankees and the White Sox. The latest dose of pain to the colorful manager came in the first inning Saturday night when Swisher slammed a two-run home run in the first inning. Swish also homered and doubled Friday night for the Yankees’ only two extra-base hits in a 9-4 loss.

Remember, Swisher wasn’t able to play Wednesday night at Toronto because of a swollen left knee, the result of his fouling a ball off it the night before that knocked him out of the game. An open date Thursday gave Swisher added time to rest the knee because there was no way he was not getting into the lineup at U.S. Cellular Field, not when he had another opportunity to torment Guillen.

The home runs Friday and Saturday nights raised Swisher’s total against the White Sox the past two seasons to five in 38 at-bats. Take that, Oz.

Divine Derek

Let’s face it. Robinson Cano cannot do everything. It just seems as if he can. The second baseman, who has been all-everything for the Yankees this season, got to watch his keystone mate Derek Jeter take control Friday night. Jeter had a shot at the cycle, except that the Yankees’ two-run rally in the seventh, which he himself fueled, robbed him of one more at-bat because there was no bottom of the ninth.

The Yankees rebounded from 3-0 and 4-2 deficits behind Jeter, who tied the score with a two-run home run off Freddy Garcia in the fifth and put them ahead with a two-run triple off lefthander Matt Thornton in the seventh on the way to a 6-4 victory over the White Sox. As he was often in 2009 when he had a 10-1 record, Alfredo Aceves, who pitched the top of the seventh, was in position for the winning decision and is now 2-0.

Jeter singled and scored in the first, so a double was needed for him to get the cycle, but another at-bat was out of the question when the Yankees failed to get to his spot in the order in the eighth. Jeter, with 18 RBI in 22 games as a leadoff hitter, is up to .330, which still puts him 70 points behind Cano, who had 1-for-4.

“I try to keep the same approach with each at-bat, to try and get a hit,” said Jeter, who subscribes to what is known in baseball parlance as the KISS method, as in “Keep it simple, stupid.”

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is enamored with Jeter, saying after the game, “He is God. He’s God all the time. It’s fun to watch him play the game. He’s the number one ambassador in this game. I mean, God bless him.”

Alex Rodriguez’s first hit in 20 at-bats was a double scoring Jeter in the first. The Yankees closed to 3-2 later in the inning and had a shot at tying the score, but A-Rod got a late read from third base on the play by first baseman Paul Konerko, who fielded a grounder by Nick Swisher near the bag, tagged first and threw to second where Cano was caught for the third out of the inning.

Once Konerko touched the bag, the force was removed and Cano had to be tagged at second for a double play. Had A-Rod broken for the plate, he might have scored before Cano got caught. Since Konerko is right-handed, once he turned his back it should have let A-Rod know he was going to second. It would have been close, probably bang-bang for the umpires.

It was another hitless night for Mark Teixeira, who did walk twice and closed out April hitting .136. He will be glad to change the calendar. Teixeira is a .235 career hitter in March/April and a .297 career hitter in the other months.