Catcher controversy no shock to Girardi
Manager secure in decision to start Molina over Posada
NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi knew that the second-guessing would be inevitable the moment he decided to start Jose Molina over Jorge Posada at catcher in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, and had plenty of time to brace for it.
So Girardi said that he was "not extremely surprised" that the battery selection for Friday's 6:07 p.m. ET game has been dissected heavily in all circles concerned with baseball, transforming into a very prominent theme as the Yankees and Twins prepare to continue their series.
"Maybe it's not such a big issue if you're playing every day and there isn't as much time to talk about it," Girardi said. "The days off with not much else going on, it can become a big story. If we played yesterday, the story would be over and we would be moving on."
New York and Minnesota were dark at Yankee Stadium on Thursday evening, though that did not stop the controversy from continuing. Molina said that he was ready to play, Posada said that he was "not jumping for joy," but vowed to help the Bombers from the bench.
Should the ALDS move back to a Game 5 in the Bronx, when Burnett would face the Twins again, it is entirely possible that Molina would be strapping on the gear again. Girardi did not want to get that far ahead, but he acknowledged that the decision for that game -- or for future rounds -- would be made factoring in at least part of the outcome of Game 2.
"I don't think you just look at results," Girardi said. "What you don't want to do, as a manager, is lock yourself in. We're going to evaluate our lineup every game before we go into it. It's just not Jorgie or Molina. There's other people that you're going to evaluate on a daily basis, because you have to."
|Gm. 1||NYY 7, MIN 2||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 2||NYY 4, MIN 3 (11)||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 3||NYY 4, MIN 1||Wrap||Video|
Girardi said that the idea of starting Posada as the designated hitter over Hideki Matsui was rejected because the Yankees would lose the DH if Posada had to move behind the plate later in the game.
Posada has been told that he will be back in the lineup for Andy Pettitte's Game 3 start on Sunday at the Metrodome, and there's no reason to doubt he would also receive CC Sabathia in a potential Game 4, despite two passed balls in Wednesday's series-opening 7-2 win.
As for catching Burnett again in 2009, something that Posada hasn't done since Sept. 1 at Camden Yards? Wait and see, but if it works between Burnett and Molina on Friday, don't expect the Yankees to mess with it.
"I don't think it's extremely hard," Girardi said. "We've went back and forth this year. The one thing is, chemistry is extremely important between a pitcher and catcher. I know for me there was no rhyme or reason why I might have had better chemistry with one guy. Sometimes it just happens."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.