In Dec. 2009, Curtis Granderson was furniture shopping for his apartment in Chicago and his first reaction to being traded was disbelief.
“Your first reaction is why, especially with the year that we had, being one win away,” he said. “The first thing I did was look at my phone and there were 30 messages on my phone saying I had been traded. Then I turned on the TV and sure enough it was on.”
The Tigers are believed to have made the trade due to financial reasons, though Granderson said he has not found out for certain.
“I never really asked why, not to anyone that could answer the question,” he said. “I’m not sure what the answer would be exactly. They had to financially do some things and after I looked back at the number people that were gone after I got to accept that it was financial.”
Granderson’s last game with Detroit was a one-game playoff with Minnesota on Oct. 6, 2009. Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Raburn, Brandon Inge, Ramon Santiago and Rick Porcello are the only remaining Tigers that appeared in that contest.
Jorge’s in – the DH spot that is
Since the Yankees drew Detroit and its three right-handed starters as opposed to Texas’ four lefties, that means Jorge Posada will be the DH.
Despite hitting a career-worst .235, Posada was a .269 hitter with 14 home runs and 41 RBI off right-handed pitching. Those numbers are on par to his career average of .267 against righties.
“I thought I was going to be here,” Posada said. “I never thought of myself being out of it.”
Winner of the Game Three Derby: Freddy Garcia
Joe Girardi announced after Wednesday’s regular season finale that Freddy Garcia would start Game 3 in Detroit on Monday.
That means A.J. Burnett will become a reliever at least for this series. Burnett prepped for that role by facing Sean Rodriguez in the seventh inning by throwing five pitches.
The pitches were not as big of a deal, though, as how Burnett warmed up for his appearance.
“That’s something we got an idea about,” manager Joe Girardi said. “And I feel that he can do it if he has to do it.”
Alex Rodriguez was limited to 99 games and just 19 in the second half due to arthroscopic knee surgery and a nagging thumb injury after he returned.
Rodriguez sat out the final regular-season game with a sore knee, but according to the Yankees he would have played if it had been a playoff game.
“My feeling is he’ll be healthy,” Girardi said. “But if he’s not, that’s a big player out of our lineup or a big player that’s not at the top of his game. But my feeling, if last night was a postseason game, I’m playing him.”
In those 19 games after returning, Rodriguez was hardly at the top of his game. He produced a paltry .191 batting average with three home runs and 10 RBI
Rodriguez said that the knee is good and that his work with hitting coach Kevin Long involves a return to a short compact swing. When Rodriguez was struggling with his injured thumb, he said he was overcompensating by using too much of his body to generate force.
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher throughout the playoffs.