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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Off day notes: “I knew they were going to give me a shot”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Oct 15, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

If you think about it, what was Jayson Nix doing with the Yankees in the first place?

Sure, he’s the team’s starting shortstop now, but think about when he signed. This winter, Nix chose a team with a loaded, nothing-up-for-grabs infield. He chose a team with a young utility infielder who spent all of last year in the big leagues and had the backup role locked up from the big league day camp opened. Honestly, do you remember a single thing Nix did in spring training? Was he even on the radar?

“One reason I chose to come to sign here obviously was the Yankees expressed a lot of interest in me,” Nix said on a conference call this afternoon. “A strong interest in me, and came after me pretty hard, so I saw that as a good thing. But also there could be an opportunity. I didn’t know for sure if there was, or if there would be with all of the big names, like you said, and established guys that are here. I didn’t know for sure if there would be, but I knew there was a possibility. And I knew they were going to give me a shot, so I wanted to take it. And I thought it might be a good fit.”

Despite Eduardo Nunez being on the roster, the Yankees have committed to the reliable Nix in the wake of Derek Jeter’s broken ankle. He doesn’t have Nunez’s raw tools, but he’s all the things Nunez hasn’t quite become. Reliable. Fundamental. Steady.

He’s played this role with five different big league teams now, and during the division series he went 2-for-3 in his first career postseason start.

“The way Joe has handled my role and communicated with me has been great,” Nix said. “I mean, it’s really made my job a lot easier, so I know what to expect from him and he knows what to expect from me. And it’s really been very smooth. And then at the same time, you know, (Alex Rodriguez) getting hurt and the opportunities I had to play, it has been fairly consistent for my role, so it’s been really great and it’s been easy. I don’t know if “easy” is the right word, but it has been smooth. The way that Joe handled it and the way that Joe handled my situation with me, and me and Chavy talk about it a lot. He made it easy on me. We know what to expect, what to prepare for and what ways we’re going to be used, and it really helps a lot.”

No one wants to get an opportunity this way, but it’s the reality of the game. A lot of doors open because of injuries, and Nix is stepping in.

“I am very disappointed for Derek,” he said. “I hate the fact that he has gone down, and especially with this opportunity to play in these playoffs. I know it’s hard on him. That part I hate it for him. But at the same time, I’m excited for my opportunity to be able to play. And ever since these playoffs started, I’ve really just been kind of itching to get in these games. And I knew most chances I wasn’t going to start many games, or I didn’t know how much I was going to play, but I really just wanted to be in the games. So to have a chance to start and play in these games is very exciting, and I’m really enjoying it.”

• Joe Girardi spent the off day in Illinois for his father’s funeral. The Girardi family released this statement this afternoon: “We deeply appreciate the overwhelming support that has been shown to us during this difficult time. Our father would have been touched by all the kindness shown to our family as we mourn his passing. As saddened as we are with his loss, we take solace in knowing that he lives on through the principles he passed down to us and in the many wonderful memories we have of him.”

• Girardi said over the weekend that a few players asked about attending the funeral and he told them all to stay home and rest.

On the Michael Kay Show this afternoon, Brian Cashman said it’s still possible Brett Gardner will get an outfield start at some point. “The way our offense is, it is a possibility,” Cashman said. “He deserves consideration considering what is going on right now.”

• The Yankees had no official workout today. Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia each threw a simulated game with Francisco Cervelli catching. Nix, Brett Gardner and Chris Stewart were the hitters.

• Yankees bench coach Tony Pena interviewed for the Red Sox managerial opening today. “Tony is a good baseball guy,” Mark Teixeira said. “One of the guys that played in the game for almost 20 years. As soon as he got out of the game as a player, he went into it as a coach. He knows baseball from both sides, being a catcher, he is the ultimate field general. He has a lot of energy. He has thrown so much batting practice here, I think his arm has slowed down a little bit. I don’t know how much BP he will be throwing if he is the manager. But other than that, you couldn’t ask for a better baseball man.”

• On today’s conference call, Teixeira actually managed to find a positive spin to facing Justin Verlander tomorrow. “It doesn’t matter who you’re facing, as a hitter you want to face familiar pitchers,” Teixeira said. “Even if he happens to be the best pitcher on the planet now, and maybe the best pitcher in the last 10, 15 years. We have played Justin a lot. We won a few games, we lost a few games, and the biggest thing is familiarity. We know what he will do to us. He will throw it 100 miles an hour, fix in a good curveball and a good changeup. And it sounds like a tough job, but we have risen to the occasion.”

• Tomorrow’s starter, Phil Hughes, said it felt good that Girardi stuck with him rather than going to CC Sabathia on short rest. “It’s nice to know the manager and the organization is behind you,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity, and I feel like if we can win this Game 3, we’ll have a good chance with CC going (in Game 4), so it’s nice to have that and have that vote of confidence, but I am still going to have to go out and execute.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

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37 Responses to “Off day notes: “I knew they were going to give me a shot””

  1. mick October 15th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    It’s Chavez and Nunez on the bench.
    With Jeter’s endorsement it should be Nix again at SS.

    Ichiro
    Cano
    Tex
    Ibanez
    Arod
    Grandy
    Martin
    Gardner
    Nix

  2. joeman October 15th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    so Mr Swisher is hurt by the way people are treating him..the fans are hurt because of the way he’s playing & getting paid a lot to stink it up…suck it up Swisher and enjoy your last few games playing as a Yankee

  3. joeman October 15th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    BloggingBombers Does Hughes have to pitch differently knowing that it will likely be a low-scoring game vs. Justin Verlander?
    —————————————————————–
    wait a minute ..you mean lower scoring than they are… your kidding right ?

  4. RMS October 15th, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Swisher has been a bust in the postseason. Did he expect the fans to only boo Alex?

  5. charlestonchew October 15th, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I expect the Yankees to score between 4 and 7 runs off Verlander.

    Nobody’s been man enough to throw them fastballs and Verlander most certainly will. That’s how the Yankees do their damage, anyway. We will dominate him and Phil will keep the Tigers to 3 runs or less for our first ALCS victory of the series.

  6. BobbyJones October 15th, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    It seems like everything these guys get up in a big sitution they get to 0-2 right away, taking 1st pitch down the middle then chasing the second pitch out of the strikezone. Then they strikeout

  7. 28 RINGS October 15th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Hughes can’t even give up 1 run if they want to have a chance.

  8. Madrugador October 15th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Bad enough the Yanks are down 2-0 and Jeter is out for the post season. They have come back from 2-0 on the road before (against Atlanta). I could deal with those things. I am having trouble with the Arod contract. WE ARE STUCK WITH HIM FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS! The way he is hitting not only does he not look like he can break the HR record, he doesn’t look like he will pass Willie Mays and he only needs 14 more to do that.
    How do you solve a problem called Arod?

  9. tucker October 15th, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Wow, dirty slide by Holiday.

  10. RMS October 15th, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    How do you solve a problem called Arod?

    ———————————————————————————
    What can you do? No team will take that contract. Yankees will not cut him and eat that money.
    You have to hope he can be productive, but he will never be what he was before. Age, injuries and steroids have and will take their toll.

  11. Triple Short of a Cycle October 15th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Did someone on here really compare Oneill to Swisher in the post season???

  12. Gary October 15th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I saw this comment from Nick Swisher “That’s the last thing that I ever thought would be in this ballpark, that people would get on you that bad,” Swisher said. “Especially your home, where your heart is, where you’ve been battling and grinding all year long. It’s just frustrating, man. You never want to be in that spot. It’s not like you’re trying to go out there and do bad on purpose. It’s just tough, man.”

    __________________________________________________________________________

    Nick you go out every October and do bad, swing at bad pitches, swing for the fences, Strike out, pop out, errors. Hey Nick people payed a lot of money that for most was a big deal to see a guy making $12M stink up the place. Sorry Nick they didn’t clap for you, we aren’t going to fell sorry for you. You want them to applaude you how about doing something out there?

  13. Gary October 15th, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    RMS October 15th, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    How do you solve a problem called Arod?

    ———————————————————————————

    Well I wish it was just ARod, it’s Swisher, Granderson, Martin to name a few others. I hope Swisher is released the day after the end of the season.

    _____________________________________________________________________

  14. BobbyJones October 15th, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Chris carpenter hits better than Arod Swisher Grandeson and cano

  15. JobaTipsHisCap October 15th, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Carpenter hits better than most Yankee batters.

  16. Madrugador October 15th, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Swisher’s contract is up at the end of the season as is Martin’s. Granderson has a one year option so none of those three have to be on the team next year although for reasons I won’t get into, Martin short term and Granderson for only one year are not horrible ideas.
    Arod on the other hand is going to weigh this team down for years to come.

  17. JobaTipsHisCap October 15th, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Again, the problem is not on arod, is on the people who gave him the contract.

  18. Triple Short of a Cycle October 15th, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Again, the problem is not on arod, is on the people who gave him the contract.

    —————————-

    True but Arod was the one who opted it.

    Paul Oneill took less money to stay here

  19. Madrugador October 15th, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    The people who gave him the contract aren’t playing on the field. As long as the fans are filling the stands, I don’t know that they care.

  20. mick October 15th, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Swish had a free ride till last night when the savvy creatures gave him a going away present…
    Thanks for your services but you’re no longer needed here.

  21. mick October 15th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    …sort of an anti-O’Neill way to say good-bye.
    In spite of all the entertaining salutes.

  22. Barry October 15th, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    The intensity and anger directed at athletic men is bewildering. Would any one vent inperson? Actually if someone even thinks that he might then you must be a lot tougher than youseem in petulant rage hiding behind psuedonyms on computer blog. Booing is one thing but the immature justification of personal rage, quite another. If we are all Yankee fans, we are part of a tribe. Elect other leaders, don’t decapitate. This ain’t the French revolution. And, of course there is an alternative. Don’t attend. Don’t turn on the television. Adopt another team.

  23. Boss Tony N October 15th, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    lkkkkkkkkk

  24. Boss Tony N October 15th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Beltran played that ball perfectly off the wall. That’s a real RF. We couldve had him.

  25. Madrugador October 15th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Swisher is not playing well now. He is not the kind of player that can carry a team for long but he can and has for short periods this and in previous years. I do not think he will be resigned by the Yanks for the time and money that he wants. His enthusiasm will be missed.

  26. Nick in SF October 15th, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    San Diego Chargers player Stuckey reminds me that former LoHud commenter stuckey still owes me $25. :mad: :mad: :mad:

  27. blake October 15th, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Nick,

    You see that new show where John Locke is the devil?

  28. jacksquat October 15th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    On the Michael Kay Show this afternoon, Brian Cashman said it’s still possible Brett Gardner will get an outfield start at some point. “The way our offense is, it is a possibility,” Cashman said. “He deserves consideration considering what is going on right now.”

    Hallelujah. Make sure you tell Girardi. And make sure it’s for Swisher, not Granderson. Subbing him for Granderson does not add a lot of defense or speed.

  29. Nick in SF October 15th, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Um, spoiler alert?????? I was planning on watching all of 666 Park Avenue after the baseball season ends, but now I guess there’s no need.

    (I have not watched it, looks like some strange nighttime soap opera?)

  30. blake October 15th, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Nick,
    No spoilers …it’s not too bad so far IMO…

  31. BobbyJones October 15th, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Thats how u hit with basesloaded

  32. Madrugador October 15th, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    what is the over under on Yankee runs tomorrow?

  33. Bronx Jeers October 15th, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    The intensity and anger directed at athletic men is bewildering

    —————–

    What about unathletic men?

  34. ricardo1020 October 15th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    “Triple Short of a Cycle October 15th, 2012 at 8:32 pm
    Did someone on here really compare Oneill to Swisher in the post season???”

    Yes, that would be the president of the Nicky the Clown fan club, the inimitable Mr. Discourse. Facts be damned when it comes to his favorite circus performer!

  35. BobbyJones October 15th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    that is swisher’s agent what do u expect

  36. BobbyJones October 15th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    his client is losing him millions of dollars for this postseason

  37. Irreverent Discourse October 16th, 2012 at 1:01 am

    ACtually that conversation had nothing to dow ith the psotseason.

    triple, don’t come on here constantly 6 hours late to the conversation and quote me incorrectly… like I won’t see it.


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