Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira finished 0-for-6 with five strikeouts in Saturday’s extra-innings loss to the Blue Jays. It was his second career five-strikeout game and he’s now batting a lousy .215 with an even lousier .370 slugging percentage through 219 at-bats.
But, in case anyone was wondering, Yanks manager Joe Girardi is not considering making any changes to the lineup or cutting into Tex’s playing time. In fact, he backed his first baseman several different times in a postgame chat this afternoon with Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:
“It’s going to click. It is going to click. When it does, it’s going to be fun.”
“He’s our No. 3 hitter. I’m not changing anything…. He’ll get
“We all believe in Mark…. He’s going to come out of it.”
Check out Bryan’s piece. There are four more of those. The Yankees, for what it’s worth, have lost 14 of their last 28 games and trail the Rays by two games in the AL East. Of course, we all know that the boys in pinstripes — Teixeira included — are plenty capable of getting red hot as the summer heats up.
Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.
This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.
Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.
Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.