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Different look for Yankees, Twins tonight



Yankees manager Joe Girardi had already made the decision - and heard the fallout about - starting Jose Molina behind the plate tonight to pair with starter A.J. Burnett rather than regular catcher Jorge Posada.

Then Girardi went one further Friday, leaving Posada completely out of the lineup by sticking with Hideki Matsui as his DH. 

"Matsui has been our DH most of the year and is familiar in that role,'' Girardi said. "That is not a role Jorge has done a lot in his career. If there's a lefthander on the mound (for Minnesota) maybe you think a little bit different. But Matsui, I mean, he's been great against lefthanders.

"So it wasn't much of a decision.''

The decision to bench Posada has been a major topic of conversation - and thus controversy - the last few days in New York. Posada has a .211 average in 60 games as a DH over his 15-season career.

The Twins also shook up their lineup looking for some more speed and aggressiveness, with Carlos Gomez getting the start in center, Tampa product Denard Span shifting to right and Jason Kubel moving to the DH spot, which was filled in Game 1 by former Ray Brendan Harris.

"Go-Go (Gomez) brings the speed part to the lineup,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "covers a lot of ground, irritates people - sometimes me.''

Gardenhire makes fun often of Gomez, who is young and a bit excitable. For example? "Some of his swings,'' Gardenhire said. "When we're looking, when we need a baserunner and he swings and falls down on the ground and things like that. We've been trying to get him to calm down and control the situations, and sometimes the situation controls him. Those are the things we work on with him.

"He's also one of those guys you just love because of his enthusiasm for the game and how much fun he has - it just kind of flows around everybody else. But there's times when, yes, you're like "Go-Go, you have to see what we're trying to do here.' ''

The lineups:
Span, rf
Cabrera, ss
Mauer, c
Kubel, dh
Cuddyer, 1b
Young, lf
Gomez, cf
Tolbert, 3b
Punto, 2b
Blackburn, p

Jeter, ss
Damon, lf
Teixeira, 1b
Rodriguez, 3b
Matusi, dh
Swisher, rf
Cano, 2b
Cabrera, cf
Molina, c
Burnett, p


[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:51am]


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