NEW YORK, New York--Manager Joe Girardi claims he wasn't aware of the historical implications of a managerial move he made Tuesday night in a 6-5 loss to the Oakland A's.
With none out in the 9th and two on base, Girardi called on the all-time Yankees' hit king, Derek Jeter, to lay down a sacrifice. Jeter excuted a perfect bunt, giving up an out to put two men in scoring position.
The bunt, however, moved Jeter to career bunt number 82 and into a 14-way tie for 552nd on the all-time list. Whom did Jeter leave behind? Skipper Joe Girardi. Girardi, who had emassed 81 career bunts over his 15 seasons, now sits in a 15-way tie at 556th place.
The game was suspended for 12 minutes while Yankee teammates, family, and friends embraced Jeter. Absent from a similar group of hug-givers, who had adorned Jeter with love the night he reached hit number 3,000 back on July 9, was recent ex-girlfriend Minka Kelly.
Girardi on his own place in the history books: "If I'd realized we were tied, would I have called for a bunt? Sometimes we all have to sacrifice something."
Jeter was, as always, humble: "To be now tied with 13 other greats...it's just something I'll be able to reflect upon when I'm done with this game. I mean, Bill Knickerbocker, Terry Moore, and pitcher Dick Ruthven? These are guys who knew how to play the game.
"I'm just glad this is behind me, so that I can now concentrate on the pennant race."