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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Girardi: What, us bunt?

By Wallace Matthews

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In the wake of Tuesday night's 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays that melted away the last trace of the Yankees' 10-game lead in the AL East, their hitting coach, Kevin Long, suggested the Bronx Bombers might actually try something different tonight. Like laying down a bunt or two.

But this afternoon, manager Joe Girardi shot that idea full of holes.

"We're not the Bronx Bunters, and we really never have been," Girardi said, "borrowing" the headline of today's First Pitch. "That's not really our approach. The one thing you can concentrate on is really good at-bats and making sure you grind out your at-bats. If you have to move a runner over, make sure you hit the ball to the other side or pull it or try to drive the ball. Take the extra base when you can. We’re not going to change our philosophy."

Told that it sounded as if he and his hitting coach had a fundamental disagreement on how to jump-start the Yankees' moribund offense,” Girardi said, "No. Believe me, we're on the same page."

But although Long had said he thought it would have been a good idea to have Nick Swisher bunt in the third inning Tuesday night with runners on first and second and none out, Girardi rejected the idea. "I think about moving them by Swish getting a hit or by putting a good at-bat or walking again like he did the time before," he said. "That's how you do it, to me, because Swish is not a guy that bunts. If I had a bunch of small-ball players, you’d probably see us play a bunch of small ball. But that's not who we are, and that's not how we got to this position by playing small ball. Just because you go through a tough time, doesn't mean you change your philosophy."