New York Yankees: Steve Pearce

Joe: Pearce's slide was a 'malicious play'

June, 22, 2014
Jun 22
7:05
PM ET
NEW YORK -- New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi felt Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Steve Pearce’s slide into third base that caused Kelly Johnson to throw errantly to first in the eighth inning was a “malicious play.”

[+] EnlargeKelly Johnson
AP Photo/Kathy WillensJoe Girardi says Steve Pearce's slide was dirty, Pearce disagrees.
With runners on first and second and no outs in the eighth, Orioles left fielder Nelson Cruz hit a grounder to third. Johnson fielded the ball cleanly and stepped on the bag for the force, but Pearce slid hard into the third baseman, causing Johnson’s throw to sail high and into the stands.

After a long conversation, the umpires, despite protest from Girardi that their should’ve been interference, ruled the play a fielder’s choice, with Cruz advancing to second and center fielder Adam Johnson, who was on first, advancing to third. Yankees reliever Adam Warren then proceeded to intentionally walk first baseman Chris Davis, and the next batter, shortstop J.J. Hardy, cleared the bases with a double to right-center field, giving the Orioles a 6-0 lead.

“[Third base umpire Tom Hallion] thought [Pearce] could still touch the bag [on the slide]. You have to make an attempt for the bag, and there was no attempt for the bag,” Girardi said following New York’s 8-0 loss to Baltimore on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. “That was pretty malicious. I’m all for playing hard, I don’t have a problem with playing hard, I took guys out, but that’s a pretty dangerous one because you’re going after someone on the slide, and that’s how you hurt knees, but I don’t think he made any attempt for the bag.”

The play is not reviewable. Girardi later hedged, but still called the play “dangerous” and “violent.”

Johnson, who banged up his ankle on the play, would not go as far as to call Pierce’s slide malicious.

“He said kinda, ‘My bad.’ I said, ‘You got away with one.’ That was it,” Johnson said.

Said Pearce: “There was nothing malicious about it. I’m just trying to play the game. If he feels that way, I’m sorry, but I was not trying to hurt the guy. I was just trying to breakup the double-play.”

Orioles pick up ex-Yankee Pearce

September, 29, 2012
9/29/12
2:49
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Just in time for their final four-game push for the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles claimed Yankee-for-a-day Steve Pearce -- OK, it was more like three weeks -- off waivers.

Pearce started the year as an Oriole, stopped off in Houston for a month and played 12 games for the Yankees, hitting .160 with a home run and four RBI before being designated for assignment on Sept. 23.

First pitch: Replacing Teixeira

August, 28, 2012
8/28/12
6:00
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That Steve Pearce move couldn't have been made at a better time for the Yankees.

Before they knew that Mark Teixeira would be out with a Grade 1 left calf strain, the Yanks acquired Pearce from the Astros for cash considerations.

Pearce, a journeyman first baseman/outfielder, will now be a part of the platoon called upon to replace Teixeira at first base.

You can expect to see Nick Swisher at first in place of Teixeira in the coming days. Swisher filled in for Teixeira at times earlier in the season when Tex was sidelined with a wrist ailment. Eric Chavez, Casey McGehee and Pearce could also spend some time at first in place of Tex.

No matter who replaces Teixeira (.256, 23 HR, 81 RBIs), his absence leaves a gaping hole in the offense.

"He's been such a backbone to our lineup," Swisher said. "I didn't hear anything on how long he's going to be out for, but for a guy like that to be out of our lineup, man, that's a big deal."

It sure is. But if Swisher can continue to hit as he has of late (.363, 6 HR, 20 RBIs in his last 20 games), the impact of Teixeira's absence may be lessened.

Don't forget, though, that you're also losing Tex's glove.

Putting Swisher at first means using Andruw Jones or Raul Ibanez in the outfield. If that's the case, the Yankees' defense may suffer.

"We're going to have to step it up, man. We've been dealing with stuff like this all year," Swisher said. "As bad as it is to say, I guess the show goes on, you know?"

QUESTION: Who would you like to see replace Teixeira? How much will this injury impact the Yankees?

Up Now: Johnette Howard looks at the Yanks' 22-game stretch against AL East foes and gives credit to manager Joe Girardi for the way he's handled things in 2012. I have items on Rafael Soriano's meltdown, injury updates on Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte, and notes on Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Swisher.

Coming soon: The clubhouse will open around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday for the second game of this three-game set. RHP Phil Hughes (12-11, 4.15 ERA) takes on LHP Ricky Romero (8-11, 5.63).

Yanks reacquire Pearce

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
2:01
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The Yankees have reacquired first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce from the Astros for cash considerations.

This is Pearce's second stint with the organization.

He was previously with the Yankees from March 29-June 2, playing for Triple-A Scranton. He hit .318 (61-for-192) with 11 homers and 30 RBI. He led the International League in hits and overage on June 2, when the Yanks dealt the 29-year-old to Baltimore.

He was designated for assignment by the Orioles and claimed by Houston on July 28.

Pearce hit .254 with 8 RBIs and five extra-base hits while with Houston.

To make room for Pearce, the Yankees have designated Brandon Laird for assignment. The team says a corresponding move on the 25-man roster will be announced once Pearce arrives in the Bronx.

Pearce gives the Yanks, who have dealt with injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, some added depth. He also provides a right-handed bat off the bench for Joe Girardi.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146