NEW YORK -- Now that the Cubs have decided to stay with Mike Quade as their manager, signing him to a two-year contract extension on Tuesday, Joe Girardi can officially put aside all questions about his interest in heading back to Wrigley Field in a new job capacity.
Girardi's name had come up as a possible option after Lou Piniella retired in August, although the Yankees manager sidestepped any inquiries about the position, save for one day during a series against the White Sox when he entertained Chicago reporters on the topic.
"I wasn't really worried one way or the other," Girardi said. "I worry about now. I'm not going to worry about next year. None of us know what life holds for us next year. I try to concentrate on what's going on. My faith, I believe, allows me to do that."
Girardi is in the final year of a three-year contract as the Yankees' manager, a run that has seen him win the World Series and take his team to the American League Championship Series after missing the postseason in 2008. Girardi congratulated Quade on the position, but said that the Cubs' announcement was no relief to him.
"It was just questions that I had to answer, and you know I'm not big on speculation," Girardi said. "I didn't talk to anyone. I'm focused on this."
Yanks go with Cervelli to catch Burnett
NEW YORK -- Neither A.J. Burnett nor Francisco Cervelli have seen an inning of work since an Oct. 2 game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, but the battery will have its chance to get back into action in Game 4 of the American League Division Series.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has decided to start Cervelli behind the plate on Tuesday, bypassing Jorge Posada, who had started all of New York's previous six postseason games. Girardi said that Burnett's relationship with Cervelli was a deciding factor.
"The focus is always preventing runs more for me," Girardi said. "If you shut a team down, you can win a game, 1-0. That's not anything against Jorge, but these two have been together a lot and I want to keep that together."
Burnett also worked with backup catcher Jose Molina in all five starts last postseason, and teamed with Cervelli for 25 games in 2010. With Cervelli, Burnett pitched to a 4.66 ERA, allowing 12 home runs and a .274 batting average against in 129 1/3 innings, compared with a 7.28 ERA, nine home runs allowed and a .340 batting average against in eight games and 38 1/3 innings with Posada.
"They've worked more together and Cervy has a better idea, in a sense, of what to do in a certain situation," Girardi said. "I'm a big believer in the catcher-pitcher relationship, because I went through it. It's one thing I understand. I think it's important to have consistency."
Rangers manager Ron Washington listened to Girardi's interview from the visiting clubhouse and said he "totally" agrees with Girardi's thinking about catchers matching up better with certain pitchers.
"That's a catcher talking. I can't disagree," Washington said. "If anybody has knowledge about that, it's Joe Girardi. But I agree. That's the advantage a catcher has. You know your guy. You know what's working and what the guy's stuff is."
The move sacrifices Posada's more powerful bat for at least the early innings against Rangers starter Tommy Hunter. Posada hit .248 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs in 120 regular-season games; Cervelli posted a .271 batting average with no homers and 18 RBIs in 93 games.
With Posada out of the lineup completely, Lance Berkman will be in the No. 7 spot as the designated hitter.
"He was OK," Girardi said of Posada's reaction. "He said he'll be ready. ... We're not in a situation where we have a catcher that plays 10 days in a row. Jorgie used to be that guy when he was younger, but we're not in that situation."
The Yankees, who are down 2-1 to the Rangers in the best-of-seven series, need a solid start from Burnett, who was left out of the AL Division Series rotation and posted career highs in ERA (5.26) and losses (15) during the regular season. Burnett's ERA was the highest of any Yankees starter in history with more than 180 innings.
Pettitte shines in what could be final start
NEW YORK -- As Andy Pettitte left the mound following the seventh inning on Monday, the Yankee Stadium crowd cheered perhaps a little louder than usual. Albeit in a loss, Pettitte had just submitted another fine postseason effort, the kind the Bronx faithful have grown accustomed to over his 13 seasons in pinstripes.
But as he departed, the fans couldn't help but think, in the backs of their minds, that this may have been the last of those outings.
It certainly lingered for Pettitte.
"I would say, you know, when I'm out of the game, sitting in the clubhouse, you kind of think about that," Pettitte said. "But then there's a lot of baseball to be played left. And I feel real good about our team and about the club that we have."
At the age of 38, Pettitte has been mum on whether he plans to return for another season in 2011. One of the most accomplished pitchers in franchise history, the left-hander from Louisiana is third in Yankees history with 203 career wins and first in Major League history with 19 postseason victories.
He was having one of his best seasons in 2010 before a strained groin cost him two months.
If some of his teammates have their way, No. 46 will be back in pinstripes for at least one more year.
"I'll be calling him and begging him this offseason to come back," CC Sabathia said on Tuesday. "He's meant a lot to me, the two years that I've known him. Coming here, from day one in Spring Training, he just welcomed me with open arms, and any questions I ever had -- about the organization, about the city or pitching against these guys in the AL East -- he's been more than happy to help me. And I think he's been a big reason why I've had success here so far."
Jeter home alone in ALCS games played
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter has made the postseason his home for nearly his entire run in a Yankees uniform, and now he has been in the American League Championship Series more than anyone.
New York's 8-0 loss to the Rangers in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday marked Jeter's 50th ALCS game, surpassing Manny Ramirez on the all-time list. He is also approaching another milestone of Ramirez's -- Jeter entered play on Tuesday five hits shy of Ramirez's 59 career LCS hits.
Cliff Lee's dominant performance in Game 3 didn't help the cause, as Jeter went 0-for-4.
"He pitched well. What are you going to do?" Jeter said. "[Tuesday] we face someone else."
That person, of course, is the Rangers' Tommy Hunter. With one run scored, Jeter will also reach 32 in LCS play, passing Bernie Williams -- who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 4 at Yankee Stadium -- for the most all-time.
Lee's stained cap no issue for Girardi
NEW YORK -- Cliff Lee's soiled cap may have sparked discussion on sports talk radio, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he does not have any concerns with the Rangers left-hander's sticky headwear.
Offering credit to Lee for a brilliant performance in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Monday, Girardi discounted commentary from fans and some media types that Lee's rosin-stained cap had any effect.
"You have a lot of guys that put rosin," Girardi said. "They have a rosin residue. It's just the way he does it. Every pitcher usually has a little thing that he does. It doesn't strike me as really odd."
Girardi said that if he suspected anything was awry, he would have brought it to the umpires' attention, but noted that some Yankees also have similar quirks. CC Sabathia runs his hand along his left thigh, and Girardi said he once had to check with Alfredo Aceves to see why the hurler was repeatedly touching his cap.
"The first thing I asked him was, 'Ace, is there something on your hat?'" Girardi said. "And he told me, 'No, it's just something I do.'"
Had Aceves answered differently, Girardi laughed and said he would have told him, "Ace, you've got to start doing something a little different. You've got to hide it a little better."
Lee struck out 13 over eight scoreless innings in Texas' 8-0 victory on Monday, and Girardi said he counted it among the most dominant postseason starts he's seen.
"I didn't see Doc Halladay's no-hitter, and I didn't see Don Larsen's [perfect game], but that's as good as I've seen," Girardi said.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Brittany Ghiroli and associate reporter Tim Britton contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.