09/02/11 7:08 PM ET
Yanks host fundraiser for women's group
By Joey Nowak and Thomas Boorstein / MLB.com
Afterman, along with Mindy Franklin Levine, the wife of Yankees president Randy Levine, hosted a reception before Friday's game to promote Same Sky. The organization employs women to make crocheted and beaded bracelets in Rwanda and Zambia, two countries plagued by genocide and the HIV virus. Bracelets in a wide variety of colors and styles were on display in a Yankee Stadium suite lounge.
The reception, an idea of Mindy Levine and held for the second straight year in the Bronx, allowed people to buy Same Sky bracelets and have the proceeds reinvested in the company to help extend its reach.
"I think it was very successful last year," Afterman said. "And I think it speaks to what we try to do with the Yankees, which is to empower people to believe in themselves. So this is just another sort of extension of being out there in the world."
Intricate jewelry and the Yankees might not seem to go together, but thanks to the work of Afterman and Levine, they did Friday.
"The most of important part of it is women working for themselves and for their families," Afterman said. "I think that's what most people don't know about us as a professional sports organization. We have women who have jobs throughout the organization. People think of baseball, they think baseball and boys, but it's really also all about girls as well."
Afterman wasn't sure of the quality of her fashion opinions, though.
"I don't know if my advice is necessarily good," Afterman said. "I'm very firm on, 'That color is good, that color is good and that color is good.' I'm not very discerning. Everything looks good."
A-Rod, Tex sit out series opener vs. Jays
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez's nagging left thumb injury will keep him out of the Yankees' starting lineup at least another day, though the third baseman said he ramped up his workouts Friday at Yankee Stadium and feels confident he could play if called upon.
Rodriguez said "without a question" that the approach he and the club have taken is the most conservative, noting that the Yankees are looking out for Rodriguez's well-being in the long run.
"We realize the next two months are the most important ones," Rodriguez said before the Yankees' series opener against the visiting Blue Jays on Friday. "Once we see the green light, we just don't want to come back and have any more setbacks."
He did not rule out coming in for a possible pinch-hit situation on Friday.
"It feels pretty good," Rodriguez said. "We had a good day today. Pretty much did everything -- hit live for the first time. It felt pretty good. And then met with the training staff and, overall, we're just going to take at least one more day."
Rodriguez said the team's success with him out of the lineup -- New York has won four of the five games he's missed due to the sprained left thumb -- has afforded him and the club the luxury of the conservative approach.
"We're just trying to be smart, and I think the team playing well has given us the luxury a little bit to be cautious," he said.
Rodriguez, hitting .289 with 14 homers and 53 RBIs this year, said he will wear a device to help soften the blow when he returns.
"I think you're going to feel something for the rest of the year," Rodriguez said. "You're going to pretty much concede to that. That's just not going to go away."
Eric Chavez started Friday's game at third base, while Nick Swisher was at first in place of Mark Teixeira, who has a bruised right knee after being hit by a pitch by Boston's Alfredo Aceves on Thursday. Manager Joe Girardi said Teixeira's time off could extend beyond Friday night.
"He's still sore today," Girardi said before Friday's game. "I don't know if we'll have him tomorrow. Maybe by the end of the weekend, it's possible. But he's still sore today. He'll get a lot of treatment today. We'll just have to go some time without him."
Teixeira is second on the club with 100 RBIs and 35 homers, while batting .248.
Girardi wants to set five-man rotation soon
NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi expressed his desire to return to a five-man rotation sometime early next week, which would finally get his starting pitchers back on a regular schedule.
Of course, the inevitable question that comes with such a decision is, "Who's the odd man out?"
With an injury to Freddy Garcia and make-up games popping up on the schedule, the trim down to five starters -- A.J. Burnett, C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Bartolo Colon and Garcia round out the current rotation -- has been delayed.
"We'll talk about it the next couple days," Girardi said Friday. "We didn't talk about it much today, but we'll have some time. We'll sit down and talk about it."
The move will likely be made Tuesday, when either Hughes (who took the loss Wednesday in Boston) or Burnett (who pitched Thursday) are scheduled to start. One of them likely will get bumped.
Burnett was 1-2 with a dismal 11.91 ERA in August before pitching well on Thursday against Boston. Hughes is 4-5 with a 6.75 ERA.
"I'd like to get to a five-man rotation, and if we feel that we need to spot-start someone, we can do that, as well," Girardi said. "If someone needs an extra day, we can do that, as well. We'd like to get down to a five-man rotation and get these guys on their regular routine."
Girardi also announced that Sabathia will pitch Sunday against the Blue Jays and Garcia will start Monday's game against the Orioles.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.