Notes: Quantrill, Torre take a seat

Notes: Quantrill, Torre take a seat

KANSAS CITY -- Finally, after nearly one week of guessing and waiting, Paul Quantrill and Joe Torre received official word Tuesday afternoon about their suspensions for the beanball fracas with the Tigers on May 24.

Quantrill, who hit the Tigers' Jason Smith during the Yankees' 12-3 win that night, will be suspended for three games, while Torre will be suspended for one game. Both will also be fined an undisclosed amount. Neither will appeal their punishment.

"In my mind it's not worth it," Quantrill said of possibly appealing. "I've been there before, it's not worth it. Really, I want to get going on it and get it done with and get back and start throwing again.

"It's more about, from my standpoint, whether I personally agree with [Major League Baseball] getting involved in the first place. I'm not going to change that, obviously, so it's just a matter of taking the punishment handed down and moving forward."

While the Yankees wait for Quantrill to move forward, they will need a little extra effort from their starting pitchers to save the bullpen, which is now a man short.

"It's probably going to put more emphasis on the starter," Torre said. "You may sort of push another inning out of [the starter], but not more than six or seven. If he throws a lot of pitches early, you may be looking to get six out of him."

This latest punishment did not sit well with Quantrill, who said he was never reached by MLB vice president for on-field operations Bob Watson about the incident.

"I just think MLB has become overly active in its involvement with the game on the field," Quantrill said. "The last time I was fined, there was no warning, there was nothing written up, there was nothing done by the umpires."

The right-hander will remain with the team in Kansas City through Thursday, but will not participate in field drills or sit in the dugout, per MLB regulations.

Torre, meanwhile, will watch the game from the confines of Kauffman Stadium's visiting manager's office. While the suspension is not his first, the manager said it's always an odd sensation to watch his team from afar.

"It's going to be strange," Torre said. "You sit inside and watch it on television. It really gives you a completely foreign feeling, there's no question. It's like you're watching some other team play, not the team you're used to being alongside of."

Girardi steps in: With Torre in the clubhouse, first-year bench coach Joe Girardi filled in as manager of the Yankees on Tuesday night.

While the game is Girardi's first as the team's skipper, Torre said he was confident leaving the Yankees in his control.

"There's nothing that Joe doesn't know, that he hasn't learned or asked a question about here in the first couple of months," Torre said. "He isn't skittish in any way. He's very secure, very prepared and the intelligence doesn't hurt either."

The Yankees will rely, as usual, on pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre to make all pitching decisions. And as for Torre, he'll be out of sight and out of earshot.

"We're not supposed to [have contact with the team]," Torre said, "and I don't plan to. I was very surprised that I was allowed to be here. I trust Joe, he sits next to me and he's been a great contributor to strategy."

A-Rod on defense: Alex Rodriguez has altered his approach at third base after a recent defensive skid and will play his position a bit deeper.

The move will allow the two-time Gold Glove winner to move about on the balls of his feet and attack the ball, rather than approach it passively.

"The perfect position would be, if anyone plays tennis, to be on the balls of your feet, able to go backward or forward," Rodriguez explained. "If you're on the balls of your feet, you're able to go back or forth. When you're back on your heels, any move you make is going to be slower. That's kind of what I was doing, being more passive, a step late instead of a step early.

"It's like driving in New York. If you stop, you're going to get in a car wreck. If you attack and drive like a maniac, you'll be fine. Take that from a frustrated driver in New York. That's the best example I can give."

Rodriguez committed 13 errors in 155 games last season, but already has eight in 50 games this season. Those numbers -- and A-Rod's now-altered defensive approach -- led Torre to comment that his defense hasn't been as good as it was last season.

"Last year, he seemed so much quicker and more comfortable," Torre said, "And right now I think he's just over-thinking out there."

On deck: The Yankees continue their three-game series against the Royals at 8:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Left-hander Randy Johnson will take the mound for New York, while right-hander D.J. Carrasco starts for Kansas City.

Matt LaWell is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.