Yankees don't chase after Francisco's fowl ball

Mets relief pitcher Frank Francisco recored his 13th

Mets relief pitcher Frank Francisco recored his 13th save. The Mets defeated the Padres 2-0. (May 27, 2012) (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

The Yankees weren't much interested in engaging Frank Francisco in his game of chicken.

By and large, in the clubhouse before Friday night's game, they kept their clucking to a minimum regarding the Mets' closer calling them "chickens."

After a 6-4 loss, one in which the Yankees got a rally going against Francisco but came up empty, it was all business.

"There's not really any more said than a normal day," Joe Girardi said when asked if there was any more noise in the dugout with Francisco coming in. "You're trying to win the game. That's the bottom line, and that's what our guys are; our guys are real professional."

Derek Jeter, whose head was superimposed on a chicken in one of the tabloids Friday morning, lined a single to left with one out to give the Yankees runners at first and second. But Curtis Granderson struck out looking and Mark Teixeira popped out to end the Yankees' third straight loss after 10 straight victories.

Jeter told reporters he wasn't any more motivated than usual to get a hit; that's what he's trying to do every time up.

"I don't really worry about what he said," Girardi said of Francisco. "The way we've been finding ways to win games, you think that you have a chance there and you have a couple of home run hitters up, and that's how we score runs. We felt we had a shot."

The Yankees got home runs from Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones and Robinson Cano, but their problems with runners in scoring position continued. They went 0-for-4 and stranded eight runners.

"Keep putting them on, eventually it's going to change, that's all I can really tell you," Girardi said. "We are who we are. There are basketball clubs built around three-point shooting. When they don't make their threes, they don't win. We're a home run-hitting club. If we hit two- and three-run homers, we usually win games."

The Yankees' struggles with RISP wasn't a topic before the game; Francisco's remarks were.

He was quoted Thursday saying: "I can't wait to strike out those chickens. I want to strike out the side against them. I've done it before."

On Friday, Francisco was greeted by the "Chicken Dance" when he entered the Mets' clubhouse, then didn't retract his comments, saying: "I like to have fun, but I respect. I make a simple comment -- they complain a lot. For every call, for everything, and I thought it was funny. But I didn't expect to make a big deal. But, you know, whatever.

"I say what I say and I don't feel sorry. That's what I think; I think they complain too much for everything. You guys haven't watched the game? You guys don't see it? Every game?"

Among the Yankees, catcher Russell Martin came the closest to a pointed response.

"We'll see if we're chicken if he gets in a game," said Martin, who crushed a ball to center leading off the ninth that Andres Torres ran down. "Maybe he's trying to psych us out or something. I don't know. I don't think it's going to work, though."

Mostly the remarks were met with amusement.

"What kind of chickens?" Alex Rodriguez said. "Like organic chicken? Rotisserie chickens. I like chickens. Chickens can be good.

"You're not going to get me on this one. I think it's good for you guys, though."

Said Jeter: "I got nothing. I don't understand what that means, so I can't be insulted by something I don't understand."

Before the game, Girardi said Yankees director of media relations Jason Zillo had been contacted by three chicken companies. Zillo said one of them even offered to send chickens to the Mets.

The companies, Girardi said with a smile, "wanted to be sponsors of the Subway Series, so it might work out well for both teams."

As for his team being motivated by the comments, he shrugged.

"The thing that really matters is what's on the field," Girardi said. "You shouldn't need to be motivated during the course of the season. Sometimes if a team's struggling, it can wake a team up. But I don't think our guys will think too much of it."

With David Lennon

and Anthony Rieber

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