DETROIT -- It turns out that all that talk Mark Teixeira delivered this spring about laying down a few bunts to keep defenders honest against the shift was just hot air.
Teixeira dismissed the idea of actually bunting in a game, even though the Tigers have been giving the switch-hitter plenty of room down the third-base line in his at-bats during the American League Championship Series.
"That's not going to happen," Teixeira said. "I tried to have some fun with you guys in Spring Training and said I was going to lay some down. I've never bunted. I don't think I've bunted since I was 11 years old.
It's the same thing if we needed a lefty to get someone out; I'm not going to go in the bullpen and start throwing left-handed. That's not what I do. I hit a couple of balls hard off [Justin] Verlander, but me laying a bunt down is not going to happen. That'd be desperate."
Teixeira went hitless in three at-bats against Detroit's ace during Tuesday's 2-1 loss in Game 2 before lacing a ninth-inning single off left-hander Phil Coke. Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was playing Teixeira where a shortstop would normally stand, suggesting that a bunt or a checked-swing grounder to third base would have produced a free hit.
"I think it's a smart play if you're comfortable doing it and you feel that you can be successful doing it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "But I don't think he's comfortable doing it; I don't think he feels he can be successful. I think he feels he has a better chance to get a hit or get on some other way, and I respect that. You can't ask them to do something they're not comfortable doing."