TAMPA, Fla. The New York Yankees plan to retain Joe Girardi as manager next year.
"Joe will be back," co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said Monday at the club's spring training complex. "He's done everything he could. That's the bottom line."
Girardi is in his first season managing the Yankees after agreeing to a three-year contract last October. The team is likely to miss the playoffs for the first time since 1993, but Girardi wasn't expected to be fired.
New York has been hit hard by injuries to ace Chien-Ming Wang, catcher Jorge Posada, pitcher Joba Chamberlain and slugger Hideki Matsui. The offense has struggled, and the back end of the rotation has been largely ineffective.
Still to be resolved is who the Yankees general manager will be in 2009. Brian Cashman's contract is up this year, and Steinbrenner said discussions on a possible extension will take place after the season.
WILSON OUT WITH BROKEN FINGER: Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson will likely miss the remainder of the season because of a hairline fracture in his right index finger.
The Pirates on Monday said Wilson will not be placed on the disabled list and they hope he could be available late in the season as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner.
CARPENTER COULD BE CARDS' CLOSER: With Chris Carpenter limited to relief duty the rest of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals may be calling on their ace to get the final outs.
Whenever he's available, perhaps once a series, manager Tony La Russa said the 2005 NL Cy Young winner will be his first choice as the closer.
"I'm looking forward to giving it to Carp," La Russa said Sunday, echoing remarks from the previous day. "We'd have some fun."
The Cardinals have been leaning on 22-year-old rookie Chris Perez since demoting Jason Isringhausen for the second time this year. Perez had six straight saves before blowing two straight, although he got the last two outs for his seventh save in 10 opportunities overall in Sunday's 3-1 victory over the Marlins.
FENWAY SELLS OUT FOR RECORD 456TH STRAIGHT TIME: Red Sox owners, players and former infielder Johnny Pesky greeted fans and handed out commemorative tickets to mark the team's record-breaking 456th straight regular-season sellout Monday night.
"That's flattering for us to do that," the 89-year old Pesky, seated in a chair outside Gate D, said about welcoming fans as they entered 96-year-old Fenway Park.
Just down the street named Yawkey Way in honor of former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, Boston pitchers Tim Wakefield and Mike Timlin, two of four players who have been with the team throughout the streak, smiled and handed out the souvenir tickets.
A few feet away, team owners John Henry and Tom Werner and president Larry Lucchino shook hands with and thanked fans at the turnstiles as they entered the park.
DREW RETURNS FROM DL: The Boston Red Sox activated right fielder J.D. Drew from the 15-day disabled list before the game against Tampa Bay on Monday night.
Drew, sidelined since August 18 because of a strained lower back, was hitting .280 with 19 homers and 64 RBIs before the injury.
After a disappointing regular season with Boston in 2007, Drew hit a grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS, when Boston overcame a 3-1 deficit against Cleveland en route to its second World Series title in four years.
The Red Sox also recalled first baseman Chris Carter and catcher George Kottaras from Triple-A Pawtucket before Monday night's game against Tampa Bay.
EX-PLAYER, MANAGER DON GUTTERIDGE DIES : Don Gutteridge, who played for four major league teams and managed the Chicago White Sox in 1969 and 1970, died at his home in Pittsburgh, Kan. He was 96.
He died Sunday after contracting pneumonia about a month ago, son Don Gutteridge Jr. said.
Gutteridge spent 12 years in the majors and made his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 7, 1936, 72 years to the day before his death. He also played with the St. Louis Browns, Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox.
He was listed as the seventh-oldest living former player and was the last living St. Louis Brown who played in the 1944 World Series. During that series, he turned five double plays in one game at second base. For his career, he batted .256, playing second and third base. He had 39 home runs and 391 RBIs.
ORIOLES PLACE JOHNSON ON 15-DAY DL: The Orioles placed right-hander Jim Johnson on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of a right shoulder injury.
Johnson, a rookie, said on Saturday that he would not pitch again this season. The move is retroactive to Sept. 1.
"The doctors and trainers are suggesting that I get shut down for the rest of the year. There are some things in there that will heal over time with a little bit of treatment," Johnson said.
Johnson was effective as the setup man for closer George Sherrill, going 2-4 with a 2.23 ERA and one save.