10/02/2002 7:42 pm ET
MLBeat: Torre sticks with Mondesi
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Raul Mondesi has struggled at the plate over the past few weeks, but Joe Torre isn't thinking about replacing his right fielder in the lineup.
That's because what Mondesi provides the Yankees in the outfield might be even more important.
Mondesi went 0-for-3 in Tuesday's game, striking out once.
"Mondy is fighting it a little right now," Yankess manager Joe Torre said. "I think he's just a little anxious. Everyone gets nervous for these things, and I think that's a part of it."
In Game 1, the Angels hit a couple of hard balls to right field, which may have been doubles with most outfielders in right.
But with Mondesi and his strong arm playing out there, Anaheim's runners have been held up at first base.
"That's a big advantage for us," Torre said. "This club is aggressive enough, so when you can hold them to first base on the balls off the wall, that's big. He's been a big plus for us out there."
First things first for Nick: Nick Johnson was in the lineup for Game 2, playing first base and batting seventh.
Jason Giambi, who started at first in Game 1, was the Yankees' designated hitter on Wednesday.
For Johnson, it is the first postseason game of his young career.
"We've done this before," Torre said. "It would probably help Nick just to be out there and be busy."
Giambi went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in Game 1, but Torre doesn't think that taking him out of the field will have a negative effect on his slugger.
"I don't know what Jason's numbers are as DH, but I haven't really seen a difference in his comfort zone," Torre said. "He seems to have his routine whether he's DHing or playing."
New stripes for Randolph?: Third-base coach Willie Randolph interviewed with Tigers president Dave Dombrowski in New York on Wednesday regarding Detroit's vacant managing position.
"I thought it went great. We met for 2 1/2 or 3 hours. It was very educational. I had a chance to impress him," Randolph said. "This was probably their first interview. They told me they'd get back to me, so we'll see. But I have a good feeling about this. I felt they were sincere, and that this was encouraging. I feel it was well worth my time."
Randolph has served as the Yankees' third-base coach for nine seasons, including all seven years of the Joe Torre era.
Torre expressed his hopes that the interview with the Tigers will be a legitimate shot for Randolph to land his first manager's job.
"Hopefully it went well, and hopefully it was a meaningful conversation," Torre said. "You'd like to believe when people want to talk to Willie, that it's not because they have to interview minorities. Willie has a lot to offer."
Randolph has interviewed for six or seven managing jobs since 1996, coming close a couple of years ago with the Cincinnati Reds.
"I've been to enough of these to feel I can tell when I'm getting the run-around. I didn't sense that here," Randolph said. "They said they had three more guys to interview, and that they'd get back to me when they finished the process."
Torre said he would like to see Randolph get a managing job, even though that would mean losing a valuable member of his coaching staff.
"It's much more satisfying for me to see them move on and have the opportunity to do things like that," Torre said. "He knows how to play the game and seems to be good with people. That's the main thing with managing. It's basically people. If you're able to communicate with players and get them to play, that's what managing is all about."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.