NEW YORK -- Juan Pierre's 1-for-13 showing in Texas looked as if it had earned him a spot on the White Sox bench for Friday's contest against the Yankees. At least, that idea was conveyed by manager Ozzie Guillen following Thursday's victory.
But Guillen apparently had a change of heart. With Pierre having seven hits in 15 lifetime at-bats against Yankees southpaw Andy Pettitte, he was moved from the leadoff spot to No. 9 in the order to help take pressure off the struggling hitter.
Pierre handled the demotion of sorts like a true professional.
"I've been through this before, man," said Pierre, hitting .200 entering Friday's game. "I batted ninth behind the pitcher last year [in Los Angeles]. The only thing they haven't done to me in this game is told me to go home."
Guillen wanted a right-handed hitter to bat first against Pettitte but didn't want to add on to Gordon Beckham's responsibilities. So Beckham stayed second in the lineup and Alexei Ramirez moved into the leadoff spot.
Ramirez had 12 previous career at-bats in the leadoff hole, but had no intention of changing his approach to fit this temporary role.
"If I change my outlook, if I change how I do things from a patience standpoint, then I wouldn't be me," said Ramirez through translator Lou Hernandez. "My job is to get on base, make contact and have someone else behind me drive me in. I'm going to hit just as aggressively as I always have."
Look for Omar Vizquel in the leadoff spot Saturday afternoon, with his .533 career average against Javier Vazquez. Guillen ultimately would like to have Pierre back at No. 1, as that location fits Pierre the best.
"That's what I've always done. I've batted everywhere in L.A., and I don't think I had but one or two seasons where I batted leadoff the whole year," said Pierre, who primarily has hit first or second over the past three years. "If I don't hit for a couple of weeks, I've been dropped. When I do perform and do what I can do, then I'm at the leadoff spot."