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."
Quentin in lineup; Andruw scratched
NEW YORK -- Just as one integral force returned to the White Sox lineup for Friday's series opener at Yankee Stadium, another key player was scratched.
Carlos Quentin took his sore left hamstring into the fifth slot of the batting order and as the team's designated hitter. But Andruw Jones, one of the few White Sox hitters having a good April, was removed from right field and the starting nine against Andy Pettitte due to back spasms. Jayson Nix replaced Jones in right field, with Quentin not healthy enough to play defensively.
The injury for Quentin came during Wednesday's loss to Texas, as he was chasing down fly balls in right field. Manager Ozzie Guillen originally thought Quentin would sit out again on Friday, but after early treatment, Quentin felt good enough to go.
"I just finished talking to him about it," said Guillen of Quentin, who felt the soreness on Thursday morning. "I gave him my opinion on it -- I would rather he missed a couple of days than a couple of weeks. He's going to try and do it, and see what happens."
With a home run, double and three RBIs in Wednesday's loss, Quentin didn't want to be out of action for too long. Guillen liked how Quentin took pitches and hit the ball to right field during Wednesday's action, and Quentin seconded that idea as the right approach for his success at the plate.
"I'm well aware of it," Quentin said. "I know what I've done in the past to be successful, but the challenge in baseball is to execute the plan that you have. I definitely didn't want to be out of the lineup and wanted to build on that game."
Ozzie speaks out about immigration law
NEW YORK -- After the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement Friday opposing Arizona's new immigration law as written, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was asked for his opinion prior to Friday's series opener with the Yankees.
Guillen is a citizen of Venezuela, but also became a citizen of the United States on Jan. 20, 2006. Guillen's three sons and wife all are U.S. citizens.
"The only thing I'm concerned about this problem if they take people out of their jobs, they're working and all of a sudden they come and get them out," Guillen said. "Those people come here as immigrants to work. That's it. And MLB and the Players Association make an agreement or not, I'm not part of that. I just hope they look at it very well about what they're doing. Believe me, we're pretty smart.
"We're going to keep moving around. We're not leaving, because we didn't do wrong here. We just work. We just come here to work. We got to support baseball, and that's what it is. I know there are people upset about it. I'm upset about it, and wish I could do more about it than what I'm doing."
"People come here for a reason," Guillen said. "They don't come here to do bad stuff. They got a reason [to sign the law]. But I was disappointed, because I think this problem should have been resolved a long time ago."
One idea Guillen came up with was some sort of working visa for the people in question.
"Nobody sees those guys getting up at 4 a.m. to go to work on the farm, picking all kinds of stuff and leaving at 6 o'clock in the afternoon. Nobody complains about that," Guillen said. "Leave those guys alone. Help them.
"Try to do something different to maintain those guys here. As soon as you do that, there are less immigrants, less illegal people here, because they help each other. They cannot live without us. Put it that way. They're workaholics. And this country can't survive without them.
"There's a lot of people from this country who are lazy. We're not," Guillen said. "Prove me wrong. A lot of people in this country want to be on the computer and send e-mails to people. We do the hard work. We're the ones who go out and work in the sun to make this country better."
Could Dye, White Sox still be a fit?
NEW YORK -- Ozzie Guillen frequently has talked about his ongoing friendship with Jermaine Dye. He even has mentioned how the one-time White Sox outfielder is one of the two players whose cell phone number is saved in his phone.
Could this friendship lead to Dye actually returning to the White Sox? It was an idea posed through a column in Friday's Chicago Sun-Times. But even with the White Sox April struggles on offense, Dye doesn't seem to fit for a few of the same reasons that caused the team to originally buy out his option.
"I wish he could play infield or bat lefty, that would be fine," said Guillen with a laugh. "I love J.D., and one thing about J.D., I wish he could be here, but I don't see room for him right now, to be honest with you. But the way we swing the bat, I can use anyone.
"He's not the main choice right now. J.D. has to go to Spring Training, go to the Minor Leagues and play some games. It's going to take him about 15 days to come back in baseball shape. He can say he's in shape, but you can't be in shape hitting from a machine and running line to line. Baseball shape is very different than routine shape. He needs to get into shape and then see what happens."
Guillen hopes Dye eventually hooks on with a team in 2010, even if it's not his ideal situation, giving the talented slugger a chance for greater future employment. Dye said he won't go to a losing team, and he won't play for $1.5 million per year.
Third to first
White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was not with the team on Friday but could rejoin the club in New York this weekend. He had returned home to take care of personal business. ... Mariano Rivera recorded his 37th career save against the White Sox. ... Alex Rios has hit safely in 52 of his past 59 games against the Yankees, batting .335 over that stretch. ... Freddy Garcia is winless in his past six starts against the Yankees, with a 0-3 record and a 6.14 ERA.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.