DETROIT -- The Yankees' repeated decision to nix Alex Rodriguez from their starting lineup had nothing to do with a reported incident in the Yankee Stadium dugout, general manager Brian Cashman said.

The New York Post reported that Rodriguez chatted with two women after being pinch-hit for in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, flipping them a baseball to ask for their telephone numbers.

Rodriguez has been benched in Games 3 and 4 of the ALCS, but Cashman said that is because of his struggles against right-handed pitching and not a punitive measure.

ALCS

"Purely baseball related," Cashman said. "This is all about winning, regardless of the report that is out there that is a non-baseball-related story. It's not going to affect our decision making about who is best to put us in the position to win on a daily basis."

Manager Joe Girardi said he did not know about Rodriguez's actions during Game 1.

"I was not aware of any incident, or alleged incident, or whatever people want to say," Girardi said.

Rodriguez went 0-for-3 in the Game 1 loss to the Tigers and right-hander Doug Fister before being replaced by Eric Chavez as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. According to the Post report, Rodriguez stopped chatting with the women only when Derek Jeter fractured his left ankle on a 12th-inning play.

"I addressed that [story] yesterday -- I said it was laughable," Rodriguez said on Wednesday. "I've been here a long time in New York, I think nine years. I've never addressed anything from Page 6. I've never addressed anything from blogs or gossip columns.

"We're here to cover baseball. Some of the criticism out there is very fair and I can live with that, but some of the other stuff is not fair. And you just move on. You don't worry about it too much. I've been in New York a long time."

Teixeira acknowledges bunt talk was just that

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."