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October 6, 2009

Joe Girardi


THE MODERATOR: I guess Joe has a few things to tell you before we start with questions.
JOE GIRARDI: We will take Series A. So we'll play 6:07, whatever tomorrow. We just wanted to make sure that everybody was healthy. And everyone is good.
And as far as our rotation, it will go CC, A.J., Andy.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take first question from Mark here on the left.

Q. Joe, what would the decision be, with A.J. Game 2, and Andy Game 3?
JOE GIRARDI: We looked at a lot of different things, home and road splits. We looked at match-ups against the teams. We looked at left, right, left. It was a combination of a lot of things. We still don't know who we're playing. We should know that shortly. But we thought that was the best way to do our rotation.

Q. Joe, can you talk a little about Molina catching A.J., please?
JOE GIRARDI: They've been in a real good rhythm when they've been working together. And we just felt we would keep it that way. Playoff is a lot about pitching, and we just thought since they're in a good rhythm, we're going to keep them working together.

Q. Will you DH Posada that day?
JOE GIRARDI: I don't know who we will match up against. But our plans are Matsui is probably going to be our DH most of the time.

Q. Joe, what's your mind-set and how do you feel going into your first post-season game here at Yankee Stadium?
JOE GIRARDI: I feel good about our club. I feel our club is ready to go. We are healthy. I would say this the most interesting thing is we don't know who we're playing yet. But as far as our club, I feel good about our club.

Q. How about you personally?
JOE GIRARDI: Obviously, there's some decisions that still have to be made. So your mind is occupied on that. I'm sure I'll feel different tomorrow than I do today. But it's kind of business as usual. Preparation, workout, and you try to get ready.

Q. Joe, some of those decisions, are you ready to announce your roster at this point? And what are some of the decisions, final decisions that you've come down to?
JOE GIRARDI: No, we're not. We're not quite ready to announce our roster.
As far as we have had made some decisions that we are asking Sergio, Peña and Bruney to go down to Tampa and to keep throwing and playing for us. There's still some decisions that we have to make. We have not made all of them. Part of it is we don't know who we're playing.

Q. Joe, what do you anticipate Chamberlain's role to be first round?
JOE GIRARDI: He can do anything from being a one-inning guy to being a two, three-inning guy or even a longer guy. If you can draw it up, you try to draw it up where your starters give you six or seven and you go to your bullpen. We know you can't do that. He can't do that in this game. But we anticipate using him anywhere from one inning to a couple of hitters to one inning to if we need distance, we can use him there as well. Part of that is we haven't chose our full roster to know exactly what we're going to have.

Q. Joe, a lot of the guys weren't here early on. Is there a sense of determination because of what happened in the division series last three times?
JOE GIRARDI: It's a lot different team. I sense that there was a determination after what we went through last year where we didn't make the playoffs. You know, you don't play this game and put all that hard work in to just make the playoffs. There's a goal set. And the goal was set when we went to work last winter. So I think our guys are very determined. We have some guys that have been here for a lot of championships. And then we have some guys that have playoff experience. And everyone wants another championship.

Q. Joe, in your rotation, are these your three guys -- because of the spacing of the first three games, are you going to go back with the first two if you have to go -- if the series is extended?
JOE GIRARDI: Yes, that's what we'll do.

Q. So it will be CC?
JOE GIRARDI: And A.J. five.

Q. You talked about how important pitching is when saying Molina will catch Burnett. I wonder if you can elaborate on that. I assume it's about confidence as much as anything else. Part two of that is, do you have any thoughts of catching Molina with any of your other starters as well?
JOE GIRARDI: Jorge is going to catch CC and Andy. As far as -- they've been in a good rhythm together. I've been in a situation where I've caught three guys, four guys out of five guys. Two guys. And when a pitcher and a catcher get in a rhythm, you hate to break it up. And that's kind of the feeling that we have going now. Jorge is our number one catcher. But in this situation, we just are going to choose to catch Molina.

Q. Joe, how did Jorge react to the news once he found out?
JOE GIRARDI: He understood. We talked about it on Sunday, and he was ok. I'm sure he's disappointed. Jorge would want to play every inning. I don't blame him. That's how I want him to be. If I was in his shoes I would want to play every game too. And I've been through that in the playoffs where Jorge has caught certain guys and I've caught certain guys. It's a part of the game. And it's -- Jorge is the way that I want him to be. Jorge wants to be out there every inning and I understand that.

Q. Joe, Bruney going to Tampa, he was kind of a bubble guy. What made you decide to keep him off? And also you said repeatedly I think you like the idea of two lefties. Have you decided are you going to go with two lefties? Does that depend --
JOE GIRARDI: That could depend on the series. We have not made that final decision. As far as Brian, we can only take -- it's possible we only take 10 pitchers too. It's possible we can take 11. We felt that we're going to use Mo and Hughes and Aceves, Robertson probably. There's still some decisions that we have to make there. But we felt we were going to go with some of the other guys. Brian McCann finished up strong for us and we want to keep him going because you don't know what's going to happen.

Q. Joe, a little bit has been made of the fact that you're the only manager in the post-season who hasn't managed in the playoffs before. What if any advantage does it give a manager to have managed in the post-season and do you feel you're at any disadvantage?
JOE GIRARDI: As far as feeling I'm at a disadvantage, I don't. Obviously, I don't have the experience that the other managers do. I've been in post-season as player. I've been in post-season as a coach. Joe Maddon didn't really have any experience last year when he entered the post-season. They made it all the way to the World Series. A lot of it is -- as a manager, it's the preparation that you put in, and you're still going to manage the game.
I think the interesting thing about baseball is Opening Day you have butterflies. There are certain times during the season that you have butterflies. But when the game starts, those all go away because you're doing what you're used to doing. And I think it's because of the anticipation of getting there and because you care.
For me, I can't tell you what I'm going to feel when I wake up tomorrow morning because we're not there yet. But I'm very excited to be in this position. And I like our club.

Q. Joe, CC has struggled in the post-season the last couple of years. I was wondering if you felt the need to address that to make sure he doesn't have negative thoughts in his head about that.
JOE GIRARDI: I feel good about where CC is right now. One of the things that we tried to do in the month of September is slow his innings down. We believe that's going to be beneficial. Every time you go through the post-season as a player you learn something about yourself and ways to handle situations better. And you usually are facing the cream of the crop. He was always matched up against number one as well. But we feel really good about the way he's thrown the ball for us and his comfort level moving forward and that we didn't have to really exhaust him in the month of September to get here.

Q. Joe, just one question on Matsui. You kept him healthy enough this season, gave him days off here and there. Obviously that was a good move. Can you just talk a little bit about your satisfaction level towards him this season and what you're expecting him from in the post-season as well?
JOE GIRARDI: I expect him to just be the same guy that he's been for us all year. He has been outstanding. We've been able to keep him where he's only had to miss a few dates here and there because of some fluid in his knee. And you would think with the days off that you could manage it pretty well where you can keep him healthy. He's had an extraordinary year. You look at the RBI's per at-bats, it's got to be as good as anyone in baseball.

Q. You talked about the luxury of maybe having two pinch runners. Have you decided to take two or does that depend on 10 or 11 pitchers.
JOE GIRARDI: That would depend on 10 or 11 pitchers.

Q. Do you feel the fact that whoever wins comes in here no rest, no off day, they are coming straight from playing tonight, flying, playing tomorrow; does that give you any kind of advantage of prep time or do you think it could also play that they have a little momentum going?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah. I think it will be evaluate on what happens here tomorrow. I think people say, well, they had momentum. Or if we win they're going to say well maybe they were tired. I don't think there's any rhyme or reason. Players don't feel tired in the post-season. You don't. You have an extra adrenaline that you usually don't have and players don't feel tired. So I don't know -- I don't really believe we have an advantage that they're playing tonight.

Q. Joe, to lefties, you've talked about that in the bullpen. Have you made a call on that yet?
JOE GIRARDI: No, we have not.

Q. A third catcher, have you decided?
JOE GIRARDI: That's one of the things that is in the mix. As far as we're concerned, there's probably 23 guys that are fairly secure. And we're trying to make the last couple of spots is what we have to decide. And part of that is who we're playing too. We still don't know.

Q. We just had Teixeira in here. He's a very even-keeled personality. He's now going into his first post-season with the Yankees. Does that personality of his, does that help him in this sort of a situation?
JOE GIRARDI: It does not concern me. I've always thought that he's had a great demeanor to play here, because he's very prepared, he's very scheduled in what he does, and he doesn't get caught up with much going on around him. So I've always thought that he is an extremely good fit here. And moving forward, I like him in our lineup every day.

Q. Did you talk with A.J. at all about this decision regarding Molina and Jorge or is it just based on what you saw, the rhythms that you talked about?
JOE GIRARDI: I cannot talk to A.J. about that. That was a decision that I made. As a manager, you have to make some tough decisions. That was a very tough one.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Joe. Appreciate you coming in.

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