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October 23, 2009

Joe Girardi


THE MODERATOR: We'll get started again today. Who is the first question today for Joe?

Q. Joe, with the way Swisher is struggling, will you give any thought to putting someone else in right field tomorrow?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, we'll talk about our lineup tomorrow. We'll sleep on it and we'll make a decision what we're going to do. Obviously he has struggled. But Swisher is a good player and Swisher has done a lot of good things for us this year. And you look at the matchup against Saunders, he's had some hits off of Saunders.
So something that you sleep on every night, just like every other lineup.

Q. Joe, here we are once again. There's talk about rain. If it happens?
JOE GIRARDI: Is it like any other?

Q. Have you guys discussed the possibility of switching CC and Andy?
JOE GIRARDI: No, we haven't. We plan on Andy starting our next game for us. I've heard reports that we're going to get tomorrow's game in. And I've heard other reports. It seems like we were just doing this about five or six days ago. So -- we're planning on playing tomorrow and Andy is pitching.

Q. Joe, what's your confidence level in Hughes right now? I know he was great all year, but he seemed to struggle a little bit lately.
JOE GIRARDI: It's very high. He got to some good counts yesterday and just wasn't able to put the hitter away. He made some mistakes in the zone. But it's very high. This time of year outs are very tough to come by. Hitters put great at-bats on you and there's reason the teams are in the playoffs. They got a great lineup over there. My confidence in him is high.

Q. Joe, people talk a lot about momentum in these kind of series. The Angels obviously feel they have some. Do you have a concern with that and does being home counter that?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I feel good about our team. We're up three games to two. We're in our home ballpark where we've played very well. I'm sure the Angels feel very good about their chances, you know, after the last game, but you win 103 games during the regular season and have a great home field record, you're going to feel great when you come home.

Q. That's kind of what I asked. Do you think the players -- I know the weather is lousy -- but do players feel better knowing they have got the next, if there is two, at home in a ballpark they've had a lot of success in?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, I think everyone would like to play at home than on the road. That's just kind of the way it is. You're in your own bed. You're in familiar surroundings. You have the conveniences of your clubhouse and all the things that you are able to do. So our guys feel very good when we walk in this ballpark.

Q. Joe, you were a big proponent all winter of retaining Andy Pettitte and having him part of the rotation. Was it sort of in mind that you would have games like this down the road and given his experience he would be very valuable?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, I think we looked at that in how successful he's been in the postseason and the type of starts he's been able to give the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros during the postseason. We knew he could be a big part. And knowing what he's done, you feel good that the game is not going to go too fast for him. Because he's been in big situations before.

Q. Joe, with a 3-2 lead, do you want your guys feeling like they're in the driver's seat or would you rather have them almost like your-backs-are-to-the-wall approach?
JOE GIRARDI: No, I think the feeling is go out and win a game tomorrow. That's the feeling, the feeling that you have every day that you play and every day that you play in the playoffs. Just go out and win a game tomorrow.

Q. Two questions: Just to clarify, then, if it is rained out Saturday night, would you still come back with Andy on the following day?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, we don't really have any plans of changing our rotation.

Q. Also, how do you feel in general the confidence level in your bullpen and in getting to Mo and how you might use it if Andy doesn't --
JOE GIRARDI: I feel confident. I know that we've had some struggles. There's been a lot of teams that during the playoffs have had some struggles in their bullpen. But you have to bounce back. That's the bottom line. We've had struggles during the year in our bullpen and our guys have bounced back. I've actually seen Mariano Rivera blow a save before and he's bounced back.
So this is just all part of the game. And everything is not going to go perfect for no matter who we put out there.

Q. Joe, can you talk a little about the importance of having guys in that clubhouse that have been here before, have been in championship situations before and just sort of how their demeanor and how they comport themselves can sort of flow over to other guys in terms of just trying to relax them or make them settle down a little bit?
JOE GIRARDI: I think it's important to have guys that have been here. Because if you watch our workout, it's loose. The demeanor has not changed at any point during the course of this season. No matter what the stakes in the game were, our demeanor has been the same and I think that's important. Because the last thing you want guys to do is make too much of one at-bat or make too much of one pitch because to me that's when you get in trouble.
So I think our leadership and the guys that have been there have provided a good atmosphere.

Q. Joe, how hard is it to take Alex Rodriguez out of a game?
JOE GIRARDI: Extremely hard. But that's one of the few situations that you know you have to do it. Because if there's a ball in the gap, you have to make sure that guy can score. Alex runs the bases very well but sometimes it's that extra step that can tie or win a game for you.

Q. How do you -- are -- to follow Tim's question, have you ever had a team that's panicked and you don't sense any panic in this team; is that just because veteran leadership and in those cases where you did sense panic, how did you quiet it down?
JOE GIRARDI: I've never been on a team that, you know, that you sense panic. The interesting thing about our game is you do it over and over and over. And you learn how to try to stay on that even keel. That's one thing that you're taught, and you understand if your emotions get too high you'll drain yourself. I think the leadership has been very important in that, though. Because you look at some of the times that we went through, we had that home stand, two against Boston, two against Tampa Bay, where we lost three of the four games late and the demeanor never changed.
We were 0-8 against Boston, we hadn't won in Anaheim and the demeanor never changed. And we had to answer a lot of questions about it. That was the thing. It's not always fun answering those questions, but you have to. And I think that's where leadership plays a very important role. Keep it the same.

Q. Joe, going back to the Guerrero-Hughes at-bat last night, was the problem more of a pitch selection or more of a pitch location?
JOE GIRARDI: Location.

Q. So you were okay with the fastball there and stuff like that?

Q. Joe, going back to Swisher for a second, obviously you have Gardner that you could use out there. He's a different sort of player than Nick. Does that play into your decision and is this sort of where you could have used Hinske if he had been on the roster?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, the thing about a player is -- at any point it can turn. And you have to remember that the guys that have been successful during the course of the year have went through slumps. Johnny Damon was struggling at the beginning. He's hitting great now. So I mean, I think that's the one thing that you have to look at. There was like a sense of -- I don't know what the word would be -- but when Derek was 0-for-12 when he was chasing Lou's record, he's in a big slump. I mean, at times you're going to go 0-for-12 during the course of the season, every player is. And players can turn it around just like that (Snaps fingers).

Q. Joe, you mentioned sleeping on that Swisher decision tonight. What else can go into it? In your sense, has he had good at-bats even though he hasn't been productive at plate? I guess it's a gut thing at this point.
JOE GIRARDI: I think about our whole lineup what we might do. It's not just one guy necessarily that you think about. You think about where you might put the parts. Do you flip-flop guys? You think about a lot of different things. I don't ever really rush into decisions, because the one thing about the playoffs is you usually got a lot of time to think about it. And you weigh the pros and cons of everything and where you think guys should be and you make your decision.

Q. With Mo, at this point, you know you've gone to him early on occasions. He's managed some games to get some rest too. Where is he at physically? He's a little older now. Can you just keep going to him early when necessary or how does that gauge; do you have to talk to him specifically about that those nights?
JOE GIRARDI: I talk to him. I make sure that he's okay. He had two days off. And we knew he had another day off coming. But physically, he's doing very well right now. But we do have to gauge that. That's something we've paid attention to the whole year. That's just not Mo. That's all our relievers. I'm a big believer of being cautious with relievers during the course of the season because I don't look at relievers for just one year. You look at them for a long period of time. During the course of the season, very seldom does a guy work more than two days in a row.

Q. Joe, just to check, everybody, in terms of how they're feeling, flu, whatever, you have all 25 tomorrow?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah. I can't tell you how everyone is going to wake up tomorrow, but everyone at practice was very good. Derek even sounded much better. So I didn't sense any spreading of the cold.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for coming. See you tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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