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October 27, 2009

Joe Girardi


Q. Have you made any decisions about your rotation? And if not, at what point do you think you will?
JOE GIRARDI: Right now we're at CC, A.J. and Andy, and beyond that, we haven't went any further. A.J. will be Thursday, Andy will be Saturday.

Q. Could you just talk about the Yankees being here. It's been a while since they've been here. You haven't been here during this dry season for them. Being on a team that's expected to always be here, does this give you some satisfaction to at least make it this far?
JOE GIRARDI: I think we're very pleased with what has happened so far as an organization, as a clubhouse. I'm very proud of what we've been able to accomplish so far.
But as a Yankee, and I think any team, when you go into Spring Training, your goal is to win the World Series, and we're one of two teams that has a chance to do that this year. There's a lot of pride in that room, and guys have worked very hard to get to this point. But we still have one more goal.

Q. When George Steinbrenner was involved in the active running of this team, the pressure on a manager, especially this time of year, would be pretty intense. How aware of that pressure were you when you played here in regards to Torre? And how do you think you would have dealt with that if you were in the same situation as a manager?
JOE GIRARDI: I was pretty aware of the pressures, because I think as players you understood what the goal was every year here, because of the way that Mr. Steinbrenner and everyone put the club together.
As far as feeling the pressure that Joe felt, as a player I didn't feel that. But I felt it as a player, because as a player you wanted to win so bad. You've been dreaming about it since you were a little boy, and to have that opportunity, you wanted to seize that opportunity.
How I would have handled the pressure, I can't tell you, because I was never in his shoes. But as far as what I feel, I mean, I think for me, pressures always came from within, because I want it really bad. I want it for the organization, I want it for Mr. Steinbrenner and his family, and I want it for the guys in that room. It's important.

Q. Do you have any changes to your roster?
JOE GIRARDI: We'll probably make some changes. We have had some discussions about it. We will continue to discuss it. I believe we have to turn our roster in at 10:00 in the morning, and I'm a big believer that you discuss it a lot, you sleep on it, and then you make your decision.

Q. (Question regarding adding another hitter.)
JOE GIRARDI: Yes. I mean, obviously you play a little different style of baseball when you go into a National League ballpark, so you have to think about adjustments that you might have to make.

Q. With the way their lineup is structured with so many good left-handed hitters, is it a situation where if the eighth inning comes, you might not use your conventional Hughes or Joba, and you might have Marte or Coke be your eighth-inning setup man if those lefties are coming to the plate?
JOE GIRARDI: Phil Hughes has been our eighth-inning guy. We expect him to be our eighth-inning guy. Obviously during the course of a series, sometimes you make adjustments, but we expect him to be our eighth-inning guy and we'll make adjustments as we see needed.

Q. You've used CC on three days' rest, what are the drawbacks of using the other guys? What factors into that?
JOE GIRARDI: Sometimes you look at the quality of their starts more than the quantity. CC is a guy that we asked to go on three days once, and if you start asking guys too much, you worry about the quality of work. It's something that we have to weigh over the next few days. We don't have to make a decision for a while.
But to me, the quality of their start is extremely important.

Q. You've played and managed in both leagues. I wanted to ask you about the designated hitter rules in the World Series. Do you have thoughts on those rules? Would you like to see the DH throughout the entire series? Do you think it's good the way it is, switching off in each ballpark?
JOE GIRARDI: It's the only thing I've ever known, since I was a little boy watching baseball and staying up, you know, whether I was watching the Reds or the A's or all the clubs that I watched during the World Series, it's the only thing I've ever known.
I actually kind of like it because I like the separation in the two leagues.

Q. What will be the parameters, though, that you'll make your decision about whom to start in Game 4?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, you look at the guys that you have. Chad is probably built up more than anyone. You look at where you're at, and you make decisions as you go. You try to plan it out that it's going to work the way you want it to, but sometimes as we saw the last series, that doesn't always happen. So you have to be flexible, but you make plans.

Q. There's a lot of predictions about this being a high-scoring series because of both offenses. Is that kind of something in your mind?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, we know that they have a very explosive offense. Up and down their lineup, they hit for power, they run, they do a lot of good things in their lineup. Sometimes good pitching is able to shut down good lineups, as we saw. We played a lot of tight games with the Angels. The Angels had a very good lineup and scored a lot of runs during the season, and so did we and those were all tight games. The games against the Twins were fairly tight.
You take what comes. A lot of times in playoff baseball you see a lot of one-run, two-run close games.

Q. You've been in and out of the Yankees world since 2004 when A-Rod game here. He talks about feeling different and approaching the game different since February, since the press conference. I wonder if you've seen that difference, both in his conduct when he's not on the field and then when he's on the field?
JOE GIRARDI: I have. The one thing about A-Rod that I've noticed from day one from him is he's as prepared and as smart as any baseball player I've been around. And what I've seen him a little bit more this year is he had no expectations coming in.
One of the things that to me is misunderstood about Alex is Alex is a good guy. He is a good teammate. He's a teacher in that room. He helps the young kids out. He takes care of the young kids. He's very smart when he's on the baseball field, and sometimes when you have the expectations of what Alex has around him, the only thing that's focused on is his numbers. But he does a lot more for the club.
I think about him scoring the run on the base running, the first run that we got, I hear him laugh a lot, and I hear him really enjoying himself. And to me that's music to my ears.

Q. Two things: In terms of Game 4, you ended the last series knowing you had this plan in mind, CC was going to pitch Game 4 and use the other guys on regular rest. The fact that you don't have that extra off-day here, does that play into where the series is, factor more into your decision than it did the last one?
JOE GIRARDI: We have a plan of what we're going to do, but that plan can be adjusted, depending on where you are in the series. That has something to do with it. How guys are feeling, that has something to do with it, as well. How hard they were worked. So we do have a plan, but the series can dictate some things that you do different.

Q. And the other question was when you went to Joba in the 7th inning of Game 6, knowing you were going to bring in Mo in the eighth, what made you go with Joba over Phil sort of as the set-up guy there?
JOE GIRARDI: We looked at the match-ups. We had certain hitters that we could go to if it was Joba, and we had certain hitters that we would go to if it was Hughesie. We still consider Hughesie our eighth-inning guy, and that was the seventh inning, so we went to Joba.

Q. Is there the slightest of a chance of playing Matsui in the outfield during the games in Philadelphia?
JOE GIRARDI: There's a possibility. It's something that we will discuss. There's the old double-switch sometimes in the National League that you might do. We'll take a look at it every day.
The one thing is about Matsui, is the thought processes, you see how he's running, and you know you don't necessarily have to keep him healthy the next two or three months. You've got to keep him healthy for about ten more days, and it's something we'll have to think about.

Q. Talk about the challenge that pitching to Ryan Howard presents to your pitchers, left and right.
JOE GIRARDI: I got to see it a lot firsthand when I was in Florida. He's a very dangerous hitter, and it seems as the season goes on, he gets hotter and hotter. You look at usually his first half compared to his second half. His second half is where he usually takes off. He's had a magnificent August, September and October. He has been huge for them, similar to what Alex has been for us. He's dangerous, and he can hit the ball out to all fields. And that's what makes him so dangerous.

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