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October 28, 2009

Joe Girardi


THE MODERATOR: Joe will start with giving his lineup.
JOE GIRARDI: Jeter, Damon, Tex, Alex, Posada, Matsui, Cano, Swisher, Cabrera.

Q. Can you explain why you did what you did with your roster?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah. Obviously when we get to the National League city, pinch-hitters are going to be important, and by adding Hinske, we felt that we added another pinch-hitter.
And the other thing is in the National League sometimes there's more pitching changes because you have to hit for them, so we thought it was important to add another pitcher.

Q. You mentioned during the ALCS when weather was an issue that you guys have the luxury of having a mound underneath indoors to keep the guys loose and keep the guys warm. Can you discuss some of the amenities that you guys have and what kind of competitive advantage it may have in a brand new park?
JOE GIRARDI: I think you look at just the areas the players have to exercise, rehab, the pools that they have to rehab, to condition. The video room is top-notch, which players spend a lot of time in. The cages right below our dugout where they can stay loose if you're a DH or you're in a possible pinch-hitting role or you need to get your arm loose. There are a lot of amenities that we have here that we didn't necessarily have too conveniently at the old ballpark. It's just easier for players in my eyes to be more productive and stay healthier.

Q. At what point do you decide who your Game 4 starter is, and after what game? Does the weather play into that, too?
JOE GIRARDI: From what I understand the weather is not going to be an issue today, so I don't think that's really going to play into it. We just go day by day, and when we decide to make that decision, we'll make it. There's no rush. The focus is Game 1 tonight, and that's what we'll worry about.

Q. When you had three catchers, you said you thought about DHing Posada if he doesn't catch. Now with two, is that still in play? Could he be a DH in the game if he doesn't catch?
JOE GIRARDI: You could do that. It's probably something we probably won't do, but you could do it. I mean, we've done it during the course of the season. And if you take your DH out and put him behind home plate, then your pitcher is in a spot to hit. When it's time to hit for him, we have some pinch-hitters.

Q. Talking to a lot of your guys yesterday, they seem to like the idea that they're playing the Phillies because the Phillies are the defending champs, and they say to be a true champ, you have to knock off the champ. Do you sense that amongst your guys?
JOE GIRARDI: That's the first I've heard of it. Obviously they are the defending champs. They earned their World Series last year, and they earned their right to get back here this year. They've played extremely well.
As far as having to beat the defending champs to be considered a World Series winner, I don't think that's necessarily the case. In 1996 when we won the World Series, in 1998 I didn't really care who we were playing, it was just the idea that we got a chance to win it.

Q. Last year there were obviously a lot of extenuating things happening and the Yankees didn't make the playoffs, but how do you think you evolved as a manager from a guy who maybe took some criticism for that club to a guy who's now got 103 wins and got the team back to the World Series?
JOE GIRARDI: I think you grow from all experiences, whether they're bad experiences or good experiences. I wouldn't necessarily consider last year a bad experience. It was an experience that I got a chance to be the Yankee manager and I learned a lot. You learn a lot about your team. The more time you spend with the players and have most of those guys back, you understand them better. You know what they need better. You know how many days in a row that they can play and be productive better.
You just learn a lot about your club, you learn a lot about what this job entails, and you learn a lot about yourself. I'm a firm believer that you never stop learning in life. I'll continue to learn. And you try to take those experiences and just do a better job each and every day.

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