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October 31, 2009

Joe Girardi


Q. Can you talk about how you've changed since the first year in Florida, maybe what you've learned and if you've matured and if you think you have?
JOE GIRARDI: I've aged (laughing). As far as changing, you learn a lot being a manager. I mean, it's one thing to be a player and think, you know, this is what I would do in this situation and this is what I would do, and it's one thing to be a coach and do that. But you learn a lot about people, you learn a lot about how to wear different hats, what relationships mean and the importance of doing everything in your willpower to get the most out of your players, no matter what it really takes. You learn all those things.
As a player, your thought process -- for me it was always just the pitching staff, how do you get the most out of the pitching staff, but you've got to think a little bit different. You've got young players coming up that you have to manage. I mean, there's a lot of things that you learn.

Q. What's your lineup? And why did you decide what you're going to do in right?
JOE GIRARDI: So you know the lineup. (Laughter). Jeet, Damon, Tex, Alex, Posada, Cano, Swisher, Cabrera, and then Andy, of course. We chose Swish to be in right field -- Swish has been our right fielder all year long. We went by a match-up against Pedro, all the success that Hairston had had off of Pedro, and Swish -- in Game 6 against the Angels, we thought his at-bats were real good right-handed. His at-bats, even though he didn't get any hits in Game 1 were right-handed. So that's why we chose to do what we did.

Q. Obviously Mo goes two innings for you in a Game 2 win. Is that something that you could think about doing back-to-back days? And if it's not, is there one guy down there that you think is going to be the bridge, or are you going to work with it by committee?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, two innings tonight is probably out of the question. I'll wait to see how he feels when he plays catch today.
As far as getting to guys, we'll look at match-ups like we've been doing, and we'll go from there.

Q. Chad Gaudin had been a middle reliever/starter. What is it about him that makes you like him as a starter?
JOE GIRARDI: I think he's started seven games for us, and I don't think we've lost. That's one thing that we like about him. But he knows how to mix his pitches. Our plans right now, though, are we're going to go with CC tomorrow. We're not going to go with Chad. Chad should be available to us in the bullpen. I knew that would get more hands. (Laughter).

Q. During Torre's run in the championship runs with you and everyone else, he seemed to look at Game 3 as a very pivotal game. Do you share that?
JOE GIRARDI: I think it's extremely important. But I really think that you have to think that the most important game is the game that's at hand. You can't put all your eggs in one basket for Game 3. It is an important game, obviously, because if you're down 2-0, you get back in it. If it's 1-1 you're able to take the lead and get a lead. So I mean, I think there's some -- and if you're up 2-0 and get ahead 3-0 that's pretty important.
Greg Maddux used to say he thought the most important pitch, from what I heard, was the 1-1 pitch because you were in the driver's seat when you got to 1-2. I don't necessarily feel that in a series, but I think it's a real important game.

Q. Considering the problems that Hughes has had in Game 1 and after Dave used the word "timidness" to describe his approach, do you have confidence in bringing him into a tight spot late in the game tonight?
JOE GIRARDI: I do. The one thing about being a reliever, and a late reliever, is there's not a lot of room for error, and we know that pitchers aren't going to be perfect. And I've brought it up a few times that I've actually seen Mo get into a jam and give up a run, and in my lifetime I've seen Mo blow a save. But we like Hughesie's -- what he has done for us this year. He's struggled a little bit. He's gotten behind in some counts. I don't think he's missing by much, though. I think he's just a tick off, and that can change very quickly, and we believe that it will.

Q. You caught Rivera when he first came up in his first few years as a closer. Is he the same pitcher now, or has he had to make adjustments?
JOE GIRARDI: When he came up in 1996 and I was the catcher, he didn't have a sinker. It was the one pitch, the cutter, basically. If there's been an adjustment that he's made, it's been that pitch. He added his sinker. He threw harder back then than he does now. I think at times his cutter might have more movement now than it used to. But I think the biggest difference between him in the beginning and now is he added the sinker.

Q. Would you bring A.J. and Andy back on short rest if necessary for a 5 and 6?
JOE GIRARDI: Possibly, yes.

Q. What's your thinking behind that?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I mean, this is the World Series. There is no baseball after the World Series for four or five months, so there will be plenty of time to rest. A.J. was pretty good on short rest last year, if you look up his numbers. He actually shut us down on short rest last year. And they physically feel good.
Q. What went into the decision on CC? And overall what is your philosophy on short rest?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think the important thing on short rest is you have to know how your pitcher physically is feeling. He went through all his work yesterday, and we talked to him today, and he threw a pretty good game after short rest last time, and he had some extra days off.
As far as short rest, it's not necessarily something that you want to do a lot of during the course of a long season, but we're not in a long season anymore.
Q. Just to be clear, so A.J. and Andy will be your Games 5 and 6 --
JOE GIRARDI: That's not what I said. It is a possibility, yes.

Q. Was there any concern about the fact that CC would have to pitch twice on short rest in a row should the series goes the distance?
JOE GIRARDI: We feel that physically if that's what we decide to do, he'd be able to handle it.
Q. When a pitcher is telling you how he feels in an off-day situation like this, not on the mound, how much do you believe him? Like what percentage do you give him? Do you give him 100 percent?
JOE GIRARDI: No, I think you look at track record. We had talked to him about doing it in the series against the Angels, and physically he came out very good. When he had the little problem in Florida when he was a little sore, he physically told us. So CC's track record is very good.

Q. In general?

Q. I'm not sure if you answered Steve's question completely. What was the thinking on CC? I mean, you just spoke glowingly about Gaudin as a starter. What made you decided that CC is the guy for tomorrow night no matter what happens tonight?
JOE GIRARDI: CC has pitched extremely well for us this year, and when we went into this, we didn't know exactly where we were going to be at. If you announce it after people then start to question is there something crazy going on. No, we wanted to see how he came out today, how physically he came out today, and he physically feels good. It allows us to -- Chad could start Game 5. I'm not saying we're going with A.J. in Game 5. But CC feels good, and we've decided to go with him Game 4.
Does that answer it?

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