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November 4, 2009

Joe Girardi


JOE GIRARDI: We're doing Jeter, Damon, Tex, Alex, Matsui, Posada, Cano, Swisher, Gardner.

Q. I talked to Teixeira yesterday and he kind of gave us his thoughts on what he's doing or not doing. From your vantage point, what do you see here that you didn't see in the regular season?
JOE GIRARDI: We've seen him make a few more outs. The one thing is you're facing extremely good pitching, and they made some pitches on him. He's got behind in the count, and he's chased a little bit at times, but he's also had some big hits for us, as well.
His defense has been outstanding, and I just think that he's really going to get going.

Q. What does it mean to have a chance to close out the World Series in this ballpark in front of these fans?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think any time you get a chance to close it out in front of your own fans, it's special, especially being the first year at the Stadium and what it would mean to the Steinbrenner family and the Yankee organization and all the people of New York. I've been on championship teams where we've won it at home and where we've won it on the road. And it seems to be a little bit louder and crazier when you do it at home.

Q. I was just curious, with all the Joba rules and everything through the first half of the season and past the All-Star break and everything, at what point in the season did you and Cash decide or conclude that you were going to go with three starters in the post-season?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, the one thing that you had to do is you had to figure out what series you were going to take, and we kind of went each series, series by series. We knew we could do it in the first series because we had it, we knew we could do it in the second series because of the way it's set up. We talked about doing it in the third series and the way the series was going, and the interesting thing about it, Chad hasn't thrown in a long time. Chad hasn't thrown a game in a long time, and Chad would be our fourth starter, and we tried to do simulated games to keep him sharp. I think it was 27 or 28 days at this point. We thought that this gave us our best chance to win.

Q. During the season itself, though, was there a point like in late August or September that you said, we really have three starters here, and Joba is not an option anymore?
JOE GIRARDI: No, we didn't say that, because we wanted to see how everyone was throwing the baseball at the end of the year, and we thought it was important to not jump to any conclusions in August or in September. We wanted to wait to see where we were at the end of the year and how guys were throwing.

Q. I know you liked the Hairston match-up against Pedro last time. What was your thought about not doing it this time?
JOE GIRARDI: Swish has been our everyday right fielder. We thought it was important that Swish just sit down for a day. His at-bats have been very good since we sat him down. We don't always look at how many hits you get. We look at the at-bats, and does the hit the ball hard, and does he square ball up and is he seeing pitches? That's what we look at.
So Swish has been our everyday right fielder, and that's what we're doing.

Q. The 1998 Yankees was the last team to win 100 games in the regular season and then win the world championship. I know you're certainly not there yet, but do you think this group is comparable and do they deserve to be mentioned in the same breath?
JOE GIRARDI: I think you have to win a World Series before you think about comparing clubs, and we have not done that at this point.
If we're fortunate enough to do it and we get the job done, I guess we can talk about it.

Q. What's the benefit of having a group like your core four that have won several championships together? Do they know how to handle the moment or what's the main advantage?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think that's a big part of it. They understand the moment, they know how to handle the moment. They've been through it and can share their experiences with others. They know that they're not going to be fazed by the situation because they've been through it so many times together. So I mean, we like having that. And I'm sure they like having what they went through last year together as a club.
Experience is important.

Q. A.J., any possibility of him in an emergency helping out?
JOE GIRARDI: Oh, yes. A.J., I don't know how much we would use him tonight, but he is available to us.

Q. Throughout the post-season every move that doesn't work gets criticized in some forum. Have you had to develop a thicker skin about that? And do you ever second-guess some of your decisions?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, as far as that, that pretty much happens a lot year in New York during the regular season, as well, so you get kind of used to it.
The interesting thing about what people were calling second-guessing that I've always thought is curious is they don't know if their idea would have worked. Everyone makes the assumption that it would have worked. We base our decisions on a lot of preparation, a lot of discussion. We don't do anything where we just pull something off the wall and with the intent of it working.
The one thing about baseball and in life, every decision is not going to go according to plan, and you have to deal with it and you have to answer for it, and you understand that here.

Q. When you and Dave Eiland are evaluating Andy tonight, how much is the fact that he's on short rest influencing your evaluations? Might you have a quicker hook or looking for telltale signs because of the short rest?
JOE GIRARDI: I think what you look for at any time is how he's throwing the baseball and what type of outs they're making. Is he sharp? If they're squaring balls up all the time, then you know he's not as sharp as he usually is. I think you watch not so much about pitch count, but you watch the outs.

Q. But for instance, would it take two hard outs as opposed to three hard outs?
JOE GIRARDI: No, not necessarily because you're going to face good hitters. But you watch if he's hitting his spots, too, and is he falling behind a lot. You watch a lot of things. But you know that you have a very rested bullpen, and it's full.

Q. A lot of times free agents come and they don't pan out. CC has obviously had a great season. Is there anything he did that surprised you or exceeded what you thought coming in?
JOE GIRARDI: I knew what type of pitcher he was. You could watch him pitch and you could watch the numbers that he put up every year and know what type of pitcher he was.
The one thing that you can hear about, but I think until you see first hand, is what type of person he is and what type of person he is in the clubhouse. I had heard great things, but he's better than what I heard. And it all started in Spring Training. And I've been impressed with his demeanor, the way he treats his teammates, the way he's a team guy, how he comes to work and he's the same every day. That has been extremely impressive to me.

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