home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 13, 2010

Joe Girardi

Andy Pettitte

Alex Rodriguez


Q. Just all three of you, your thoughts at this time on the news of Mr. Steinbrenner's passing.
JOE GIRARDI: It's a difficult time, on a great day are for baseball, the All-Star Game, something everyone looks to; a great man in baseball passed. He's meant so much to not only this organization, but to the game of baseball, and to all of us personally.
To me, one of the things that is not talked enough about Mr. Steinbrenner is how giving of a man he is, and a man that really cared about people and tried to change people's lives; whether it was a first chance, a second chance or a third chance. And that's who he really was.
ANDY PETTITTE: Just like Joe said, you think about, obviously, what he's done for the game of baseball, but obviously with the loss, you think about what he's done for you personally. You know, he just was great to me. He always was great to me my whole career during the good times, the bad times; his family has been great to me. I always had a great relationship with him. He was always good to be around. He was tough, but he was always fair and he was great to be around.
You know, to be able to come back after I left, and I know that he had brought me back here, and was a big part of me coming back, you know, it's just like Joe says, it's a sad day for us, that's for sure.
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, for me, it's always a dream to have an opportunity to play for an owner like George Steinbrenner. Unlike Andy, I came up in another organization, and the opportunity to play for the Boston family was something that was second to none.
You know, he's a man that has more passion than anyone, and he was really passionate about the game and for many, many years, spent the most money to try to bring the best players in the world to play for his organization.
The one thing that I can share with you is in 2004 he wrote me a note, and it was hand-delivered by a clubhouse kid, and at that point I got a little nervous, and it said from -- it said -- I still have this note -- but in the end, he basically said, "I'm counting on you," with capital letters and exclamation point. So I think to this it day, we are still playing for him, not to let him down.

Q. Alex touched on it, and I know Andy and Joe, George was the kind of guy who would test you and challenge you a little bit. Can you talk about how you overcame that challenge, or met that challenge, and ultimately had the strong relationship that you all had with him?
ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, I mean, he would, and he was tough like I said, but he was an encourager. For me, just getting a little personal, like Alex was saying, George used to hand me Bible verses before some of my playoff starts and stuff like that. You know, that was just -- he was tough, but he was always there to support you, also; and again, I don't think enough is said about the support that he would give you. But it was tough support, so I think sometimes the tough support doesn't get quite the limelight.
You know, he expected a lot. He demanded a lot; he raised, I believe, the level of not only the Yankees organization and what they want to do as far as winning and winning championships, but I feel like he's raised the bar around baseball for other teams to try to keep up and to compete with what he was trying to put on this field every year.
JOE GIRARDI: His toughness came out to me in expectations. I think the expectations that he had carried over into the clubhouse, and we had the same expectations as he did, which I think is the sign of his influence on all of us.
But through that, I mean, he would needle me about Northwestern football, about who they were playing. He would needle me all the time, and had a way of making some light moments during some tough times or around playoff times. I enjoyed it. I never really felt that his expectations were overbearing. I felt he just wanted what all of us wanted; to win, and he was a pleasure to play for and he's been a pleasure to work for.

Q. For any of you guys, what did winning really mean to him? Any stories after you won something big?
JOE GIRARDI: I think winning the World Series meant a lot to him, but the next day he was back at work. He was like, okay, how are we going to win next year.
I really believe that he enjoyed it, but he stayed the course all the time. We experienced that in 1996. We won in 1996, and we were told that he was already planning for 1997 when they were planning the parade; how are we going to win this year?
I think he truly loved it and probably felt that it was a huge accomplishment, but he never rested in it.

Q. For each of you, what was your first encounter with him like?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, you know, for me, it was a long, long time ago, and I believe it was in 1991. I ran into him all the time down in the Gulf Coast League. He was always down there and I was a 19-year-old kid at the time, and it was looking at him like, that's the boss walking by. And seeing him down in spring training in Florida when we were down there; but '95 was the first encounter of spring training and then being able to make the club and, you know, again, him supporting us down the stretch during that season, trying to make the playoffs. You know, he was very much on hand and in the clubhouse and around at that time an awful lot.
You know, the encounters back then for me was just, "Yes, sir, yes, sir." And then you get to know him, and the discussion would become a little bit deeper.
Coming up in the organization, he was the boss and he was going to trade you if you were a young player and this and that, you know, so you're kind of almost scared, you know, coming up as a young player in the organization. But once you got up, like I said before, he was great to play for.
JOE GIRARDI: For me, it was really, really early in spring training, and Mr. Steinbrenner always had the perception of being an extremely tough man with huge expectations, and we were actually walking our little white Bichon on the grass, the beautifully manicured grass in spring training, and I thought, oh, boy, and he's going to let my wife and I have it. He sat and talked to us and asked about the dog and it was a totally different expectation than what I had.
I think that was the first time I saw that he wasn't everything he was painted to be; there was a gentle side to this man. But I have to tell you, one of his athletes walking a little white dog, I was expecting something totally different. (Laughing).
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: For me, in 2004 when I came in, he was basically congratulating me for coming into the New York Yankee organization, and within the first two minutes he said the words, "We have to win a World Championship" about three or four times, so really quickly I got a good idea of what his front and center thoughts were from day one.

Q. For Andy and Alex, as much as Mr. Steinbrenner cared about winning, how important was it for you guys to win a World Series last year and send him off with one more?
ANDY PETTITTE: You know, it was extremely important. Obviously, I don't think we were thinking that this would be, you know, the year or a year that he wouldn't be seeing us be able to finish this year off.
But just to be able to win that championship, the first year of the stadium, obviously that stadium is there because of him. It was a thrill for us. I think all of us were kind of looking to like, you know, let's do this for Mr. Steinbrenner and let's do this for the fans, is what was driving us, and obviously for ourselves, we wanted another championship, also.
But you know, and as Joe's mentioned it and so has Alex, he puts together these teams for us, and we were all so fortunate and blessed to be able to play in this organization. He gives us a chance to win every year, and he gives us the best chance to win every year; and as an athlete, you appreciate that.
So to be able to win last year was, I know, was extremely special to all of us.
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, if you think about our stadium and how beautiful it is and how big and how fortunate we are to go to work there every day, and I know I talk with Andy and Skip and a lot of my teammates, we have the most beautiful place in the world to play every day and it has his mark all over it.
For me, when you hear guys that have been in the organization, like Andy and Jete and Mo and guys who have been here a lot longer than I have, when you hear about how endearing their stories were about the boss back in the day when they came up and their stories, that's what I will take away is what he did in the community but also what he did for guys when they were struggling and when he would come pat you on the back and all that. His legacy will live forever, and I think that stadium is just one big sign of how great this man was.

Q. His history of managers is well documented; have you thought about what it would be to manage in his heyday and what your experience has been?
JOE GIRARDI: I thought about it today, they were talking about it on television, there were 23 managers in the first 25 years, and to think I've been here three already, I'm lucky. There were probably a lot of tough moments for some managers where there were challenges, but I consider myself extremely fortunate but they must have paved the way. It's really something, and just what I saw today, how he was able to make light of situations, on TV, when he fired Billy, before he hired him; he enjoyed it. He loved what he did, and he could make light of himself.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297