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October 5, 2010

Joe Girardi


Q. Joe, can you take us through your decision for your rotation and also the final few spots on your roster.
JOE GIRARDI: Okay. Our plans are to go with the three-man rotation. If we have to change that, with the roster that we have, it gives us the flexibility to do that. A.J. will pitch out of the bullpen, but if he needed to start a game, he will start a game for us unless he was used. And by doing that, we took Mitre, we really liked the way his sinker has been working lately and the way he has been throwing the ball, and we felt we needed another guy to give us distance in case the first scenario came up. Make sense? Okay.

Q. Joe, do have you a line-up for tomorrow night?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, I do in my head, but I am going to make sure I sleep on it and make sure that it's exactly what we want to do. We will go to dinner as a staff and discuss more things.

Q. Does it particularly involve the outfield for tomorrow night?

Q. Just a follow on that, your plan going in would be CC in Game 4?

Q. Based on what you have seen from him the time you managed him, throwing him with three days' rest is obviously not a concern for you?
JOE GIRARDI: It is not something you want to do a lot. But in this series it is something we will definitely consider and plan on doing, unless something comes up. If he got in a situation where he physically didn't think he was ready to go on three days' rest, then we'd make an adjustment.

Q. Was it a tough decision for you not to give A.J. a start?
JOE GIRARDI: It was a decision we talked about and we felt with all the left-handed hitters we would try to throw four lefties at them in five games.

Q. Joe, I mean, you talk a lot about possibly keeping a second lefty out of the bullpen, is it because your guys are going to have possibly four starters in five games? Does that factor in the decision?
JOE GIRARDI: That does too as well, yes.

Q. That is part of it, what is the other part?
JOE GIRARDI: The other part I talked about if A.J. has to make a start, you don't really have a guy that can give you distance if you get in an extra-inning game except for Moseley.

Q. Moseley threw a lot of pitches for you on Sunday.
JOE GIRARDI: He is available. He will be available, yes.

Q. So he could pitch tomorrow, if necessary?
JOE GIRARDI: If needed, yes.

Q. Were you at all close to carrying Ring?
JOE GIRARDI: He was definitely in the decision. We talked about it. And we actually, he was one of the guys that went to Tampa and we have him throwing for us. Jonathan Albaladejo, Nuñez and Nova.

Q. After the retooling of last year, could you talk about the way some of your players have come into replace Matsui and Damon in particular, just filling in the gaps of what was a great team.
JOE GIRARDI: Matsui was the first hitter to hit behind Alex, and Robinson Cano stepped up this year to fill that spot for us. And Granderson, since August, has been really, really good for us. And, you know, we made minor adjustments in his swing and we felt that we got better defensively.
We had speed in our outfield, and Johnny was a huge bat for us last year. But we feel that Grandy, you look at what he has done since the series that we worked in Texas, he has been really, really good.

Q. Joe, Peña and Golson on the roster, why those two guys as opposed to --
JOE GIRARDI: Peña is more experienced in playing all over the infield than Nuñez was. Nuñez played a little at third in Triple-A and a little bit for us, very little at second base. We felt Peña was the more experienced guy if you get in those situations.
As far as Golson, with Swish being banged up, and he's not banged up now, he feels good, but we felt that it was probably in our best interests to carry a defensive outfielder in case something happens in this series. He's also a guy that can pinch-run for you if you wanted. And that was why we went with it.

Q. What CC did last postseason, whom can you compare him to in terms of what you've seen as a fan before you were a player and as a player and as a coach throughout your career?
JOE GIRARDI: In last year's postseason what he did?

Q. What CC did last year.
JOE GIRARDI: The whole year?

Q. Just the postseason.
JOE GIRARDI: I have to tell you, I am a historian, but I don't remember details of guys always throwing on three days' rest. That is not something I remember. But you look at what he did for us in the playoffs and he was great. That's the one thing I can say. But as far as, you know, which starters have went on three days' rest, there haven't been a lot.

Q. Joe, you went into this season excited about your pitching depth. So what was it like for you telling two veterans like Burnett and Vazquez one was not in the rotation and one not on the roster?
JOE GIRARDI: Right. It is not easy because you are dealing with human beings, dealing with men, people who have worked extremely hard through the course of the season for you. A.J. was outstanding for us last year in the playoffs. It's not easy. And they are tough decisions that you have to make. And you just make them. But it's like when you talk about when you send someone down in spring training, it's not easy to do.

Q. Joe, in terms of making this decision with A.J., a couple of years ago when Joe Torre dropped Alex to eighth in the batting order and postseason and it caused a rift in their relationship, you have to manage this guy for another three years. Was it your concern at all that you would have some kind of, you know, some problem? Or did you know that he would take it well?
JOE GIRARDI: I didn't know how he would take it, but we talked about it and he seemed like he's on board. He's going to do whatever he can to help us. And so as far as the relationship, I think it's good. But it's still not an easy thing to do.

Q. Joe, can you talk about the dynamic of adding Kerry Wood this year to the bullpen and just the advantage of having a guy who's a closer now in that role.
JOE GIRARDI: He has added a lot to our bullpen. During the course of the season, you know, we like to rotate those guys and not necessarily overuse them. And he's fit in very well in the eighth inning for us, thrown the ball extremely well, has given us a lot of depth. He is a closer, he pitched in the playoffs before. He understand what it's like to be in big games. He's meant a lot to us.

Q. Joe, obviously not to get too far ahead of yourself, but if you were to get to the next round and go to a four-man, is it obvious A.J. would be that guy?
JOE GIRARDI: That is a discussion. I hope we have that discussion.

Q. With Alex coming into the playoffs last year there were a lot of questions about how he would perform in big spots. Do you think that everything he did last year in the playoffs puts him in a different mindset going into the playoffs this year?
JOE GIRARDI: I would think so. I mean, his playoffs were great, and he had a great month of September last year, and he had a great month this year. So I feel really good about Alex going into this playoffs.

Q. Joe, just a short while ago, Javier Vazquez spoke about how he wants to be here for the team even if he is not on the ALDS roster. Does the team see that? Does it resonate with them?
JOE GIRARDI: Sure, they understand that guys want to be on the roster and understand that guys will support them. And as I said, those decisions are not easy to make, and they are not easy to tell people. But we have a lot of guys that willing to make sacrifices here for the good of the team, and that says a lot about our club.

Q. Joe, which one was the hardest call for you to make?
JOE GIRARDI: I don't know, they are all hard. Even for guys that maybe don't have as great a chance as others, they are still hard to make, because they are people that you're telling. You know, it's different if you're just sending a text and there is no feelings and then you don't see them the next day. But they are all hard.

Q. I am really asking in terms of personnel.
JOE GIRARDI: The scenarios that you can create are endless and you talk about, well, should I do this or should do I that? And you try to cover all of your bases as best you can. As I said, they are endless. So there wasn't one necessarily tougher than the other, but you just try to cover everything.

Q. Joe, how big has Swisher been for you guys this year? It seems like he had a career season. And also, how important is the postseason considering what happened to him last October?
JOE GIRARDI: The great thing about Swish is, he seems to be a real interchangeable part. You can put him anywhere in the lineup and he can be successful. You can put him at the top, and he gets big hits for you. You can put him behind Robby Cano and he gets big hits for you. He has been a guy that has allowed us to in a sense break up our lefties at times. To me he is extremely valuable.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Joe.

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