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October 17, 2010

Joe Girardi


Q. Hey, Joe, have you figured out anything further for your rotation beyond Game 3?
JOE GIRARDI: Still the same. Our rotation is still the same. I know there's some weather in the forecast, but our rotation is the same.

Q. CC is still scheduled to throw the bullpen today?

Q. So much talk about Cliff Lee, and I know you've talked a little bit about what that day is like at the deadline, how close were you guys to getting him? In your mind, how close?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, you're asking a hypothetical question. Really until something happens, and I'm not as involved as Brian is in those discussions all the time. Brian is on the phone. I've always said you never count on trade rumors until actually the guy is in your clubhouse.

Q. Never got beyond the rumors?
JOE GIRARDI: It never happened, so never beyond the discussion. We are in discussions with a lot of teams about a lot of different players.

Q. Joe, just to clarify, you're saying you're staying in rotation, did you have discussions and did those discussions lead you to say we're sticking with what we had originally said?
JOE GIRARDI: We set up our rotation for a number of reasons. We're just staying with it. Phil Hughes has never thrown on short rest. We have Andy Pettitte, who is coming off an injury. There's a lot of things that go into making up your rotation. We believe in A.J.
I know it's been a tough year for him at times this year, but we believe in A.J.

Q. Joe, with all the talk about Game 4 that you have had the last three days, have you felt the need to talk to A.J. and say, look, you're maybe hearing all this stuff in public but you're still scheduled to start?
JOE GIRARDI: No, not necessarily. A.J. hasn't questioned and I haven't heard any rumblings in the clubhouse am I starting Game 4 or not. I said all the time that I'm on rotation. Maybe other people have talked about it but my message has been clear that we're on rotation.

Q. Over the past 14 years, many times that Andy has come through after a Yankees loss, what makes him especially equipped for that situation?
JOE GIRARDI: Besides just having good stuff, Andy Pettitte knows how to pitch. He's been through it so many times; does not become rattled, knows how to prepare for this type of game. Experience is an important thing when it comes to this time of year, because you don't expect Andy to get too hyped up. He'll be the same guy that he is during the regular season.

Q. Joe, it seems everybody is so preordained about Lee. Does it help you guys maybe to -- not that they need much motivation, does it help to give them a little psychological boost?
JOE GIRARDI: I hope so. That would be a good thing. If it goes to, keep talking.
The interesting thing was before we played Game 1, all the talk was about Game 3. After we played Game 1, all the talk was about Game 4. So I thought we might be on Game 5 or 6 today. Obviously, it's a great matchup tomorrow. And I think there's a lot of interest in that matchup, because you have Cliff Lee who has thrown very well in the playoffs in his career. And you have Andy Pettitte who has done the same thing. And has been the guy that has clinched so many series for this organization. I think people are looking forward to tomorrow. I hope it works for us.

Q. You guys have had a pretty set lineup against left-handed pitchers. Do you anticipate that being the case again tomorrow?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, I don't really anticipate any changes. We haven't talked about it. I talked to the coaching staff, think about different scenarios, and we usually talk about it the day of the game. It gives us time to think about it, as opposed to asking someone to make a snap decision. Sometimes you're laying around the house, or laying in bed, a light goes on in your head and you want to discuss it.

Q. Is Thames a decision considering his splits are pretty extreme. He struck out against him a bunch but he had a bunch of base hits off you.
JOE GIRARDI: I have to believe Marcus is going to be in there tomorrow.

Q. Joe, there's been some talk about Cliff Lee's dirty cap and whether it may or may not give him an unfair advantage on the mound. I'm just curious what's your stance on it and is that an issue you would take up with the umpires before Game 4?
JOE GIRARDI: He has rosin that he goes from his hat -- from his hand to his cap, pitchers have it on their leg because sometimes they put the rosin and wipe it on their legs. It's rosin. It's available to everybody.
If it was maybe right here and was a distraction to the hitter, I might question it. But I haven't seen it to be a problem.

Q. Joe, when you look at the core four guys, to you what jumps out as the most remarkable part about their run together?
JOE GIRARDI: How long they've been together. They go back as early as 1996. You think about an organization maybe have one guy with 15 years experience. But to have basically four of them, it's really truly amazing. And they came up together and they're still together. The longevity and the success that they've been able to have together, we really haven't seen before.

Q. Do you ever find yourself wondering how much longer they can possibly do this?
JOE GIRARDI: You do. You think about how long each guy can continue to go. For me, I remember when physically it just became too difficult. So far the guys are doing pretty good.

Q. Joe, will you talk a little bit about what Elvis Andrus has been doing for the Rangers, and how important do you think it is to keep him off base?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, when you talk about Elvis Andrus, just not his offense, it's his defense as well. This is a very exciting young player. Defensively he's very, very good with great range and a good arm and he knows how to play the position at a young age. Offensively, he knows how to create havoc on the bases. I remember another young shortstop that used to do the same thing that played in Seattle and Cleveland and this year played third base in Chicago. Wasn't necessarily a guy that was going to beat you by hitting the ball out of the ballpark, but was going to create issues when he got on base. Omar Vizquel I believe is a future Hall-of-Famer and came up at a very young age and a Venezuelan shortstop. Here's a very young shortstop that seems to play similar.

Q. Joe, do you think the layoff hurt CC and Phil in games 1 and 2? And second question on Cliff Lee, do you think Andy is getting a little forgotten here, that everybody is talking about the next game like it's Cliff Lee's game?
JOE GIRARDI: As far as the layoff, it could have. It's hard for us to always put a finger on exactly what happens to a pitcher. Because they can be on regular turn and not pitch well. We always look for reasons. But sometimes it just happens. A guy is a little bit off and it hurts them.
Phil didn't really have a lot of extra time off. He didn't. CC had some. As far as Andy, I think it's always good to fly under the radar. Because the discussion about you is less and you have probably have to answer less questions and you focus on what you're doing more.

Q. Joe, I'm not asking you to give away any cutting reports. But you guys up and down the lineup have made a habit of patience helping you get to pitchers. That approach doesn't work with Cliff Lee. So when those two things collide, what kind of approach should you take?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I don't think there's an exact science how you approach Cliff Lee, but to me, he's a lot like Roy Halladay. If you try to take a couple of pitches and get deep in the count, you might be 0-2. So for me with Cliff Lee, I think you have to be ready to hit from pitch one. And if he makes a mistake, don't miss it.

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