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October 22, 2010

Joe Girardi


Q. How much more comfortable are you with Phil going on his regular routine?
JOE GIRARDI: I think most players are creatures of habit and any time that you can get on your regular routine, I think the player feels better about it and I think we feel better about it. He did have some extra days off and I can't tell you that's the reason that he didn't have his command, you do feel better when a guy is on his regular routine.

Q. The righty going for them, was Posada DH'ing a consideration?
JOE GIRARDI: Marcus is DH'ing and Jorge has caught almost every one of Phil's start and has had some big at-bats off right handers for us this year, too. In a situation like this you're going against a guy that's had the most experience, and possibly can do the most damage.

Q. Is CC available tonight, and what is your plan with him?
JOE GIRARDI: He is available in any situation for us. You know, CC has talked about going, he could give you 45 pitches. Basically if he gets in the game, we will check with him every inning and see how he's doing and see how his stuff is.

Q. With CC, would you bring him in for one lefty?
JOE GIRARDI: If I brought CC in, it would probably be for more than one hitter. But it might end up being the third out of an inning in a sense and then you might not send him back out. But I don't necessarily look at him as a one-hitter guy.

Q. How much of a factor is experience in a game like this? They are a team that doesn't have a lot of it in these situations.
JOE GIRARDI: Well, you always hope it's a lot. But the first time a team gets to the World Series, you know, people say, well, they never had experience. That's the thing. But you always hope that the experience of your club plays an important part in these type of games.

Q. Taking a step back from the immediacy of tonight, what do you think of Hughes year, and how important was it to do what he did this year, for the organization long-term?
JOE GIRARDI: I think it was extremely important. He had been up as a starter in 2007 and threw the ball pretty well. 2008, we all know about that year, and he ended up getting hurt and not getting a whole lot of innings. 2009, I thought his starts were pretty good 2009. And then we put him in the bullpen and he was dynamite. Any time you can have a starter that's young and give you innings and give you wins, that's extremely important to an organization. He had 17 wins as a starter, one as a bullpen guy, and that's pretty good. I think you sign up for that every year.

Q. On your off-day, did you watch the other series, and as a manager, I know you're concerned only with Texas, but do you watch other games with anything other than just to enjoy it at this stage?
JOE GIRARDI: At this point, it's pretty much just to enjoy. And we watched it kind of when we were out to dinner, as well.
I mean, that has been an outstanding series, too, with a lot of well-pitched ballgames, very close ballgames. But as far as doing more than that, it's pretty much just for the enjoyment.

Q. You've known Andy a long time; have you gotten any indication from him that he's leaning one way or the other about next year?
JOE GIRARDI: No, I have not, and that doesn't surprise me. As Andy has done the past couple of years, it's a decision that he goes home and makes with his family. As long as we are still playing that, decision probably has not crossed his mind.

Q. Do you believe the theory, don't let their best player beat you, and if so or if not, how do you approach that with Josh Hamilton?
JOE GIRARDI: He has swung the bat very well in this series. A lot of it is, how Phil is throwing the ball, how he's done against Josh, how he's done against the guys behind him.
This is just not a one-hitter lineup. That's the thing. Vlad Guerrero, two nights ago, whatever, had four hits. Nelson Cruz has swung the bats as well as anyone in the playoffs.
But if there is a situation where we think we like the matchup better, we're probably going to go after somebody else.

Q. I know I had my time already but I just thought of something.
JOE GIRARDI: Did someone text it to you?

Q. Possibly. Swisher has been pretty vocal about Cliff Lee in the clubhouse, what's your feeling, would you rather players don't say it --
JOE GIRARDI: I hope Swish is right. I hope we do get a chance to face Cliff Lee tomorrow. Because that would be a good thing.
As players, Cliff Lee was the talk about -- we were talking about Game 3 before we even started the series. And the one thing is we didn't talk about Game 7 and Game 4, Game 5, and Game 6. Guys have had to answer a lot of questions. Swish in a sense is right. We hope we do get to face him because that means there's a Game 7.

Q. What level is Josh Hamilton playing at these days, having raised his game and the kind of year that he's had?
JOE GIRARDI: I mean, the type of player that he is, he's -- to me, he's one of the few candidates for the MVP. You know, we like what our guys have done a lot, Robby Cano, I've heard Bautista's name brought up a lot. That's how good he's been playing. To hit .400 off right-handers during the course of the season, you don't see that often. He's playing extremely well.

Q. Compared to anyone else that you've seen over the years, the levels that he's playing, the number of tools he has?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, he's got every tool, he does. You know, he hits for average, he hits for power, he plays good defense, he can steal bases for you.
And I know this guy did it for a long time, but you know, Ken Griffey, Jr. was that type of player. Barry Bonds was that type of player. Those are two guys that did it for a long, long time, had a lot of power, could beat you with their gloves and do a lot of different things. Pretty good.

Q. Can you assess Derek's playoff so far, how he's played and how you think he's looked?
JOE GIRARDI: I think he's looked pretty good. I think he's swung the bat pretty good for us in the playoffs. As I talked about during the course of the season, we might have had to play him a little bit more than we wanted to because of some of the injuries that we had and we had so many long streaks the second half, and we were fighting, you know, to win our division and there were a lot of things. But I think he's played pretty well.

End of FastScripts

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