Oct. 14 Joe Girardi pregame interview
THE MODERATOR: I will ask Joe to start giving us an update on Derek's situation.
JOE GIRARDI: He is having more tests. When we spoke to the doctor originally, you know, he said, it's probably a three month ordeal but you have to have more tests. Similar to anyone who breaks his ankle, you are going to have an MRI to see if there is ligament damage, if they need to do more than just cast it. I don't really have any more information for you, except that he said he still feels great (laughter).
Q. Joe, what is your plan for Derek for the series in terms of is he going to travel with you guys? Be around the team?
JOE GIRARDI: I think you really won't know until he gets the test results back. And I don't know if, you know, you worry about swelling and stuff like that when you travel and you fly, and being on it. I'm not sure what the next step is yet.
Q. Joe, is he here right now?
JOE GIRARDI: No, he is having tests.
Q. Joe, do you want him to speak to the team? You mentioned last night Mariano spoke to the team in Kansas City.
JOE GIRARDI: That's up to him. I give players the opportunity to determine a lot of things for themselves. So I mean that's really up to him.
Q. And you just discussed the construct of your lineup. Cano and...
JOE GIRARDI: Eventually I had to move somebody up. If you lose somebody in the fifth spot, there are only four guys below you. But when you lose the guy in the one spot, you have to move everybody up. Basically what we did.
Q. And Nix?
JOE GIRARDI: He has done it all year for us.
Q. Joe, I recognize this is a far different sport from football.
JOE GIRARDI: Correct.
Q. Do you try to raise, a need for a meeting to raise morale to say "all is not lost" in some way? Or you feel there is someone emotional on your team who might be able to do that?
JOE GIRARDI: I don't ever tell you about team meetings, but it can possibly happen.
I mean, you know, when I think about the impact of Derek Jeter to the sport, now this is just my observation, okay we had to move on from a lot of different things this year. We've lot the greatest closer of all time where people left us for dead. People left us for dead in August and September. Said we were panicking and we laughed at it, and we said no, we're going to be fine. We won more games in the American League than anyone. But I think there's very few athletes in the game that I actually see you people down that he is hurt. I don't know if I have ever seen that. I mean, I see people come into my office to do my interviews and they are down. And what would Derek say? "I'm great, let's go." And that would be his message. And we have to find a way. We have done it all year long, and we're going to have to do it again. I mean, how often have we had our full lineup the whole year? Not very often. I mean, we just haven't. So he would say "great, let's go."
Q. I don't know if you ever expect to have the kind of sudden and severe injuries that Rivera and Jeter had, but is this just sort of part of the deal with the Roster that is this old and accomplished, but also with the age on the team?
JOE GIRARDI: I am not sure I would say those two injuries, but injuries, yes. I think sometimes as we all get older, and we all feel that we're the same that we used to be, it is not really the case. And I think at times players maybe need a little bit more rest than they would have if they were 25 to 30, and you have to guard against that, and also try to win every game. And it's something that during the course of the season I had to pay a lot of attention to, but it is something you deal with with an aging roster. Maybe not those two injuries.
What I would say about Derek's ankle, maybe the soreness from the other two injuries that he had had something to do with this. We have seen that happen a lot of times. I mentioned when Tex had the broken toe, and I think that contributed to him pulling his hamstring in 2010 because you have to run a little bit differently. Can I say that 100%? No. But those are things that you do worry about. And we talk about it with pitchers, that they have a bad leg, you worry about them hurting their arm. But we're at the time of the year where you run them out there.
Q. You had said that the break is in a different area than the previous injury. Was there any sort of fracture from the previous injuries?
JOE GIRARDI: No.
Q. And which bone now is the
JOE GIRARDI: The ankle bone. I am not really sure. I'm sure they will have a release where you will get more information that will probably explain exactly where it's at.
Q. Did you think the previous injury contributed to this one?
JOE GIRARDI: I just said it is possible.
Q. Joe, the only position player you had whose career and historical standing in the game matches up with Derek's is Alex. Do you think in some strange way that Derek's absence can inspire him to a higher level of play?
JOE GIRARDI: That thought crossed my mind today, it did. I think it's definitely possible, yes.
Q. How would it manifest itself?
JOE GIRARDI: I think the great ones always want to rise to the occasion, and I think they want to show why they're considered the great ones.
Q. Joe, how can you describe the loss of Derek Jeter for the last couple of games?
JOE GIRARDI: It is not a player you want to lose. There is no secret to that. He means a lot to this club. And we understand that. There are other guys that we have lost during the course of the season that meant a lot to our club, and we found a way. And that's what we need to do. And I know you're probably hearing me say it a lot today. But if you want to move on, you have got to find a way. You are still throwing nine guys out there in the lineup that are very capable. And you can talk about, you know, we talked about Mo, that you don't replace Mo. But who can argue with the job that Soriano did? And I think he was 42 for 45. I mean, that had to have been one of the better percentages, and I don't know anyone would have predicted that would have happened, but it did. So we have to make it happen.
Q. I know Nuñez is not necessarily as reliable defensively as Nix. I am wondering if the electricity that he gives you guys, and considering how much you are struggling offensively do you consider using him at all? And beyond just today, are you committed to Nix as the shortstop for the rest of the series?
JOE GIRARDI: I will just go day by day, which I always do. I don't like getting ahead of myself. I don't think there is a lot of value in that. Yet Nuney can provide some excitement. Does anyone remember how Nixey swung the bat in the last series? Pretty darn good, didn't he? He missed winning the one game with a home run, he had a double. And I like Nixey's at bats and he is a grinder. He is one of the guys that got us here, and that's why I am doing it.
Q. You had mentioned the lineup, moving guys up, but you moved Swisher way down. Some thoughts on moving him down to eighth. And also, are you hoping by simply moving Cano between Ichiro and Teixeira, that he will see a certain different kind of pitch than he is seeing so far?
JOE GIRARDI: I think there used to be a day and age that people talked about that. If I put them in this spot, he is going to see these pitches. I think those days are gone. I think pitchers now approach each hitter as they would if there was nobody on, the bases were I think they approach them the same. We used to talk about hitting No. 2 was a great spot to hit, because you had speed at the top of the order and were going to get more fastballs. I think those days are gone for the most part. I don't think it's going to change how you approach Robinson Cano. I hope it does. Maybe they will throw the balls right down the middle, and maybe it will work out really good.
Swisher, he is another guy and we can talk about our lineup. We have a bunch of guys that are struggling, and there have been guys that have gone up and down during the course of the year. Grandy was a guy that hit a home run off him the last time, had a couple of hits off him the last time. Swish had a hit, walked, I think he had a strikeout. And it is just a gut feeling what to do there.
Q. Joe, you've experienced the atmosphere at Yankee Stadium as a player yourself. There are stories about the ground shaking when you hit the triple in '96. With so many empty seats yesterday, the day before, how do you find the atmosphere right now?
JOE GIRARDI: I think it's been good. I think a lot of time atmosphere is spurred on by offense. And we haven't scored a lot of runs, and I understand that. You know, I see them getting into big situations when the other team's up and the pitcher has two strikes. I see that. I think the atmosphere has been good. I think the atmosphere would be better if we scored some more runs.
Q. You said last night that you wouldn't put Alex at short because he hasn't played there in a while. Has he volunteered to move there?
JOE GIRARDI: I have not seen him yet today. But even if he did volunteer, when is the last time he played there? So I don't think that's fair to do.