Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman know they have a crisis to manage in the wake of the A-Rod scandal. For Girardi, it could be crucial to his job security.
Jorge Posada will be brought along slowly in spring training. This notebook also has info on the center field battle, right field, the arrival of one star pitcher and a dismissed lawsuit for Roger Clemens.
Being on a beat can be like trying to solve a mystery. You look for clues, file them away and at the end hope it all adds up.
What happens on Feb. 12 doesn’t mean a whole lot. It’ll be five or six months before we know what sort of team the Yankees have.
But yesterday was a good day to mine a few clues about the manager.
Joe Girardi spent roughly 40 minutes talking to print reporters. As I mentioned before, most of the time was spent dissecting the ongoing A-Rod soap opera (which is already tedious). But along the way, Girardi dropped a few hints that those “adjustments” he talked about during the winter may have taken hold.
Girardi was candid about A-Rod, saying he was disappointed in the actions of his star player. He was optimistic everything would work out — as always — but that was tempered with a realistic view of the mess that the Yankees have to deal with.
He also admitted that he drove the players too hard in spring training last season and would back off a little bit. He talked about knowing the American League better and how that would allow him to spend more time with his players and getting a sense of the clubhouse.
Girardi prides himself on preparation. He wants to know exactly what pitch Brian Roberts will chase on a 2-2 count against a right-hander. There is tremendous value in that, but not if it comes at the expense of knowing what makes one of your players tick. Sometimes you need to let the pitching coach do his job.
That’s just an example, of course. But when you talk to people around the team, there’s a sense that Girardi knows he has to build more bridges. Spring training is a good time for that. But the real test won’t come for a long time. We’ll see what happens then.
As for today, pitchers and catchers report for physicals. The clubhouse will be open to the media from 9-12 and I’ll file some reports via the iPhone. No workout today, that comes tomorrow.