Just got back from the Joe Girardi press conference. As expected, the bulk of the conversation was about attempting to repeat as World Series champions.
“The expectation here is the same every year,” Girardi said. “In a sense, you’re supposed to repeat every year… I don’t really consider (complacency) an issue because I know the people in the room.”
I’ll try to have audio and full details from Girardi’s media session later this afternoon. For now, a few quick hits…
• “I think our No. 1 concern is ironing out our lineup,” Girardi said. “When I say it’s a concern, I’m not concerned that we don’t have the players to do it, I’m concerned with where you place them.”
• There is competition on the pitching staff, but Girardi said he will make it clear that the competition does not begin right away. “Tomorrow the message will be, look, we’re just getting ready right now,” Girardi said.
• Interesting way to look at who should start in center field: It might have more to do with who is the best left fielder. Girardi said he has faith in both Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner in center, but he talked a lot about giving each of them time in left this spring. Obviously, guys like Randy Winn and Marcus Thames should get time in left field as well. “What is the best fit for each of the guys, not individually, but as a combination,” Girardi said.
• What happens to the pitcher who doesn’t win the No. 5 spot in the rotation? “I would envision that they go to the bullpen,” Girardi said. He would like to have that rotation spot decided by March 25, but he’s willing to let the competition continue into the final week if necessary. Girardi also stressed that it’s not all about spring statistics.
• The Yankees will do another team outing, similar to last year’s afternoon of billiards. “We will do something again,” Girardi said. “Plans are subject to change, but our plan is to do it the day before our first game here.” Girardi said he hasn’t decided what the team will do, but suggestions of paintball and bowling left him feeling uneasy because he wants something with virtually zero injury risk. Nothing that involves running through the woods or swinging heavy objects.