When the clubhouse opened to reporters this morning, Dave Robertson was one of the few Yankees sitting at his locker. He was his usual self, friendly and eager to make small talk on the morning after he allowed a grand slam to Bobby Abreu, the only blemish to an otherwise brilliant home opener.
“I don’t want a guy that’s down on himself,” manager Joe Girardi said, “because baseball comes around every day.”
Girardi said he was happy with Robertson’s demeanor this morning and he wouldn’t hesitate to use him in a big spot this afternoon. He thought Robertson did a bad job reading swings yesterday, and remembered an 0-2 curveball that should have been buried but was instead thrown for a hitable strike. Those are fixable mistakes, and Robertson called today a new day. That’s the kind of memory you want from a reliever.
Here’s Girardi’s pregame media session.
• Girardi said his kids took his World Series ring out of the box yesterday and “really studied it, which was really neat to see.” He got some of the fake rings — the kind given to Nick Swisher and Hideki Matsui as a joke — for his kids.
• Swisher said he was shocked when he opened his box and saw his ring yesterday. The players immediately laughed and it was Mariano Rivera who finally gave him the real ring after the pregame ceremony. “I had that fake ring on the whole time,” Swisher said.
• Javier Vazquez will be trying to move on from his disappointing season debut. Girardi said Vazquez rushed last week again Tampa, causing his arm slot to drop. “His fastball was running too much back across the middle of the plate,” Girardi said.
• After all of the fifth-starter debate this spring, Girardi said he’s excited to see Phil Hughes finally get on the mound. “I think he’s much more physically and mentally prepared” than he was in 2008, Girardi said.
• With the opening road trip out of the way and the rings distributed, Girardi said it finally feels like the regular season is in full swing. “I do feel like now the season will get back to normal,” Girardi said.
• The Yankees are facing Joel Pineiro today. “He’s the kind of guy that balls are going to be put in play, and they’re probably going to be on the ground,” Girardi said.
• At the end of his press conference, Girardi was asked how many rings he’d like to win. “Yogi’s got 10 and I’m sure Yogi would like another one,” Girardi said.
The Angels are going with the same lineup as yesterday, but with Maicer Izturis as second in place of Howie Kendrick.
Erick Aybar SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Torii Hunter CF
Hideki Matsui DH
Kendry Morales 1B
Juan Rivera RF
Maicer Izturis 2B
Jeff Mathis C
Brandon Wood 3B
That’s an Associated Press shot, by the way.