The point of yesterday’s Joe Girardi press conference was not necessarily to break news. It was an end-of-the-year question-and answer session, a time to look back and think ahead, but not a necessarily a time to discover new information. Of course, during a slow news period like this, you always hope for some small bit of news.
Did we actually learn anything yesterday?
Maybe not, but there were some things to take away from yesterday’s 36 minutes of Girardi behind the microphone.
• Girardi said there was no hidden injury to Alex Rodriguez. Girardi said Rodriguez’s health problems, and the extent of those problems, were exactly as they were portrayed publicly. I thought yesterday might be a time for Girardi to said, “Yes, Alex’s knee was bothering him more than we let on,” but Girardi said that wasn’t the case.
• The public support to Russell Martin is telling. Common speculation has been that Martin will be back and Jesus Montero will takeover as the regular designated hitter. Girardi seemed to introduce that very idea yesterday. Makes it seem more and more likely.
• Brian Cashman said it after Game 5, and Girardi said it yesterday: The rotation is the Yankees focus this offseason. Speculate all you want about trades and signings to add a big bat, but pitching really is the most obvious need.
• Maybe I’m wrong, but Girardi actually did seem more open to lineup changes yesterday. In the past he seemed to always give vague answers about looking into different batting orders, while immediately defending the current alignment. Yesterday, every suggestion was met with Girardi saying he was open to something new. The fact he actually did move Robinson Cano up to the No. 3 spot at the end of the regular season makes me believe he’s honestly willing to consider changes.
• There’s no easy way to deal with the Jorge Posada situation. Everyone, including Girardi, sees the writing on the wall. Posada seemed to see it when he made that tearful exit during his postgame interview on Thursday.
• Was there a single mention of the bullpen yesterday? I don’t think there was. For a team with a 42-year-old closer, one setup man coming back from Tommy John, another with an opt out this winter, and a left-hander likely to miss a second straight season, the Yankees bullpen doesn’t have many questions. It’s deep enough that if Rafael Soriano does opt out of that massive contract, it would be a blessing.
• Is it just me, or does it seem like Girardi spent the past four days thinking, “How in the world did we lose that series?”
Associated Press photo