Brian Heyman here today at Yankee Stadium for Chad. Haven’t been here for a while. I go away and the Yankees can’t hit in the clutch anymore and are in last place, or at least tied for last with Boston, at 21-21, 5 1/2 back. The world is upside down. But it’s only May, and we’ve seen them sputtering this month before and wind up fine, albeit with Mariano Rivera in the team’s big picture.
Asked if there’s a feeling around here that the Yankees shouldn’t ever be in last place, Joe Girardi said, “I think as players, fans and an organization, you always feel that way. You might be in last place because you’re 0-1. But we feel we’re a much better club than what we’ve played. We’re in last place, but every team in our division is .500 or better.”
There doesn’t seem to be a lot that Girardi can do. He moved Mark Teixeira down to seventh last night and has him there tonight. But overall the Yankees are locked into these guys. They have to hit. There aren’t many answers on the bench.
“These are the guys that have to get it done for us,” Girardi said. “These are our guys that we’re committed to, that we believe in, that we’ve seen do it year after year after year and we’re committed to them. They have to find a way to get it done. It’s no different than a year that they put up 35 and 115. They’ve had to find a way to get it done. In saying this, I”m not putting pressure on them. But I’ve seen them do it over and over.”
Girardi said he hasn’t heard anything out of the ordinary from ownership. And he said he has tried to stay on an even keel.
“You don’t get too high when things are going well,” Girardi said. “And you don’t get too low when things are going bad in a sense. I think it’s important you remain the same, pretty much the same. You might have a few more conversations with players when they’re struggling. I’m not a guy that’s going to turn over a table. I’m not a guy who’s going to jump on a table when we win, either, and do a dance. That’s not who I am. I’ve found that managers that have that pretty constant personality are the ones that get the most out of their players.”
Rivera was in the clubhouse walking without crutches, although he did have a bit of a limp. He said the pain is more tolerable with the torn ACL. He has been working on strengthening the knee and is still taking blood thinners for his clot. So there’s still no date yet for the surgery. Girardi said the rehab now may cut down on some of the time needed on the other side of the operation.
“It’s not frustrating,” Rivera said about his situation, “because you can’t do anything about it.”