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Pregame notes: “He taught me about how to get back up”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Oct 11, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Joe Girardi has been carrying the loss of his father for nearly a week now. Around noon on Saturday, the Yankees were on a bus, heading to a train station, making their way to Baltimore for Game 1 of this division. That’s when Girardi got the call that his father had died.

He did not tell a single player. Made no public announcement. Did not expect to say anything about it until this series was over. Because of the tears in his eyes on the bus that day, Girardi wore sunglasses to hide his emotions from the team.

“I told a couple people but for the most part no one knew,” Girardi said. “… I didn’t really want to talk about it. I didn’t want to take away from what we were trying to do here, because I know my dad wouldn’t. The one thing my parents always taught me was, finish the job at hand.”

Jerry Girardi suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and had been in a bad shape for several years. Girardi said today that his father didn’t fully understand the World Series win in 2009, and might not have fully comprehended what it meant when Girardi took the Yankees managerial job five years ago. The last time Girardi saw his father was the White Sox series in August.

“I think the best way to describe it is, if I could be half the husband and half the father my dad is, I’d do pretty good,” Girardi said. “He was always there for me, even though he was working three jobs, he was always there for me. He taught me the value of hard work and perseverance, family and the important things in life.

“At times he would be working three jobs at once to support the five kids. So he was a salesman. He would bartend at night a couple nights a week. He would lay bricks on the weekend, which he took me to do that with him, taught me that. So he gave me my first $100 bill at 7 years old because I worked four days with him and was covered in black mortar. We were doing a fireplace. It was a special relationship. Wherever my dad was, I was right behind him.”

Funeral services will be Monday, which means Girardi will miss that day’s workout if the Yankees advance to the American League Championship Series.

“(He was a) huge Cubs fan, loved the other sports, loved basketball, played a year at Bradley,” Girardi said. “So we played in the backyard. He was tough on me when we played basketball. I mean, he’d knock me down. He taught me about how to get back up.”

• Girardi said he’s liked both Mark Teixeira’s and Alex Rodriguez’s at-bats against left-handers, and he could have gone either way in terms of who hit third and who hit fifth today. “I’ve liked Texy’s at-bats, too, against left-handers,” Girardi said. “And Texy has been one of our most productive hitters against left-handers. He swung it really well against Saunders the last time we faced him, too. I could have went either way on that with Alex third and Texy fifth, but you put the switch hitter in between, I don’t mind doing that. I could have gone either way.”

• Rodriguez has hit .308/.410/.514 against lefties this season, and Girardi said he’s not worried that batting Rodriguez fifth will take the bat out of Robinson Cano’s hands. “No, I don’t think so, because Alex has hit them,” Girardi said. “If they want to walk Cano to get to Al, let them.”

• A day later, any concern that last night’s pinch hitting decision will strain the relationship between Girardi and Rodriguez? “I think you have to manage that,” Girardi said. “I think you could see the team attitude of Alex when he hit it. Our guys want to win at all costs. That’s what we have in there, and for that, I’m pretty fortunate.”

• Girardi said he does not think last night’s decision will change the way Rodriguez is handled going forward. “I’m thinking, he’s just in a tough little rut right now,” Girardi said. “He’s had good at-bats against lefties, and I expect him to be productive today. I do. He’s a guy, he had good at-bats against Saunders the time we faced him, and he had good at-bats against Chen the other day. You do have to manage things, and I understand that, but you have a responsibility to everyone.”

• Derek Jeter is going to go through batting practice to prove he can play, but there’s little reasont to think he’ll be pulled from the lineup unless he’s in extremely bad shape today. “He tells me he can’t play (is the only reason to scratch him),” Girardi said. “I would have to see him really running like he was yesterday.”

• How’s the team feeling coming into a potential clinching game? “I think it’s just try to put good at?bats together, pitch well, and just stay in the game, stay in the moment,” Dave Robertson said. “When you get an opportunity to score runs, score runs. When you get an opportunity to get a big out, get a big out. You’ve just got to grind it out with these guys and hope that you get a win. We’ve played a lot of tight ballgames with Baltimore this year, and that just seems to be the way this season is going with them.”

• Same plan as last night in terms of blog content during the game. I’ll be hosting an in-game chat, so swing by to vent or celebrate or ask a question or whatever. Hope to see you then.

ORIOLES
Nate McLouth LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Jim Thome DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Manny Machado 3B

LHP Joe Saunders

Associated Press photos

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70 Responses to “Pregame notes: “He taught me about how to get back up””

  1. BobbyJones October 11th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    RIP

  2. MG October 11th, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    sorry to hear about Girardi’s dad passing away, we each have our own way to deal with the loss of a close family member and I suppose Girardi’s was to keep it to himself and do his job.

  3. MG October 11th, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Nix is playing SS in Jeter’s absence for two reasons (1) he’s a steady glove out there and each game has been close and (2) he’s hit 3 bombs off Saunders in 10 ABs lifetime-for a guy without lots of power, that is really significant.

  4. MG October 11th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    In honor of Girardi’s dad I propose a one game moratorium on complaints about his managing, I promise to stay away from any criticism of him for at least tonight.

    Any others?

  5. Warning Track Power October 11th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Before today, Cincy did not lose 3 consecutive games at home during the reg season.

  6. austinmac October 11th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    MG,

    Right on both points. I thought he hit one last night but the wind was going to right.

  7. MG October 11th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I didn’t watch the SF-Reds game but that is an incredible comeback-if the A’s duplicate that the Bay Area will be in full bandwagon jumping mode until one of the teams gets eliminated, at which time they will mostly jump on the bandwagon for the other team.

  8. austinmac October 11th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I’m down. No criticism.

  9. MG October 11th, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    mac, we should all sing ‘Kumbaya’ and post only positive things tonight in honor of Mr. G.

    Besides, after last night’s epic win, the team has earned unconditional support for at least one game, right?

  10. Tabbert October 11th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    This goes to show the kind of man and manager Girardi is. To deal with such a tragic event, and still manage at a high level, with everything on the line, and having to deal with the NY media on a daily basic, wow. Guy has had no chance to even just take a break and reflect on his father, or being with his family. Instead he went about business, dealt with a tough loss, all the media questions, all the arod stuff, goes out and manages one heck of a game last night. You really can’t say enough about that sort of display of Loyalty to the Yankees, Their Fans, His team, and his up most professionalism. His father would be proud. I am proud to have a manger with the character of Joe Girardi. Thoughts and Prayers go out to him and his entire family.

  11. Benny Blanco October 11th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    MG,

    You stole my thunder. I’m with you on the complaints about the skipper. You won’t hear any bickering on my end.

  12. Dj October 11th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Reminds me of Paul O’Neill, whose dad died during the 1999 playoffs as well…he played and clinched the World Series that night and just started sobbing. RIP

  13. Tabbert October 11th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I don’t think the players would even dare question the moves joe makes at this time. I mean.. sit back and think about this if your Arod. Your manager has been answering questions about You, your spot in the lineup, your feelings, and the meanwhile has been coping with the loss of his father during this entire series. I Know Joe is already respected by the players… but I can only imagine how much more they gained for him. I mean really…the guy has one of the hardest jobs in baseball, has answered millions of questions, and defended his players, stuck to his plan, and just went about business like nothing had happen. That is a strong man, with high character, and a very good leader. You can bet these players will be playing their tails off for him.

  14. RMS October 11th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I don’t think the players would even dare question the moves joe makes at this time. I mean.. sit back and think about this if your Arod. Your manager has been answering questions about You, your spot in the lineup, your feelings, and the meanwhile has been coping with the loss of his father during this entire series. I Know Joe is already respected by the players… but I can only imagine how much more they gained for him. I mean really…the guy has one of the hardest jobs in baseball, has answered millions of questions, and defended his players, stuck to his plan, and just went about business like nothing had happen. That is a strong man, with high character, and a very good leader. You can bet these players will be playing their tails off for him.
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    Amen.

  15. RhapsodyInBlue October 11th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you Nick.

  16. blake October 11th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Joe is a really good person….you can just tell he is ….very touching to hear him talk about his dad….

  17. RhapsodyInBlue October 11th, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Takes a hell of man to do what Joe is doing tonight. I hope the players are behind him.

  18. Tabbert October 11th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    On a site note…

    I really would like to see the Giants, Cards, Yanks in the championship series. That would give us three of the last world champs. One team could be getting their second title in a 4 years or less span. Pretty impressive.

  19. Lost October 11th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    If anyone caught the interview yesterday with Jeet, when he was talking about not being one of those guys that depend on videos and reports. In fact, he slightly resents those who “rely” on that approach. I am not speaking of taking a look at the video, I am referring to those that live and die by it. Suffice it to say, Jeter puts in his work just as much as the next guy, but his approach over the years hasn’t changed much at all even with the addition to simple technology.
    Derek said, “I just go up and look for a good ball to hit.” Exactly, IMO, this team would do a lot better if their focus was similar. Aside from having a lot of the same type of hitters, I think it would benefit those tape-mongers and remind them to go out and have fun, play the game hard and stop hitting the box thinking they are playing chess. Some players you can virtually hear them inside their head, you can sure see it by their results and approach.

    Sure winning is important but don’t forget to hit the field and have fun playing the greatest game in the world !

  20. Wang IS Taiwan October 11th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I awoke to see the sad news. Girardi gave a wonderful tribute to his dad. Whether I’ve liked Girardi as a manager or not, I’ve never denied he was salt of the earth. Good man, husband and father. His dad taught him well.

    Sure puts things into perspective.

    Chad, thank you for sharing that here.

  21. Pat M. October 11th, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    MG…..So the NY Yankees are going with a sure handed make the play and get the out shortstop over the rangey cannon arm not always a lock out better hitting Eddie Nuenz ???? I guess they want to give themselves the best chance to win a playoff game. and the ALDS……

  22. Lost October 11th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    It’s never hard dealing with death of a loved one. However, with Alzheimer’s deaths, you are well aware of the end result long before it happens. When it reaches the point of death actually occurring, most family members are relieved due to the fact they have witnessed years of slow deterioration and years of pain and suffering. It truly is an awful disease. With that said, Joe knows that this wasn’t unexpected, I am sure he prepared for it as best as he could. The timing is never ‘right’ but being able to prepare emotionally for it is extremely helpful. That’s not to say it’s not difficult, but it’s not as difficult as if it was a sudden unexpected tragedy.

    My thoughts are with The Girardi family.

  23. Wang IS Taiwan October 11th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Lost,

    Alzheimer’s is indeed one of the most painful ways to lose a loved one.

  24. Tyler October 11th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I’m far from a fan of Girardi the manager but the guy is really a fantastic person. Great family man and all around individual. Thoughts are definitely with the Girardi family. Win this game tonight and get him some time to spend with them! Win it for Mr. Girardi!

  25. Tyler October 11th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Bryce Harper hitting .056 this series…. wow.

  26. Tabbert October 11th, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Alzheimer’s is the disease you die from twice. It truly is horrible.

  27. Shame Spencer October 11th, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Sad day for Joe and his family.. what a shame.

    Nick – I hear what you’re saying, I wasn’t really expecting that to be the outcome but I wasn’t expecting it a couple of weeks ago either. I realize the situations are totally different in a playoff game though.. couldn’t imagine a pitcher every taking an AB.

    All that aside….. I don’t want to be though of as another stuckey lol..

  28. Shame Spencer October 11th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I’m still shocked the Giants beat the Reds.

    This Cards/Nats game is tight….who is everyone betting on?

  29. m October 11th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Wow. Girardi is such a strong man. Unbelievable. The TBS booth was making comments about how he looked like he was uptight or stressed or something like that. It was kind of snide. Now we know why. Hopefully, they’ll make up for it tonight by talking about his stoicism.

  30. MG October 11th, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Pat M. October 11th, 2012 at 5:48 pm
    MG…..So the NY Yankees are going with a sure handed make the play and get the out shortstop over the rangey cannon arm not always a lock out better hitting Eddie Nuenz ???? I guess they want to give themselves the best chance to win a playoff game. and the ALDS……
    ————————
    Pat M, it works for me…:)

  31. joeman October 11th, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    so let me see…guy hits two HR’s last night and sits tonight

  32. JobaTipsHisCap October 11th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Joe is a good man.
    Rip

  33. JobaTipsHisCap October 11th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I bet on stl, just because of their experience

  34. Locke October 11th, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Joeman – I’m sure he’ll be available off the bench when a right handed reliever comes up. Keeps Buck guessing too.

    Rest in piece Mr. Girardi. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Joe – especially since he has to deal with it so publicly.

  35. joeman October 11th, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    joeman October 10th, 2012 at 5:46 pm
    Swisher will not hit…Ibanez will …wrong move here

  36. joeman October 11th, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    joeman October 10th, 2012 at 6:35 pm
    Think I’ll bet Balt tonight..that will assure a Yankee win

  37. joeman October 11th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    pitcher really need to be righthanded ?

  38. Shame Spencer October 11th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Law of averages says Cano, Tex, Grandy, and Ichiro are due for some hits tonight.

  39. Shame Spencer October 11th, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Wow!

  40. Bronx Jeers October 11th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Meanwhile Granderson reached 200 Ks for the season last night. I’m trying to think of a past Yankee that might have beat that. Not Reggie. Not Mantle. And those guys have about 5,000 Ks between them.

    I got Ichiro in CF and Ibanez in LF on my scorecard.

  41. Pat M. October 11th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Holy Jason Werth Batman ……..Well that helps offset that contract……Rizzo says that Werth combined with Zimmerman were the key building blocks to the club

  42. BobbyJones October 11th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Game 5 for all 3 series so far, hopefully yankees can win in 4

  43. Captain Clutch October 11th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Hopefully the Yankees series will be the only series to not go to 5 games. It’s fun to watch other teams play one but not when it’s your team.

  44. BobbyJones October 11th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Cool he mentions Ibanez

  45. tomingeorgia October 11th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Let’s go, Nats!

    Phil is going to be lights out tonight. Get a few runs, and wait and see who we play. Fun!

  46. MG October 11th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    are these division series the most competitive ones ever across the board?

    I’m really hoping the Yankees ‘buck’ the trend and win in 4….

    Jayson Werth just mentioned Raul Ibanez in his postgame interview, by the way.

  47. BobbyJones October 11th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Man how does the phillies fan feel lol Ibanez yesterday, Werth today.

  48. joeman October 11th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Shame Spencer October 11th, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    Law of averages says Cano, Tex, Grandy, and Ichiro are due for some hits tonight.
    ———————————–
    hope so Saunders gives up over a hit an inning career & isn’t a strikeout pitcher

  49. Pat M. October 11th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Jeers, hard to believe that The Mick had so many K’s, so many walks and was a .300 hitter until his last season……..But man did he and Reg swing hard

  50. Duh Innings II October 11th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Werth just gave a shoutout to Ibanez – nice!

    When’s the last time a player on another team gave a shoutout to a current Yankee?

  51. joeman October 11th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Close it out…don’t want to have to use CC

  52. BobbyJones October 11th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Shame Spencer October 11th, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    Law of averages says Cano, Tex, Grandy, and Ichiro are due for some hits tonight.
    ———————————–
    Then how do u explain siwsher 1-33 RISP?

  53. Bronx Jeers October 11th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Man how does the phillies fan feel lol Ibanez yesterday, Werth today.

    ————–

    Oh man……I hope this doesn’t mean it’s Thome’s turn. :shock:

  54. LGY October 11th, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    If the Yankees lose tonight the game will be at 5 tomorrow??

    Ugh, yeah win tonight guys.

  55. Duh Innings II October 11th, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Nats-SF NLCS.

    Cool.

    Giants have to make a trip or two to DC, DC has to make a trip to SF.

    If the Yanks and Tigers play in the ALCS and it’s Yanks-Nats in the World Series, the Yanks would have less travel than either NLCS team (planetrip from NY to Detroit and back then a train trip or two to DC.) The Yanks already have as many as four games in a row including tonight at home (Games 4 and 5 of the ALDS and the first two games of the ALCS.)

  56. MG October 11th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    BobbyJones October 11th, 2012 at 7:08 pm
    Shame Spencer October 11th, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    Law of averages says Cano, Tex, Grandy, and Ichiro are due for some hits tonight.
    ———————————–
    Then how do u explain siwsher 1-33 RISP?
    ———————-
    Complain all you want (and you do a lot) but without Swish raking all September the Yankees don’t win the AL East and aren’t in position to close out the ALDS tonight.

  57. Shame Spencer October 11th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    joeman October 11th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Shame Spencer October 11th, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    Law of averages says Cano, Tex, Grandy, and Ichiro are due for some hits tonight.
    ———————————–
    hope so Saunders gives up over a hit an inning career & isn’t a strikeout pitcher

    —————————

    We gotta jump on him early.

    Bronx – 200 strike outs is really incredible.. he was 193 for the season or something around there.

    LGY – I’m with you… 5pm start is BS…

  58. Duh Innings II October 11th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    joeman October 11th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Close it out…don’t want to have to use CC

    ——–

    Word!

  59. joeman October 11th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    anyone here see a 8-6 game or just put it this way some offense

  60. BobbyJones October 11th, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Complain all you want (and you do a lot) but without Swish raking all September the Yankees don’t win the AL East and aren’t in position to close out the ALDS tonight
    —————————
    Arod has carried yankees to the post season for many years. enough said

  61. luis October 11th, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Good evening,

    How old is Joe Girardi?

  62. joeman October 11th, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    the # is 8.5 for total runs

  63. Duh Innings II October 11th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    It just dawned on me.

    If the Giants and As reach the World Series, it’ll be a Bay Area / BART series and a 1989 World Series rematch (hopefully minus the earthquake jeez – remember that?)

  64. jmills October 11th, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Have a great game, Yankee fans. So glad I was able to direct things last night.

    :)

  65. GregD October 11th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    luis October 11th, 2012 at 7:17 pm
    Good evening,

    How old is Joe Girardi?

    ————–
    47

  66. trisha - true pinstriped blue October 11th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Just coming in. I was driving when I heard the news about Joe Girardi’s dad and it made me cry for him. I thought about how close he was to his dad, and what he has to have been going through with that, and then to have that compounded by all of the negativity and complaints and criticisms he’s had to hear throughout these playoffs, well I just hurt for him.

    RIP Mr. Girardi. God bless Joe and his family.

    This game is for Joe’s dad.

  67. tomingeorgia October 11th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    luis,
    40-something.

  68. Duh Innings II October 11th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Also, if the As reach the WS, Bob Melvin is guaranteed to face the team he started with (Tigers) or played for next (Giants) who he left after playing the year before the Giants made it to the WS.

  69. jmills October 11th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Sorry, I wasn’t aware of Mr. Girardi’s duress. Until we all meet again – best.

  70. luis October 11th, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks Tom and GregD,

    I was listening to the pregema show and heard that his mom died 28 years ago…So he was 19 when she passed away…Poor guy

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