10/17/10 3:43 PM ET
Joe Girardi Workout Day interview
By / MLB.com
Q. Hey, Joe, have you figured out anything further for your rotation beyond Game 3?
JOE GIRARDI: Still the same. Our rotation is still the same. I know there's some weather in the forecast, but our rotation is the same.
Q: CC is still scheduled to throw the bullpen today?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah.
Q: So much talk about Cliff Lee, and I know you've talked a little bit about what that day is like at the deadline, how close were you guys to getting him? In your mind, how close?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, you're asking a hypothetical question. Really until something happens, and I'm not as involved as Brian is in those discussions all the time. Brian is on the phone. I've always said you never count on trade rumors until actually the guy is in your clubhouse.
Q: Never got beyond the rumors?
JOE GIRARDI: It never happened, so never beyond the discussion. We are in discussions with a lot of teams about a lot of different players.
Q: Joe, just to clarify, you're saying you're staying in rotation, did you have discussions and did those discussions lead you to say we're sticking with what we had originally said?
JOE GIRARDI: We set up our rotation for a number of reasons. We're just staying with it. Phil Hughes has never thrown on short rest. We have Andy Pettitte, who is coming off an injury. There's a lot of things that go into making up your rotation. We believe in A.J. I know it's been a tough year for him at times this year, but we believe in A.J.
Q: Joe, with all the talk about Game 4 that you have had the last three days, have you felt the need to talk to A.J. and say, look, you're maybe hearing all this stuff in public but you're still scheduled to start?
JOE GIRARDI: No, not necessarily. A.J. hasn't questioned and I haven't heard any rumblings in the clubhouse am I starting Game 4 or not. I said all the time that I'm on rotation. Maybe other people have talked about it but my message has been clear that we're on rotation.
Q: Over the past 14 years, many times that Andy has come through after a Yankees loss, what makes him especially equipped for that situation?
JOE GIRARDI: Besides just having good stuff, Andy Pettitte knows how to pitch. He's been through it so many times; does not become rattled, knows how to prepare for this type of game. Experience is an important thing when it comes to this time of year, because you don't expect Andy to get too hyped up. He'll be the same guy that he is during the regular season.
Q: Joe, it seems everybody is so preordained about Lee. Does it help you guys maybe to not that they need much motivation, does it help to give them a little psychological boost?
JOE GIRARDI: I hope so. That would be a good thing. If it goes to, keep talking. The interesting thing was before we played Game 1, all the talk was about Game 3. After we played Game 1, all the talk was about Game 4. So I thought we might be on Game 5 or 6 today. Obviously, it's a great matchup tomorrow. And I think there's a lot of interest in that matchup, because you have Cliff Lee who has thrown very well in the playoffs in his career. And you have Andy Pettitte who has done the same thing. And has been the guy that has clinched so many series for this organization. I think people are looking forward to tomorrow. I hope it works for us.
Q: You guys have had a pretty set lineup against left handed pitchers. Do you anticipate that being the case again tomorrow?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, I don't really anticipate any changes. We haven't talked about it. I talked to the coaching staff, think about different scenarios, and we usually talk about it the day of the game. It gives us time to think about it, as opposed to asking someone to make a snap decision. Sometimes you're laying around the house, or laying in bed, a light goes on in your head and you want to discuss it.
Q: Is Thames a decision considering his splits are pretty extreme. He struck out against him a bunch but he had a bunch of base hits off you.
JOE GIRARDI: I have to believe Marcus is going to be in there tomorrow.
Q: Joe, there's been some talk about Cliff Lee's dirty cap and whether it may or may not give him an unfair advantage on the mound. I'm just curious what's your stance on it and is that an issue you would take up with the umpires before Game 4?
JOE GIRARDI: He has rosin that he goes from his hat from his hand to his cap, pitchers have it on their leg because sometimes they put the rosin and wipe it on their legs. It's rosin. It's available to everybody. If it was maybe right here and was a distraction to the hitter, I might question it. But I haven't seen it to be a problem.
Q: Joe, when you look at the core four guys, to you what jumps out as the most remarkable part about their run together?
JOE GIRARDI: How long they've been together. They go back as early as 1996. You think about an organization maybe have one guy with 15 years experience. But to have basically four of them, it's really truly amazing. And they came up together and they're still together. The longevity and the success that they've been able to have together, we really haven't seen before.
Q: Do you ever find yourself wondering how much longer they can possibly do this?
JOE GIRARDI: You do. You think about how long each guy can continue to go. For me, I remember when physically it just became too difficult. So far the guys are doing pretty good.
Q: Joe, will you talk a little bit about what Elvis Andrus has been doing for the Rangers, and how important do you think it is to keep him off base?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, when you talk about Elvis Andrus, just not his offense, it's his defense as well. This is a very exciting young player. Defensively he's very, very good with great range and a good arm and he knows how to play the position at a young age. Offensively, he knows how to create havoc on the bases. I remember another young shortstop that used to do the same thing that played in Seattle and Cleveland and this year played third base in Chicago. Wasn't necessarily a guy that was going to beat you by hitting the ball out of the ballpark, but was going to create issues when he got on base. Omar Vizquel I believe is a future Hall of Famer and came up at a very young age and a Venezuelan shortstop. Here's a very young shortstop that seems to play similar.
Q: Joe, do you think the layoff hurt CC and Phil in games 1 and 2? And second question on Cliff Lee, do you think Andy is getting a little forgotten here, that everybody is talking about the next game like it's Cliff Lee's game?
JOE GIRARDI: As far as the layoff, it could have. It's hard for us to always put a finger on exactly what happens to a pitcher. Because they can be on regular turn and not pitch well. We always look for reasons. But sometimes it just happens. A guy is a little bit off and it hurts them. Phil didn't really have a lot of extra time off. He didn't. CC had some. As far as Andy, I think it's always good to fly under the radar. Because the discussion about you is less and you have probably have to answer less questions and you focus on what you're doing more.
Q: Joe, I'm not asking you to give away any cutting reports. But you guys up and down the lineup have made a habit of patience helping you get to pitchers. That approach doesn't work with Cliff Lee. So when those two things collide, what kind of approach should you take?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I don't think there's an exact science how you approach Cliff Lee, but to me, he's a lot like Roy Halladay. If you try to take a couple of pitches and get deep in the count, you might be 0 2. So for me with Cliff Lee, I think you have to be ready to hit from pitch one. And if he makes a mistake, don't miss it.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
Derek Jeter Workout Day interview
Q: Derek, when you see Elvis Andrus playing shortstop, what do you like about him?
DEREK JETER: I haven't seen him much. We haven't played him too much. But he's aggressive. I think he's improved over the last couple of years. It seems like he's not afraid of making mistakes, which is always a good quality.
Q: You've seen him do it so many times. What makes Andy so good in these situations when you guys are coming off a loss or when you really need a win? What makes Andy especially effective then?
DEREK JETER: I think the thing with Andy is his demeanor. He's got a great approach. He sticks with his plan. He knows what has made him successful. He doesn't deviate from his plan. He's got a lot of confidence in himself. He's been in every situation, every scenario. Doesn't mean he's going to be successful, but you know he's not going to be flustered too much on the mound. Pretty much every situation you can think of he's been in. He's been successful. So when you have had success, I think he really uses that to his advantage. But we have a lot of confidence in him as he has confidence in himself.
Q: Joe talked about how to face Lee. What's your feelings about facing Lee and how to go about it?
DEREK JETER: I really don't change my approach against anyone. You try to get a good pitch. You try to hit it hard. With him, he pounds the strike zone. He doesn't walk too many people. So you always hear people say, "try to be patient." But with him you can't be too patient because if you fall behind you're in trouble. We have an approach. We have a game plan. Hopefully it works for us tomorrow night.
Q: Obviously, everybody misses Bob Sheppard's voice and what he did for the Yankees. Probably do something for him on TV. What does it mean for you that his voice still introduces you and how come it was you that perpetuated it?
DEREK JETER: It means a lot. I had them record his voice a few years ago, because I wasn't aware of how long he was going to be doing it. So this was before we left the old Yankee Stadium when I had them record it. It was something being a Yankee fan coming up, it was the only voice I heard coming to the stadium. I always wanted him to introduce me when I went to the plate. It's something I thought of a few years back. And I do it to honor him, and I'm fortunate that I was able to get him to record it a few years ago. He's the voice of the Yankees. Yankee fans, there's a new generation, obviously, younger fans, that aren't too familiar with him. But Yankee fans from the past really when you come here, that's one of the things I think he was as big a part of the tradition here as any player. He really made the experience.
Q: Derek, what one aspect of Cliff Lee makes him so tough?
DEREK JETER: He has good stuff. That goes without saying. He knows what he's doing. He has great control, I think, is probably the number one thing. You don't see too many pitchers that he really doesn't walk too many people at all. Most pitchers you face can get wild from time to time. It seems like with him he always has his control.
Q: In your experience, your career, have you come up I'm sure it's happened when a pitcher like Lee has almost an aura about him. He has a reputation of being this great postseason pitcher. Do you take that as extra motivation?
DEREK JETER: No.
Q: Do you embrace that challenge?
DEREK JETER: It's always a challenge. We've faced a lot of pitchers throughout the years that have had great reputations. Reputation doesn't win games. You still have to go out there and pitch. He's been able to do that. He's gotten a lot of attention, and rightfully so, because he's had a lot of success. He's had a lot of success in the playoffs. But for us, it's a challenge whoever you face this time of the year. When you're in the playoffs you're facing the best teams, you're facing the best pitching staffs. If you're going to be the best, you have to beat the best. Cliff is as good as anyone in baseball right now.
Q: You've been through this so many times. You win a game, and we say they're obviously the champions. You lose a game and it's a crisis. How do you personally, what's the secret to maintaining an even keel throughout this experience?
DEREK JETER: I don't read the papers and I don't listen to the newscasts I think is the biggest thing. You have to take the approach that every game is a big game. If you play every game like it's a Game 7, then you never have to change your approach. And we've been pretty good at that this year. We've been pretty good at that in years past. You don't get too high or too low. You try to maintain the same approach. We've been able to do it, but yeah, playing in New York you understand that you win a game, you lose a game, and it's up and down. But for us as players, we try to maintain that same approach regardless of what game we're playing.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
Andy Pettitte Workout Day interview
Q: Andy, the rest of us are all talking about Andy Pettitte versus Cliff Lee. You can't look at it that way, can you?
ANDY PETTITTE: No, I can't. I've got to look at it as it's really Andy Pettitte just trying to get stuff going. Obviously, like I said yesterday, I'll do my work today, as far as scouting report, start trying to think in my head what I would like to do to some of these hitters to get them out. But then it's can Andy go out there tomorrow and get locked in and get a good feel for his pitches and throw a game that I would like to throw, really. That's the meat and potatoes of it right there. It has nothing else to do with it. Like I've said in my Minnesota start, I'll be able to control my emotions, I'll be able to handle myself. It's a matter if I can get the body and the release point and everything else going the way I want it to.
Q: Andy, out of all your 19 postseason wins, is there a couple that stick out to you? And could you talk about them a little bit?
ANDY PETTITTE: Obviously there's been a lot of them that stand out. The first one, the one that always comes back to me, because it was just such a big game, I think, is the '96 game against John Smoltz in Atlanta. We were able to win that Game 1 0. That one sticks out to me. The World Series starts, it seems like they're kind of a bigger platform to them. So those kind of stand out. I think the most gratifying ones sometimes are the ones where we're down in the series, you know? And especially in some of the short series that we lose Game 1 and then it really seems like there's so much pressure on you for Game 2, and to get a win and to be able to go out and pitch so many of those games, especially early in my career to be able to get wins in those games. I guess those, when I look back, helped us get on to the next level or to the next series and be able to win a couple of championships in some of those years. So those have been very important also. I would say that '96, Game 5, was one that probably stands out the most to me.
Q: Andy, as a left handed pitcher and someone who has had success in the postseason, what do you see in Cliff Lee?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, I mean, you see everything that you want to see in a starting pitcher to be successful. He throws strikes. He throws quality strikes. He gets ahead. He changes speeds. And, you know, I think what is separating him from any other pitcher right now is really his cutter, how late it is. I think when you maybe people talk about him, whatever, he doesn't have dominating stuff. People will say whatever. That cutter has to be pretty dominating. It has to be moving extremely well for guys to have such a hard time handling it. I think at this stage right now that's what's separating him from everyone else is to be able to cut that ball like he's doing to both sides of the plate. It has to be moving extremely late for guys not to be able to get their barrel on it the way they're not doing.
Q: Andy, you spoke a minute ago about maybe feeling a little bit more I don't know if pressure, but that the games where you guys are down in the series and you pitch, those stand out. How does it compare when you guys are tied in a series? Is there less pressure? Is it different? How does that compare to pitching in a game when you're already down?
ANDY PETTITTE: I mean, at this stage in my career, really, and again I'm not trying to downplay the importance, there's really not a whole lot that's going to bother me as far as if we're down two, up two. All the games are so important. I mean, we were up two in the series against Minnesota last year in the Division Series, and I felt like Game 3 was extremely -- you don't want to give anybody any momentum. So I put as much emphasis on going ahead and hopefully wrapping that game up and trying to get locked in as I would if it was a Game 5 of the Division Series. It's an important game. It's extremely important. We have home field advantage right now. We're back home. So you want to win. You want to get off on a good foot that first game here at home. It's an important game for us. These guys won the last one. We want to get that momentum going back on our side and try to keep it rolling over here on our side in the right direction. That's for sure.
Q: Andy, are you almost happy that Lee is getting all this attention? I don't want to say you're flying under the radar. It seems like most of the attention is focused on him. Are you almost happy about that?
ANDY PETTITTE: Really, it doesn't matter. Whatever. I'm pitching tomorrow night. I'm pitching for the New York Yankees. So I'm happy about that. I feel like there's not a whole lot of attention that I get anyways. It's been like that kind of my whole career. I guess I can say I'm used to that. It's always maybe the other guy that's going to get that. That's totally fine with me. I'm not a guy who likes a lot of attention. I'm kind of uncomfortable with a whole lot of attention. I want to go out and do my job. Give us a chance to win that ballgame. I've been blessed and fortunate enough to be able to play in this organization with a lot of great teammates that have been able to help me do some of the stuff I've been able to do in my career. That's kind of the way I look at it.
Q: Andy, the lineup, they have speed, they have a lot of right handed bats, they have power. What are the challenges they pose to you specifically?
ANDY PETTITTE: They do. They have a really good lineup. They have a tough lineup. But it's the same old story like I've said. I've said it in Minnesota. It's just really important to keep the guys at the top of that lineup off the bases just in case you run into some trouble with the meat of their lineup. It's important to keep these guys in the ballpark because they do have some power in their lineup. So those are just some of the problems that they present. But they've got depth up and down their lineup. They have some strong hitters down at the bottom of their lineup that can give you trouble. But, again, it's no different than any other game. You just there's more attention paid to it. I'll pay as much attention to the number 9 hole hitter as I will the lead off hitter or the 4 hole hitter. Just because everything is so magnified in these games. That's just going to be the key for me, is going to be able to go out there and hopefully get my location where I want it to be, to be able to change speeds like I want to. Like I said in my start against Minnesota, if I don't do that, I won't be successful. If I do do that I think I will be successful. That's kind of the keys to being able to get a good start tomorrow.
Q: Andy, they're really aggressive on the base paths. How do you slow down and stop them from running, particularly with you having such a great pick off move?
ANDY PETTITTE: They are. We'll mix up some stuff. I'll obviously vary my delivery times and mix in some slide steps and stuff like that. Hopefully you can take advantage of some of that aggressiveness also. We're not handicapped out there as far as when we're out there and I have the ball in my hand. Hopefully we can get those guys being aggressive out there and do some stuff ourselves to maybe take advantage of that. It's all as far as that goes, it's up to me to make sure that I'm quick to home when I need to be quick, and don't let those guys run too much. If they do, give Jorge a chance to throw them out.
Q: Andy, you mentioned that your success tomorrow will be predicated on location and if you can find your release point and that sort of thing. You said the same thing before your start in Minnesota and pitched very well. Do you feel you found anything in that start that will make it easier to find it again tomorrow, or does the last start have no influence on tomorrow?
ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, you know, unfortunately that last start I don't think will have any impact on tomorrow, really. It's been 11 days, I believe. It will be my 11th day. So, again for me, that's a little bit of length. So you are kind of concerned about that. But, again, going in I think I told you all, going into my Minnesota start, I never probably felt so unprepared for a playoff start as I did in that one. And I got it I got my stuff together. So I'm just hoping with the playoffs, the intensity of it, the atmosphere of it and just hoping for that good old feeling to click again, that I'm able to get everything where I want it to be. So to answer your question, I don't think the Minnesota start is going to literally be any carry over. I hope I feel like I do in the Minnesota start, but having that much time off, you really hope that you go out there and you find your rhythm early in the game and can hold it.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
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