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Oct. 10 Joe Girardi postgame interview

Q. Do you feel like the smartest man who ever managed a baseball game?

JOE GIRARDI:  No.

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Q.  And why not?

JOE GIRARDI:  Well, Raul had to come through.  Raul had some kind of day for us today, and you have to make some decisions sometimes that are tough decisions.  But I just had a gut feeling.  We talked about it in the pregame about being a great pinch‑hitter and you've got a left‑handed hitter who's a low ball hitter in a sense and you've got a low ball pitcher.  I just kind of had a gut feeling.

Q.  How early in the game are you thinking of that as a possibility specifically for Alex if you get to the ninth?  Are you playing this out by the seventh, eighth, or just when you know who's coming up ‑‑

JOE GIRARDI:  In the seventh because I lined it up that the possibility could come up.

Q.  Could you just go through the mechanisms?  You're taking out one of the greatest players of all time.

JOE GIRARDI:  Well, I just went to him and I said you're scuffling a little bit right now, we have got a low ball hitter and we've got a shorter porch in right field, then left field obviously ‑‑ Raul has been a good pinch‑hitter for us, and I'm just going to take a shot.

Q.  And what did he say?

JOE GIRARDI:  He said ‑‑ you know, I told you before he's a team player, and he said just do what you've got to do basically.

Q.  In the pregame Buck Showalter had likened Ibañez to Darryl Strawberry.  Did you think he might pitch around him in either of those spots?

JOE GIRARDI:  No, because you don't want to put the tying run on base and then you don't want to put the winning run on base.  That's a tough position to put your pitcher in.

Q.  You've seen plenty in your time in a Yankee uniform.  What Raul has done in the last month, does anything come to mind as close to what he's done?

JOE GIRARDI:  You know, I think about ‑‑ his have been game winners or game‑tiers.  But there's a one‑month period I think about a player that wasn't an everyday player that had a huge impact, and that was Shane Spencer in 1996, grand slams, and he's doing it all.  But I don't recall the games being these type of games where we were down two, we were down one, tied it up and then put us ahead.  I mean, it's remarkable.

Q.  Two things:  The gut feeling, the low ball hitter, all that, does any part of you say to yourself I can't believe I'm pinch‑hitting for Alex in this spot?

JOE GIRARDI:  Yeah, of course you do.  And you know you're going to be asked a lot of questions if it doesn't work.  As I said, Raul came up with some clutch hits, and he's been doing it all year for us.

Q.  And Derek with the foot?

JOE GIRARDI:  It's not the same injury, he had a bone bruise on the top.  He hit a ball off his foot, I believe it was the second or third pitch of the game, or the second at‑bat maybe.  It's a bone bruise, and it's day‑to‑day, and we'll see how he feels tomorrow.  Hopefully we can get him back in there.

Q.  Do you think your relationship with Alex will change after today because of this?

JOE GIRARDI:  No, I don't.  I don't.  I mean, it's a tough move.  Sometimes you've got to do what your gut tells you, and my gut told me to make the move.  I still have the utmost respect for Al and I still think he's a great player, he's just going through a little tough time right now.

Q.  I know you said it was a gut feeling, but you saw six years ago what happened when Joe batted Alex eighth in a playoff series and the storm that created.  How did you not let the possible consequences shape your decision making in the ninth there?

JOE GIRARDI:  I just felt I had to do what was in my gut, what my stomach was telling me and what I thought was the best thing to do.  As a manager, sometimes you manage different in these type of games than you would necessarily during the course of the season because you have a long time to deal with it.  But today I just felt like this is what my heart is telling me to do, and I'm going to do it.

Q.  Will Alex be hitting third tomorrow?

JOE GIRARDI:  Let's just get ‑‑ I don't even know who we're facing tomorrow.

Q.  Saunders.

JOE GIRARDI:  Saunders, so let's just see what I've got tomorrow.

Q.  Ibañez will not be in the starting lineup?

JOE GIRARDI:  Let's just see what I put up tomorrow.  Let me sleep on this one.

Q.  How bad was it for you to have to take Jeter out of the game?

JOE GIRARDI:  That's not easy, either, but you could see that he was limping pretty good.  Derek is one of the toughest players I've ever been around, and you know what he told me:  I'm great.  That's what he always tells me.  I was talking to Stevie, our trainer, and I said, he's swinging the bat good, let's just get his last at‑bat and then I'll take him out.  Let's just get through that at‑bat.

You know, he understood.  He never wants to come out.  He could have two legs that were broken and wouldn't want to come out of the game.  I mean, that's the bottom line.  But I just said, let me get him through this at‑bat.

Q.  You were obviously going to run for him if he got on?

JOE GIRARDI:  Yeah.

Q.  Realistically, what are the chances he can play tomorrow the way you saw him tonight?

JOE GIRARDI:  Well, we've seen what he's been able to do in his career and how he's been able to come back.  Just got to keep our fingers crossed.

Q.  When you ask Derek tomorrow he's going to say ‑‑

JOE GIRARDI:  I'm great.

Q.  So when you look at it and you have a 2‑1 advantage does that factor into what you do with him?

JOE GIRARDI:  No, I'll just have to make a decision tomorrow on what I try to do with him.  You know, is he a DH maybe for me tomorrow?  Does his foot feel good enough to play shortstop, does his foot feel good enough to play at all?  I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Q.  Baltimore won 16 straight extra inning games before tonight.  What might it be like to come back from that on the other side?

JOE GIRARDI:  They've been resilient all year.  I mean, I wouldn't expect them to be any different.  They played us tough all year, they played us ‑‑ what are we now, we've played 21 games and there's one game between us?  So I would expect them to come back excited to play.

Q.  I know he kind of gets lost in the shuffle of the two home runs.  What did you think of Kuroda tonight?

JOE GIRARDI:  He was outstanding, and the extra rest helped him.  The one slider that was up to Machado, really that was the only mistake he made all night.  That's pretty amazing seeing that he threw over 100 pitches.

Q.  What are your memories of the instant when Ibañez hits the game‑tying home run and then when he wins the game?

JOE GIRARDI:  My memories are excitement, and okay, and I start thinking about, okay, what am I doing for the 10th, for a pitcher.  There's a lot of emotions that go through your mind, but really you start thinking ahead; if the game stays tied, what do you do?  For me it's quick, turn the page.  I'm running Soriano back out there for the 10th, and then let's see where we're at.

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