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Oct. 13 Joe Girardi postgame interview

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Q. Joe, do you have an update on Derek?  What exactly happened?

JOE GIRARDI:  His ankle fractured, so he's out.  He's out.  They talked about a three‑month recovery period.  Won't jeopardize his career, but he will not be playing anymore for us this year.

Q.  It won't jeopardize his career?

JOE GIRARDI:  No.

Q.  Joe, had that been something he had been dealing with and got worse?

JOE GIRARDI:  No, it is a totally different place.  I know that foot is extremely beat up, but it is a different place.

Q.  Joe, what was his state of mind when you talked to him?

JOE GIRARDI:  I mean, Jeet has always been as tough as a player as I've ever been around.  And you know that's what he showed, was toughness.  I mean, even when I went to the field and I was going to carry him in, and he said "No, do not carry me."  That is the kind of guy he is.  He is going to play through injuries and everything.  And you can see the disappointment in his face.  Everyone in this room knows who he is.

Q.  Joe, when you see him not get up, you think it is about as bad as it can be?

JOE GIRARDI:  Yeah, it is kind of a flashback to when Mo didn't get up.  And it brought me back there.  Oh, boy, if he is not getting up, something's wrong.  We have seen what he played through in the last month and a half, and the pain he has been in and how he found a way to get it.  So it brought back a flashback for me.

Q.  How do you regroup from this?

JOE GIRARDI:  Just like Mo said, we have to move on.  We have to find a way to get it done.  I think some people left us for dead when Mo went down, and here we are in the ALCS.  And Jeet is going to tell us "let's go."  That's what he's going to tell us.

I'm sad for him because I know how much he loves to play and play in these type of situations, but he would tell us "let's go."

Q.  Joe, I wonder if you could put into any kind of words the emotional swing in 90 minutes from Ibañez's homer to what you are feeling now.  I assume you thought you were going to win the game at that point?

JOE GIRARDI:  It's pretty emotional.  There is disappointment that we didn't win the game.  There is disappointment that our captain and our leader went down for the rest of the year.  But we've been through some disappointing times before this year, and here we are, we've only played one game and we have an opportunity to do something great.  And we have to find a way to get it done, just like we have all year long.

Q.  Joe, you have come in here 100 times in the last couple of years and joked when he had a nick or scrape, and you always laugh it off and he seems to laugh it off.  Was it especially poignant the moment you realized it was not going to be laughed off, it was for real?

JOE GIRARDI:  I knew I wasn't going to hear those words from him.  You know, there's some times where you see him limping pretty bad and I will ask him, "are you okay?"  And he says, "I'm great, let's go."  That's exactly what he says to me.  He doesn't say ‑‑ never tells me what is bothering him, ever.  And I can't tell you how much I appreciate his toughness and his grit.  It's, to me, a great example for everyone.  And I am not just talking about athletes, I am just talking about everyone that goes through struggles in life or goes through pain in life.  This guy really knows how to handle it.  And it's disappointing that we're not going to have him, but as I said, I know he would say, "Let's go, I'm great."

Q.  Joe, how did you communicate to the team the news?

JOE GIRARDI:  I haven't yet.

Q.  What are your options in your mind going forward?

JOE GIRARDI:  We'll activate Nuñez.  That's our option.  He'll be on the roster tomorrow and Jeet will be there with us as well, just not on the field.

Q.  Joe, did Derek have a chance to explain to you what happened?  One moment he is going to the left for a ground ball, like he has done a million times, and the next time he fractured the ankle.

JOE GIRARDI:  I didn't even ask him.  I mean, the important thing is not how it happened, the important thing is that it did happen.  And that's what we have to deal with.  I don't know if his spike caught or what happened.

Q.  Where is he now?

JOE GIRARDI:  He is here.

Q.  Surgery planned or anything?  What is next?

JOE GIRARDI:  My guess is they will do some more tests.  Usually an x‑ray is not the only test they do when they have something like this.  But they saw a crack.  And it's up in his ankle.  It's got to be his left ankle, his left ankle.  So the best way to explain it is I will just show you, it is like right up here(pointing to ankle).

So they said it is a three‑month period and they didn't say anything about surgery.  Just said it would take some time to heal.

Q.  What you just said to us, will you deliver that message to your team?  They have been resilient all year, losing Derek in this game, they can do something special.

JOE GIRARDI:  We'll take this one day at a time.  You know, I'm not sure how we'll deliver it, how we'll talk about it.  When we went through it with Mo in Kansas City, Mo spoke to the team and told us to get it done.  So we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Q.  Joe, two questions:  First of all, is Alex at all an alternative at shortstop for you?

JOE GIRARDI:  No, I wouldn't do that.  It's just been too long.

Q.  And the other one:  I understand you feel you have to move on, how much do you think it compromises your chance from here?

JOE GIRARDI:  I think anyone would admit that you have a better chance with Derek Jeter in the lineup, but sometimes one man's injury is some man's opportunity.  And someone has to take a step and do well with this opportunity.  A lot of players get their chances because of an injury.

I have to tell you, I don't want to be without him.  Nobody in that room wants to be without him, but we have to move on.  And I don't say that in a cold way, but trying to win a series here.

Q.  Joe, would you anticipate starting Nix?

JOE GIRARDI:  Let me sleep on it.  I always tell you, I don't make my lineup the night before.  But it is the morning though, I will say that.

Q.  And Alex, looking again, did you see anything in the first few at‑bats?

JOE GIRARDI:  The first at‑bat he had a good at‑bat.  You can look at this game, and Peralta makes an outstanding play.  They get a break.  And Fister is skinny and I am still trying to figure out how the ball hit him.  There are other pitchers I can understand that hits the guy up the middle, but not this guy.  We had some bad breaks early and a bad break at the end, too. 

 

 

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