Saturday, February 15, 2014

Yankees manager Joe Girardi held his State of the Girardi address yesterday in Tampa. After having his flight delayed in New York on Thursday, Girardi got off the plan in Tampa on Friday and went straight to the podium to speak with reporters for about 20 minutes.

Among the main topics of discussion were his plans and thoughts on Derek Jeter, who announced Wednesday that this will be his final season.

Will you resist the pressure to play Jeter more because it's his last year?

"I've got to do what's best for our team and best for him, is the bottom line. As I've said, he's going to play as much as he's capable of playing. That's the bottom line for me. We want him out there, we want him out there every day. I know it won't be every day, but I want to run him out there most of the time. I've just got to do what is best. I kind of had to deal with it with Mo a little bit, I had to deal with it with Andy a little bit. I'll just do what's best for our club."

Translation: He's going to treat Jeter the same way he treated Mariano Rivera last season. Fans at every ballpark that the Yankees traveled wanted nothing more than to see him pitch, but that didn't mean Girardi was going to pitch him if he wasn't needed. This could mean pulling him from a game if they take a big lead, or get down by a certain amount of runs to risk him getting hurt playing in innings that don't really matter.

Do you know how much you can play Jeter?

"I think you'll have a pretty good idea. At no point in Spring Training will I run him out five or six days in a row, but I think that you'll be able to tell running him out there two and three days in a row how he's responding and how he's bouncing back. It'll give you a pretty good inkling."

Translation: He's certainly not going to be out there for all 162 games. Assuming he can stay healthy throughout the season, 130 games would be great numbers for Jeter and the Yankees to shoot for. This means he probably won't play many day games after night games, and he'll likely be getting a day off every five or six games, especially during the summer.

Will Jeter hit second?

"That would be the ideal thing, if you could break up your left-handers, but we'll just have to see. We'll play with lineups during spring training."

Translation: Most likely. Jacoby Ellsbury will almost certainly be the leadoff hitter, and slotting Jeter behind him would keep the opposing team from creating pitcher-friendly matchups.

Yankees links worth sharing:

* For some strange reason, the Yankees still don't have any interest in signing Stephen Drew, reports Andrew Marchand of

* One more from ESPN New York: CC Sabathia has lost almost 40 pounds in the last two years, and to rip him for it puts shame on you.

* Brian McCann is well-known for his temper outbursts in the past couple of years with the Braves, and he has a warming for you: “You scream, I’ll scream back.”

* Girardi is Yankees’ bridge from old to new era, writes Joel Sherman of the NY Post.

* With so many players from last year's roster gone and playing with new teams in 2014, Girardi is having to manage through a pretty big transition phase, says's Bryan Hoch.

Today's warm-up song: "The Pretender" by the Foo Fighters. This is a great song that always gets me pumped up, and is the perfect thing to get you ready for the first pitchers and catchers workout today.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter (below).


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