It is ancient history now, but Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that the team conceded the AL East in 2010. Does Joe Girardi agree with his boss?
"I did not concede the division," Girardi said.
Girardi said he tried to win every game, losing the point that no one said he didn't try to win, but that there were instances where he used Chad Gaudin instead of Mariano Rivera and that, at the end of the year, the Yankees turned to Dustin Moseley in Game 162 when they were in a tie for first place. They were satisfied with the wild card, which was the right call.
"We conceded the division two years ago because of the previous setup," Cashman said the other day.
Girardi is arguing as if he didn't do the right thing. With the setup then, the right move was to play for the postseason and rest your players so they were most prepared for October.
Girardi did admit with the new wild-card system, he would not have started Moseley in that last game. Still, he clearly didn't like his GM's description.
"What bothers me with that is when it comes out that way, it's almost like we weren't trying to win games," said Girardi, sounding more and more annoyed. "Now, when have you ever known me not to try to win a game? You saw how I managed against Tampa, bringing in all the left-handers to face the left-handers, the right-handers to face the right-handers. We had people hurt, and we had to get them healthy. Now, if it's in the month of May and a guy has to sit down for a week because he's hurt, no one says you're taking your foot off the gas.
"But because it's in the month of September, it was perceived that we weren't trying to win. That's not the case. I was trying to win every game. I wanted home-field advantage. I wanted to win our division. But I had a guy with a broken toe, a guy with I think Swish, I'm not sure, what it his knee two years ago? And his elbow last year? I believe that's what it was. Last year was his elbow, so I had to deal with that.
"I wasn't taking my foot off the gas. It was just the sense that we were banged up and we were getting them healthy, like we would in May, June, July or August. But when it's in the month of September, I think it's perceived a little bit differently."
This year, it will be different, for sure.
We will be writing more about this soon.