Yankees manager Joe Girardi met with the media for about a half-hour at Yankee Stadium this morning and while there was very little news to come out of his first post-ALCS news conference, there were a handful of nuggets to be reported:
-- CC Sabathia has not seen Dr. James Andrews yet about his sore left elbow, and Girardi did not furnish a date for when that consultation will take place. But he said he expected his ace to be ready for the start of spring training.
-- Girardi said Mariano Rivera "probably wants to play" in 2013, but stopped short of saying his closer, who turns 43 in November, will definitely be back next year."
"From watching how he rehabbed and everything that he was going through, picked up a baseball sooner than he was supposed to and got his hand smacked a little bit, that would tell me that Mo probably wants to play," Girardi said. "But in saying that, it's a decision that I think he'll sit down with his family, evaluate where he is maybe a little bit later in this process and how he feels and how his arm feels to feel like you think you can compete at the same level he's always competed at. But I don't think that you push a rehab like he pushed it unless you think that you possibly have some interest in coming back."
-- Girardi acknowledged that he might have to do some fence-mending with Alex Rodriguez after benching him in three of the Yankees last five postseason games, including two elimination games, but said he hadn't gotten around to doing that yet.
"That’s still on the to-do list," Girardi said. "I’m always worried about whatever move I make, how it affects the club, how it affects a player, anything. I think it's something that sure, I possibly might have to deal with more than I expected, but I possibly might may not have to deal with it at all. As we move forward, I’ll get a temperature on it, keep track of it and see how it’s going."
-- Girardi seemed more confident about the prospect of Andy Pettitte coming back in 2013. “There’s a lot of hunger and fire in him, I know that," Girardi said. "We saw how he pushed himself to get back and to be a postseason and down-the-stretch pitcher for us going out there where he had 65 pitches, which is not normally something you do at this time of the year. I still think the fire is there, but every year as you get a year older, you have to ask yourself and your family, am I ready to give up eight months of my life? That’s something that he’s going to have to ask himself.”
-- The manager said he expects Derek Jeter, who underwent surgery last week on his broken left ankle, to be ready for spring training. "I'm going to have to manager Derek to keep him from trying to do to much," Girardi said. "You know he's going to say he feels great."
-- Girardi said he expects all of his coaches to return next season, and two of them possibly better than ever: third-base coach Rob Thomson, who underwent hip surgery last week, and hitting coach Kevin Long, who had elbow surgery today.
-- Here was Girardi's overall assessment of the season: "We fell eight wins short of our goal but a lot of good things happened this year. We had a lot of injuries but you end up winning more games than anyone in the American League, so I thought we did a lot of good things. But I think we’re all disappointed we didn’t accomplish what we wanted."