NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi didn't realize the number was that big. He didn't realize that he was already coming up on 1,000 games managing the New York Yankees.
"It shocked me," Girardi said Friday, before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays in which Girardi's managerial clock would tick to the 1,000 mark. "[It means] that I'm fortunate and blessed, that I've been able to do what I love to do in a place I love to be for a long time."
It doesn't seem like that long yet, but this is already Girardi's seventh season as Yankee manager.
He's just the sixth Yankee manager to get to 1,000 games. Four of the other five made it to the Hall of Fame.
Girardi's record over his first 999 games: 579-420. He also managed one year with the then Florida Marlins, going 78-84 and being named National League Manager of the Year. Girardi has never won Manager of the Year honors with the Yankees, finishing as high as third (2009) in the voting.
Here's Girardi's 1,000th (regular season) Yankee lineup, as the Yankees face left-hander David Price:
Derek Jeter SS
Brian McCann DH
Vidal Nuno LHP
NOTES: Price has actually had more success this season against right-handed hitters than against left-handers, but Girardi decided to play as many righties as possible. That meant sitting Brett Gardner, with Soriano playing left and Murphy catching, with McCann moving to DH. McCann was 2 for 3 with a home run against Price in a game at Tampa Bay last month. ... Murphy has caught Nuno in each of his three major-league starts this season. ... Infielder Brendan Ryan, still on the disabled list recovering from a cervical spine nerve injury, is scheduled to play for Double-A Trenton on Friday night. Ryan played two games at shortstop for Class A Tampa, going 3 for 8. ... Girardi said he expects Nuno would be able to throw as many as 85-90 pitches Friday. He threw a season-high 72 in his last start. ... Girardi suggested he would hesitate to move Adam Warren out of the bullpen, even if the Yankees need another starting pitcher. "I look at him as our seventh-inning guy, and also as a guy who I could use for more than three outs," Girardi said. "He's become very important to our bullpen."