HOUSTON — Mark Teixeira said he never had any problems playing for Joe Girardi in his time with the Yankees.
But the first baseman, who played under Girardi from 2009 until his retirement after last season, said he understood the decision by the Yankees — primarily general manager Brian Cashman and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner — to go in another direction.
“We know Joe’s a tight guy, we know he’s intense, and it just seemed to me that Cash wanted to go with a manager that would be a little better communicator with the new young talent,” Teixeira, now an ESPN baseball analyst, said in an interview on the field at Minute Maid Park on Thursday between Games 2 and 3 of the World Series. “Because this team is going to win a World Series. The current Yankees team is so talented, and I think you’re probably looking for a manager that can just be a little bit better communicator, maybe not wear his emotions on his sleeve every day.”
Teixeira said Girardi “managed every game like it was Game 7 of the World Series,” which he personally didn’t mind.
“He’s a very good manager and people respect him, but over the long season, that can get tough,” Teixeira said.
He said that from his perspective, it wasn’t a matter of players liking or disliking Girardi.
“That’s not what this is about. You don’t need a manager that the players like, you need a manager that the players understand why things are being done a certain way,” Teixeira said. “In today’s day and age, this is new-school baseball.”
He then hit on the crux of part of what started coming out in dribs and drabs from team sources Thursday.
“Old-school baseball, with the manager running the clubhouse and the GM never being in the clubhouse, that’s over,” Teixeira said. “When I first came up, GMs weren’t in the clubhouse, never. Now the GM and the front office runs the team and the manager needs to be the communicator with the team: ‘This is why we’re running the team this way.’ We spend a lot of time and effort in sabermetrics, and when I tell you you’re not playing, I need to be able to explain to you and have a good enough relationship with you to say, ‘Hey, this is why you’re not playing or this is why I pulled you after five innings. It’s not personal, but this is what the numbers tell us.’ It is information-driven and that’s new-school baseball, and we’re all waking up to that fact.”
Hinch: Bar fight never happened
Astros manager A.J. Hinch used the word “fabrication’’ in response to a TMZ report on Thursday that said he got into an altercation in the bar of the team hotel after Game 1 of the World Series.
“There was no altercation,” Hinch said Thursday. “And it’s a shame that I’m asked — not from you, I know you’re doing your job — but it’s a shame I get asked about some nonsense and fabrications and non-stories and I have to respond to it on a national stage.”