ATLANTA - A moment of silence was held before Sunday's game and flags flew at half-staff in honor of the man who died after falling from Turner Field's upper level Saturday night.
"Extremely sad," Joe Girardi said before the game. "It's something you don't ever expect to happen at a game. Our guys are still startled by it."
The 60-year-old man, identified Sunday by the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office as Gregory K. Murrey of Alpharetta, Georgia, fell during the top of the seventh inning Saturday night. Witnesses said he was yelling at Alex Rodriguez, on his way to the plate to pinch hit, just before falling.
Murrey landed a section over from where about 45 family members of various Yankees players were seated. Said Girardi, "[Some] players saw it, there were a lot of families, our families, in that section, so I know some of our guys had to deal with that when they got home. It's very, very sad."
A-Rod used the same word. "Sad, upsetting for sure," he said. "My prayers go out to his family."
Girardi indicated he would not have objected had the decision been made to stop the game, though it wasn't until after 11 p.m. -- well after the game was over -- that the longtime Braves season-ticket holder was pronounced dead at the hospital. "Yeah, I think you have to think about it," Girardi said of stopping the game. "I know some of our guys said it was hard to concentrate."
Mark Teixeira, hobbled since Aug. 17 with a severe bone bruise in his right shin area, showed up before the game with some moderate improvement. "He feels a little better, that's a good sign," Girardi said. "Do I think he's a player [Monday night]? No, I don't. But he does feel better."
Lefthanded-hitting rookie Greg Bird has filled in well for Teixeira, but with the Red Sox throwing two lefties this week, Girardi left open the possibility of Rodriguez getting a start at first. A-Rod has started three games in the field this season, one at first base, and none since April 27.