Question: What do you know in your 10th year that you didn’t know in year one?
Girardi: “That I’d get to year 10 [laughs]. I think you learn all the time in this game. I think you learn about personalities, you learn about players, you learn about yourself. My approach really hasn’t changed a lot in things I’ve dealt with, but you go through situations that help you the next situation that comes up. I think about the first time I had to deal with a player that was kind of going down the wrong side, it was really difficult.’’
Q: Is that a reference to Jorge Posada in 2011? (The catcher was dropped to ninth in the batting order in a game May 14 against Boston and subsequently asked out of the lineup.)
Girardi: “That was hard. I think you learn from that. Andy [Pettitte] and Mo [Rivera] were probably the easiest in a sense, but it’s something you have to deal with. In this game, when you start at 23, 24 years old, you think you’re going to play forever. I thought I was going to play forever.’’
Q: What did you learn from the Jorge experience?
Girardi: “You really learn the sense of pride that people have in doing their job, and Jorge had a tremendous sense of pride in what he was doing and how bad he wanted it. I know for Jorgie, physically he just couldn’t do what he did when he was 25. I’m not saying he couldn’t perform at a level on a certain day, but he just couldn’t catch as many days and you had to map things out . . . Jorgie wanted to play every day, that’s just who he was, but I knew that would wear him down and hurt him, and you couldn’t afford to do that.’’
Q: How challenging is the balancing act you have to strike in a situation like the one earlier in camp with Dellin Betances and Randy Levine?
Girardi: “On one side is the club president, on the other a player you have to see every day?
“There’s a balance, but the bottom line is my job is to get the best out of the players. And I’m going to be judged on wins and losses so I have to do my job, so I’m going to do my job and I don’t worry about getting fired. Never have, never will. I’m going to do what I believe is right.
Q: But you managed to handle it publicly without being critical of either guy.
Girardi: “ . . . I think you can do that. In subtle ways you can take care of both sides.’’
Q: You rarely if ever send messages to players through the media the way some coaches/managers do. Why not?
Girardi: “I’ve never forgotten how hard it is to play this game . . . I think most times players know when they screw up, so I don’t need to publicly berate them, I don’t need to get on them. Because they know. I can see it in their face. So we talk about it, talk about what they were thinking, and that’s it.’’