10/05/05 11:04 PM ET
Notes: Girardi, Marlins to talk
Yankees bench coach to interview for Florida managerial job
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
"They're young, they have a young pitching staff, they're very talented in the Minor Leagues and they have some really good players over there," Girardi said of the Marlins. "We'll see what happens."
Girardi, who will turn 41 next week, is completing his first season as Joe Torre's bench coach. After playing 15 seasons behind the plate, Girardi, who won three World Series titles with the Yankees from 1996-99, spent the 2004 season as a broadcaster for the YES Network before joining Torre's staff last winter.
"You learn how to prepare, and a lot of it is just dealing with players," he said, regarding his experience on the bench. "You can do all the preparation, but sometimes, you have to figure out how to get the most out of players. I've been very fortunate to play four years under Joe and then to sit next to him for a year."
Having retired just two years ago, Girardi also feels that his familiarity with the current players in the game is an asset. Girardi finished his career by playing three years with the Cubs (2000-02) and one with the Cardinals (2003).
"I think it helps, because I know what type of players they are," he said. "I've also seen the whole league, as well as the other league, so I know what type of players you want on your team."
Girardi said that his agent, Steve Mandell, would set up an interview date to coincide with one of the Yankees' off-days.
"Hopefully, we'll have off-days every two or three days," Girardi said.
Defense first: Torre switched up his lineup for Game 2, inserting Tino Martinez at first base, shifting Jason Giambi to the designated hitter spot and starting Bernie Williams in center field.
In Game 1, Williams served as the DH while Bubba Crosby played center. But with sinkerballer Chien-Ming Wang on the mound, Torre wanted to bolster his infield defense with Martinez, who is a much better first baseman than Giambi.
"Hopefully, [Wang will be] a ground-ball pitcher [in Game 2]. That's our goal going in, which is one of the reasons we did it," Torre said of Wang. "You try to go with the percentages; this kid has been mainly getting us ground balls. There could be a fair amount of business over there."
Jorge to rest? Jorge Posada has played in every game in the postseason for the Yankees since taking over as the starting catcher in 2000, but he will not be behind the plate for Friday's Game 3, as John Flaherty will continue his role as Randy Johnson's personal catcher.
Posada could serve as the Yankees' DH, but that would leave the Yankees without a backup catcher on the bench.
"Jorge may DH, I don't know," Torre said. "We have a lot of choices at DH, so it's doubtful that he will because it ties your hands. If we feel he's the best option, we'll bite the bullet and take our chances."
Flaherty and Johnson have worked together as a battery since mid-June, and the pair has produced solid results.
"We're so used to Flaherty and Randy hooking up together and being comfortable together," Torre said. "[Posada] has no resentment toward this. He understands what's been working."
Johnson worked out in Anaheim on Wednesday before flying back to New York in preparaton for Game 3.
Nobody's perfect: When Mariano Rivera allowed a run in the ninth inning of Game 1, it was almost a shock. After all, the closer had allowed just one run in 34 outings on the road this season, and he had given up just one run in his entire AL Division Series career.
"I know one thing, we don't see guys going across the plate very often," Torre said. "He's been pretty [darn] good."
That ALDS run came in 1997, his first year as a closer, when he allowed a series-turning home run by Sandy Alomar Jr. in Game 4, as the Yanks went on to lose the decisive Game 5 to the Indians.
Rivera allowed a run in Tampa Bay on Aug. 16 this season, blowing his fourth save opportunity of the season. Other than that, Rivera was nearly untouchable on the road, saving all 26 of his other chances while allowing just 12 hits in 33 innings.
"He's got such a good mindset, and I think on the road, there's more responsibility," Torre said. "Once you give it up on the road, you can't come back and score. It seems like you have to be a little more airtight on the road than at home, though it's the same priority. At home, you have a little bit of a safety net."
New ground for Yanks: When Crosby got the start in center field on Tuesday, it marked the first time since Game 6 of the 1981 World Series that anyone other than Williams started a postseason game in center field for the Yankees.
"Bernie Williams is fine defensively; we just feel Bubba is a little bit better," Torre said. "It's not like Bernie is a liability out there. Bubba, with his younger legs, I think, covers more ground."
Williams had started 115 postseason games in a row before Tuesday. The last player to start in center before Williams? Jerry Mumphrey, who got the start against the Dodgers in the final game of the '81 Fall Classic.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.