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04/20/08 2:00 PM ET

Facing Orioles, Girardi has no regrets

Pursued by Baltimore, Yankees manager defends decision

BALTIMORE -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who turned down an offer to manage the Baltimore Orioles last summer, got a glimpse this weekend of what might have been.

After dismissing then-manager Sam Perlozzo on June 18 following a 29-40 start and replacing him with Dave Trembley on an interim basis, the Orioles met with Girardi to see if the ex-Florida Marlins skipper was interested in the opening.

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, who was general manager of the Chicago Cubs when Girardi played there from 2000-02, offered the Baltimore job to Girardi. But Girardi passed on the opportunity, citing a desire to spend more time with his family, specifically his father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease 12 years ago.

"That was a decision based on my father," said Girardi. "For me, that was the right thing."

The Orioles, who rewarded Trembley by removing the interim tag on Aug. 22, have surprised prognosticators who predicted a 100-loss season during a rebuilding year and began play on Sunday with an 11-7 record. Baltimore entered Sunday in second place in the American League East, one-half game behind the division-leading Red Sox.

"They're playing good fundamental baseball," Girardi said. "Their pitchers are throwing strikes, they're getting timely hits with runners in scoring position."

Girardi will get to spend some time on Monday with his father. He will drive 2 1/2 hours from Chicago, where the Yankees will open a three-game series on Tuesday night, to the family home near Peoria, Ill.

Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.