7/26/2014 1:00 P.M. ET
Girardi reflects on trio of Hall of Fame managers
Yankees skipper learned from Torre, La Russa while playing for them
By Jake Kring-Schreifels / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- As former managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox prepare to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi took some time to reflect on the well-respected trio before Saturday's game against the Blue Jays.
"It's amazing. I think it's great how the three of them are going in together," said Girardi. "You talk about three great managers that have had a ton of success. I had a chance to play for two of them, which was really quite neat for me, to be able to pick their brains as much as I did, so I feel really fortunate."
Girardi started his four-year stint with the Yankees under Torre in 1996 and was eventually succeeded at catcher by Jorge Posada. He then finished his career with the Cardinals, playing in just 16 games for La Russa, but gleaning as much information as he could in his short time in St. Louis.
When asked what he had learned from Torre and La Russa, Girardi pointed to the managers' different personalities and meticulous baseball intellect.
"I've always tried to keep a fairly even demeanor and I had that as a player," said Girardi. "But I saw the importance of it from Joe as a manager, how important it is to keep that even demeanor, and there are days where you're going to be happier than others and you have to be the same guy every day.
"When I looked at Tony La Russa, just the preparation that he did and watching him. He talked about ideas that had validity and the way he used the bullpen, there's a lot to learn from all these guys, and Bobby Cox as well. ... You talk to the players that have played for them, they say they learned a lot and looked up to them."
Hall of Fame coverage begins Sunday at noon ET with MLB Tonight live from Cooperstown on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com and the At Bat app, with the induction ceremony beginning at 1:30 p.m.
• Girardi said that Mark Teixeira's lat strain recovery included some stretching and running Saturday and the switch-hitting slugger will likely hit Sunday.
"I think we have a pretty good idea if he's able to do tee and toss [Sunday] what we're going to do with him [before the road trip]," said Girardi.
• Entering Saturday, the Yankees have won 17 consecutive home games against the Blue Jays, dating back to 2012, and have five straight come-from-behind victories over Toronto.
• Since getting the majority of time behind the plate with Brian McCann filling in at first base, Francisco Cervelli has hit safely in nine of his last 10 starts, hitting .400 with five runs, six doubles and three RBIs entering Saturday.
Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.