Went to the event hosted by WFAN at the Hard Rock in Times Square yesterday. The event entailed breakfast, an interview with Girardi hosted by FAN’s Mike Francesa, and a Q&A with the fans in the audience. I left there with a few notable impressions.
First, Girardi has clearly become more at ease and more relaxed in dealing with the media and the public in these kinds of events. He was quick to add a joke here and there and generally came across as very comfortable in his own skin, as opposed to the evasive, more uptight and occasionally frustrated Joe we saw last year. When asked about Cody Ransom, he went over his strengths and weaknesses as a player, then quipped “I think eventually he will be the best player in the game of Baseball”.
He was actually even more revealing than I expected in a few areas. I participated in the Q&A, and asked him “Do you think the game has changed in recent years, and if so, how?” His answer went right to the heart of the matter immediately, saying “Well the biggest change in the game is that they started testing” obviously referring to steroids. He went on to add that speed and defense are now far bigger elements in how the game is played today. Not anything we didn’t already know, but much more forthright and direct than we’re used to seeing him.
He said some other things that Yankee fans might find interesting. When asked about Austin Jackson, he was complentary of him as a player and said “He’s someone you could see on the team THIS year”. That answer even surprised Francesa, and is a bit of a departure from the usual Yankee line, where most seem to expect him to spend the full season in AAA. It could also signal some doubts the Yanks have about their two current Centerfielders. Again, nothing we don’t know already, but interesting hearing it from Joe.
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