Daily News- Joe Girardi will be in the dugout for Thursday night’s Game 4 despite the death of his father, Jerry, earlier in the day. Jerry Girardi had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, living in an assisted-care facility in East Peoria, Ill., where Girardi was raised. He was 81. Girardi would visit his father a couple times each baseball season, usually taking advantage of an off-day surrounding a Yankees series in Chicago or the Midwest. General manager Brian Cashman, whose father passed away on September 22, confirmed that Girardi would be in the dugout for Thursday night’s Game 4 against the Orioles.
There are certain things that put the importance of sports into perspective and 99.9% of the time it’s the death of someone related to the game. When you consider all the pressure on Girardi the last couple days with the A Rod situation, the lineup, and just managing through the playoffs in general, something like this kinda dilutes all the hoopla behind the criticism and second guessing.
As if this playoff run for the last month that’s continued into the last week needed any more emotion behind it. All the ups and downs the Yankees have gone through this year… As tragic as this is, it’s almost fitting that something like this would happen less than 24 hours after Joe makes one of the biggest and now respected moves of his career. Highs and lows have defined this entire season for the Yankees, so why wouldn’t the trend follow the team into the playoffs? No doubt in my mind the Yankees will rally around their leader tonight in game 4 as the team continue this incredibly dramatic postseason run. Two pivotal 9th inning home runs and a death in the Yankee family in the span of 5 days; this is starting to have the feel of one of the special Octobers where, not to steal the Giants’ motto, but everyone is “all in.”
UPDATE: Girardi’s dad actually died Saturday.
Wow. Initial reports were wrong and Joe’s dad actually passed away last Saturday. Incredible professionalism by Joe demonstrated by the fact that A. no one even knew and B. he didn’t let it affect his responsibilities as a manager. Newfound respect for 28.