Yankees Notebook: Girardi remains calm, Rivera waits on surgery

Joe Girardi.

If you are expecting manager Joe Girardi to flip over a food table, fling a bat or do anything in a demonstrative way to express his frustration, it isn’t going to happen.

Girardi has always displayed an even-keeled and optimistic approach. When he was addressing the Yankees current hitting struggles, that’s exactly how he handled the topic.

“You might have a few more conversations with players when they’re struggling,” he said. “I’m not a guy that’s going to turn over a table. I’m not a guy who’s going to jump on a table when we win either and do a dance.

“That’s not who I am. I’ve found managers that have that pretty constant personality are the ones that get the most out of their players.”

That also seems to be the tactic taken by the ownership group of Hal Steinbrenner, which is a change from when George Steinbrenner would publicly admonish the team and struggling players.

The most communication Girardi has had from ownership were a few text messages from Felix Lopez, the Yankees’ executive vice president, that included some congratulations about Andy Pettitte’s first win since his return.

No surgery yet for Mariano

The crutches were gone, but the limp was still there for Mariano Rivera, who is awaiting surgery on his torn ACL.

It
has been nearly three weeks since Rivera suffered the injury shagging
fly balls in batting practice. He has yet to have the procedure because
the blood clot still exists.

Rivera is working on getting the
knee stronger through various motion exercises, while taking blood-thinning medication. Although it might seem frustrating not to have to
procedure yet, Rivera does not see it that way and remained upbeat.

“It’s not frustrating, because you can’t do anything about it,” Rivera said.

Rivera’s demeanor also remained upbeat about the team, which has dropped 10-of-18 since losing him.

“We
don’t have to feel sorry for ourselves,” Rivera said. “We have to
continue to play hard and we’ll do it. I have seen it before, many
times, so I don’t worry about it. As long as our mentality is good,
everything will pass.”

Francouer relates to Yankee struggles

Believe it not, the Royals can relate to what the Yankees are going through right now. They began this year with 10 straight home losses, with seven coming by two runs or fewer.

Kansas City struggled in virtually all facets during those home losses. They lost two home games in which they scored a combined 16 runs and had seven other defeats when they scored three runs or fewer.

“I read some stuff that Jeter was saying, ‘I’m saying the same thing every night,” Royals outfielder Jeff Francouer said. “I know we felt like that when we were 0-10 at home.”

Francouer also conceded it was bizarre to see the Red Sox and Yankees at the bottom of the standings, but seeing teams with lower payroll gives him hope that the Royals’ marketing slogan of “Our Time” will eventually come true.

“We got a lot of arms and a lot of talent,” he said. “Guys are getting an opportunity to show what they can do on the big league level. So you do play teams with a lot of experience and a lot of money, but I think more important you’re seeing baseball. You look at the standings in the NL East, the AL East — all these teams are right around each other. It’s starting to even out I think, the playing field.

Francouer, who was popular with the media when he spent parts of 2009 and 2010 with the Mets, says he keeps in touch with several ex-teammates, including David Wright, whom he hopes the team locks up to a long-term contract.

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


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