Girardi speaks about his father's passing

10/11/2012 9:34 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Jerry Girardi, father of Yankees manager Joe Girardi, passed away in Metamora, Ill., on Saturday, succumbing to Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 81.

“Saturday, when we were on the bus to the train station, about noon I got the call that my father had passed,” Girardi told the media on Thursday afternoon. “I had only told a couple people, so for the most part, no one knew, because I didn’t want…I didn’t want the team to have to deal with it. That’s a strong group in (the clubhouse), and I’m glad I have them behind me.”

The Yankees skipper said that he only told “a couple people that I felt I could confide in,” because he didn’t want word to get out. That news of his father’s passing did circulate through the media on Thursday, and Joe said despite his heavy heart, he never thought twice about not accompanying his team to Baltimore last weekend.

“The other day I was telling stories about my mom and my dad, and the one thing that both of them – besides many other things that they taught me – was always to finish the job at hand,” Girardi said. “So my thought process was my dad would want me to do everything that we could to go win a World Series.”

Girardi said that he was holding up well, saying that word getting out today made it a little more difficult – but that won’t affect his managerial mind tonight, because he knows that for the remainder of the postseason, he’ll have a very important audience of two.

“You know, when I think about it, it’s the first time in over 28 years that my mom and dad have seen a game together again,” he said, “so they’ll be watching, and they’ll be mad if I’m not doing my job; I know that.”

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