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Friday November 24th, 2017 1:24PM

Girardi says he was 'a little shocked' when Yanks let him go

By The Associated Press
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Joe Girardi expected to be back for an 11th season as New York Yankees manager.

"I was a little shocked," he said of his dismissal Tuesday after attending a meeting of Major League Baseball's competition committee.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced his decision Oct. 26, and then explained last week he made the move because of "ability to fully engage, communicate, connect with the playing personnel."

Girardi said he wasn't disappointed about the statements.

"I'm one that (is) pretty aware of what happens and what goes on inside a clubhouse ... so I don't ever worry about that," he said.

"You know, it's life," he added. "You understand that you have to move on. I invested a lot of time in there and have a lot of great memories there. But this is part of life. When you take a job as a manager, you know that this is a possibility, and you have to deal with this. You also get to deal with the other side, the excitement of being hired."

His 910-710 regular-season record with the Yankees is sixth in victories managing the team, and he led New York to its 27th World Series title in 2009.

Girardi anticipates having discussions after Thanksgiving about working as a broadcaster for a national network. He will not return next year to the Yankees' YES Network, where he worked in 2007 before he was hired to manage the team.

"I think that would be kind of strange," he said.

New York has interviewed bench coach Rob Thomson and former Cleveland and Seattle manager Eric Wedge for the opening, and Cashman expects interviews to resume after the general managers' meetings this week. Girardi is aware of the search.

"It's hard not to, because if you go on a website or if you're watching TV, it flashes across the bottom," he said. "But it's not something that I'm paying close attention to."

Former Yankees captain Derek Jeter, now in charge of the Miami Marlins' baseball and business operations, was part of the competition committee meeting.

"I'm going to stay with it as long as they want me. So it's kind of what I do," Girardi said, laughing.

Also at the meetings, Cashman said Jacoby Ellsbury will start spring training as a fourth outfielder behind left fielder Brett Gardner, center fielder Aaron Hicks and right fielder Aaron Judge. Ellsbury's season was slowed by a concussion that sidelined him for a month starting in late May, and aftereffects caused a subpar performance through August.

"They were the best that we had and so I would anticipate going in that again, but that doesn't mean people can't flip scripts, either," Cashman said. "We'll have and have had people asking about our players, seeing if they can find matches to compel us to consider making any moves. So we'll see what happens. I'm not saying that specifically to Jacoby Ellsbury."

Now 34, Ellsbury is guaranteed $21,142,857 in each of the next three seasons, and the Yankees have a $21 million option for 2021 with a $5 million buyout. He has a full no-trade provision.

"If there is going to be something for consideration with Jacoby, I would make sure I would stay ahead of it and try to have — include anybody in the process on their side of it to make sure it's handled in the proper way," Cashman said. "I would walk through that process with the highest level of communication and respect."

___

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