Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 10/11/12
Joe Girardi's bold move in the ninth inning of a playoff game - pinch hitting Raul Ibanez for Alex Rodriguez - was hailed as courageous and admirable. If only we had known. Jerry Girardi, father of the Yankees manager, died Saturday after suffering from Alzheimer's for several years. His son told few people, never left his team, and managed three postseason games under intense scrutiny while coping with the loss of his father. Girardi and the team only acknowledged the news after it started to become public Thursday before Game 4 of the American League Division Series. "One of the reasons I didn't say anything, I knew talking about it would make it probably even harder," Girardi said at a poignant pregame news conference Thursday prior to Game 4. "Saturday when we were on the bus going to the train station, we were on the Henry Hudson about noon (when) I got the call that my father had passed. "I had tears in my eyes on the bus, so I put some sunglasses on. And probably what a lot of men do when they go through difficult and sad times, we try to stay busy. That's what we do. I tried to focus on what we were trying to accomplish and what we were doing because that's what my dad would have done." Girardi nearly broke down as he said, "I've always said, if I could be half the husband and father my dad would be, that would be special." Girardi movingly noted that his father and mother are able to watch games together for the first time in 28 years; Angela Girardi died in 1984. "My mom and dad saw a pretty good game last night," he said, choking back the emotion. In general, though, Girardi was remarkably composed in talking about his loss. Perhaps the all-consuming nature of the postseason is helping him grieve. Girardi has always busied his mind with details - not surprising for a man with an engineering degree from Northwestern. He sets goals. He keeps a tight focus. It appears he inherited that from his father. "I was watching my dad change a bathtub spigot," Girardi said, recalling a story from his childhood. "He had the wrench, and he was trying to tighten it. The wrench slipped and hit his thumb. He broke his thumb. It was bleeding, but he finished what he had to do. "My mom was like, 'You've got to go to the hospital.' He's like, 'Nope, I've got to finish it.' He just taped it up. So I thought, 'That's what my dad would want me to do.' "
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