NEW YORK -- One of life's lessons Jerry Girardi handed down to his son Joe was to finish the job.
And that is what has kept Joe Girardi, the New York Yankees' manager, going throughout his team's matchup with the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Division Series that continued tonight with Game 4 at Yankee Stadium.
While the Yankees were traveling from the Bronx to Grand Central Station to catch a train to Baltimore last Saturday, the day before the series opened, Girardi learned that his father had died in his hometown of Peoria, Ill. Jerry Girardi, 81, had suffered from Alzheimer's for a number of years.
"Tears came to me eyes, but I put my sunglasses on so no one would see," Girardi said.
Girardi had planned to keep the news from his team until the funeral, which is scheduled for Monday, but the Peoria (Ill.) Journal-Star reported the death today.
Monday is an off day between Games 2 and 3 of the American League Championship Series.
"I didn't want to the team to have to deal with it," Girardi said before Game 4.
Girardi was so successful in keeping the secret that the Yankees' David Robertson was unaware of it when asked in a pre-game press conference.
"I'm doing probably what a lot of men do when they go through difficult and sad times -- we try to stay busy," Girardi said. "That's what we do. And 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 then told a story of his father fixing a bathtub spigot in the family home that illustrated his father's belief in accomplishing the task at hand.
"He had the wrench and he was trying to tighten it and the wrench slipped and hit his thumb and he broke the thumb and it was bleeding but he finished what he had to do," Girardi said. "He finished that and my mom was like, 'You've got to go to the hospital' and 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, so that's what I tried to do."
While managing with a heavy heart, Girardi made the boldest decision of his five-year tenure with the Yankees in Game 3 on Wednesday night.
Girardi used Raul Ibanez to pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez, whose 647 home runs rank fifth on baseball's all-time list, in the ninth inning.
Ibanez homered off Orioles closer Jim Johnson to tie the game at 2-2 then took Brian Matusz deep in the 12th as the Yankees pulled out a 3-2 victory to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.
Girardi smiled when asked what his father would have thought of the way pinch-hitting Ibanez for Rodriguez worked out.
"He would have been extremely proud," Girardi said. "And he probably would have told all his buddies."
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Read the original story: Yankees mourn the passing of Joe Girardi's father