Sport Girardi not managing as he attends daughter's graduation

02:40  20 may  2017
02:40  20 may  2017 Source:   New York Daily News

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Girardi Missing Yankees Game Friday To Attend Daughter ' s GraduationManager Joe Girardi is skipping the Yankees' road game against the Tampa Bay Rays so that he can attend his daughter Serena's high school graduation .

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Joe Girardi won't be in the Yankees dugout Friday night. - John Minchillo/AP© Provided by New York Daily News Joe Girardi won't be in the Yankees dugout Friday night. - John Minchillo/AP ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Joe Girardi will not manage the Yankees on Friday night because he is attending his daughter Serena’s high school graduation. Bench coach Rob Thomson will manage in Girardi’s place.

“It sets a good example for the rest of the guys on the club,” said Thomson, who missed time in the past for the graduations of his own daughters. “He’s doing what he preaches. It’s about family, and he’s taking care of his family. He’s left us with the responsibility, and we’ve got to pick him up.”

Thomson last filled in for Girardi for an entire game in 2008, when the manager missed two games due to illness and one game due to a suspension. The Yankees went 1-2 in those three games. “Hopefully we can get back to .500 tonight,” Thomson said with a laugh.

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Thomson and Girardi went over Friday’s lineup after Thursday’s loss in Kansas City. Thomson knew he’d be managing the game going back to spring training.

“I’m the guy that has to make the final decision on certain things, but the conversations (with the other coaches) will still be the same,” Thomson said.

Thomson had a phone interview for the Blue Jays’ managerial vacancy in late 2010. “It’s always in the back of your mind,” Thomson replied when asked about potentially becoming a major-league manager in the future.

Thomson is in his 28th season as a member of the Yankees’ organization and 10th on the team’s major-league coaching staff. He’s served as Girardi’s bench coach for four seasons (2008, 2015-17). According to the team’s media guide, he is believed to be the first Canadian to manage or stand in to manage an MLB game since George Gibson for the Pirates in 1934.

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“My first daughter’s graduation, we had an off-day, so it worked out pretty well,” Thomson said. “The second time was a couple years ago for my young daughter’s graduation. I hated missing a game, but it was worth it. It’s something I won’t forget.”

Headey benched

Chase Headley got a routine day off Friday. Headley has hit some balls hard of late, but is currently in a 10-for-63 stretch. He doesn’t worry about his place in the lineup if he doesn’t pick it up.

“What’s the point?” Headley said. “I’m hitting (.248), my on-base percentage (.327) is OK. And I’m going through a tough stretch. That’s why we don’t measure baseball in three-week stretches, and it happens that way. So no, I don’t (worry).

“I’m certainly not as good as I want to be, but I feel like I’m a lot better than what the numbers have been the last couple weeks,” Headley continued. “You get frustrated with it, but at the same time you have to be realistic. When you’re going well, balls will fall in that don’t deserve to, and when you’re going poorly sometimes it’s the opposite.”

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Righting Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka continues to work on getting himself right, hoping to fine-tune his mechanics.

Joe Girardi had said the 28-year-old righty’s front shoulder was flying open during his delivery. His splitter and slider have not been effective.

Tanaka, Saturday’s starter, gave up seven earned runs in just 2.2 innings against the Rays on Opening Day. … Gary Sanchez got the night off, with Austin Romine catching Luis Severino. ... Tyler Austin (foot) began his rehab assignment on Friday at Class A Tampa.

Related photos: 2017 MLB season (provided by photo services)

South Dakota teen with cancer gets OK to walk at graduation .
RAPID CITY, S.D. — School officials in Rapid City, South Dakota, have changed their minds and agreed to let a teen with brain cancer walk with her peers at graduation.Officials had originally said that 17-year-old Central High student Meredith Erck could not participate in Sunday's ceremony because she's six credits short of graduation requirements. Erck wanted to walk across the graduation stage with her twin brother, who faced his own brush with cancer.The Rapid City Journal reports ( ) that the school district reversed itself after an outpouring of support for Erck.She was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015, and previously had colon cancer.

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