CHICAGO -- Manager Joe Girardi fulfilled his promise on Friday to briefly discuss the rumors linking his name to the Chicago Cubs' managerial opening for 2011. Girardi, however, spent that time reiterating his commitment to the Yankees.
"My responsibility is to the Yankees," Girardi said. "I was hired by the Yankees to do a job. We're in a division race, we're in a very tight division race, and my job is to prepare this team to play every day. And that's what I'm focusing on."
Speculation has circled around Girardi ever since Lou Piniella announced he would retire as the Cubs' skipper at season's end. It has only been amplified over the past week, with Piniella's stepping down on Sunday and the Yankees' visit to the South Side this weekend. Both the Tribune and Sun-Times had feature columns singling out Girardi as the man to lead the Cubs back to the postseason.
"I did see the Sun-Times in my office today," Girardi said with a smile. "I don't really read a lot of those papers anyway. I'm a Sudoku guy."
Girardi, whose initial three-year contract with the Yankees runs out at season's end, said there's too much left to do in 2010 to allow him to think ahead to '11.
"I've never worried about next year," Girardi said. "I'm happy with my contract situation. I feel like I'm fortunate to be one of 30 managers with a contract right now and managing in the big leagues.
"You deal with what you're in now; you don't speculate."
Girardi said he wasn't exactly comfortable having to deal with all the speculation, but he understands it's part of the job.
"I assumed it was going to happen. People out here have jobs to do and stories to write. I understand that," Girardi said. "But my focus is here. I don't want to take away from what we're trying to do here. And I don't want the players or the organization to think that I'm not focused on the game."
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.