Girardi balancing winning now and big picture

Girardi balancing winning now and big picture

NEW YORK -- It's still early in the season, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi is already thinking about how to walk the fine line between micromanaging to win games and factoring in the long-term picture.

"You have to have a belief in what you're doing and understand there's a bigger picture," he said. "A lot of times in this game, you can get caught up in the smaller picture. You have to realize you're not managing for two weeks, you're not managing for a month, you're managing for six months."

The Yankees certainly boast a more veteran lineup than most teams in baseball, and that includes shortstop Derek Jeter. But Girardi has been hard-pressed to find a way to give the 18-year veteran a day off, as Jeter leads the club in batting average (.366) for players who have appeared in every game this year.

"It makes it a little bit more difficult," Girardi said of resting a player who is finding his stride. "You kind of weigh in your head, 'Do I want to make sure he doesn't get tired or do I want to let a guy stay hot until he gets tired, and then it starts to go downhill a little bit?'"

The Yankees are in the midst of an early-season stretch that includes 13 games in as many days, but with important road games against the Red Sox and Rangers, Girardi will have some tough decisions to make while filling out his lineup card.

"There are times you manage games where you give guys a little extra leash because, in a season, you want to see them get through it, fight through certain things," Girardi said. "You always have to think long term, and you have to structure it around what certain guys are doing and what you think they might need."