ANAHEIM -- Criticism came howling after Yankees pitcher Ian Kennedy on Saturday morning, and little of it in response to the way he pitched. Far more troubling were Kennedy's postgame comments, in which the rookie said he was "just not real upset" about his Friday night start.
But manager Joe Girardi disagreed, insisting that Kennedy was indeed upset about his performance, which included nine hits and five runs over two innings.
"Some guys understand how to handle the media a little bit better than others," Girardi said. "When you play in New York, not only is it a learning process on how to play in New York, I think it's also a learning process on how to say exactly what you mean."
Girardi said he would have a private meeting with Kennedy to discuss his start -- and those comments -- on Saturday.
"I can tell you the results bothered him," Girardi said. "So maybe what we see and what comes out is sometimes two different stories."
Kennedy joined the rotation Friday night in place of Joba Chamberlain, who hit the disabled list earlier this week with right rotator cuff tendinitis. Despite coming off a string of successes at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Kennedy lasted only two innings against the Angels, helping push the Yankees an additional game out of first place.
After the game, he smiled throughout his interview with New York media.
"I'm just not real upset about it," Kennedy said. "I'm just going to move on. I've already done that."
The Yankees have to -- they have no other choice -- but Kennedy's comments remained a hot topic prior to Saturday's game. And the other Yankees who were quizzed had no comment.
"That wouldn't be right," fellow starter Mike Mussina said.
Perhaps, for Kennedy, this was a lesson learned. Though Girardi wouldn't confirm that Kennedy will make his next start on Wednesday, refusing to answer the question directly but offering the line, "he's in our rotation," the Yankees have few other options.
They can only hope that Kennedy's next outing genuinely won't give him reason to be upset.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.