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Girardi stays in Yanks dugout after father's death

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Girardi stays in Yanks dugout after father's death

NEW YORK (AP) The Yankees' team bus was on the Henry Hudson Parkway last Saturday when Joe Girardi's phone rang. After deteriorating from Alzheimer's disease since the 1990s, his father had died in Illinois.

``I had tears in my eyes on the bus, so I put some sunglasses on,'' the manager said Thursday, struggling not to cry, ``and (did) probably what a lot of men do when they go through difficult and sad times, we try to stay busy. That's what we do. And I tried to focus.''

For five days, Girardi did not disclose dad's death to his players, preferring not to talk about it and not wanting to distract his team. Jerry Girardi, who was 81, will be buried in Tampico, Ill., next Monday - an off day in the AL championship series.

``I was going to tell them, you know, God willing we get into the next round, that I was going to the funeral on Monday and I wouldn't be at the workout,'' he said. ``That's when I was going to tell them.''

New York played another late-night thriller with Baltimore, which won 2-1 in 13 innings to force a decisive Game 5 Friday. The Yankees have one more chance to advance to the ALCS.

A man on a mission. That's what Joe Girardi is. That's what he learned from Jerry Girardi and his mom, Angela, who died in 1984.

Not managing for a night never entered his mind, not last weekend, not now. He stood alone in front of the dugout and wiped tears from his eyes during a pregame moment of silence, then blew a kiss to someone in the stands.

``The one thing that both of them, besides many other things that they taught me, was always to finish the job at hand,'' Girardi said. ``So my thought process was my dad would want me to do everything that we could do to go win a World Series. He had been a part of them with me as a player. 2009 - I don't think he understood what we did at that time. He was at a stage in Alzheimer's that he wasn't talking, so I don't think he understood.''

And then the manager with the close-cropped hair and serious look, a man who almost always maintains a steely cool, got emotional and choked up.

``I had a tremendous relationship with my father. Wherever he went, I went. When he stopped, I ran into him,'' Girardi said. ``And I've always said, if I could be half the husband and father my dad would be, that would be special.''

It was as difficult a pregame news conference as there can be. A night earlier, Girardi made the toughest decision of his six years as a major league manager. With the Yankees trailing 2-1 in the ninth inning, he pinch hit for slumping Alex Rodriguez, baseball's most expensive player. Raul Ibanez batted for A-Rod and not only hit a tying home run, hit went on to hit a winning homer in the 12th to give New York a 3-2 victory.

``He would have been extremely proud and probably told all his buddies,'' Girardi said of his dad.

Jerry Girardi served in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War and worked in construction sales and as a bricklayer. Sounds like he was a tough guy who didn't back down.

``I was watching my dad change a bathtub spigot, and he had the wrench, and he was trying to tighten it, and the wrench slipped and hit his thumb and he broke his thumb and it was bleeding,'' Girardi said. ``But he finished what he had to do. 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.''

Across the field, opposing managers look at Girardi and assume his fight comes from his dad. Baltimore's Buck Showalter reflected on the 1991 death of his father, Bill, a retired high school baseball coach and principal.

``I talk about it all the time, we're at the mercy of the mothers and fathers of the world, and I know you've got a pretty good idea what Joe's dad must have been about,'' said Showalter, who started his major league managing career with the Yankees. ``My dad passed away two weeks after I got the job here managing, and I think about him every day. I have a little special feeling for what I'm sure some form or fashion Joe is feeling.''

Alzheimer's runs in the Girardi family. His father's mother died from it and his father's brother Ronnie did, too.

``We see what it does to families, and I've always talked to other people, because I've been through all the different stages about (how) sometimes we get frustrated with our parents when they're going through that,'' he said. ``And believe me, they don't want to forget. They don't want to forget where they put their keys. ... You have to show them a lot of patience and kindness and try to understand the disease.''

Girardi talked baseball with his dad, went to Wrigley Field together, played catch in the backyard, watched Cubs' games together on TV. He had given his father his 1996 World Series ring.

He thinks about his dad often, but not when he's in the dugout and it's time to make decisions. He smiled when he reflected about one change this week.

``I'll be able to do my job, because I know that's what they would want me to do,'' Girardi said. ``When I think about it, it's the first time in over 28 years that my mom and dad have seen a game together again. So they'll be watching, and they'll be mad if I'm not doing my job. I know that.''

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 25-acre, 8,545 square-foot home went up for auction this past Saturday and the highest bidder was......Adam Jones? 

The center fielder is purchasing the Orioles legend's former Reisterstown, Md. estate, according to The Athletic

Placed on the market in 2016 for $12.5 million, Ripken reduced the price to $9.7 million last year but was still unable to find a willing buyer. The estate was eventually put up for auction and sold to Jones for an undisclosed amount. 

The six bedroom home has 10 full bathrooms, a movie theater, a gym that overlooks an indoor basketball court, a pool and a baseball field with batting cages, a locker room and soaking tubs. One of the tubs was taken from Memorial Stadium and used by Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, but Ripken is keeping that one. 

What makes this purchase even more interesting is that Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, but that does not mean he plans on re-signing with the team. The 32-year old, who is in his last year of a six-year $85.5 million contract, is known to dip his toes in real estate investments and his wife, Audie Fugett, is a Baltimore native. 

The deal is scheduled to close on June 11. 

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David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

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USA TODAY Sports

David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

BOSTON -- One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price happily settled for a complete game and his strongest outing of the season.

Price struck out eight and held Baltimore to five hits, including two in the ninth when the Orioles broke up the shutout before the Boston left-hander finished them off in a 6-2 victory for the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"He was amazing," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He was outstanding. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cutter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch."

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season. He cruised through the first eight innings before Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a double, the first Baltimore player to reach second base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price finished off Baltimore on Jonathan Schoop's pop-up to center as the Red Sox improved to 4-0 against Baltimore by taking the makeup game that was rained out on Patriots' Day.

"They're a free-swinging team," said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. "You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three innings and give up a bunch of runs."

Danny Valencia had a pair of hits for the punchless Orioles, who have lost three of four and have the second-fewest wins in the American League. Valencia nearly had a double in the fifth, but got thrown out at second by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, one of several strong defensive plays that helped Price go the distance.

Hanley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Boston's dugout in the second and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

"The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier," Price said.

Kevin Gausman (3-3) went 4 2/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing six runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two. He was pulled after Bogaerts drove a high fastball out to left with two men on during Boston's four-run fifth.

"We just got into some sticky situations where we just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and we just couldn't," Susac said.

The Orioles also weren't happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gausman to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Manager Buck Showalter agreed with his catcher.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."

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