ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's not often that Joe Girardi gives a truly candid response. The Yankee manager is cautious by nature and prefers to speak in cliches and catchphrases ("In a sense," "That's the bottom line") rather than offer his honest, unfiltered opinion on just about anything.
Until tonight. Maybe it was the frustration of seeing the New York Yankees lose for the third time in the four games since they've returned from the All-Star break, or being shutout for the eighth time this season -- the total was seven for all of 2012 -- or watching them struggle to get all of three hits all night.
But when he was asked to comment on Ryan Braun's suspension, and its possible implications for Alex Rodriguez, his $275 million third baseman who is also in baseball's crosshairs as a target of the Biogenesis investigation, Girardi finally let loose.
Asked his first reaction to the news that Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, had accepted a 65-game suspension without putting up a defense, Girardi said, "That he was guilty. You don't accept a deal unless you were guilty. It's disappointing. It's just another black eye for our game. I know this game is very resilient and there have been a lot of scandals over the years, but you get tired of it."
And asked his opinion of what the implications might be for Rodriguez, Girardi said, "I think I'm tired of steroids. I'm tired of that. Just do things the right way, bottom line. Everyone should do things the right way, but that's not the world we live in. You get tired of talking about it. There's a lot of guys that are doing it the right way and I respect those guys."
Then Girardi, a diligent gym rat who is in better shape than many of his players, offered this final thought: "The message to me is -- and I think it's a great message for kids -- if you cheat and you lie, you're eventually going to get caught."