Commentary

28 questions with Joe Girardi

The skipper rocks out, cooks risotto and relaxes on the slopes (really)

Updated: November 13, 2012, 12:10 PM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

Joe Girardi loves the Rolling Stones, skiing and he considers himself a practical joker.

These are some of the aspects of his life Girardi shared when ESPNNewYork.com sat down for 28 questions with No. 28.

With the stress of the season behind him, it was a chance to get to better know the Yankee manager.

1. Growing up, what was your favorite sports team?

GIRARDI: The Bears for football. Obviously, we are huge Northwestern fans, because we went there. But I also cheer for the Jets and the Giants and I also cheer for Alabama.

[+] EnlargeJoe Girardi
Nick Laham/Getty ImagesWho would have guessed Joe Girardi is a practical joker?

2: Let's go with the Bears. Who was your favorite player?

GIRARDI: Walter Payton.

3. Why?

GIRARDI: Just an incredible athlete, an incredible runner.

4. With the Jets and the Giants, have you gotten to know those guys at all?

GIRARDI: A little bit. I text Tom Coughlin. We communicate back-and-forth. I've been out to the Jets camp and seen Rex [Ryan] and seen what the guys do. I consider myself a New Yorker so I cheer for both.

5. I would like to see you and Rex. You and Rex are kind of different.

GIRARDI: I think we are a little bit different [smiles.] But I grew up a Bears' fan and his father [Buddy Ryan] had a quite an impact on the Bears. I was aware of the [Ryan] brothers because of the father.

6. Your heyday, as far as the Bears, would be when?

GIRARDI: I was in college for the Super Bowl Shuffle.

7. Growing up, though, for you, they really weren't that great, were they?

GIRARDI: Walter was something you could really hang your hat on because he was outstanding.

8. In terms of the whole Super Bowl Shuffle, were you at games, what kind of a fan were you?

GIRARDI: I went to the Bears' playoff game against the Rams when they completely shut down Eric Dickerson.

9. It was freezing, right?

GIRARDI: But, you know, you are in college. You don't notice it as much.

10. OK, let's switch to music. What is Joe Girardi's favorite music?

GIRARDI: Everything. I listen to Christian, country. I listen to rock. I listen to what the kids are listening to sometimes. It really doesn't matter. I like music.

11. If there was only one artist you could have in your car, coming to Yankee Stadium, every day, who would it be?

GIRARDI: Wow, that's hard to say. My favorite rock-and-roll band growing up was the Rolling Stones. I've become a huge Dave Matthews fan, as well. Country music, I love. You don't have to worry so much about the lyrics for your children. And I love Christian music, too.

12. Have you been to a Stones' concert?

GIRARDI: No, I was not allowed to go to concerts growing up. So I really haven't been to many.

13. Why was that?

GIRARDI: The scene.

14. Favorite food?

GIRARDI: Italian. The hardest thing for me to refrain from -- I'm a pretty disciplined eater -- is probably pizza.

15. Favorite kind?

GIRARDI: Pepperoni.

16. Do you cook?

GIRARDI: Yes.

[+] EnlargeJoe Girardi
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesAlthough he's been skiing for only three years, Girardi says he's hooked.

17. What is the meal people would want to go to a Joe Girardi restaurant and have Joe Girardi cook?

GIRARDI: Wow. Risotto, I love to make. I love to make my father's meat sauce.

18. Travel. What is your favorite place you have traveled to?

GIRARDI: Wow. Maybe, Vail, Colo. I went skiing. I love to ski. If I could do that every day, I would do that every day.

19. When did you start doing that?

GIRARDI: 45.

20. You started skiing at 45? How old are you now?

GIRARDI: 48.

21. So it has been three years you have been skiing? How good are you?

GIRARDI: I survive.

22. Why do you think you love it so much?

GIRARDI: It is so different than what I've ever done. I think it is the thrill. The speed. Being outside when it is cold and enjoying the coldness. The mountains were gorgeous. And it is really good family time because everyone can do it and you are really contained in one park.

23. Are the kids as good as you?

GIRARDI: Yes. We all started together. The only person who knew how to ski was Kim [Girardi's wife].

24. First date: where did you take the first girl you ever went out with?

GIRARDI: I have no idea. That is way too long ago.

25. What is the thing that people don't know about Joe Girardi that you wish they did?

GIRARDI: Wow. I don't know. I think people always think that I'm so serious, but I really do like to have fun. I'm very serious about what I do and the games, but for the most part, I'm pretty non-serious.

26. Can you give me an example of what you like to do?

GIRARDI: I like to fool around and pull pranks.

27. What was the best one? Your favorite one?

GIRARDI: I've gotten our bullpen coach [Mike Harkey] a number of times. He is easy to get.

28. OK, give me one on Harkey?

GIRARDI: There was one time he called and said, "Get Larry" [Rothschild, the team's pitching coach.] I said, "No, ask politely." And I said, "Call back and ask politely." So I hung up. He called back and said, "Will you please get Larry?" I said, "Larry, here's the phone."

ESPN NY: Thanks, Joe

GIRARDI: Thanks.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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