Yankees hold pre-game team meeting

The Yankees held a team meeting tonight at Tropicana Field, gathering all of the players on the roster — except tonight’s starting pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda — for approximately 20 to 25 minutes in an off-limits area of the clubhouse.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the team wanted to talk about their recent stretch, as well as the 27-game push to the finish, which begins tonight with New York and the Orioles deadlocked atop the American League East.

“We’re still in first place,” Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line, and what’s going to happen in this division is going to depend on how we’re going to play in the next 27 games. I like our club, and I like our team. I believe they’re going to get it done.”

The meeting adjourned right before the team was due on the field for stretch, and many of the players returned to the clubhouse laughing and seemingly in good spirits. Girardi said that they didn’t bother to conceal the meeting (he could have waited until after the clubhouse was closed to reporters) because the media likely would have found out about it anyway.

“[We] just wanted to talk about some of the things we’re going through,” Girardi said. “The importance of — you go through it, you’ve been through it, we’ll come out of it.”

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