Girardi rejoins Marlins after one-game absence

Updated: August 30, 2006, 10:19 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi returned to the club Wednesday after missing Tuesday's game to be with his pregnant wife and wait out bad weather from Tropical Storm Ernesto.

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The Marlins, under bench coach Gary Tuck, scored a 9-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals to extend their winning streak to nine games. The win pulled the club within a game of .500 at 65-66 and kept it in the thick of the NL wild-card chase.

For Girardi, it was different watching his team play on television as opposed to sitting in the dugout.

"I watched every pitch," said Girardi, who spent the last year of his playing career in 2003 with the Cardinals. "It was outstanding. It was harder watching it there than it is here. There was some anxious moments. You become a fan when you sit there watching it on TV.

"Besides one pitch, it was darn near perfect," he said.

And, no, he did not grab any popcorn, peanuts or soda to snack on while watching. He stayed healthy.

"Just some grapes, I think," Girardi said.

Girardi's wife, Kim, has been given a due date of Sept. 12 for the couple's third child, though delivery was scheduled to be induced on Sept. 6.

The 41-year-old Girardi, who lives in Coral Springs, Fla., said his area did not get much rain -- let alone the punishing winds that often accompany a tropical storm.

During commercials, Girardi said he would turn his lights on outside to check on the storm.

"We didn't get much rain because my pool didn't fill up much," Girardi said. "I hope every hurricane experience is like this for me."

With nothing to keep him home anymore, Girardi caught a flight from Miami on Wednesday and landed in St. Louis at 4:30 p.m. ET.

He called his wife when he landed at the airport. Everything was fine.

Should she go into labor, Girardi said his wife would call an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

While he went into the clubhouse to visit with his players, a couple of them came into his office to offer greetings.

"Hey, Skip, welcome back," said pitcher Dontrelle Willis, who will start Thursday. "Turned out to be a fluke of a storm, didn't it?"

Owner Jeffrey Loria also dropped into the office to welcome Girardi back and sat down to visit. It was Loria's suggestion during batting practice Monday before a home game against Milwaukee that Girardi stay behind to be with his wife and family.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press