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Joe Girardi's talk lifted Yanks' mood

Late-night clubhouse speech took the edge off going into do-or-die Game 5

Updated: October 21, 2010, 3:27 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Shortly after the final pitch of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series put the New York Yankees on the cusp of elimination, every player sat at his locker. Just past midnight on Wednesday morning, manager Joe Girardi spoke to his team.

Girardi, according to three people in the room, stood on the large, white, interlocking "NY" in the middle of the Yankee-blue rug that spreads across the enormous home clubhouse.

His demeanor remained even and calm.

His ...

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