HOUSTON -- As the Yankees fielded their final lineup of the 2013 season, they did so feeling fortunate to have watched terrific sendoffs for Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, but also with the lament of missing the postseason for just the second time in 19 years.
"There's a lot of emotions that go through a day like this," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "The disappointment of not getting where we want. The sadness of seeing two Yankee greats leave and walk away. I'm extremely happy with the way they were able to go out. The only thing better would have been in the World Series.
"But there's a lot of work to be done, and a lot of things that we were able to do this year. We saw a lot of good things, we saw a lot of players step up. A number of times that people thought we were out of it, we seemed to find a way to come back. Unfortunately, we just weren't able to get into playing next week."
The 2013 campaign marked the Yankees' 21st straight winning season (1993-2013), which is the second-longest stretch in Major League history.
Girardi said that the pitch-perfect farewells for Rivera and Pettitte will be most memorable in his mind, as well as the willingness of the players on his roster -- a franchise-record 56 in all -- to do whatever the coaching staff asked of them.
Girardi joked about two more items: that outfielder Vernon Wells never would have anticipated being needed to play third base, second base and first base, and that infielder Luis Cruz was once blocked from entering the stadium by security guards who didn't believe he was actually on the team.
"Those are the two things that really stick out, which kind of tell me what kind of year it has been around here," Girardi said.
Girardi to consider return to Yankees in 2014
HOUSTON -- There will be a gathering in the next few days, probably around the dinner table, in which Joe Girardi will ask his family how they would feel about him continuing to spend his summers in a big league dugout.
Girardi said that he has not yet made up his mind about his future, so he is looking for guidance from those closest to him. Girardi said that he has loved managing the Yankees, but with his contract expiring in November, this is a good time to evaluate his choices.
"It comes down to family," Girardi said. "They are first, and whatever is best for group of us -- not one individual, not me or just my wife or just one of my children -- whatever it best for us as a group, that's what we'll decide to do.
"And that's something I've put some thought into and I'm going to have to think about a lot of the next few days, obviously. But that's a decision that we'll sit down and make and decide what's best."
Girardi is completing his sixth year at the helm of the Yankees, carrying a 563-408 record over that span into Sunday's season finale. With his three-year, $9 million pact about to end, the Yankees have publicly stated their interest in keeping Girardi as manager.
"I wouldn't think [negotiations] would go too long, I don't," Girardi said. "It's not my personality to drag things out. I'm always a guy that likes to know what I'm going to do the next day."
In a wide-ranging chat on Sunday at Minute Maid Park, Girardi said that he believes the Yankees are committed to putting a championship-caliber club on the field and will have a playoff-ready roster waiting when they report to Spring Training in 2014.
Though his name has repeatedly been connected in media reports to the Cubs' and Nationals' managerial positions, Girardi downplayed his interest in going elsewhere.
He said that his pulls to Chicago are not as deep as they once were, noting that he has not lived there since 2006 and his parents have both passed away. Girardi more strongly intimated that his decision will be between managing the Yankees and not managing at all.
"You're away a lot. You miss a lot of things," Girardi said. "But there are a lot of good things that go into it. They understand that, and I understand that, but there's things that you miss that you kind of wish you could be there at times."
Girardi said that if he does decide not to manage in 2014, perhaps taking a year off to work again on the television broadcast side, he would anticipate returning to a big league dugout at some point in the future.
"If I wasn't to manage next year, I don't think that would be the last time I would manage," Girardi said.