In the wake of Alex Rodriguez’s impending departure from the team for surgery or rest/rehab, Joe Girardi’s managerial test just became more difficult.

In the notoriously mean New York media, Girardi did not do well last year with the pressures, but has improved according to some members of the media.

Bob Raissman from the Daily News knows that this A-Rod situation will give Girardi a challenge he can either accept head on, or fight.

Up to this point, Girardi’s media metamorphosis seems to be working (still, some scribes are not totally convinced). Listening to evidence offered by Michael Kay and John Flaherty on the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network (they went absolutely gaga over Girardi allowing “loud” music in the clubhouse), it appears the butterfly in Girardi is coming out. The man is embracing change.

And Raissman believes that Girardi needs to move and accept…

he manager will be paddling up a couple of revenue streams (in a tanking economy). For awhile, he may be making this trip without A-Rod. If things break badly it will fall on Girardi’s shoulders to carry the media load without reverting to past form, even if his job security becomes a major back-page issue.

Girardi would not embark down this road of change unless he was committed to it. Thursday, the possibility of a major pothole existed.

It’s up to the manager to stay the course.

Change is tough. Now, it’s up to Girardi, the disciplinarian, to discipline himself.