NEW YORK – If anything, the New York Yankees like Joe Girardi even more now than when they hired him to manage the team six years ago.

General Manager Brian Cashman praised Girardi’s handling of the team during a disappointing season and is about to offer him a new contract.

“He knows we’d like to have him stay and continue as manager of the New York Yankees as we move forward,” Cashman said Tuesday. “I feel we hired a good one. He’s been a world champion player for us. He’s been a coach, a broadcaster and obviously a world champion manager. So we’ve benefited from having him and we’d like to do that going forward.”

Girardi has led the Yankees to a 564-408 record and a World Series title. Crippled by injuries, New York had its poorest season since 1992, missing the playoffs for the second time in 19 years and finishing tied for third in the AL East at 85-77.

MAJOR LEAGUE Baseball’s average attendance fell 1.2 percent this year, with Miami and Philadelphia experiencing big drops.

The average was 30,514, down from 30,895 last year and the peak of 32,785 in 2007. Total attendance of 74.03 million was down from 74.86 million last season but was the sport’s sixth-highest.

DODGERS: Outfielder Andre Ethier may be limited to pinch hitting in the National League division series because of a left ankle injury, leaving the team undecided on whether to include him on the playoff roster.

Ethier threw and hit but didn’t run during a workout at Dodger Stadium before the team departed for Atlanta.

CARDINALS: Lance Lynn’s strong finish earned him the start in Game 2 of the National League division series.

MARINERS: Danny Hultzen, the team’s top pitching prospect, underwent surgery on his left shoulder to clean up his labrum and repair a partial tear of his rotator cuff.

ASTROS: Houston isn’t renewing the contracts of first base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez, and will reassign pitching coach Doug Brocail.

ATHLETICS: Bartolo Colon will start Friday night in Game 1 of the AL division series against Detroit, his first postseason appearance in eight years.

TIGERS: Max Scherzer will start the AL division series opener Friday night at Oakland with Justin Verlander following in Game 2.

BLUE JAYS: Right-hander Josh Johnson had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow.

PADRES: Third baseman Chase Headley had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair a medial meniscus tear.