"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Say it Ain’t So

According to reports, the Yankees have decided not to bring Joe Girardi back as manager next year. I am sad to see him go but also think it’s a fine time for a new blood as well. With a team this talented maybe it will be a Buck Showalter-to-Joe Torre kind of transition for the new guy. Whoever they pick, I hope he has a feel for the players, a good sense of humor, and stamina. Seems like a dream gig to me, for the right guy.

In the meanwhile, here’s to Joe G, an upstanding Yankee player and a damn good Yankee manager, better than most in my eyes. Sure he was a tight-ass and sometimes overly stern or proud but I never begrudged him for that, too much. Maybe he was a phony in a righteous kind of way, I don’t know. He worked hard, cared a lot, and he could be funny. And was also a big softy, too—remember how emotional he got during Alex Rodriguez’s departure?

He survived a Fred Merkle-level blunder this October that could have regrettably stained an otherwise stellar career. He won a Whirled Serious title, he more than successfully followed-up the toughest act in show business, Joe Torre, and then ushered the team through the decline of the Jeter, Mariano, A Rod, Texieira years, to the future, which is now.

Curious to hear more as it comes out. I’m sure it’s a tough call for him. He was a good company man. He represented the Yankees well. And that’s not nothing.

Categories:  1: Featured  Baseball Musings  Yankees

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1 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 26, 2017 10:46 am

I reacted emotionally on the Banter and wanted him fired for blowing the replay. But I really appreciated his open embrace of saying he screwed up and how the team rallied around him. After the Yanks defeated Cleveland I was on-board for bringing him back.

My concern about losing Joe is that he's a known quantity. He's capable of getting to and winning a world series. And I don't think he ever mis-managed the team (I can actually recall more Torre blunders from 2001 to 2007 than Girardi blunders). And it seems like the young players reacted well to him also.

I'll make an analogy to LSU firing Les Miles over a single play (a touchdown to win a game that turned out on replay not to be a touchdown) -- you have to decide whether the next guy is truly an upgrade or if you're just changing horses for the sake of changing horses.

Anyway, I'm thankful the Yanks had Girardi after Torre left; and I hope they find someone who's a better fit for this team, if not an upgrade. Tony Pena might be that guy.

2 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 26, 2017 11:13 am

I'm gonna miss you, Joey Joe Joe!

Even The Binder.

I don't think he was let go over the Game 2 screw-up, we rallied back and won that series, after all.

Axisa over at RAB is saying there have been some rumblings about player relations, I imagine more details will come out in the next few days.

3 newbs   ~  Oct 26, 2017 11:35 am

Maybe it was the way he publicly called out Sanchez? I usually think of Joe as the kind of guy to take care of that behind closed doors, but he really threw Gary under the bus. Credit to Sanchez for not firing back, but playing Romine in the ALCS?

4 Hank Waddles   ~  Oct 26, 2017 11:47 am

I certainly went back and forth on Girardi over the past several years, and I was as furious as anyone after the gaffe in Cleveland, but I definitely came around and was hoping he'd be back. I'm sad that he won't be.

Here's something to think about. Over the past 22 seasons, the Yankees have had only two managers. Think about that for a second. For those of us old enough to remember the tumultuous early years of the Steinbrenner Era, this is certainly more unbelievable than the five championships and seven World Series appearances during that time.

5 Greg G   ~  Oct 26, 2017 12:33 pm

It would be nice if they actually brought in Buck Showalter. He left the Yanks and they won the next year. He left the Diamondbacks and they won the following year too.

Mattingly would be intriguing too, as he never got a ring, and would obviously be beloved. Who knows if Jeter is thinking of having some guy he is firing to tell Mattingly he is fired too.

Bring back Torre!

6 BobbyB   ~  Oct 26, 2017 12:42 pm

I think it might have just been time for both the Yankees and Joey Joe Joe. I think The Yankees are ready for someone new to guide an up and coming group of youngsters and word is Joe wasn’t sure he wanted to come back so he could spend time with his family. I agree with EE that it would have been nice to have another known quantity waiting in the wings, but, to use his go to quote “It’s not what you want” but it is what it is. Joe was a good transition from the ugly end of the Torre era and I respected the guy and wish him well.

7 monkeypants   ~  Oct 26, 2017 12:44 pm

I'm meh about the news. In general, I think managers don't do much one way or the other, unless they are amazingly good or colossally bad. With respect to Girardi in particular, he seemed pretty good. I had the feeling he was a little more creative in his first few years and grew increasingly rigid over the last couple, especially as the Yankees tried to build a SuperBullpen™, which seems to encourage a much more formulaic approach to managing the staff. I commented on this during the last playoff game thread. However, (1) this may be my own impression more than reality, (2) if real, it is probably typical of all managers over time, who become somewhat more predictable and set, and ultimately (3) is not really much of a complaint. My own mild irritation with formulaic relief pitcher usage is a source of grumbling, not a call to fire the man. Like I said, he seems like a pretty good manager overall.

So, now, we'll see who's next.

8 Bama Yankee   ~  Oct 26, 2017 1:19 pm

I'm sad to see him go but I suppose it is time for a change. Who replaces him: Mattingly? Randolph? Pena?

9 knuckles   ~  Oct 26, 2017 1:26 pm


10 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Oct 26, 2017 1:30 pm

I can't fault the move because (a) sometimes it's just time and (b) I'm inclined to credit the reports of relationship dysfunction, failure to connect etc., to the extent an outsider can ever know.

But still... it seems as if Girardi's whole tenure was a rolling state of "wait for the old guys to retire, wait for the albatross contracts to come off the books, and then we'll see" -- and finally it happened, and finally we did begin to see, and he got only a taste of the promised land beyond.

It would be a reach, for sure, to draw Mosaic comparisons. But I'm thinking more along the lines of John Wayne at the end of The Searchers, bringing the girl safely home but never allowed inside.

I had also held out hope that the non-challenge in ALDS G2 might have been a real turning point. That it might have shocked him out of his reflexive "don't you dare question me" attitude and ushered in a lasting gear change. (I believe he declined to challenge not in spite of Sanchez insisting that he do it, but because Sanchez was insisting that he do it.)

Anyhow, can't wait to see how the replacement process plays out. The Sporting News shortlist is a hoot: Pena, Donnie, Long... Willie?... ARod?!?

11 Hank Waddles   ~  Oct 26, 2017 1:55 pm

I actually think A-Rod will be a great manager one day. His baseball mind is incredibly sharp, he studied the game as a player and continues to do so now, and who could better understand and manage the superstars? That being said, having him in New York would be an absolute circus. Need a bigger circus? What if they were to hire him in Boston???

12 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Oct 26, 2017 2:17 pm

[11] Don't disagree but it's too soon, especially in NY.

What will really happen:

1. ARod expresses wish to manage Boston
2. Boston expresses wish to hire ARod
3. ARod accepts pay cut to go manage in Boston
4. Union voids contract
5. Boston fans curse ARod for "rejecting" them


Plus ça change

13 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 26, 2017 2:36 pm

Is it possible they could get Dusty? Or will it be the new-age version of Buck Showalter, a guy from the coaching ranks without a big name. You got to figure if the Yanks decided they didn’t want Joe back they must have someone in mind.

14 rbj   ~  Oct 26, 2017 2:46 pm

I would have been fine with Joe coming back, but I can also appreciate getting some fresh thinking in the dugout.

15 knuckles   ~  Oct 26, 2017 2:47 pm

Dusty would be a major step backwards. Fair or not...Everyone here in DC is thrilled/relieved that he is gone.

16 bp1   ~  Oct 26, 2017 2:56 pm

This does not feel like a spur of the moment decision, so I can't help but "what if" the situation. What if the Yankees actually made it - or even won - the World Series? Do you fire a guy that brought you to the biggest games? What happens if Game 7 ended differently? You have to feel that Cash and Hal had their minds made up already - and that might have upset their plans. Remember how they tried to save face w/ Torre by offering him a b.s. contract that he would almost certainly turn down. I could see that happening w/ Joe if the playoffs had a different ending. I mean - as it was - Game 7 of ALCS is hardly a failure - especially after the pre-season predictions of doom and gloom.

I have to think the new guy is already known - and they're just waiting for the right time to announce it. And like others - I think it will be someone they've worked with already who has history in NY and understands the environment both with the ownership and the media. It would be quite a surprise and shock if there is a lengthy interview process with a bunch of people we've never heard of.

It's a tough job. I think it aged Joe. He was a good man. Every manager has strengths and weaknesses and make mistakes - but I never had the impression that Joe was overmatched. For all the Showalter love, what has he won? The media were falling over themselves when he was matched up against Ned Yost a couple years ago - nobody gave Yost a change - but what happened? Joe Maddon has not been a good post season manager - and his new-age schtick would get old *very* fast in NYC. Joe was a bit by the book ("a bit"?!?), but he was steady and demanded that his team act professionally. He was a good Yankee.

It's going to be an interesting off season, no doubt. Mickey Callaway just breathed a sigh of relief - some of the spotlight will be off him now.

17 RIYank   ~  Oct 26, 2017 3:26 pm

I don't understand the "time for a change" thinking. If he's been managing well, why change??

But I'm pretty much in the monkey pants camp on this one. I doubt that Girardi netted the Yankees any extra wins -- this year the team performed way, way below its pythagorean estimate, which suggests (but certainly doesn't prove) that they were badly managed. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure they over-performed their PECOTA projection, which suggests maybe management was 'getting the most out of' players.

I hope AB is right that they have someone in mind. Girardi was at least comfortable to listen to, which counts for something.

18 rbj   ~  Oct 26, 2017 5:04 pm

One guy I don't want is Brad Ausmus. True, he wasn't given good bullpens, but I didn't like the way he used it.

19 Ara Just Fair   ~  Oct 26, 2017 8:18 pm

I'm going to miss Joe. He's handled all these years pretty damn fine.

20 Ara Just Fair   ~  Oct 26, 2017 8:19 pm

I here Dusty Baker is available. Lol...

21 Boatzilla   ~  Oct 27, 2017 2:34 am

It would be nice if the Yankees hire someone of color or at least of Hispanic origin. Not for that reason, of course, but sheeaht, we've never had a manager who was not a wasp or a whitey. Fluency in Spanish would be a major advantage, I think.

I wouldn't bet my hat on it, though.

22 RIYank   ~  Oct 27, 2017 4:34 am

[21] Interesting. Do you have anyone in mind?

538 has a study of who are the best bullpen managers since 2000. Two of the top three, it is going to stun everyone here to learn, are Torre and Girardi! And the other is Ozzie Guillen. (The way they did it was to see which managers come closest to using their best relief pitchers in the most critical situations.)

Would you want Ozzie to manage the Yankees?

p.s. Neither Torre nor Girardi is a WASP!

23 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Oct 27, 2017 10:41 am

I thought that Joe handled what is perhaps the most difficult managerial position in MLB with a high degree of class and basic competence. Remember: he finished above .500 every season, and in some of those, he didn't have terrific squads. Add a WS win, and 6 division championships in 10 years. That's the kind of quality the Nats could use [15] if the ownership is willing to pay him what they pay for a left-handed reliever with a 5+ ERA. Imagine if Joe was to come to DC and actually win a WS. He'd join Sparky and La Russa as the only managers to win the WS with different teams. They're both in the HOF. Please, Joe, come here, and Ted Lerner, please give him a Madden-like contract of 5 years and $25M. That would assure some stability for the Nats, who are going to need it after 2018.

[22] As for a Latino, how about Dave Martinez?

24 Boatzilla   ~  Oct 27, 2017 11:27 am

[22] That's why I wrote "or whitey". I didn't want to get into the protestant or Catholic thing (or Christian even). I guess I shoulda just wrote "whitey," although as a proud WASP, I couldn't resist. ;>)

Actually, I had no one in mind. I don't think Tony Peña wants to skipper again. Willie? I could never tell if he was any good or if he got screwed by the disfunctional Mets management.

I really don't have a feeling for the MLB managerial talent pool, but I like Trey Hillman, although he is currently employed. I hope they don't go with Joe "Bad Send" Espada or Rob Thomson, but that's only because I want to see a "fresh face."

25 Boatzilla   ~  Oct 27, 2017 11:32 am

[23] Dave Martinez. Interesting. Born in NYC. Lives in Tampa. Has a son named Jagger. Perhaps we'll get some Satisfaction.

However, River Ave says all signs point to hiring from within.

26 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 27, 2017 2:52 pm

Interesting insight from Tex; take it for what you will:


27 rbj   ~  Oct 31, 2017 4:27 pm

Hope all the NYC banterers are safe

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