During the midst of an exciting World Series, one of the most regimented organizations in all of sports completely disrespected the game of baseball and one of the top managers in the game.
The New York Yankees have announced that Joe Girardi will not be returning for his 11th season as Yankees manager.
The move comes in the middle of a series and takes away from two teams battling for history the timing is distasteful.
As for the move itself it is totally out of nowhere, especially in a season where the Yankees achieved so much more than the expectations set for them.
The 2017 Yankees were suspected to still be at least a year away from playoff contention. Through excellent baseball, some mid-season acquisitions, and smart baseball the Yankees came within one win of appearing in the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Prior to the season it was suspicious that Joe Girardi and the organization had not agreed to a new contract.
That did not seem to be a problem with anyone in the organization, not the owner Hal Steinbrenner, General Manager Brian Cashman (who is working on his own contract extension), and Joe Girardi himself.
Steinbrenner said a manager should be “great at working with both the younger players and the veterans, which Joe is.”
The manager was endorsed by the owner prior to this exciting season and all results from the season should have suggested a new contract would be inevitable.
Instead the shocking move to not retain him has been made.
According to baseball insiders around the league; the relationship between Brian Cashman, Cashman’s staff, and Joe Girardi appeared to sour. The two have accomplished so much together in their ten years working together it is hard to figure they could not sort their differences apart to work together.
In ten years as partners the Yankees accomplished:
- 6 postseason appearances
- The most wins in baseball over the past decade with 910 wins
- 1 World Series Championship
- 2 additional American League Championship Series Appearances
- 10 straight winning records
Then this tweet came out…
Brian Cashman seemed to have all the control in the situation and removed Girardi.
Girardi is a by the book manager, this has driven fans and in this case management crazy in this new age baseball has entered. Sabermetrics are all the rage right now and many of the successful teams in the game are now relying on these numbers more than the metaphorical book.
Without a doubt though Girardi is a top three manager in baseball, the only managers worth debating positoning with him are Cleveland’s Terry Francona and Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon.
He will undoubtedly find a new job, Washington is as good a guess as any. If the Nationals have not even contacted Girardi by now then their organization is totally inept and does not deserve an elite manager of Girardi’s caliber.
The real wonder is whether Girardi will jump right into a new job or take some time off.
Following his firing in 2006 by the Miami Marlins, then known as the Florida Marlins, he took a year off before Joe Torre was removed. Girardi is also known to care a lot about his family like many fathers do, it would not be a surprise if he took a year off to spend more time with his family.
Also, is it hard to imagine he might want to wash the bitter taste his removal might leave by taking some time off.
As for the Yankees, the move leaves the teams leadership in question. Brian Cashman should be held responsible next year if the team regresses under new leadership.
The Yankees reportedly want someone who is more in touch with the human element of the job. Instantly the mind draws to Dusty Baker, but the team most certainly will not pursue Dusty who has his postseason struggles. Baker was one of the other two managers removed this year after making the postseason. The third manager on this list is John Farrell, now Boston’s former skipper
There are many former Yankees names in the air: Don Mattingly, Jorge Posada, and Alex Rodriguez for example.
Although, the options are not very likely due to inexperience and in Mattingly’s case managing Miami.
There are suggestions that the Yankees might try to find the answer internally pointing at Rob Thompson, Joe Espada, and Tony Pena as options as well.
It will be interesting to see who takes over the helm and the lofty expectations that will encompass this team next year. Whomever it shall be will need to execute quickly as this team will have expectations to make it to the Fall Classic next season.
The Yankees have ended the Joe Girardi era, arguable over-achieving with many of his teams. The team has a brand new core beginning its own era and at the moment they are without a leader.
As for Joe Girardi, Yankees fans whether he drove them crazy or not owe nothing but respect to the now former manager. When he returns to Yankee Stadium likely with another team he should be greeted with a huge ovation.