Joe Girardi no longer the manager of the Yankees
The Yankees have parted ways with the man who helped them win the World Series in 2009.
The Yankees went through quite a rebuilding year this season. They were one win away from a surprise World Series appearance, and with the young talent they have, it seems like they will be back in the playoffs sooner rather than later. It looks like Joe Girardi won’t be there for it, as the Yankees announced he has been let go. Girardi made a statement confirming the news, while also thanking the entire Yankee organization.
There were rumors the past few days of a closed-door meeting between Girardi and Yankees ownership regarding his future. It was known that there has been some tension between the parties over the past few years. His four-year, $16 million deal was set to expire on Tuesday, and it looks like the Yankees didn’t want to extend Girardi’s stay in the Bronx. ESPN’s Buster Olney stated that sources mentioned that GM Brian Cashman recommended a change in manager to owner Hal Steinbrenner.
And so ends one of the most polarizing runs in New York Yankees history. A former catcher for the team, Girardi became the manager of the Yankees in 2008. The next year, they became World Series champions once again. Over his ten seasons as Yankees manager, Girardi compiled a 910-710 record. The Yankees reached the postseason six times, won three American League East Titles and had three Wild Card births with Girardi at the helm. He joins Billy Martin and Ralph Houk as the only member of the Yankees to win a World Series as a player and a manager.
During his time with the team, a changing of the guard took place. The Core Four’s (Jeter, Posada, Pettitte and Rivera) time with the team had ended and new faces were starting to emerge. Players like Aaron Judge, Luis Severino and Gary Sanchez took over. The young guns were starting to resemble the Yankees of old, and while Girardi was capable of managing the team, his decisions were questioned. “Binder Joe” would be scrutinized for over-managing and miss-matching during key moments in games. The final nail in the coffin for Girardi might have been the ugly loss in game two of the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians.
What’s next for Girardi? He has now become a hot commodity in the baseball community, especially in the NL East. The Nationals, who just let go of Dusty Baker, are looking for someone to lead their team to greatness. Girardi has success in that division, having managed the Marlins in 2006. He won NL Manager of the Year for his efforts. While it does sound enticing, Girardi could take some time off to be with his family. He might even take his talents to the broadcast booth. There are various possibilities for him.
Now, the most important question: Who will be the next Yankees manager? Names like Kevin Long, Tony Pena, Jason Giambi and Don Mattingly have come up. The latter option may be the Marlins manager, but he may not want to be around there much longer as the now Jeter-run team will be making major changes to the organization. A reunion with his former team wouldn’t be out of the question for Donny Baseball. It appears the Yankees are looking for an analytics guy, like the Mets were when picking up Mickey Callaway. While the team normally looks internally for managers, their specific need might be outside of the organization.
While several fans may have wanted Girardi to lead the team, he now sails into the sunset, looking for his next big adventure. The selection process for the highly-coveted position of Yankees manager should be very entertaining. A young team in New York with a bright future won’t be dismissed so easily. How the new coach, whoever it may be, handles the expectations Girardi had, and more, will be interesting to watch.