New York Yankee Legends: Tough love Joe Girardi, Mr. determination

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

The New York Yankees had Joe Girardi both as a player and a manager. Joe’s middle name is Elliot, but it should be determined. Joe Girardi was a pretty average player and a catcher with little hitting ability, and often as a catcher let runners run on him, but he was determined to get better. He was determined to call the best game he could in handling pitchers, and that he did.

He was determined to take a young inexperienced Florida Marlins club, a club with the lowest payroll in baseball, to heights it had not seen, and he did, almost to the wild card game and was named the Manager of the Year. He was determined to take the Yankees to another World Series, and he did that too. After not having his Yankee contract renewed, he was determined to get back as a manager; he did that, in 2020, he was named the new manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.  They ended the season third in the NL East; this year, they are number one.

Joe Girardi’s style was to be strict but not any more demanding of others than himself. Born on October 14, 1964, the fourth of five children, he grew up in Peoria, Illinois. His Dad Jerry was a salesman but did a variety of other jobs. His Mom Angela was full-time as a child psychologist. His mother and father died early in life, his father of early-onset Alzheimer’s, and his mother of ovarian cancer.

Joe credits his father with his determination and the many things he taught the young Joseph. At the age of 12, he would play with his older brothers and their friends; Joe liked playing shortstop but caught because no one else would do it. He later in life would credit his brothers for helping him improve his game. He would say when you play with those older than you, you are forced to get better.

Joe’s sports history

The young Girardi was multi-talented, playing basketball, football and baseball through high school. In 1983 he would enroll in Northwestern University. He played for the Northwestern Wildcats baseball team, where he was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and a three-time Academic All-American. At the end of the 1986 semester, he would earn his bachelor’s degree in engineering. Girardi was a popular student at Northwestern; he was the first-ever freshman to be elected president of a fraternity at Northwestern.

The Chicago Cubs drafted him in 1986 and sent him to Single-A Peoria. He got off to a hot start hitting near .330. He ended the season batting .309 with Peoria, .280 with Carolina in 1987, and .272 with Double-A Pittsfield in 1988. In 1989 he would meet Don Zimmer, who was then the Cubs manager. He would make his major league debut on April 4th. He hit a single and scored the first run of the season for the Cubs. In his rookie year with the Cubs, Girardi batted .248 with a home run and 14 runs batted in (RBIs) in 59 games. In 1990, he played in 133 games, batting .270 with a home run and 38 RBIs. In 1991, he played in only 21 games, batting .191 with 6 RBIs. In 1992, he played in 91 games, batting .270 with a home run and 12 RBIs.

After the 92 season, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies. Joe loved playing at Mile High Stadium. In his first year with the Rockies in 1993, he played in 86 games, batting .290 with five triples, three home runs, and 31 RBIs. In 1994, he played in 93 games, batting .276 with four triples, four home runs, and 34 RBIs. In 1995, he played in 125 games batting .262 with a career-high 8 home runs and 55 RBIs. At the end of the season he would be traded to the New York Yankees.

Joe Girardi becomes a New York Yankee

Joe would become the New York Yankee’s catcher. On May 14, 1996, Girardi caught Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter. Girardi played in 124 games during the 1996 season, batting .294 with two home runs and 45 RBIs. During the World Series against the Braves, Girardi would hit a triple that helped the Yankees win that game, and ultimately the World Series. In 1997 Girardi would get a new backup catcher in the 25-year-old Jorge Posada; the pair would share the backstop position for the next 3 years when Posada would become the primary catcher. In 1999 his last year with the Yankees, Girardi would call his second perfect game, this one for David Cone. There are very few catchers that have ever caught two perfect games.

In 2000 Joe would be back with his debut team, the Chicago Cubs. He would be named to the All-Star team that year. But in 2002, he would be called upon to speak to the Cub crowd at Wrigley Field. The game that day was nationally televised between the Cubs and the Cardinals. The Cardinal pitcher was to be Darryl Kile, but Kile had been found dead at his home. Girardi approached the mic before stands filled with fans and announced “due to a tragedy in the Cardinal family” that there would be no game that day. He asked all fans to be respectful of the matter as they found out about it on their own and to pray. After the season, Joe would play in 16 games with the Cardinals. With his hitting declining, he would retire as a player after the season. He would become a YES Network commentator in 2004.

Joe’s coaching and managerial career

Joe Girardi became Joe Torres bench coach in 2005, while still holding down some of his YES work in the “Kids on Deck” program. Girardi was a broadcaster for the third, fourth, and fifth games of the 2006 World Series on the Fox Network. During the offseason in 2005, Girardi would be named the new manager of the Florida Marlins. He had a young inexperienced team that had the lowest player salary in the majors.

He often had fights with owner Jeff Loria. In 2006 Girardi brought his hapless team almost to the Wild Card game and was named Manager of the Year, but he would be fired due to conflicts with Lori. After being considered as the manager for the Cubs and Nationals, he returned to the YES booth in 2007. Joe Torres winning ways would come to an end when Torre and the Yankees couldn’t agree to a contract. The Yankees considered Don Mattingly, Tony Pena and Girardi, they ultimately gave Joe the job, and he signed a 3-year contract.

In 2008 Joe would appear on the field with the number 27 on his back, signaling that he was bound and determined to get the New York Yankees to their 27th World Championship. In 2008 the Yankees would miss the playoffs for the first time in fourteen years, and fans would say they should never have gotten rid of Joe Torre. But the fact was they won 89 games with a flawed team that was poorly caught and ineffectively pitched. In 2009 the New York Yankees management brought on CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Nick Swisher, and Mark Teixeira. In his second year, Joe Girardi would take the Yankees to their 27 World Series win defeating the Philadelphia Phillies.

Although the 2008 team through the 2010 team appreciated Girardi’s tough-love approach to managing, future teams would not be as accepting of it, and it would eventually lead to his contract not being renewed. In 2017 Girardi managed aggressively, and they won the AL East. With the new “Baby Bombers” Aaron Judge and Luis Severino leading the team in the battle for the East, Girardi would yank Severino in favor of reliever Chad Green and the Yankees would win 8-4 and advance to the ALDS.

In the ALDS against the Twins the New York Yankees would lose game one. In game two, Joe would mismanage horribly, yanking the starter CC Sabathia early in favor of Green. Green would load the bases, and Francisco Lindor would hit a grand slam for the Yankee loss. The Yankees would go on to win all of the elimination games and win the ALDS. The Astros would take the ALCS in seven games and, Joe’s time as the manager would be over. Several of the youngest players would express their disdain for Girardi, some saying it’s a long season; he wears you down.  Had the Astros not cheated in the 2017 ALCS,  Girardi may not have been fired, something we may never know.

Since Joe’s departure, there has been an ongoing conversation on social media about the approach Girardi took to managing and that of Aaron Boone. The basic difference is that Boone is everybody’s friend, where Joe was the tough love father to the players. In an interesting piece today, EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Nathan Solomon made a Girardi/Sanchez comparison:

“Ever since Joe Girardi was fired by the New York Yankees, Sanchez hasn’t been the same. His average since the beginning of 2018 is just .199 with a .741 OPS. One of the main reasons why Girardi was fired had to do with his relationship between him and the catcher before Sanchez’s struggles began. But now, looking in hindsight, it may not also be just a coincidence that Sanchez has struggled since Girardi’s departure.”

Joe the broadcaster and Phillies manager

After the season Girardi would again go into broadcasting with several outlets, including the MLB Network. From the time he left the Yankees at the end of this season, Joe Girardi’s name came up several times as managerial openings came up. After two years in broadcasting, Joe Girardi is now the newly hired manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Joe is still young (56), and it is too early to evaluate his managerial career. Joe is still loved by the Yankee faithful and several of the players. The Phillies will meet the Yankees at the Stadium on July 20th.

Personals

One thing that has never changed is that Joe carries his emotions on his sleeve. Things and events deeply touch him, never shy about showing his anger toward an umpire that he thought had made a bad call against the Yankees.  Tears ran down his face when he spoke about Yogi Berra’s death.  He visibly cried when both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera left the field for the last time.  Joe Girardi is a good man, a very good man.

In 1990, he married his lovely wife, Kim Innocenzi-Girardi. The couple is also blessed with three children that are all now adults, named Lena Yvonne, Serena, and Dante. He is leading a blissful and happy family life. Her husband understands her profession and gives her the freedom to do her work the way she wants. The couple is enjoying their life a lot at their home that Joe purchased when with the Yankees, in Purchase, New York. In summer 2019, Wilson Premier League Joe coached his son, that looks remarkably like him.

New York Yankees Analysis: Has Manager Aaron Boone worn out his usefulness with the Yankees?

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Aaron Boone, the New York Yankees manager, has taken the Yankees to the postseason during both of his years as manager.  In 2018 he won 100 games, and in 2019, he won 103 games, but in both years, has failed to get the team into the World Series. Also, in 2018, he had injuries, in 2019, he had record injuries of players, something that has carried over to this year as well.  At the end of this season, Boone’s contract with the Yankees will be over.  The question is, is it time for the Yankees to move on from Boone and possibly look elsewhere for fresh blood to lead the team?

At the end of the 2017 season, when Joe Girardi brought the New York Yankees one game short of the World Series, Giradi’s contract was not renewed. It was later found out the the Houston Astros cheated in that ALCS, and may have cost the Yankees a World Series.  Girardi was let go primarily becuase he hadn’t won a World Series since 2009, and his agressive management style wasn’t appreciated by many of the “baby bombers.”

Joe Girardi’s and Aaron Boone‘s management style are very different.  Garardi was more of a boss and disiplinarian, whereas Boone, while being a leader wanted to be a friend to his players. Boone is not as demanding of his players, Girardi was very demanding, making them do constant running and stretching, when not in the batting cage or performing on field play drills.  Girardi’s 2017 season saw a healthy Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez, and all had an excellent season.  During Boone’s management the team has not been able to stay healthy.  The last two years have been the worst injury years in decades. How much of that is Aaron Boone’s fault is anyone’s guess.

The Yankee brass claimed that one of the main factors in his removal, beside his overbearingness was that he didn’t communicate well with the young players.  This was the same manager that brought a young Miami Marlins team, that nothing was expected of, to fourth place in the National League, and was named Manager of the Year in 2006. The first time a Manager of the Year was ever awarded to a manager of a fourth place team.

One would wonder how Joe Girardi, still being manager, would do with the likes of former MVP Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Andrew McCutchen, Luke Voit, Zack Britton, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino and DJ LeMahieu added to his team. Under Boone’s leadership, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have spent as much time on the IL as on the field, and he has been unable to keep catcher Gary Sanchez from crashing and burning, despite his home run ability.

In his third year as Yankee manager, Boone is not as well liked as he once was.  He has publicly pissed off three of his pitchers by pulling them from games they thought they could win, including new Yankee ace Gerrit Cole, who was visibly angered by Boone’s action.  Slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t happy when Boone would not allow him to go on day to day, when he said he was 100%.  In an unsual move for the mild and proper Judge, in  zoom interview, let it be known that he was not happy with Boone’s decision. J.A. Happ has publically called out Boone’s the the way he has or hasn’t handled his pitching starts.

Moving on to the 2020 season, the New York Yankee team hasn’t seemed to be energized, and lost it’s purpose at different points in the season.  It got to point, that if pitchers pitched well, hitters didn’t hit, and when they did hit the pitching failed.  Now coming off six straight wins and an enlivened lineup, the Yankees have a chance to, again go to the posteason.  Many fans wonder if the Yankees do get to the playoffs, how far they will go and if they will fail again, short of making a World Series appearance.

For Aaron Boone fans, this writer feels they have nothing to worry about. Boone’s contract will be renewed for another period, and the Yankees will not hold him responsible for the injuries or the team’s play.  They gave Girardi nine years, they will give Boone more than three. A big factor will be how Boone manages the team, if the team reaches the postseason, which now seems inevitable.

Should the Yankees decide not to renew Boone’s contract, there are several options out there.  Buck Showalter, David Cone, Jorge Posada all of which would manager with similar style to Joe Girardi. Two interesting possibilities would be catcher Erik Kratz, who who works very well with young players, and Rob Thompson who is with Joe Girardi, as his bench coach.  Thompson had served with the Yankees for nearly twenty years, and knows the organization inside and out.

 

New York Yankees: Joe Girardi says it will be “odd” to return with a different uniform

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi will be forever associated with the New York Yankees franchise. He won three World Series rings in four years with them (1996, 1998 and 1999, and he also played with the Bombers in 1997) and was also a champion as a manager, in 2009. He led the team as a skipper from 2008 to 2017.

Now firmly entrenched as the Philadelphia Phillies manager, Girardi will return to Yankee Stadium for the first time since being let go as manager. His club will visit the Bronx on July 20 for an exhibition game.

When games start counting, Girardi and the Phillies will go to the Bronx on July 29, the New York Yankees’ home opener.

A familiar face for the Yankees

Girardi had a video chat with reporters on Wednesday and said that it will be a little “odd” to return to Yankee Stadium with another uniform.

According to NJ.com, here is the full quote:

“I think it’ll be odd because I’m not used to going in the other dugout or the other locker room. It will be really good to get back and see people that I know. I look forward to seeing (visiting clubhouse manager) Lou (Cucuzza) on the other side in the clubhouse. I remain friends with Lou and talk to him on a regular basis. But it would be good to get back. But it’s going be a little bit different. I have to make sure I don’t turn into the wrong door when I come down the stairs, and I think we do come in a different way as the visiting team so that should help out. I won’t lead, I will follow make sure I go to the right place.”

Girardi also said that it has been great to manage former Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius again. “He has been great in our clubhouse. Didi brings a smile and laughs a lot and has fun every day and that’s what we continue to see with Didi here. He did hit a Grand Slam today in our intrasquad game. So that was good to see. He looks great.”

VIDEO: Did former Yankees manager Joe Girardi accidentally admit to cheating?

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

Did former Yankees manager Joe Girardi slip up regarding the cheating scandal?

The state of baseball continues to degrade amid financial negotiations regarding a potential 2020 regular season. The New York Yankees and the rest of Major League Baseball remain in a stagnant state, waiting for the MLBPA and team owners to find a resolution for their differing opinions on prorated contracts.

At this point, the regular season seems unlikely, with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stating that negotiations are up in the air and things seem tumultuous. Manfred wants the MLBPA to drop any grievances against the league, which would spur a potential start of the season. Waving all liability for the players seems like a terrible mistake for the union, who obviously has their health and financial security in mind.

It seems as if Manfred could be waiting things out to try and reduce the number of games played, which would ultimately save the league money this year. However, while all of these negotiations are taking place, the Yankees are once again being investigated for a potential cheating scandal back in 2017.

Looking into information and evidence from three years ago is never a sign of clarity. Available information does not indicate the Yankees had anything to do with cheating, but former manager Joe Girardi slipped up on live television (MLB Network) several days ago.

Girardi stated that he “was part of a system where it came from upstairs, to someone in the dugout, to the guy on second base…” This would indicate that the Yankees were utilizing an illegal method to relay signs to players that would detail what pitches were coming.

A judge in New York is attempting to unseal the document with potential evidence of cheating. The Yankees are filing a grievance to keep the letter sealed and tucked away from the public. The Yankees believe it would hurt their image significantly, and any indication that they were involved in illegal procedures would be a huge blow to the team and baseball.

With that being said, Girardi’s comments were poorly timed and phrased given the current state of the league and the aftermath of the Houston Astros scandal.

New York Yankees Legends: Joe Girardi, Mr. determination

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

The man that is Joe Girardi

The New York Yankees had Joe Girardi both as a player and a manager. Joe’s middle name is Elliot, but it should be determined. Joe Girardi was a pretty average player, and a catcher with little hitting ability, and often as a catcher let runners run on him, but he was determined to get better. He was determined to call the best game he could in the handling of pitchers, and that he did.

He was determined to take a young inexperienced Florida Marlins club, a club with the lowest payroll in baseball, to heights it had not seen, and he did, almost to the wild card game and was named the Manager of the Year. He was determined to take the Yankees to another World Series, and he did that too. After not having his Yankee contract renewed, he was determined to get back as a manager; he did that, he is the new manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Joe Girardi’s style was to be strict, but not any more demanding of others than himself. Born on October 14, 1964, the fourth of five children, he grew up in Peoria, Illinois. His Dad Jerry was a salesman but did a variety of other jobs. His Mom Angela was full-time as a child psychologist. Both his Mother and Father died early in life, his father of early-onset Alzheimer’s and his mother of ovarian cancer.

Joe credits his father with his determination and the many things he taught the young Joseph. At the age of 12, he would play with his older brothers and their friends; Joe liked playing shortstop but caught because no one else would do it. He later in life would credit his brothers for helping him improve his game. He would say when you play with those older than you, you are forced to get better.

Joe’s sports history

The young Girardi was multi-talented, playing basketball, football and baseball through high school. In 1983 he would enroll in Northwestern University. He played for the Northwestern Wildcats baseball team, where he was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and a three-time Academic All-American. At the end of the 1986 semester, he would earn his bachelor’s degree in engineering. Girardi was a popular student at Northwestern, he was the first-ever freshman to be elected president of a fraternity at Northwestern.

The Chicago Cubs drafted him in 1986 and sent him to Single-A Peoria. He got off to a hot start hitting near .330. He ended the season batting .309 with Peoria, .280 with Carolina in 1987, and .272 with Double-A Pittsfield in 1988. In 1989 he would meet Don Zimmer, who was then the Cubs manager. He would make his major league debut on April 4th. He hit a single and scored the first run of the season for the Cubs. In his rookie year with the Cubs, Girardi batted .248 with a home run and 14 runs batted in (RBIs) in 59 games played. In 1990, he played in 133 games, batting .270 with a home run and 38 RBIs. In 1991, he played in only 21 games, batting .191 with 6 RBIs. In 1992, he played in 91 games, batting .270 with a home run and 12 RBIs.

After the 92 season, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies. Joe loved playing at Mile High Stadium. In his first year with the Rockies in 1993, he played in 86 games batting .290 with five triples, three home runs, and 31 RBIs. In 1994, he played in 93 games batting .276 with four triples, four home runs, and 34 RBIs. In 1995, he played in 125 games batting .262 with a career-high 8 home runs and 55 RBIs. At the end of the season he would be traded to the New York Yankees.

Joe Girardi becomes a New York Yankee

Joe would become the New York Yankee’s catcher. On May 14, 1996, Girardi caught Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter. Girardi played in 124 games during the 1996 season, batting .294 with two home runs and 45 RBIs. During the World Series against the Braves, Girardi would hit a triple that helped the Yankees win that game, and ultimately the World Series. In 1997 Girardi would get a new back up catching in the 25-year-old Jorge Posada; the pair would share the backstop position for the next 3 years when Posada would become the primary catcher. In 1999 his last year with the Yankees, Girardi would call his second perfect game, this one for David Cone.

In 2000 Joe would be back with his debut team, the Chicago Cubs. He would be named to the All-Star team that year. But in 2002, he would be called upon to speak to the Cub crowd at Wrigley Field. The game that day was nationally televised between the Cubs and the Cardinals. The Cardinal pitcher was to be Darryl Kile, but Kile had been found dead at his home. Girardi approached the mic before stands filled with fans and announced “due to a tragedy in the Cardinal family” that there would be no game that day. He asked all fans to be respectful of the matter as they found out about it on their own and to pray. After the season, Joe would play in 16 games with the Cardinals. With his hitting declining, he would retire as a player after the season. He would become a YES Network commentator in 2004.

Joe’s coaching and managerial career

Joe Girardi became Joe Torres bench coach in 2005, while still holding down some of his YES work in the form of the “Kids on Deck” program. Girardi was a broadcaster for the third, fourth, and fifth games of the 2006 World Series on the Fox Network. During the offseason in 2005, Girardi would be named the new manager of the Florida Marlins. He had a young inexperienced team that had the lowest player salary in the majors.

He often had fights with owner Jeff Loria. In 2006 Girardi brought his hapless team almost to the Wild Card game and was named Manager of the Year, but due to conflicts with Loria, he would be fired. After being considered as the manager for the Cubs and Nationals, he returned to the YES booth in 2007. Joe Torres winning ways would come to an end when Torre and the Yankees couldn’t agree to a contract. The Yankees considered Don Mattingly, Tony Pena and Girardi, they ultimately gave Joe the job and he signed a 3-year contract.

In 2008 Joe would appear on the field with the number 27 on his back, signaling that he was bound and determined to get the New York Yankees to their 27th World Championship. In 2008 the Yankees would miss the playoffs for the first time in fourteen years, and fans would say they never should have gotten rid of Joe Torre. But the fact was they won 89 games with a flawed team that was poorly caught and ineffectively pitched. In 2009 the New York Yankees management brought on CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Nick Swisher, and Mark Teixeira. In his second year, Joe Girardi would take the Yankees to their 27 World Series win defeating the Philadelphia Phillies.

Although the 2008 team through the 2010 team appreciated Girardi’s tough-love approach to managing, future teams would not be as accepting of it, and it would eventually lead to his contract not being renewed. In 2017 Girardi managed aggressively, and they won the AL East. With the new “Baby Bombers” Aaron Judge and Luis Severino leading the team in the battle for the East, Girardi would yank Severino in favor of reliever Chad Green and the Yankees would win 8-4 and advance to the ALDS.

In the ALDS against the Twins the New York Yankees would lose game one. In game two, Joe would mismanage horribly, yanking the starter CC Sabathia early in favor of Green. Green would load the bases and Francisco Lindor would hit a grand slam for the Yankee loss. The Yankees would go on to win all of the elimination games and win the ALDS. The Astros would take the ALCS in seven games and, Joe’s time as the manager would be over. Several of the youngest players would express their disdain for Girardi, some saying it’s a long season, he wears you down.  Had the Astros not cheated in the 2017 ALCS,  Girardi may not have been fired, something we may never know.

Joe the broadcaster and Phillies manager

After the season Girardi would again go into broadcaster with several outlets including the MLB Network. From the time he left the Yankees at the end of this season, Joe Girardi’s name came up several times as managerial openings came up. After two years in broadcasting, Joe Girardi is now the newly hired manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Joe is still young (55), and it is too early to evaluate his managerial career. Joe is still loved by the Yankee faithful and several of the players. The Yankees were not scheduled to play the Phillies this year.  If the MLB proposed realignment takes place the Yankees will face Joe Girardi’s Phillies several times in the newly formed Eastern Division.

Personals

One thing that has never changed is that Joe carries his emotions on his sleeve.  He is deeply touched by things and events, he was never shy about showing his anger toward an umpire that he thought had made a bad call against the Yankees.  Tears ran down his face when he spoke about Yogi Berra’s death.  He visibly cried when both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera left the field for the last time.  Joe Girardi is a good man, a very good man.

In 1990, he married his lovely wife; Kim Innocenzi-Girardi. The couple is also blessed with three children that are all now adults, named Lena Yvonne, Serena, and Dante. He is leading a blissful and happy family life. Her husband understands her profession and gives her the freedom to do her work the way she wants. The couple is enjoying their life a lot at their home that Joe purchased when with the Yankees, in Purchase, New York. In summer 2019, Wilson Premier League Joe coached his son that looks remarkably like him.

The New York Yankees are becoming the Phillies’ farm system with Joe Girardi

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

Joe Girardi was the New York Yankees manager for nine years starting in 2008.  He brought the Yankees to a World Series win in his second year as manager in 2009.

As the team changed in the 2010s to a somewhat younger team, Joe fell out of favor with some of the “baby bombers” as being too hard on them.  In 2017 Girardi would win the Wild Card game and would then win the ALDS from the Indians. They would later play the Houston Astros in the ALCS.  The Yankees would lose games 6 and 7 in Houston and the series, in what is now embroiled in the Houston sign-stealing scandal.

Had the Yankees won that series, Joe’s job might not have been in jeopardy.  After the 2017 season, when his contract would be up, it would not be renewed.  Aaron Boone was hired as the new Yankee manager.  He has taken the team to two 100 win seasons garnering 103 wins last year the most since 1998.

After managing the Marlins and the Yankees, Joe would want to manage again, but not finding any suitable offers would go into broadcasting.  In 2018 he went to work for the MLB Network as a studio commentator.  While continuing his work with the MLB Network, he would join Fox Sports as a broadcaster for regular-season games for the 2019 season.  On October 24, 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies would announce Girardi as their new manager replacing Gabe Kapler.  During this offseason, Joe would find himself reuniting with some former Yankees.

Andrew McCutchen: McCutchen was an outfielder for the Yankees in 2018 after not being signed. He went with the Phillies.  A knee injury let him play in only 82 games.  He would require knee surgery and be out for the rest of the season.  McCutchen did not play for the Yankees when Joe was a manager.

David Robertson:  Girardi and Robertson have a history together.  One of Joe’s attributes was how to use his bullpen.  Joe, at times, used him as a setup man for Mariano Rivera and in other high impact situations.  They worked very well together.  That reuniting might have to wait a while as Roberson has undergone Tommy John surgery and will most likely be out most if not all of the 2020 season.

Didi Gregorius:  Joe also knows Didi Gregorius very well as Didi was the Yankee shortstop for three years while Joe was Yankees manager.  Yankee fans, for the most part, were sorry to see the Yankees not exercise his option.  He finally signed with the Phillies on December 29, 2019.  Gleyber Torres, as of now, will be taking his spot at short for the Yankees during the 2020 season.

Ronald Torreyes:  “Toe” is another Yankee player that Joe is very familiar with.  They played together for two years, from 2016 to 2017.  Joe liked Torreyes and utilized him frequently.  He played in 108 games in 2017.  When management changed, and Aaron Judge took over in 2018, Boone really didn’t use Torreyes, and he was released.  Ronald signed with the Twins for the 2019 season.  On January 7, 2020, he signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.  Knowing Joe and how he used Torreyes, I am sure he will get called up at some point in the season as a backup for Didi Gregorius.  Toe was not a home run hitter but was more contact getting on base.

For Joe, it won’t be like Old Timer’s Day, but at least Joe will have some former Yankees to make his new job seem somewhat familiar as he learns his new players and hopes to bring the Phillies to the postseason.

The Phillies Are the Reunion Yankees Fans Want

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi didn’t spend too much time outside of baseball after the Yankees let him go. It makes sense that a team would want to trust Joe Girardi after his impressive run with the Yankees. While there was only 1 World Series appearance/championship, Giardi never had a season below .500 as a manager. And the Yankees of the 2010s are all in on reuniting with their old skipper.

The Yankees Keep Coming to Philly

David Robertson, a fixture in the Yankees pen for much of the last decade, was with the Phillies since last season but missed most of his debut season due to Tommy John surgery. You know he’ll want to prove he was worth the contract, and Girardi certainly knows how to utilize him.

Then there are the Yankees recently departed shortstop, Didi Gregorius. Didi found his strength as an offensive player under Girardi. He was always a defensive whiz, but he became a FORCE once he came to NY. And after his injury-shortened 2019, where he struggled offensively and defensively after the All-Star break, you know he wants to prove he can still play.

And now, they have Ronald Torreyes. Yes, it’s a minor league deal, but it comes with an invitation to Spring Training. Toe was a viable backup, playing 180 games for the Yankees during Girardi’s last two years as manager, playing 108 in 2017 alone. I think Girardi trusts Torreyes enough that Toe will have a spot on the Phillies bench during the 2020 season. 

It’s going to be interesting to see just what the Phillies can do next season, especially with so many former Yankees on the team.

Mets News: Van Wagenen on Girardi, Cespedes and the starting rotation

Simeon Woods-Richardson

New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was proud to introduce Carlos Beltran as the team’s new manager on Monday, but he knew there’d be more than just questions about Beltran.

For instance, like why he passed on Joe Girardi, the man who seemed to be the most natural fit for the job.

“There were a lot of qualified candidates that brought different things to the table,” Van Wagenen said. “I thought that we considered all of those candidates and their strengths and ultimately it was Carlos’ strengths that won the day. It was less about where other candidates fell short and much more specifically about what Carlos’ leadership brings to our team, what his leadership brings to the organization and we had a great deal of confidence in that.”

The truth is he wanted a first-time manager and not one he inherited, such as Mickey Callaway.  He wanted his own. Beltran has other qualities that won him the job, but still, Met fans are leery. He will have earn their trust.

Cespedes’ Return Still Unknown

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is still a Met. Maybe you forgot. No one can blame you for that. Cespedes has not played since July 20, 2018 when it was decided that he needed surgery on both heels. That surgery was successful but his comeback last was then thwarted by an ankle fracture he suffered on his ranch in May. That’s the Mets’ story and their sticking to it.

Van Wagenen was asked on Monday what Cespedes’ status was. He wasn’t sure. I believe him.

Since Cespedes signed a four-year, $110 million extension with the Mets (with a no-trade clause) in November of 2016, he’s played in just 119 games. 2020 will be his last year under contract at a salary of $29.5 million.

Lugo, Gsellman could be starters again

With Zack Wheeler headed for free agency and a longshot to be re-signed by the Mets, the starting rotation will take on a different look in 2020. BVW did mention that the Mets would make a qualifying off to Wheeler, but the general consensus is that Wheeler will opt for free agency.

Jacob deGrom, Markus Stroman, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard – providing the team doesn’t trade him – will all be back but extra arms will be needed and Van Wagenen isn’t ruling out two players already on the staff that have started in the past in Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman.

Is this a subtle hint that BVW will be looking to futz with the bullpen again this offseason? You can almost bet on that he will. He is likely in the market for a closer and a setup man from each side of the mound. In short, he’s back to where he started from.

New York Mets: Joe Girardi to the Phillies

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi was the manager the New York Mets needed, a gift who was available at a perfect time for the franchise. In typical Jeff Wilpon fashion, he disappoints the organization and their fans by letting him go to the rival Phillies. This almost assures the next manager of the Mets to be under a large amount of scrutiny from day one.

At the moment, the only information available is that the Phillies were much more aggressive on pursuing Girardi. Girardi could have been perfect for the Mets. He won championships as a player and manager in New York, managed in the NL before and had the most managing experience. Girardi even continued to live in New York after his job managing the Yankees came to an end. Jeff

How to Salvage this Mess?

The Mets have to bring in a candidate the fans and organization can be confident in. Wilpon did not foresee a relationship with Girardi working out and he was simply too cheap to hire him. This shows the direction the franchise is moving in now. The manager is going take orders from the Wilpon’s, Brodie Van Wagenen and the analytic department.

We would put a tweet about Wilpon here, but it is hard to find anything that was not profanity laced

This a very dangerous path for the Mets go down. Unfortunately, the mess is unsalvageable and the only real fix will be the players carrying them to a World Series despite the incompetence of the front office. It is hard to think any of the other candidates will have the power Girardi would have garnered, which leaves a very talented team in a compromising position.

 

New York Mets: The Four Managerial Candidates

New York Mets to interview Carlos Beltran.

The New York Mets have gone through an extensive list of candidates to fill their manager position. After a couple weeks of intense vetting the final four names left are Tim Bogar, Eduardo Perez, Carlos Beltran and Joe Girardi.

Tim Bogar is currently the Nationals first base coach and is a name that has flown under the radar. His experience is no joke though, which has given him to opportunity to make the final four. Bogar is a former Met who spent nine years in the big leagues and has won manager of the year in three different minor leagues.

He spent time coaching in multiple roles during his MLB coaching career. Bogar has coached under Joe Maddon, Terry Francona, Bobby Valentine and Ron Washington. His only managing experience came in 2014 when he replaced Washington and led the Rangers to a 14-8 record to end the season.

From the Booth to the Bench?

Eduardo Perez has a very interesting background compared to the rest of the candidates. He has experience coaching in the bigs, tv experience and comes from a baseball family. Perez is the son of hall of famer Tony Perez and Eduardo was a 13-year veteran who bounced around from team to team.

He has managed in winter ball leagues in Puerto Rico and has experience as a bench and hitting coach for the Astros and Marlins, respectively. Perez is a very likable figure throughout baseball which helped him earn another interview.

Will a Beltran Hire Be Another Strikeout?

Carlos Beltran had a very successful career which included seven good years with the Mets. He was known for his ability to be a strong clubhouse leader, but did have front office conflicts with the Wilpons. Originally, Beltran wanted nothing to do with job but quickly had a change of heart which is paying off for him.

Beltran lacks the managerial experience at any level, unlike the other three candidates. What makes Beltran’s story interesting is he only wants the Mets job. He can definitely add the hitters and base stealing perspective the team lacked with Mickey Callaway as manager.

Will the Wilpons Accept Girardi?

Joe Girardi is hands down the best candidate of the four, which is why the Phillies see him as their top candidate. He is a World Series champion, former manager of the year and has 988 wins over 11 years of managing experience. Girardi also owns the best challenge record in baseball history.

The one red flag, for only Fred/Jeff Wilpon, and Brodie Van Wagenen, is that Girardi would expect to have full control of the day-to-day and game decisions. This had a lot to do with why Brian Cashman decided to move on to Aaron Boone to manage the Yankees. Cashman wanted more control of the team and it has not seemed to work very well.

The Direction of the Franchise

If the Mets bring in Beltran or Perez, expect the same old stuff that happened under Callaway. The one variable here is that Beltran has way too much to lose by become a puppet to the front office. Beltran is a borderline hall of fame and can find a better job somewhere else if he is not happy with what the Mets offer.

Girardi or Bogar should receive full control when they get the job. This situation is very black or white. Unfortunately, the Mets tendencies forces us to assume they will make the mistake by hiring another puppet.

Prediction: Carlos Beltran lands the job