It seemed inevitable on the night of October 25 that Joe Girardi would be out as manager of the New York Yankees on the morning of October 26. Someone at Barstool Sports reported it two days ago and gets no credit over Dave Kaplan of ESPN 1000 in Chicago. However, that is the way the business works. However, the mutual parting does not stop the pain of losing a great manager.
Joe Girardi finishes his tenure in New York with a 910-710 record (.562). 910 wins is good enough for 5th in Yankees history. Only four Hall of Famers are ahead of him (Joe McCarthy at 1,460; Joe Torre at 1,173; Casey Stengel at 1,149 and Miller Huggins at 1,067). That is incredible, considering before Torre and Girardi, the Boss George Steinbrenner would fire executives and coaches at whim. Those days are long over. However, Girardi will never get the credit he deserves for keeping these teams above .500 every season.
In 2013, Girardi dealt with a retiring Mariano Rivera, and a roster including Brent Lillibridge, Reid Brignac and Luis Cruz. Somehow that team won 85 games. That comes down to Girardi and Brian Cashman finding a way to winning. The 2014 team, even with better names, somehow won games despite performing awfully. Most importantly, he took a 2009 team to the World Series and won it all in six games.
A lot of fans did not like Girardi’s bullpen handling; obsession with using his backup catcher; or his general demeanor when things went wrong. However, the fans were not the problem in this departure. There are fans that are happy to see Joe go, and there are fans who are really disappointed. You know if the new manager has a rough start, people will come crawling back to Joe Girardi fandom. That is the way the mass media works now.
It definitely is disappointing to see Joe leave such a great 2017 team. The future is here and in the future with other players. Brian Cashman gave Girardi’s replacement a great team to work with. However, it will be big shoes to fill. The great writer, Mike Axisa of CBS Sports did an excellent job explaining all the possible replacements, so there is no reason to list them here. There will be a time and a place to go over the realistic nominees.
However, Joe Girardi has to right to do whatever he wants now. Last offseason he uprooted his family from Purchase, New York in Westchester County to Florida. His son is a high school athlete. Derek Jeter just started ownership of the Miami Marlins. He could work as manager or an executive in the Jeter administration. Heck, he can even return to the YES Network booth, where a fresh voice would be great.
Either way, his position as probably the #6 manager in Yankee history is ensured. While he is not on the Mount Rushmore of Yankees managers, he won’t be forgotten for all his effort. We should be glad Joe got to be a successful manager in New York after his first stint in Miami went badly. Joe does not have to change his name in a new organization; his one here is on ice. We will miss him.