Telling signs were out there that Joe Girardi was not going to manage the Yankees in 2018.
WFAN’s Mike Francesa made subtle references about the Yankees manager not being a lock to come back next year during the summer, and he mentioned that Girardi was soaking up all the energy in at Yankee Stadium this postseason to enjoy every moment as if it was his last. YES Network’s and WEPN’s Michael Kay mentioned on Twitter Girardi may want to take a year off. It was interesting Yankees general manager Brian Cashman did not rave about the job his manager did this season.
So it shouldn’t be surprising Girardi is out as Yankees manager. He admitted that the Yankees have decided to not to bring him back.
It was time for both parties to move on. 10 years is a long time, and both could use a change.
The Yankees were better off with a different voice. A voice that would get players to relax rather than be tight. A guy that will provide energy during the game whether it’s wins or losses. A leader that can bring some personality in the clubhouse. A guy the players can actually talk to.
Face it. Cashman had every right to make a change. There’s more to managing than just wins and losses. It has to do with creating a better dynamic with the players. It had to do with providing a better alignment with the front office when it comes to agreeing on philosophies. And yes, the Yankees need a manager who is better equipped to handle advanced stats in this modern age of baseball.
What the Yankees need is to find their next Dave Roberts or A.J. Hinch. That guy would be Dodgers player development director Gabe Kapler, who fits the criteria that the Yankees general manager wants from his next manager. One thing we can say is Kapler would be more of a calming influence than Girardi.
It was also about the results. If Cashman felt Girardi was the right man to lead the new generation of Yankees to a dynasty, he would have kept him. That wasn’t the case. He couldn’t have been happy about his manager constantly getting outmanaged and relying on the binder to make moves. He had to be befuddled that his manager would outsmart himself, especially when he would go up against managers such as Buck Showalter.
When Girardi was hired in 2008, the Yankees envisioned him winning many more championships. Instead, he only won one when he should have won two or three. He only made one World Series appearance when he was expected to make multiple appearances. He also missed the playoffs four times in his tenure. His Yankees had couple of first round ousters.
Quite frankly, he overstayed his welcome. If he had to deal with George Steinbrenner in his prime, he wouldn’t have been the Yankees manager for 10 years.
Girardi also had a hard time managing with his instincts. He relied on his binder filled with stats to make decisions. Most of the time, it went against him as he outsmarted himself. Yes, Cashman wants his next manager to be more involved in analytics, but he wants his next manager to use his brain and have a better feel for the game, and this is where Kapler would fit the Yankees general manager’s vision.
Patience was never Girardi’s strong suit. He would give up on his relievers the minute they were in a jam, and that had to be something that stuck in Cashman’s craw. He would overuse Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances often. In other words, he would not stick with the script that his boss would tell him in utilizing his relievers.
There was more weakness than strength when it came to Girardi. The opinion here is Cashman took inventory of everything his manager did before he made the recommendation to ownership to let him go on his own way.
Plus, it sure seemed like the job wore on Girardi this year. He didn’t exactly have fun managing the Yankees this year. He seemed like a guy that was burned out. Managing the Yankees can do that to any human being. A year off wouldn’t be a bad thing for him at all.
It’s not a crime what the Yankees did to Girardi on Thursday. Don’t feel bad for him, either. He will make out more than fine.
He should be thankful he lasted 10 years as Yankees manager.