Breaking news about Joe Girardi

June 19, 2007 | Drew Forrester

I’m sure this won’t be “breaking news” to everyone, but based on the reaction I’m hearing in my travels today, I think someone needs to provide the voice of reason.

I guess I’ll volunteer for that task.

Sam Perlozzo was fired today.  The Orioles announced Dave Trembley is taking over as the team’s new manager.  While Mike Flanagan was quick to point out at the afternoon press conference that he wasn’t willing to put any timetable on Trembley’s tenure, he repeated himself a couple of times — “We think Dave deserves a shot and we’ve retained him as our interim manager and he’ll manage the team starting tomorrow in San Diego.”  That sounded to me a lot like code word for:  “If the team improves under Dave, we’ll stick with him and see if he doesn’t work his way into our full-time guy.”

OK, managerial search over, right?

Wrong.

Evidently, there’s a Tuesday morning meeting in Chicago involving the O’s management team (kindly referred to now as “The Camden Trio”) and ex-Florida Marlins Manager Joe Girardi.  Word has it from people that I trust greatly that the O’s will have an offer in hand to present to Girardi tomorrow morning.  They’re ready to make ANOTHER managerial move, it seems, and Trembley hasn’t even squandered a 9th inning lead in San Diego yet.

Oh yeah, here’s the breaking news I promised.

Joe Girardi has managed EXACTLY 162 games in his big-league career.  Yep, one season.  The Marlins went 78-84 in 2006 before Girardi was jettisoned for pissing off the owner of the team last August.  Yes, he WAS the National League’s Manager of the Year a season ago, but his managerial style – rough and gruff…no holds barred – works much better on 23-year olds making $360,000 a year then it will here in Baltimore where the payroll is $84 million and Melvin Mora has already gone on the record this year as saying, “No one yells at me…my dad died 26 years ago and he’s the only man allowed to yell at me.”  Quick, someone needs to pass that note along to Girardi.  Try yelling at Aubrey Huff, Joe, and see if he’s breathing, would you?  Bark at Tejada the first time he strolls down the first-base line…I can’t wait to hear how that discussion goes.  Yelling at kids who are scared for their professional careers and chastising grown men who have GUARANTEED CONTRACTS are not one and the same.  Hey, I’ve never managed a pro baseball game in my life — it’s just a hunch I have.

Joe Girardi has one year of managerial experience under his belt.  He is NOT Joe Torre.  He’s Joe Girardi.

Ready for other breaking news?

According to media members in South Florida, Joe isn’t the easiest guy to deal with (gee, should fit in well with some of those n’er do wells at The Warehouse) and he’s not someone who takes kindly to being interfered with on a day-to-day basis (that should be interesting when he tells the Camden Trio to get rid of four of Baltimore’s favorite sons and they tell him they can’t because those guys all do a lot of hospital visits.)

Hmmm…not an overly nice dude.  Stand-offish to the media.  Distant with the players.

Should fit in well with our regional baseball club, come to think of it.

And for all of you out there who think Joe has some kind of magic wand he brings along that makes everything fine and dandy, you need a visit from our old friend, “The Cleat of Reality”.

If it were that much of a guarantee that he could turn things around, wouldn’t the Yankees have handed him THEIR managerial job in mid-May when they were wallowing in last place in the A.L. East?

Lastly, I want to say I truly feel bad for Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette.  What they had to endure today was embarrassing and unprofessional.  For Flanagan to have stand up at that podium and announce the Dave Trembley hiring while the team’s newest baseball mind was busy leaving a message on Joe Girardi’s cell phone is proof positive of how poorly run the team is in 2007.  And then, mostly because O’s officials are leery of Duquette due to their opinion that – are you ready for this – “he’s too friendly with the media”, they made Jim Duquette stand on the sidelines like some kind of intern from Cornell while Flanagan tried to steady the press corps on hand.

Duquette WAS allowed to speak today.  O’s Director of Communications Greg Bader made Duquette available only to the talking heads at MASN (as if Jim Hunter would ever ask Duquette any kind of pressing question…yeah, right).  Seems like the rest of us – “the great unwashed” – aren’t worthy enough to be able to speak to Duquette on the day he and Mike Flanagan fired the manager and ended an era of O’s baseball and started another one all within minutes of one another.  Duquette was then whisked away by Bader, almost resembling an agent getting Kevin Costner away from a media throng on opening night at the theater.

Come to think of it, that’s a perfect analogy.

This Orioles season has been great theater so far.

And best of all, we all already know the ending.

There’s no need to stay awake for the exciting climax.

There isn’t one.

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