Is Joe Girardi Hurting The Yankees …..

April 08, 2009 |

Let me start this off by saying I couldn’t care less about what plagues the New York Yankees ….. but, I hope it continues J

As far as their problems go, I’m starting to wonder if causes or potential causes of any Yankees failures are tied to Joe Girardi. Now, before our friend, Franchise, or any other pinstriped loyalists sink their teeth into me, allow this attempt to explain …..

Ask yourself this question ….. “where was Joe Girardi successful as a manager?” That’s right, he really commanded the ship in South Florida, with the Marlins. There is no question who led that team, as Girardi inspired and motivated an ensemble of young, impressionable players.

Was Girardi assertive? You’re damned right – just remember why he got fired AFTER winning “Manager Of The Year” honors. Yep, amongst other things, he told Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria, to basically sit down and shut up, when arguing with an umpire, from his seat behind homeplate.

But, THIS is Girardi. He’s a combustible guy and motivates through discipline and a swift boot. In fact, it’s the same boot he stuck up the collective asses of many inexperienced Marlin players. But, it worked …..

Now, fast forward to TODAY …..

Joe Girardi manages the most storied franchise in baseball history. On top of that, it’s a collection of veteran talent, with years and years of experience. Heck, you could fill a coffee cup with all the World Series rings in that clubhouse. They’re a pedigreed bunch of performers.

This Yankees team doesn’t need a fiery leader and such an approach probably wouldn’t work anyway. What is Joe Girardi gonna do if the Yankees go into a prolonged slump? Is he gonna stick that same boot in Derek Jeter’s ass? Is he gonna chastise Johnny Damon?

Better yet, will Girardi tell Hank Steinbrenner to mind his manners, if he heckles an umpire? Not if he wants his job …..

This isn’t some half-baked potshot at the New York Yankees. I’m serious about this – is Joe Girardi the kinda guy who can lead a veteran team? We know he’s an effective leader of guys who’ve never experienced the histories of the game. But, he’s now managing a totally different cast of characters.

I would imagine that over the past year there has been an occasion (or three) where Girardi got really pissed and probably wanted someone’s hide. And, he most certainly had to bite his tongue and await a veteran response. Such an approach probably kills Girardi inside.

I said this over a year ago, and I’ll say it again ….. the Baltimore Orioles were a better fit for Girardi’s management style. In fact, if things turn out the way we suspect (and hope), the Orioles will indeed be successful under Andy MacPhail’s watch and Dave Trembley, who is cut in much the same way as Girardi, will enjoy those fruits.

Meanwhile, Joe Girardi will continue to live under baseball’s BIGGEST microscope and within a pressure-cooker environment. He MUST win and I’m talking about championships. If he goes a few years without any celebratory hardware, Girardi’s likely to find himself back in a broadcast booth.

It’s the way it is ….. in New York.

Truthfully, I’ve always thought Joe Girardi was a poor selection to be the Yankees skipper. They thrived under the reserved, silent leadership of Joe Torre. In many ways, it appears Jor Girardi is trying replicate that style. But, it’s an act …..

Eventually, the real Joe Girardi is bound to surface and it probably won’t work. At that point, he’ll be truly compromised and eventually powerless. And, we all know what happens next.

Print this guarantee ….. within the next four years, the Baltimore Orioles will make the playoffs. And, when they do, Joe Girardi will no longer be managing the Yankees. In fact, he’ll probably be home watching the Orioles and thinking “that could’ve been MY team.”

We shall see …..