Say It Ain’t So, Joe …

June 22, 2007 |

Since I’m one of the few who’ve been drinking the “Orange Kool-Aid” since Monday …. yesterday, was an obvious downer. Yeah, I really thought Joe Girardi was the fit for this team. Case in point …. he wouldn’t have put Miguel Tejada’s streak ahead of a healthy Chris Gomez’s bat. Enough said.

Yesterday’s news couldn’t have broken at a worse time (Mattson and Davis will love this) …. as I was stepping out of my car, in the Canton square, my buddy, Jubb, hits me with a text message – “Girardi turned it down.” I nearly dropped my phone …. this couldn’t happen – and if it had to happen, couldn’t he wait until at least 2pm?

I was in Canton, because I was meeting Nestor at “Nacho Mama’s” for lunch, prior to a business appointment. “Great” …. not only does this dampen my dream of an organizational rebirth; I had to face Nestor. If you’ve seen the blogs the past few days, you’ll understand. As I walked up to the restaurant …. I spotted him, holding his “bag of tricks” on the sidewalk. Where’s a purse snatcher, when you need one?

His first words were, “Dude, I’m not gonna tell you that I told ya so.” There was no sense in defending this …. I just took it. I listened intently as I was called “stupid, naïve and uninformed” a couple times. Suddenly, I felt like I was thrown in the way-back machine and cast into that former career. Nah …. nothing can be that bad. Besides, I had it coming – Nestor was right – so far.

Fast forward 18 hours to the dawn of a new day. My wife’s birthday is over …. Thank God, I’m several hundred dollars poorer. As I do every morning, I fetched the Sun off my front lawn. You don’t think either of those $600 Bichon Frise’s my wife calls here “babies” are gonna do it, do you? Damn, worthless heartbeats …. they get treated better than me. At any rate, I grabbed the sports section, eagerly hoping for the latest “Girardi Update.”

As I read Jeff Zrebeic’s account of the rejection, one particular factor stood out for me. In the second paragraph, we learned the Orioles offered Girardi slightly more than $1 million over 3 years. Heck, did they offer him the freedom to work part-time at the Royal Farm Store, too? What about a guarantee to have the Pennysaver delivered to his doorstep every Wednesday – he would’ve needed it.

Let me get this straight, Joe Girardi was the guy they HAD TO have. He’s the guy who would straighten out this clubhouse. He was Earl Weaver II, and he was only worth slightly more than $1 million, per year? I was thinking …. we were all thinking, he was gonna command more money than that. They paid Chad Bradford “3 times” the amount (roughly) offered to Girardi.

This was not a time to get cheap. Hey, it’s not my money …. but, please overpay. For all the “woodshedding” Nestor did, yesterday, I still believe money can and will be a deciding factor. Would Girardi turn his nose up at $3 million, per year? I don’t know …. but, it would have been a tougher decision.

In the end, we’ll never know.