No Logic For Yankees Letting Girardi Go

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

Perhaps it was time for Joe Girardi to go and ten years is a long tenure for a manager in baseball. The days were getting longer for Girardi and the Yankees hierarchy pulled the plug on the manager by not renewing his contract as was official Thursday morning.

And with that, the Joe Girardi managerial era in the Bronx is over. But the question is why and what led to this decision to relieve Girardi who led the Yankees to a World Series championship in 2009 with only five other managers in the franchise winning more games.

There are numerous reports about a clash with GM Brian Cashman over some player moves. Others are saying that Girardi was not going with the similar analytics that his GM and others have come to rely upon to win ballgames.

This has nothing to do with the personnel in the Yankees clubhouse, the players who showed no signs of having disrespect for the manager, though there are rumors that a discontent Jacoby Ellsbury was talking behind the scenes as to how he was mishandled in the lineup.

And it has been ruled out that the Game 2 ALDS foul tip at the plate in Cleveland, a play that Girardi failed to review, had nothing to do with this decision. Or was it the Yankees going in another direction with their future and deciding that Joe Girardi was not the proper leader to guide the best prospects in baseball?

And by all means that can’t be the situation with this decision. Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, and Gary Sanchez would be the first to say that the manager was always in their corner. Heck, even Sanchez, who saw the bench a few times because of his defensive liability behind the plate was more than pleased that the manager took an interest.

Or was this a monetary decision? The Yankees have never shied away from offering the right contract, even for one of their most successful managers in franchise history. Perhaps the Yankees top brass listened to the fan base, and many who would the first to say they are glad that Joe Girardi has been run out of town.

The Yankees do listen to their fans and are one of many teams in Major League Baseball that distribute surveys to the lucrative season ticket holders. So, they may have had a say in determining this decision that caught many off base.

However in the last few months of this unexpected season of success, Joe Girardi seemed tired and may have had an inclination that his run was over. There was more mention of Girardi the family man and spending more time at the ballpark than with his wife, two daughters and son.

Then again, and in the past decade or so, the Yankees played this same role with another successful manager when Joe Torre was not asked to return after 12- successful years and five World Series championships. Then the “Core Four” of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte was coming to an end.

The Yankees were going in another direction with Torre, as obviously they did with Joe Girardi. However there is no logic as to why a manager with success and longevity would not get that opportunity to continue and develop this next core of Yankees that could make this franchise a dynasty in the years ahead.

A predominant belief, and just that, this was a business decision. Baseball as with all sports has become big business and the Yankees hierarchy is not commenting with exception of issuing a press release thanking Joe Girardi for his years of service and success as Yankees manager.

In boxing terms this goes as a knockout administered to Joe Girardi. He made some bad decisions, and what manager always pushes the right buttons? If this had something to do with managing the players and not developing relationships with them, well that criteria never seemed to be an issue.

We don’t see everything behind closed doors but this had nothing to do with the players. Clashes with upper management many times do determine the faith of a baseball manager and reportedly GM Brian Cashman wanted to make a change and that had to do with a different philosophy from the lineup, to player personnel and decision making,  to this baseball game now known as metrics and statistics.

Co-owner Hal Steinbrenner went with Cashman and VP Randy Levine was all for Girardi. Whatever the reason, and what led to this decision is not clear. But we do know the Yankees need to find a new manager and do it fast.

The next Yankees manager has tough shoes to fill.  You don’t find another Joe Girardi around the corner that easy, and the Yankees certainly have a lot of explaining to do.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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