Typically when a season ends, you see a plethora of moves within the management of a team whether it’s extending a manager who the team really likes moving forward, or it’s a team relieving a manager of their duties and diving into the “free agent waters” for a new skipper. This is the case with Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees, whose contract with the team ends this year.
Girardi, who has been with the team since 2008 after taking over for Joe Torre who was there for 12 years, has a .562 Win-Loss percentage in his 10 seasons with the team along with having a .538 Postseason Win-Loss percentage including a World Series win in 2009. Under Girardi the Yanks haven’t had less than 84 wins and has had more than 90 wins with him at the helm. He’s also handled some under-achieving teams pretty well, as the 3 seasons under him where they had a negative run differential and didn’t make the playoffs he still managed to keep them over .500 and in the wild card race. And just a quick look at some of those teams’ rosters will be enough to tell anyone how impressive that actually was.
But like any manager, some fans become restless and demand them to lead a team like the Yankees to win a title every year. So if the season ends without one, the following of fans wanting a new manager grows gradually and each move made by the manager for their time after is closely looked at. Just seeing from fans on social media, the want for him to get out of the Bronx is probably at its highest right now. The main reason for this seems to be his in-game decisions whether it’s who he uses from the bullpen on a given night, who he starts or doesn’t start each game, or just strategy mid-game like bunting or base-running. Then after he decision to not use a channel in Game 2 of the ALDS in Cleveland completely backfired on him, some of his non-sympathizers felt they had enough to get what they wanted. In my opinion, he isn’t the best tactician in the sport but I think he’s one of the best at working with what he’s got and getting a group of guys behind him for the long haul.
As for the present day rumors surrounding his future with the team, it was tweeted out in the afternoon by a writer for the New York Post that Girardi appeared at the Stadium at around noon and then left about an hour later. This brought out a lot of speculation amongst the fan-base. Some were optimistic about it, saying that if it were a goodbye it would be much more dramatic and take a lot longer than an hour to happen. Some fans thought this was bad news for him, basically saying the inevitable was being delayed. As far as I’m concerned, there hasn’t been a report from a credible source yet to make me think there was any indication of whether the Yanks or Girardi had already knew the direction each were going to take. I really think that this meeting or whatever it was had not much significance and that the story itself is just to get people talking about it.
In Girardi’s press conference after the loss in Game 7 of the ALCS, he used the word “we” probably more than he has ever had, basically hinting that he sees a future with the team and that they have more work to do in order to get where they want. It’s already been reported that he could possibly retire so he could spend more time with his family, which is important to him and would be understood by upper-management. As for this rumor or any kind of rumblings on social media, it should not be taken out of proportion and fans should be looking into more credible sources before they start to further talk about it. Word to the wise: don’t believe everything you see or hear, leave to the credible reporters (obviously not me) whose jobs are to dive right into these kind of things.