• Why The Yankees Should Hire Joe Girardi

    Posted by on October 25th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    As I have previously written, with Joe Girardi you get the tactical-edge seeking of Billy Martin, the ensured preparedness of Buck Showalter, and, the politically correct demeanor of Joe Torre – all rolled into one. There’s really not much more that you can ask a manager to have, in my opinion, in terms of skills and talent.

    Don Mattingly has some assets to consider, as well, of course. He’s been well schooled in the game. His work ethic is off-the-charts. He’s respected in the Yankees clubhouse as well as around the game. And, he’s a living Yankees icon.

    However, there’s one thing to consider that separates Mattingly and Girardi, now, in terms of which one the Yankees should have run their team in 2008.

    Outside of this opportunity with the Yankees, no other current major league team would currently consider Don Mattingly as someone who they would want to manage their team. It’s not a knock on Donnie – it’s just a fact that (probably) every other team in baseball would not consider him ready, at this point, to be a viable candidate to lead their club.

    To be candid, the reason why the Yankees are considering Don Mattingly now is because he’s “Don Mattingly” and he has “Yankees” running through his veins.

    Joe Girardi, on the other hand, has been sought out by other franchises, in the past, to see if he would be interested in managing their team. And, there’s great reason to believe that, should he be available, clubs will continue to have a strong interest in having Girardi lead their team.

    Brass tacks, today, Joe Girardi is an “A+/A-” managerial prospect at this junction whereas Don Mattingly is a “C+/B-” managerial prospect in the eyes of organizations other than the Yankees.

    Think of it this way: Joe Girardi is “Joba Chamberlain” and Don Mattingly is “Tyler Clippard.” Sure, in the end, maybe Clippard turns out to have a better career as a pitcher than Chamberlain – you never know in baseball. But, right now, in terms of rolling the dice, and picking one hurler over the other, you’re going to choose Chamberlain based on the demonstrations of his talents to date.

    This is why the Yankees should choose Joe Girardi now to be their next manager. It’s no slap at Mattingly – it’s just that Joe is further along in terms of his skipper “attractiveness” (for lack of a better team) than Donnie – among objective baseball circles outside of Yankeeland.

    Maybe this all changes in one or two years? Maybe it doesn’t? But, for now, it’s a fact – many teams recognize Girardi as having the potential to be a great manager and only the Yankees consider Mattingly as someone who could be their next manager.

    At some point, the Yankees have to look at this and ask themselves “Who do I want to run my business, the valedictorian who was voted most likely to succeed, or, the dude next-door that I’ve known for the last 18 years, who’s not afraid of hard work, and who has always been a buddy?”

    It’s a tough question because, in the end, it’s a call that’s between your head and your heart. Translated to the Yankees, their heart probably tells them “Mattingly” whereas their head should tell them “Girardi.”

    Follow your head, Yankees, and hire Joe Girardi.

    Comments on Why The Yankees Should Hire Joe Girardi

    1. MJ
      October 25th, 2007 | 9:10 pm

      Steve, I couldn’t agree more.

      And as much as alienating Mattingly would be bad for the team right now, given what the Torre fallout was, it’s just how it’s gotta be. Mattingly might be disappointed but I hope he’s honest and intelligent enough to understand why he might not be the best choice right now. Hopefully 1-2 years from now he’ll be able to get over the disappointment and once again be a part of the greatest alumni club in baseball history.

    2. j
      October 25th, 2007 | 9:59 pm

      Girardi has the highest chance of being the manager that gives the Yankees the best chance to win in 2008. It’s really that simple.

    3. Jaggie
      October 25th, 2007 | 10:02 pm

      I agree with the premise that Girardi is the more prepared and the better choice to manage the Yanks right now, but I disagree with your assertion that no team would be interested in Mattingly. There have been managers far less qualified who have interviewed with other clubs and even gotten hired (Ron Washington, Ozzie Guillen, Bob Geren, Manny Acta and probably the best example, Alan Trammel). All of those guys had very little if any previous managerial experience. They all were qualified for different reasons though. Washington has a great baseball knowledge, Guillen is a spark plug, Geren knew the organization, Acta has worked with some of the best (like Frank Robinson) while Trammel was nothing more than an even less qualified version of Mattingly. Hell even Willie Randolph had never been more than a coach. Point is, there are a lot of different reasons why managerial candidates are attractive to clubs. The very fact that Mattingly was such a cerebral player and that he has spent even a few years around guys like Torre would qualify him at least as a possible candidate elsewhere. I think everyone just knew what Donnie’s intentions were. He always had his eyes set on the Yanks managerial job. He wasn’t the kind of guy who would go wherever he could get a job.

      That said, Girardi is obviously more qualified. Catchers make great managers (hello Torre and Scioscia). He’s also an incredibly bright guy (Northwestern grad), has a working relationship with the veterans, has worked with kids in Florida, can handle the media, etc. Like you said, Steve, Girardi is really everything the Yankees could want in a manager. But it’s just such bad timing because Donnie came back for a reason and to not hire him now means to never hire him.

    4. jonm
      October 25th, 2007 | 10:50 pm

      Interesting news from the NY Post. Essentially it says that the managerial decision is Cashman’s.

      I don’t know if I buy it, but, if that’s true, that probably means Girardi.

      I preferred Girardi and first, but today, I started moving toward Mattingly. Now, I’d be satisfied with either.

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