• Klapisch: General Joe On A Short Leash In ’09

    Posted by on December 21st, 2008 · Comments (5)

    Via Bob Klapisch -

    Now [Manny] Ramirez is looking for a pre-recession payday — $25 million a year for at least four years. While the Yankees aren’t actively pursuing him, no one in the organization has ruled it out, either.

    This is bad news for Joe Girardi, who’s already facing a difficult 2009 agenda. Despite the apparent imbalance in the Yankees’ roster — terrific pitching, questionable offense — the manager is expected to get the Bombers to the playoffs or else lose his job.

    Of course, the front office hasn’t issued a win-or-else edict to Girardi. But officials are aware that his leadership style was too rigid and too intense for a veteran clubhouse. It’s hard to believe Girardi can loosen up in the span of one off-season, but he’d better: If the Yankees are playing .500 ball in mid-May, the clock on his dismissal will be ticking loudly.

    This is the same pressure that Willie Randolph faced early in 2008, and look how the Mets responded: They got their manager fired as they sunk under .500. Girardi is getting one more chance to undo last year’s mistakes, including his over-reliance on team meetings, his inability to digest and process tough losses and his ill-advised policy of banning junk food in the clubhouse.

    Forget about how CC Sabathia will feel once he realizes there’s no ice cream and candy allowed. He is, by all accounts, a good guy and terrific team player. He’ll cope. Ramirez’ assimilation, however, is another story.

    It’s funny, in the press conference the other day for Sabathia and Burnett, Girardi made a statement along the lines of “I told [Sabathia and Burnett's wives] to enjoy [their husbands] for the next eight weeks, because, after that they’re all mine.” And, when he said that, I thought “I know what he’s thinking, and I love the guy; but, maybe that’s not the best statement to make to his new employees, albeit well paid newbies, and their wives, on day one?”

    After all, nobody likes to feel like they’re owned and at the will of someone else – even if they are in a situation like that.

    It will be interesting to see, in 2009, if there are still rumblings about the players not liking Girardi’s style…

    Comments on Klapisch: General Joe On A Short Leash In ’09

    1. Corey
      December 21st, 2008 | 11:31 pm

      i’ve heard many coaches/manager types utter simillar words in the past. big deal

    2. Janks-n-Jints
      December 22nd, 2008 | 12:07 am

      Steve, it was a joke. Lighten up.

    3. Raf
      December 22nd, 2008 | 11:07 am

      I don’t think Girardi’s on a short leash. He had a lot to deal with last year. Unless the players stage a mutiny, I don’t see how Girardi doesn’t finish out his contract.

      Does Girardi remind anyone of a less abrasive Dallas Green?

    4. butchie22
      December 22nd, 2008 | 1:56 pm

      Raf, I see Girardi on a short leash. Yankees Inc(let alone Yankee Empire) will not tolerate another lost season(not in the playoffs). They have Tony Pena waiting in the wings if General Joe is shown the door. People won’t want to hear excuses if the Yankees add Teix and Manram (after adding CC, Burnit, big mistake) and they don’t make the playoffs or flop miserably for two months. The Yanks no longer have Tampa to knock around anymore to remedy any slump.Unlike Cash Man, Levine, Trost and the other court jesters in Yankees Inc, I like Girardi a lot. He was joking of course, but I hope he learns how to remedy what went wrong last year.

    5. Raf
      December 22nd, 2008 | 2:31 pm

      Unless the Yankees suffer numerous injuries, like they did last season, I don’t see them missing the playoffs.

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