Monday, November 05, 2007

Why Girardi Is The Wrong Choice

I was rooting for the Yanks to hire Girardi, and I'm glad they did.

The best piece I’ve seen about Joe Girardi was written back in August, back when the Yanks were surging and the chances of Joe Torre wearing Dodger blue were about as great as the Royals’ chances of signing A-Rod. Joel Sherman discussed how Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco all were injured in 2007. Not to mention the surprising off-year of Dontrelle Willis, who pitched a ton in 2006. I know some have given Girardi a pass for all this, but to have four guys go down? Hard to believe it’s all coincidental.

Perhaps Torre’s worst flaw as Yankee manager was his mishandling of the bullpen. And Girardi doesn’t look like he’ll fare much better in handling pitchers.

The Yanks, more than ever in recent memory, need someone who can develop their young arms properly. They can have the best rotation in the game in a few years, or have their guys turn out like the Mets’ Generation K. I don’t see how Girardi will help.

Additionally, does Joe have what it takes to deal with Hank? Torre was great in his dealings with George, although he got lucky the past few years, with George out of it and nobody really in charge. Perhaps Torre saw the writing on the wall, with the way Randy, Hank, and Hal dealt with his contract, and saw it was time to go. Girardi had issues with the Florida personnel, as we all know. And while one can give him a pass since the payroll was heavily reduced after he was hired, I can’t imagine that Hank is going to be easy to deal with. Should make for great back page action, that’s for sure.

Third, having a hard-line manager doesn’t always work with a veteran team. Just ask Larry Bowa. Then there’s the issue of making the Bronx an appealing place for veterans, as I’ve discussed earlier.

Finally (and YD alluded to this in his last piece), the dumbest part of the decision for me is, why do they need to pick a manager with a PR connection? Why couldn’t they go outside the organization? Is playing for the Yankees a prerequisite for the job? Are more fans going to show up to the Stadium because Girardi is manager, not Trey Hillman? I find that very hard to believe.

In fact, the one guy I didn’t want the Yankees to hire was Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, who’s widely touted as one of the brightest guys in the game. Thankfully, Farrell’s staying in Boston, having recently turned down an interview opportunity in Pittsburgh. I also think Hillman would’ve been a good choice, and I’m glad he got the job in KC.

Overall, Girardi should be a better tactical manager than Torre, which isn’t saying much. But the breakdown of Florida’s pitchers should be a concern. In terms of other managerial duties, like motivating players, dealing with the Yankee front office, and the New York media, he’s definitely a step down from Torre. I don’t think he’ll hurt the team considerably – they’ve still got lots of talent – but Cashman could’ve done a lot better.


The RS Rooter said...

Oh my God Despiser!

I've just stumbled in from a FULL week of celebrating the Red Sox World Series Victory and the demise of the once-feared Yankees.

No longer do we need to worry about the Evil Empire!

Pettite has said bye, bye to the Bronx Zoo and The BIG Schill will be back in Boston for 2008!

GREAT News all-around!

Our number 5 Starter: Schilling will be better than any #2 Starter the Yanks decide to throw next year. It's looking like it will now be Mussina, so the Yankees have virtually signed up for last place!

It will be years and years from now that we will have to worry about our once feared-rivals in the AL East. I see more World Series Titles for many years to come with this young core of Red Sox Players having already experienced a World Title!

The "New Order" has been put in place and it is your Boston Red Sox!!

...I have to go get some sleep! I haven't slept since last Saturday night: Game 3!!!!!

The 2007 World Champs: The Boston Red Sox

....has a nice ring to it! Doesn't it YD?

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