Archive for Joe Girardi
Ron Gardenhire of the Twins and Bud Black of the Padres were named the Manager of the Year in their respectively leagues this afternoon. Gardenhire received 16 of 32 first place votes and beat out second place Ron Washington by a sizable margin. Joe Girardi received one third place vote. It was much closer in the NL, where Black received 16 first place votes and Dusty Baker took home 13. Black totaled 104 points, Baker 103. So that was close, congrats to both guys.
You may have seen this report yesterday, indicating that former pitching coach Dave Eiland felt his opinions were “de-emphasized” after his return from a month-long personal leave of absence this past June. Well, Mark Feinsand spoke to Eiland himself, who said the report was “absolutely ridiculous and simply not true.” Glad he cleared that up. He also declined to speak about the circumstances of his dismissal, which should come as no surprise.
Even if the the relationship between Girardi and Eiland did deteriorate after the leave of absence, it’s still pretty much a non-story. When established big leaguers like A.J. Burnett and Javy Vazquez pitch as poorly as they did down the stretch, they’re to blame. Not the coaching staff.
- Girardi and Cashman have brainstormed about potential pitching coaches, but so far they have not yet reached out to anyone nor have they scheduled any interviews. Cashman doesn’t expect the process to move quickly, which is kinda surprising. He added that bullpen coach Mike Harkey and Triple-A Scranton pitching coach Scott Aldred are candidates for the job.
- Cashman on hitting coach Kevin Long: “I think he’d like to stay. We’d like to keep him. I think he’s exceptional at what he does.” K-Long’s contract is up, and I suspect he’s seeking a considerable raise and multiple years. He deserves it.
- “Nothing’s really going to happen until I sit down with my bosses,” said Cashman. He’ll meet with Hal Steinbrenner and whoever else on Monday and Tuesday in Tampa. The 2011 payroll will be hashed out during those meetings.
- Beyond pitching, Cashman doesn’t think the team “needs a lot of changes.” The only change they need as far as the lineup goes is for certain guys to get back to performing up to their full potential. That’s the biggest upgrade they could make.
- “Our lineup is maybe something that could change next year,” said Girardi. I think that’s code for “Derek Jeter won’t keep hitting leadoff if he doesn’t get on base more than 34% of the time,” or at least I hope it is.
- CC Sabathia was dealing with his knee issue since early in the season, and it had no bearing on why he wasn’t used in relief in Game Six of the ALCS. They suspect it may have affected his mechanics, which is kinda crazy since he still had a Cy Young caliber season. Sabathia had surgery to repair the minor meniscus tear in his right knee today and will need three weeks to rehab, as expected. It won’t hurt his offseason training at all, he usually doesn’t start throwing again until after Christmas anyway.
- As far as leaving for the Cubs, Girardi said he “didn’t really think about leaving the Yankees.” The idea of him bolting for Chicago was mostly fan and media speculation, anyway. Two and two made three, then we tried to squeeze it into four.
It has happened before, but that doesn’t mean it was a wise decision. After the 2002 season, the Seattle Mariners essentially traded manager Lou Piniella to the Devil Rays for Randy Winn and Antonio Perez. Previously, the A’s traded their manager, Chuck Tanner, for Manny Sanguillen*. I’m not sure exactly why a team would trade a player for a manager, but I’m sure they have their reasons. What I find ridiculous is that a team would trade a 20-year-old top prospect for a manager. Yet the possibility of such a swap has dominated headlines this morning.
*Thanks to Big League Stew for the instant info.
Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Marlins and White Sox discussed a trade that would have sent Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen to the Marlins. It’s no secret that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has long coveted Guillen, who was the third base coach on the Marlins 2003 World Champion team. Who would the Marlins send to Chicago in this scenario? De Luca ends up burying the lede in the seventh paragraph (emphasis mine):
According to major-league sources, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was intent on making Guillen his next manager. Talks, sources say, progressed to the point that there was discussion of executing a trade that would send Guillen, who has a year left on his contract, to the Marlins for 20-year-old outfielder Mike Stanton, who hit 22 home runs and knocked in 59 runs in just 100 games as a rookie this season.
Yes, that’s the Mike Stanton who is one of five players in MLB history to have an ISO of .245 or greater with 375 or more PA at age 20 or younger. (Others: Ted Williams, Alex Rodriguez, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson.) It’s the same Mike Stanton who was Baseball America’s No. 3 overall prospect entering the 2010 season. It’s certainly not the Mike Stanton who had two stints with the Yankees. If Loria actually put this on the table — I don’t even want to think about what it would mean if Loria offered it and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf rejected it.
Chances are the story isn’t totally accurate. As Patriot said on Twitter, “If credible, that should be the lead of the article, not Ozzie/Kenny soap opera.” I agree. If there was a real, known offer of Stanton for Guillen, that should have moved right to the top — we can see evidence of this in every subsequent blog post, since they’ve all led with the compensation rather than the drama. Still, it does raise interesting questions. Sky Kalkman asks perhaps the most interesting one: “Who would you trade Joe Girardi for?” But since that covers a large range of players, I’d rephrase it to, “Who is the worst player you’d accept for Girardi?”
A young player or prospect is optimal, since you’d get the most out of him. But most owners and GMs aren’t as crazy as Loria, so I doubt any of them would trade a good prospect or young player for a manager. I would, however, trade Girardi for a Randy Winn, circa 2002, type player. He was 28 that year and has just produced the best wOBA of his career, .360. He could play all three outfield positions as well. He didn’t quite live up to the .360 standard in Seattle, but he still provided them with decent production (114 and 110 wRC+). That would mean someone like Andres Torres. If you’re looking for an infielder it would look more like Casey McGehee, Omar Infante, or Mike Napoli.
Is a player like that — one who produced good numbers in 2010 at a relatively older age — a good trade-off for a manager? I’d say yes. I like Girardi as a manager, but the Yankees fan find someone with comparable on-field skills who can manage the men on the team. It’s essentially a trade of intangibles for tangibles — or at least the hope of tangibles. It’s a tough call, but give me the production and let the front office find a different guy to lead the team.
The theme for the comments is obvious. 1) Would you trade Girardi for the players mentioned above? 2) Who is the type of player for whom you’d trade Girardi.
After the Yankees were eliminated from the ALCS last week, Brian Cashman said his first order of business would be to re-sign manager Joe Girardi. Six days later, that’s been taken care of. Mark Feinsand reports that the two sides have agreed on a new three-year, $9M contract, exactly what’s been rumored for the last few days. Joel Sherman says there is another $450,000-$500,000 in bonuses related to ALCS and World Series finishes. The I’s are still being dotted and the T’s are still being crossed, but otherwise it’s pretty much a done deal. An official announcement could come as soon as today according to Feinsand, but tomorrow’s a safer bet since it’s the World Series off-day.
The 46-year-old Girardi has been managing the Yankees since the 2008 season, and has guided them to the game’s best record since taking over at 287-199. After the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time in 13 years during his first season as manager, Girardi led the Yanks to their 27th World Championship in 2009 and owns a 16-8 record in the playoffs during his career. He’s been criticized for everything from being too uptight to getting too caught up in matchups to using a binder (oh noes!) to falling in love with his backup catcher, but to a man the players have all said they love playing for Joe since he’s gotten here, and that’s important.
Speculation was that he could bolt for his hometown Chicago Cubs after the season, who were looking for a manager following Lou Piniella’s sudden retirement earlier this year. That option vanished for Girardi two weeks ago when the Cubs removed the interim tag from Mike Quade and gave him the manager’s job outright. We’ll probably never know if Girardi intended to pursue that job, but we do know one thing, he lost some negotiating leverage when that option was taken off the table.
Although we don’t know the exact breakdown of the new deal, the average annual value is the sixth highest among MLB managers, tied with Philadelphia’s Charlie Manuel. Girardi’s previous contract was for $7.5M over three years, so he’s getting a $500,000 a year raise. Honestly, that seems quite modest. I’m surprised it’s just a 20% raise. I guess that’s a result of the Cubs not being an option. Either way, welcome back Joe.
Update: Joel Sherman says Girardi will receive exactly $3M per season, so no signing bonus or anything like that.
As the Yanks’ Hot Stove Leagues kicks into gear, Jon Heyman has a brief update on the team’s managerial situation. Joe Girardi and the Front Office are working on a contract that would keep Girardi helming the club for the next three years, and the deal would be worth approximately $3 million per year. Girardi’s last deal gave him $2.5 million, and considering that the skipper won a World Series and reached the ALCS this year, a raise is in line with club expectations. Negotations, says Heyman, “are not expected to take long.”
Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman held their annual end-of-the-season press conferences today, so as you’d expect there was plenty of news to come out of Yankee Stadium this afternoon. We’ll surely break everything down in detail throughout the offseason, but let’s round it all up here first and digest everything before moving on.
Obviously, the biggest news to come out of the presser was the announcement that pitching coach Dave Eiland will not return in 2011, but we covered that already. Ditto Andy Pettitte‘s various injuries. Everything else you see below comes from the various beat writers, who as usual did a bang-up job today. Seriously, we’re lucky to have such a great crew covering the team full-time. Those guys deserve their own appreciation thread. Anyway, on to the chatter.
- Cashman spoke to Hal Steinbrenner about Girardi today, and he will meet with the manager’s agent tomorrow. Both sides want to work out a new deal as quickly as possible and get it out of the way.
- Girardi on Joba Chamberlain: “We consider him a bullpen guy in the back end of the bullpen.” Well, so much for everyone hoping that they’d let him try the starting thing again next season. Maybe in a different uniform.
- When asked about Cliff Lee, Girardi replied “I’m sure we’ll definitely look at a free agent market pitcher.” Remember, because Lee is still under contract with the Rangers, it would be tampering to talk about him directly.
- Cashman on the Rangers: “[They were] a locomotive that we couldn’t withstand … You didn’t see the real Yankees at that point in time, but I think the Rangers had everything to do with that. We didn’t look old against Minnesota, and that was a week before. Texas made us look old.”
- Cash on Cliff Lee: “Bottom line, pitching is the key to the kingdom.”
- On Jesus Montero: “Is Montero ready for the big leagues? I have people who believe that. But he’s going to have to prove that.”
- Cashman’s bland Derek Jeter quote: “”Derek has been – and will be – an important part of this organization … There’s still game left in that guy. He’s going to be a part of this franchise. We’ll work something out.” Blah blah blah.
- On the contract negotiations with Jeter and Mariano Rivera: “These aren’t regular negotiations. These are legacy players.” I’m scared.
- Cash owned up to his poor 2009-2010 offseason as well: “I didn’t have a great winter last season.” He added that Nick Johnson was Plan C at designated hitter behind Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.
After last night’s Game Six loss to the Rangers, Brian Cashman told the hordes of New York media that his “first order of business” this offseason is to re-sign manager Joe Girardi. Jon Heyman reported that the two sides were setup for a reunion just yesterday. Opinions are pretty split about Girardi on the heels of the ALCS loss, but the front office loves him and he’s experienced tremendous success during his first three years in New York. One playoff season doesn’t change that.
it’s 3 a.m and thoughts of the League Championship Series are dancing through my head. After a magical ride in 2009, this year’s early exit after a 5-4 postseason sure is a downer. We didn’t offer up much in the way of a recap, and I wanted to offering some of my own musings on the series here.
For much of the end of 2010, Joe Girardi came under the microscope. He knew the Yanks were going to make the playoffs, and instead of pushing hard for the division — and home-field advantage — he rested his regulars and tried to get his banged-up team healthy for the playoffs.
By and large, it worked. Even though some of the crazed masses wanted the Yanks to take the meaningless AL East crown, the Wild Card Yankees swept through the ALDS and won Game 1 of the ALCS in dramatic fashion against the Texas Rangers. After that, it all fell apart. The Rangers simply outplayed the Yankees, and every move the team made backfired. So before we get to the real analysis, let’s get this second-guessing out of the way. What moves did Girardi make that raise some eyebrows and how much did they actually impact the team’s chances of winning the series?
Game 2: Phil Hughes gets the ball
The first decision of the series that involved some raised eyebrows came when the Yanks handed the ball to Phil Hughes instead of Andy Pettitte in Game 2. Based on the numbers — Hughes’ home/road splits and his short history of success in Texas — and the desire to have Pettitte go in a potential Game 7 instead of Hughes, it made some sense. Plus, the Yankees wanted to send their playoff best against Cliff Lee at home. Unfortunately, Hughes bombed. He gave up seven earned runs in 4+ innings, and the Yanks couldn’t overcome his ineffectiveness.
It’s easy to make the case for Pettitte here. He too has home/road splits that favor the road; he’s the team’s second best starter; and the club has to get to Game 7 before they start worrying about Game 7. The Yanks knew it would be tough beating Cliff Lee, and a 2-0 lead going home would have been far more comfortable than a split in Texas. Still, the team plated just a pair of runs in that game, and Pettitte would have needed to be perfect to win. I don’t hesitate to say that going with Hughes wasn’t a bad move, but I do wonder why Girardi left Hughes in long enough to give up seven runs in a pivotal playoff game.
Game 3: Turning the game over to lesser relievers
Even though it maybe shouldn’t have even happened, the Lee/Pettitte match-up lived up to its billing. Pettitte threw one bad pitch to Josh Hamilton, and Lee threw no bad pitches through eight innings of work. It all fell apart in the 9th, and it shouldn’t have. Kerry Wood, the Yanks’ set-up man pitched, the 8th, but then instead of going to Mariano Rivera to keep the game a bloop and a blast away from a tie, Joe Girardi went with Boone Logan and David Robertson. By the time Sergio Mitre came in to clean up the mess, it was 7-0 Texas.
Game 4: A.J. for too long
The Yankees had to start A.J. Burnett in Game 4 of the series. For good reasons, the club didn’t feel comfortable pushing Sabathia, Pettitte and Hughes on three days’ rest, and Burnett drew the short straw. For five innings, he was fine, but things got dicey in the sixth. Vladimir Guerrero singled, but a Nelson Cruz fielder’s choice led to the first out. Ian Kinsler flied out, and for the second time in the series, the Yanks walked David Murphy intentionally. With Joba up in the pen and Burnett nearing 100 pitches, Girardi left his starter in. Bengie Molina took the first pitch over the wall, and the life sputtered out of the Yanks. The bullpen couldn’t keep the game close, and the Yanks lost 10-3. Another close game had gotten out of hand because Girardi didn’t pull his starter soon enough and didn’t go to his ace relievers.
Game 6: Who’s in the pen?
Last night, we again saw Girardi push his starter to far and go to the wrong reliever. This time, the damage came in the bottom of the 5th. Hughes had flittered with disaster all night, and with two outs and a runner on third, the Yanks opted to intentionally walk Josh Hamilton to face Vladimir Guerrero. Vlad blasted a two-run double to center, and the Yanks handed the ball over to David Robertson who promptly gave up a two-run jack to Nelson Cruz. Eventually, the Yankees used Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera, but they reportedly had CC Sabathia in the bullpen. Why do you go with your lesser arms in that situation? Is it even worth it to intentionally walk Hamilton to face Vlad?
The real problem: offense
Yet, despite all of these second-guesses, despite the way Girardi’s pitching moves made a bunch of close games seem like blowouts, the Yanks’ real problem was one of offense, and it isn’t fair to lay this on the feet of the club’s manager. The Yankees scored 19 runs in five games against the Rangers while giving up twice as many. As a team, they hit .201 and had an on-base percentage nearly .100 points lower than the Rangers did. They went 8 for 53 (.151) with runners in scoring position. They simply got outplayed, outpitched and outhit by a good Texas team that got hot at the right time.
In a way, the Mariners sealed the Yanks’ fate when, on July 9, they baked out of a trade that would have sent Cliff Lee to the Bronx. Lee instead went to the Rangers where he put a playoff-bound team over the top, and the Yanks had to contend with CC and Andy plus two guys who lost the ability to get outs and a youngster with a lively arm who had far surpassed his career high in innings pitched. They rode these guys all the way to Game 6 of the ALCS and deserve our appreciation.
By all accounts, Joe Girardi will be back in the Yanks’ dugout next year, and he should be. He’s managed this team to a World Series title and with a very successul regular season track record. He seemed to push all the wrong buttons this ALCS but should use it as a learning experience. What works in the regular season doesn’t quite work in the playoffs, and as the outs slip away, match-ups should take a back seat to urgency. He can’t, though, will the bats to hit, and the Yanks will just have to dust themselves off and do what 29 other teams have to do: Wait ’til next year.
We didn’t bring it up all week, because it comes from a dubious source, but there were rumblings that Joe Girardi was on his way out regardless of results this postseason. But then the Cubs hired Mike Quade, which dulled those already questionable rumors. This morning SI’s Jon Heyman states the obvious:
The Yankees plan to bring back manager Joe Girardi at a raise, no matter what some fans may say about his reliance on his ever-present binder. He is well-liked by Yankees honchos Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine and Brian Cashman.
Even if Chicago had its managerial spot still open, it was questionable whether Girardi would seriously consider the job. He already has one World Championship under his belt, and his team is back in the ALCS this year. That’s a success by any standards — beyond, of course, the insane mindset that anything less than a World Series championship is unacceptable. Girardi has done well in his three seasons, and I can’t think of a single manager who I’d rather have guiding the team.
As a side note, the “ever-present binder” comment now makes me think of the recent Simpsons episode. When Lisa asks Mo about strategy, he replies, “The only thing I know about strategy is that whatever the manager does, it’s wrong. Unless it works, in which case he’s a button-pusher.” Or a binder-reader, as it were.