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Joe Girardi

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1991 Bowman #415 Joe Girardi

Joseph Elliott Girardi

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Biographical Information[edit]

Girardi in Yankee pinstripes speaks to a member of the Army in 2009

Catcher Joe Girardi was signed as a 5th round pick in the 1986 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs and scout John Hennessey. He had played for Team USA in the 1985 Intercontinental Cup, splitting catching duties with Matt Merullo; they went just 2-5 despite having Kevin Brown, Matt Williams, Jeff King, Jack McDowell and Erik Hanson on their roster and the fact that only one future major leaguer played for the other 7 nations combined.

Girardi was named manager of the Florida Marlins on October 19, 2005 after spending a season as a New York Yankees coach. He led the team to a 78-84 record in 2006 despite having a lineup consisting largely of castoffs and rookies. However, he was fired after just one season due to ongoing disputes with the team's front office. Girardi was offered the job as manager of the Baltimore Orioles after Sam Perlozzo was fired in 2007, but he turned it down. He was then named manager of the New York Yankees on October 30, 2007, replacing Joe Torre.

Girardi found quick success as manager of the Yankees. While they missed the postseason in his first season, 2008, the last one played at old Yankee Stadium, they still finished 16 games above .500. In 2009, they had a dream season, christening their new ballpark, New Yankee Stadium, with a World Series win over the Philadelphia Phillies. They then made the postseason, the next three seasons, although they could proceed no further than the American League Championship Series. That run of early success secured Giardi's position so that when the Yankees went through the predictable difficult transition caused by the retirement of long-time stars such as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira in the mid-2010s, no one questioned his leadership. He did manage another postseason finish in 2015, but New York lost the Wild Card Game at home to a great performance by Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros.

The 2016 and 2017 seasons were supposed to be rebuilding ones, but they still posted winning records both years while introducing a new generation of excellent young players led by C Gary Sanchez, OF Aaron Judge and P Luis Severino. In 2017, the Yankees made it to the postseason as the first wild card team, defeated the Minnesota Twins in the Wild Card Game and then upset the heavily-favored Cleveland Indians in the Division Series, in spite of a big mistake by Girardi that cost them Game 2, when he failed to ask for a video review on a hit-by-pitch call on Lonnie Chisenhall. The review would have shown that the ball had deflected off the nub of Chisenhall's bat for a foul tip, and as it was caught by Sanchez, he would have been declared out on strikes. But given a reprieve, Cleveland scored four runs and eventually won the game in extra innings. Still, the Yankees moved on and gave the Houston Astros a scare in the ALCS, winning the middle three games at home to move within one game of the World Series. However, the Astros, were able to regroup to win the final two games at home, ending the Yankees' dream. Girardi should have been rewarded with a new contract for this fine performance that exceeded all reasonable expectations, but there were apparently some underlying tensions with upper management, and on October 26th, it was announced that he would not return in 2018. He was the third manager of a team that had played in that year's postseason to be fired, following John Farrell of the Boston Red Sox and Dusty Baker of the Washington Nationals.

In 2018, he joined the MLB Network as a studio analyst, working on Baseball Tonight telecasts.

Girardi is known for an unsentimental managing style. He will not hesitate to change a starting pitcher who is just one or two outs shy of qualifying for a win if he feels the situation demands it, and will not hesitate to bench a fan favorite if he thinks another player would contribute more (both Posada and Alex Rodriguez were at the receiving end of this treatment in their final season). He will play an unheralded youngster instead of a big-salaried veteran who is struggling, and will quickly yank a relief pitcher who has less than excellent stuff: David Robertson was the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera, but when Mo was lost for the year to an ankle injury in 2012 and Robertson faltered in his first few opportunities to close in his absence, Girardi quickly turned to Rafael Soriano. Similarly, when Aroldis Chapman struggled in 2017, he quickly gave way to Dellin Betances, huge contract be damned. But the players know this is the drill, and he is respected for making it clear that the interests of the team always trump those of any individual player.

Girardi missed nearly four months of the 1991 season with a bulging disc in his back. In each of the first three Wednesdays in 1995, Girardi collected four hits.

The two most similar players through 2006, according to the similarity scores method, are Ron Oester and Charlie Moore.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL All-Star (2000)
  • Won three World Series with the New York Yankees (1996, 1998 & 1999)
  • Division Titles: 3 (2009, 2011 & 2012)
  • Other Postseason Appearances: 3 (2010, 2015 & 2017 - Wild Card)
  • AL Pennant: 1 (2009)
  • 100 Wins Seasons as Manager: 1 (2009)
  • NL Manager of the Year Award (2006)
  • Managed one World Series Champion with the New York Yankees in 2009


Preceded by
Jack McKeon
Florida Marlins Manager
2006
Succeeded by
Fredi Gonzalez
Preceded by
Joe Torre
New York Yankees Manager
2008-2017
Succeeded by
Aaron Boone

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
2006 Florida Marlins National League 78-84 4th Florida Marlins
2008 New York Yankees American League 89-73 3rd New York Yankees
2009 New York Yankees American League 103-59 1st New York Yankees World Series Champs
2010 New York Yankees American League 95-67 2nd New York Yankees Lost ALCS
2011 New York Yankees American League 97-65 1st New York Yankees Lost ALDS
2012 New York Yankees American League 95-67 1st New York Yankees Lost ALCS
2013 New York Yankees American League 85-77 3rd (t) New York Yankees
2014 New York Yankees American League 84-78 2nd New York Yankees
2015 New York Yankees American League 87-75 2nd New York Yankees Lost Wild Card Game
2016 New York Yankees American League 84-78 4th New York Yankees
2017 New York Yankees American League 91-71 2nd New York Yankees Lost ALCS

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bryan Hoch: "Girardi out as Yankees manager after 10 years: Tenure included World Series win in '09, ALCS this year", mlb.com, October 26, 2017. [1]
  • Kevin Kernan: Girardi: Passion In Pinstripes, Triumph Books, Chicago, IL, 2012. ISBN 978-1600785825
  • Bob Klapisch: "Girardi to Yankees pitchers: nothing personal, strictly business", USA Today Sports, September 13, 2017. [2]
  • Bob Klapisch: "Yankees will regret letting Joe Girardi go", USA Today Sports, October 26, 2017. [Yankees will regret letting Joe Girardi go]
  • Bob Nightengale: "With Joe Girardi out, Yankees take foolish risk they can do a little better", USA Today Sports, October 26, 2017. [3]
  • Ken Rosenthal: "Q&A with Joe Girardi: How he feels about being let go by the Yankees and whether he will manage again", The Athletic.com, October 31, 2017. [4]

Related Sites[edit]