With the announcement made today by the Yankees that manager Joe Girardi will not return to his team, despite being one win away from a trip to the World Series, they now turn the page in another chapter of their historical franchise. To say it was a shock would be inaccurate as we have been hearing talk of his demise for the past few years. Both in the media and from some club sources. The thing that is surprising is that the Yankees decided to let him go and not that he didn’t want to come back.
Joe was a guy who used his analytical department more than his gut feeling and when he went with his gut it wasn’t always right. He was always a very hard, dedicated player and manager for this organization and finding the right person to lead them into what could be another long run at the top will be like spinning the roulette wheel. Will they be able to find a person who can take them to that next level again?
It is not uncommon in baseball to see a manager get fired after a successful year. Dick Howser won 103 games in 1980 for these Yankees and got canned during the Boss era. Buck Showalter was replaced by “Clueless Joe” Torre in 1995 after winning 313 games in 4 years (.538 winning percentage). He also had come up in the organization and managed many of the young future stars that would eventually dominate baseball over the next two decades. Bringing in Torre was a big risk at that time. Kind of all worked out for the better.
Will the “Bombers” get lucky this time when they hire a new skipper? You know GM Brian Cashman has done his homework on this one and most people have confidence in his judgement. He always has a plan and very rarely gives a hint as to what he is thinking. So far he has done a pretty darn good job of keeping this team exciting to watch over the past 20 years. He didn’t need to make a change, he wanted to. That is a big difference. It will be interesting to see who he pulls out of his magical hat. There will be many names mentioned in the next few days or weeks, let’s just hope their pick is not another guy who has never managed at any level but loves math and “Ouija” Boards. We may already have that on the other side of the river.
Maybe we will see a new trend beginning to take shape in the hiring of managers. When Detroit fired Brad Ausmus, who was one of those young analytic guys who never managed, and replaced him with Ron Gardenhire, who has 2,107 major league games under his belt, they showed that there could be a trend developing towards the hiring of people with some old school thinking. They seem to be saying that the analytical experiment is over for them.
Managers need to stop reading the maps in the dugout and pay attention to the road in front of them on the field. Remember that all this analytic stuff is only good if your players can execute.
New York is one of those cities in baseball that has little patience for on the job training when it comes to their teams. The need to win now is foremost in the thinking of both Yankees and Mets fans in this town. With new managers in both the Bronx and Queens for 2018, their will be no honeymoon for either of these two new guys.
Change is not a bad thing and sometimes you need to rotate the fields in order to get a good harvest. Let’s hope the Yankees and Mets have bumper crops next year.