By Aris Sakellaridis
The recent hiring by the Philadelphia Phillies of manager Joe Girardi shows there’s still an owner out there who resembles the George Steinbrenner mold.
Kudos to Phillies’ owner John Middleton for making the decision to hire Girardi, instead of leaving it up to the so-called “experts,” who are ruining this great sport.
Middleton grabbed the bull by its horns from the “Yes Men”, who can’t seem to function on simple common sense while relying on their laptops, when he fired manager Gabe Kapler and replaced him with the former Yankees manager. Middleton’s next move should be to disband the ANALytics Department and bring back the gut decisions that come as a result of the manager’s eyes and heart.
Middleton came on board in 1994 when he bought a 15% share of the Phillies. By 2016 that share grew to 48%, and as the Phillies “Boss” he showed who’s in charge with the Girardi hiring. Hopefully he’ll keep getting involved in his team’s transactions and other owners will realize they can do the same.
It’s time for these “Head Honchos” to start acting like the Finleys, the Veecks and the Grandmaster George M. Steinbrenner III, who were just as popular as the ballplayers they employed. It’s time to start getting involved in player and coaching decisions and letting your manager manage what you put together.
Let’s hold the players and managers accountable for the losses they produce as a result of their own doings and start with a money-making decision by disbanding the ANALytics Department. Enough of blaming the manager, whose hands are tied with the on-field decisions that come from these geeks, who’s baseball experience was their intramural softball games in college. These same chumps, that claim batting average and strikeouts don’t matter, will let a manager like Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, take the fall when the team fails, after their Strat-O-Matic decisions.
Let’s make the game fun again and bring back the fans that disappeared from the ballparks and wake up the ones who are fast asleep by the fifth inning in front of their televisions.
Thank you, John Middleton for hopefully starting the trend.