BBB writers react to Joe Girardi not returning in 2018

After over two weeks of the news that Joe Girardi would not be managing the Yankees in 2018 broke, the BBB writers have had a chance to react to the news. One of the greatest things about the staff is that we have a wide variety of opinions regarding our New York Yankees, so here are a few of our writer's thoughts regarding the news that Brian Cashman elected to go in a different direction from Girardi as he continues building another potential dynasty in the Bronx.
Photo Credit: AP

Chad Raines
When I first heard the news that Joe Girardi would not be returning for the 2018 season, my first reaction was complete shock. Coming off a 91-win season and coming one game away from a World Series appearance, I thought for sure that Girardi would be back to manage the Yankees as they continue growing the youth movement that Brian Cashman has started. There were plenty of fans calling for Girardi’s job following game two of the ALDS, and rightfully so, but I thought he managed pretty well following that inexcusable non-challenge. There have been instances of his micro-managing, or mismanaging the bullpen over the years, and I think we saw some poor bullpen management in games six and seven of the ALCS, but it did not change the way the game played out. Despite some of his miscues, I thought Girardi always got the most out of his players, and you could really tell how much he cared, despite the fact that the Yankees wanted him to “humanize” himself as a manager. However, I trust that Cashman has a direction for this team, and I am excited to see who the club brings in to replace Girardi. Yankee fans have been spoiled with just two managers since 1992, so this change of scenery comes as a surprise, but it is also an exciting time as the roster continues to turn over.

Ryan Thoms

Joe Girardi had been the manager of the Yankees since I was nine years old. I was old enough to remember Joe Torre and his teams, but Joe Girardi’s Yankees was the team i grew up watching. I have never been the biggest Joe Girardi supporter, but this season in particular made me truly appreciate him and his ability to get the most out of his player and manage around huge contracts and struggling veterans. The way I see it, Brian Cashman must have been returning all along, and him and the Yankees’ brain trust had most likely decided that no matter how the season ended that Joe would not be managing the Yankees in 2018. His infamous non-challenge in Game 2 of the ALDS would have made their decision seem extremely rational, but the Yankees magical run to being one game away from the World Series in year they were not supposed to compete, made the decision a shocking one.

At first, I could not believe it and was infuriated that a manager that brought a young core to one game within a World Series berth was getting canned. Then I thought about it, and it started to make sense. Brian Cashman was the man who built this star-studded, exciting team that all of Yankee fans got to witness this year. If he believes a new manager is one of the final pieces for making this team a perennial contender, then I am willing to give it a chance.

My opinion on this whole situation boils down to whoever Brian Cashman and company hire to replace Joe Girardi. If the new manager is familiar with the inner-workings of the organization and is able to bring to the table what Girardi lacked, then I applaud management. However, if the team simply hires someone to be used as their “puppet” and to save a few bucks, then I will truly be astonished and disgruntled.

Alex Weir
After the infamous non-challenge in Game 2 of the ALDS, I wanted Girardi gone. This was a particularly rough season on him, as we saw many decisions (mostly regarding the bullpen) that proved questionable and ultimately did not pan out. However, the team’s performance after Game 2, and the fact that they advanced all the way to Game 7 of the ALCS made me change my mind. Joe Girardi managed to get the most out of this team, and the team itself rallied behind him. The decision to not bring Joe back after this memorable postseason run is still puzzling. It was also announced that this decision came mostly from the influence of Brian Cashman though, and personally, I trust Cashman’s judgement. He managed to turn an old, boring team into a young, exciting, contender in about a year. If Cashman thinks that the team would benefit from a new manager, then I trust that he will find the best possible manager for this team for the near future.

Andrew Natalizio
Throughout the years, we as Yankees fans (few more than myself at times) have called into question Joe’s in-game decisions, his ability to connect with his players and ultimately to call for his job, but that all seemed to change after the Yankees dug their way out of a daunting 0-2 ALDS deficit against Cleveland. Coming off a 91-win season that saw him lead the Yankees to within a single game of the Fall Classic, Joe’s departure seems shocking to say the least, but baseball is pivoting towards a new high-speed, data-centric age, and Joe Girardi is an old school type of manager who, as it’s been released this week, frequently clashed with Brian Cashman over use of analytics as well as the ability to control the locker room.  Joe’s ten seasons in the Bronx saw him win more games (910) than another other manager in Major League Baseball over that span, so the decision not to retain him is questionable at best, but the Yankees are clearly looking to take a risk on a new-age, young, brilliant and relatable skipper to lead the next wave of Baby Bombers to the promised land.  You need look no further than the managers of the two teams in the World Series this year, Dave Roberts, 45, of the Dodgers and A.J. Hinch, 43, of the Astros to see what Cashman has his sights set on.

Matt Graziano
Even after all of the ups and downs of this season I was still shocked when this decision was announced and not because the team made it beyond where we expected them to and almost made the World Series this year. I was shocked in a bit of the same way that I was when it was announced the Joe Torre wouldn’t come back. 10 years is a long time to do anything and even though we were often frustrated by his in game decision making, he was a steady hand at the helm and a good representative of the organization. For much of his time as Yankee Manager, Girardi had to deal with the distraction “retirement tours” and the departure of numerous other longtime yankees as well as all the business with A-Rod all while continuing to try and meet the high standards set by the organization.

I thought Girardi always handled this pressure well and usually did a good job of protecting and standing up for his players, but you could always tell that he was a naturally serious guy and it seems like this was a part of the reason he will not be brought back. There have been reports about Girardi’s personality and his serious nature and how it was received by some players and although they may or may not be true I think that his personality wasn’t the main factor in his not being brought back.  At 53 years old, Girardi isn’t that much older than most MLB managers but his is still more of an “old school” baseball mind and in an era that’s quickly moving towards the use of analytics and advanced statistics, it seems clear that the team wants a younger mind at the helm who is more flexible and can grow with the team’s young players over time. Walking away from a solid and established manager right when the team seems ready to contend is definitely a risk but Brian Cashman is a shrewd and sometimes ruthless operator who at this point should be given the benefit of the doubt. I like Joe Girardi a lot and am thankful for his time as Yankee Manager. All we can hope for now is that Cashman nails the next hire.  
Cameron Hauze
The Yankees have been through a “drought” for a few years which was expected due to the loss of the core four and the older crew of guys. What wasn't expected was what happened to Joe Girardi. After 10 years with the Yankees as their manager, we saw as fans what hurts the most. A key member of the team leaving us. Even though it wasn't his decision, Girardi has been nothing but average for the Yankees. The Yankees exceeded expectations this year with a 91 win season and one win shy from making it to their first world series since 2009. They were said to not be a playoff team and that they were a few years from being really good. Throughout this season however, we saw Girardi make some questionable calls like all managers do. The thing with Girardi was that he was already in the hot seat and those questionable calls really stuck out.

As a manager, I loved the way Girardi cared for his players and how he was willing to get ejected just to have his players back. I don’t think Cashman really thought about his decision. With the possible managers that are out there, Girardi is right there with some of the best. Right when the team is becoming really good, Cashman decides to make a manager change to go along with the “new” team. I get the decision but it’s more my feelings coming out that I don’t want to see him leave. I was only ten when Joe Torre left so I didn't really have much feeling for that. As I’ve grown older, Girardi has been part of my fandom and it just seems like a part of the team is now gone. I hope the Yankees and Cashman will find someone within the organization to help bring the Baby Bombers and the Yankees back to the fall classic. For Girardi, I hate to watch him go and I hate to watch him leave. Thanks for everything Joe. 2009 World Series Champions!

Dan DeGregorio
Much like the majority of Yankees fans, I found myself completely caught off-guard by the news that the team decided to part ways with Joe Girardi. While the critics were calling for his head after the way he mishandled Game Two of the ALDS, the team showed that they had his back, rallying to eventually win the series. He had a good rapport with most of the clubhouse, and several people in and around the organization seemed genuinely surprised about his termination. During his decade-long tenure, Girardi led the MLB in wins (910), and helped the Yankees reach the postseason six times. In those six seasons, the club reached the American League Championship Series four times, and won a World Championship in 2009. He was a manager who always got the most from his players. He took teams ravished by injuries and helped them overachieve, finishing with a winning record in all ten seasons. There were some frustrating moments, as he sometimes overmanaged and cost his team a win here or there. With that said, the positives he brought to the Yankees outweighed those occasional hiccups. An integral part of the success of the Bronx Bombers over the last decade, he will be greatly missed by the Yankees Universe. Thanks for the memories, Joe!

I was incredibly surprised to see that Joe Girardi was let go by the organization. Although he was often criticized by fans and the media, Girardi was an incredibly successful manager. He had 910-710 record as the manager of the Yankees, the best in the MLB at the time, and went to the ALCS four times and won a World Series in 2009. He also routinely brought the best out of his team, continually overachieving late in his Yankee career. Last season, the Yankees finally waved the white flag and started its transition to a younger era, and now it’s clear it wasn't just the players. By moving on from Joe, the team is signaling that it’s new young core needs a new voice to guide it for the foreseeable future, and time will tell if it was the right move. Personally, Girardi was a favorite of mine; he balanced the advanced metrics that are driving the world of sports today with that old school philosophy of hard work and grinding that gave this team its resiliency that carried them all the way to game seven of the ALCS this year. You gave us a great decade of work Joe; we may not have always given you the praise you deserved, thank you for everything!

Spencer Schultz
To be honest, I wasn't nearly as surprised by this move as the majority of Yankees fans. Throughout the season and into the Indians postseason series, Girardi’s flaws were quite obvious and I thought his firing was likely due to the seemingly disconnection and differing point of views between he and the players. He also, as later stated in reports, seemed to not get along with Gary Sanchez, who’s obviously seen as a cornerstone of this franchise. Girardi mishandled the bullpen on numerous occasions and continued putting out atrocities like Tyler Clippard and Chris Carter.

I think another major factor that someone in our group chat stated was the fact that the Yankees need a manager that will last with this core and through their primes. With that being around 10 years, there was no way Girardi would last that much longer in the Bronx. The only thing that surprised was the fact that there may not be many other better options. With the lack of quality managers in the league, Girardi, despite all the criticism, seemed to be one of the better ones in baseball.

Thank you to Joe for his time and bringing us our 27th World Series, wish him the best of luck and hope the Yankees don’t regret this decision!

Paul Alvaro
I, along with everyone else, wanted Joe Girardi fired on the spot because of the non-review fiasco during game 2 of the ALDS. I was fuming after that game and was all but certain the Yankees were going to get swept by the Indians. And then to my surprise the players rallied around Joe and carried him to game 7 of the ALCS. Still, in my opinion letting Joe walk was the right move for the Yankees going forward. I don’t think he is the right manager for this new core of guys and it wouldn’t have been good for anyone to give him an extra year or two just because he made it deep into the postseason. He would still continue to put weird lineups together and make iffy pitching decisions based on the binder rather than the feel of the game. For the next manager of the New York Yankees, my vote would be for Al Pedrique from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He began managing in the Yankees minor league system in 2014 in Tampa and quickly moved up to AAA Scranton. Last year he led Scranton to the International League’s Governor’s Cup and won and later went on to win the AAA National Championship. Pedrique has grown through the system with the current core of Yankees and I think he’s the best option for a manager right now.

Curtis Rattner
As bad as the non-review in game two of the ALDS was, and as angry as I was at the time, down 2-0 to arguably the best team in baseball, blowing a five run lead on what seemed like the most obvious challenge of the season, when you look back on Joe Girardi's full ten years with the Yankees organization he was a success.  A World Series ring, four ALCS appearances, six postseason appearances, and over 900 wins, Girardi was a great man to replace Joe Torre, and he will be missed by all true Yankee fans.  The 2017 Yankees were written off before the year even started, it was a “rebuilding year”.  They were not a playoff team, nor did they have any shot compete for the division.  Obviously you can’t overlook the performances of so many developing young stars, but Girardi played a huge role in the Yankees overall success this year, and liked and respected by all players.  Thank you Joe!

Connor Thoms
I was shocked to hear about the Yankees’ decision to not bring back Joe Girardi after so much success in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Girardi came under fire during the ALDS after his game 2 blunder, yet he managed well throughout the playoffs otherwise. I was a supporter of him throughout his tenure, although I did find his occasional over managing to be an issue at times. Despite this though, Girardi managed to get a lot out of his time with the Yankees, including a 2009 World Series win to give the franchise 27 in its illustrious history. He brought the best out of this young team and helped them develop into a solid core which will compete for championships for years. I’m excited for a new coach who will hopefully usher in a new era of Yankee dominance, but I’m also sad to see Girardi go. Even if you weren’t a fan of his, you have to admire his tenure with the organization and his ability to take criticism after criticism in stride. As Yankee fans, we have to be thankful to Girardi for his time with the team and wish him success in his future endeavors and continue to be excited about the young core and hope the organization finds a suitable replacement for such a successful manager.

Vinny Romita
I wouldn’t say that I was shocked to hear that Joe Girardi was out as manager. From the beginning of the season I believed this was a 50-50 shot to be his last season in pinstripes. With plenty of ups and downs and a plethora of questionable decisions it was becoming more evident that this might be his last go around with the club. With that being said, he exceeded expectations tenfold. He took a team with a developing roster that looked to be a couple years away one game away from the World Series.

There is no doubting the talent Girardi brings to the table, and that he definitely left an impact on the team and players. I really enjoyed seeing his as the skipper for the Bombers over the last 10 years. He was a stable man at the helm, constantly getting the job done while dealing with the rather insane New York media. I’m sure there is more behind the scenes that we never get to see or really hear about, but from the surface it looked like he was the guy to be there, and the guy to help lead them back to the promised land. Ultimately, I thought that with what happened during the postseason he would return on a one-year deal, to keep the ship going and possibly get over that one game hump. Yet, that isn’t the case and that’s why I’m writing this about his departure. I understand why the upper management would want to let him go and look for a new voice in the clubhouse. Change at times can be fantastic for a franchise and it’s really hard to say no to Brian Cashman after what he has done to reshape the team over the past couple season. I trust in the process and I trust in Cashman. I wish well for Girardi and his future endeavors. Thanks Joe for the last 10 years. Thanks for 2009 and help guide the way for the next generation of Yankee talent. For that, we as fans are forever thankful.

The Yankees have already interviewed a number of candidates for their opening. First, the Yankees interviewed the obvious in-house candidate Rob Thomson, and they have also interviewed Eric Wedge. The Evil Empire will also interview Aaron Boone, Jerry Hairston Jr., Hensley Meulens, and Chris Woodward. The Yankees also requested to interview Bob Melvin of the Athletics, but Oakland denied this request, and Brad Ausmus told the club he wanted to take a year off from managing. For now, it appears as though the Yankees are still a ways away from deciding who they will look to in order to manage the young club in 2018.


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