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I'm sure many of you almost hyperventilated when you saw this article in today's Tribune (reprinted from the Trib-owned South Florida Sun-Sentinel), stating that

Joe Girardi, who guided the surprising Marlins into playoff contention despite baseball's lowest payroll, soon will be out as manager after just one season.

On a scale of 1 to 10, Girardi's chances of returning next year are "zero," according to a source who has spoken with the Marlins' front office.

This immediately spawned two BCB diaries, one of which I had to delete because it contained the entire text of the above-linked article. This is a reminder to please not do that; the best way to quote an article is the way I did above -- post a link to it and then maybe quote one or two key paragraphs. If you haven't seen this link, there is an entire BCB page on the best ways to post diaries or comments on the right sidebar under "Diary/Comment Posting Tips", or you can click here.

Anyway, here's the other diary on this topic, or we can discuss here.

The seeming availability of Joe Girardi obviously has many of you excited -- 51% of you in a recent BCB poll said you wanted him as the Cubs' next manager.

Girardi is, in a sense, the Cubs' Ozzie Guillen -- a popular former player who has some experience in management, although Guillen had not managed before he came to the White Sox. Interestingly, Guillen also was with the Marlins, as a coach, before Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams hired him.

I'm not against Girardi as manager; I just don't think he is the best choice. Some of the reasons he's apparently going to be fired by the Marlins after the season throw up red warning flags. He's very much like Guillen, too, in this sense: he does things HIS way and doesn't broach much opposition to those ideas. With a young team like this year's Marlins, Girardi's "my way or the highway" method of managing worked, because a lot of the Marlins might otherwise have spent the year in the minor leagues and were just happy to be here. It didn't hurt that those players were talented, either.

This part of the Sun-Sentinel article bothered me, too:

The last straw for Girardi, 41, apparently was his ill-fated decision to bring back prized right-hander Josh Johnson after an 82-minute rain delay Sept. 12 at Dolphin Stadium.

"Not one of the smarter moves of the year," the source said.

With the Marlins still clinging to wild-card hopes, Johnson tried to stay loose by playing catch in an indoor batting cage. That he left four innings later with forearm cramping and was subsequently shut down for the year with a strained ligament did not help Girardi.

Now, re-read that and replace the name "Marlins" with the name "Cub", the name "Joe Girardi" with the name "Dusty Baker", replace the name "Dolphin Stadium" with the name "Wrigley Field" and replace the name "Josh Johnson" with the name "Carlos Zambrano", and how loud would all of us be screaming?

Pretty loud, I'd think.

It doesn't seem to me as if Joe Girardi is Jim Hendry's type of manager. But I seem to recall that Guillen's hiring by the White Sox was more Reinsdorf's doing than Williams', and perhaps Andy MacPhail will decide that hiring Girardi would be the same sort of popular move that would at least buy management some time with an extremely disgruntled fan base.

So, if Girardi is indeed let go by the Marlins, I'd say the chances of his being hired by the Cubs are 50/50. Again, I'm not against this, but I'll have to be convinced that it is the BEST move for this ballclub.

When Guillen was hired by the White Sox, incidentally, Mike said to me, "This is either the most brilliant move they've ever made, or the dumbest." Last year, it looked brilliant. It doesn't look so brilliant now, but I'd think the White Sox fans will take that championship. If Girardi could lead the Cubs to one, I'd take back everything I ever said about him not being the right guy.