You probably already know that I am not in favor of Joe Girardi being named manager of the Cubs.
Why? Because he’s old-school, he wouldn’t seem to be a fit with Theo & Co. (and famously turned them down when they were supposedly interested in him back in 2013), and I think what Yankees GM Brian Cashman said about Girardi when he was let go in 2017 is telling:
During a more than one-hour conference call with New York-based reporters, Cashman said it would have been easy to “plug and play” and stay with Girardi after a decade that included a World Series title and six playoff appearances.
But the overriding reason that Cashman soured on Girardi was the “connectivity and communication” issue with players, which was a concern to the GM as the Yankees move into their next phase of their youth movement led by Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and the rest of the Baby Bombers.
You’d think the Cubs would want someone with better “connectivity and communication” even as they also want someone they say will hold players more accountable.
The main reason I’m writing this article now, though, is this:
Managing is cyclical. If you have a peace and love dude manager the next one will be a tougher guy. That’s the just the way it is. The perfect guy for the win now approach is Joe Girardi. 4 series wins. Jim Hendry didn’t have the guts for the hire. Let’s see about Theo and Tom— Steve Stone (@stevestone) October 1, 2019
Steve Stone never hesitates to let his opinions be known, whether on TV or on Twitter. To some extent he’s right about managing being “cyclical,” but it’s also not one-size-fits-all. Whoever is hired as Cubs manager will have to fit the particular situation this franchise finds itself in as it enters 2020. Win now? Sure, but that’s been the case for the last four seasons, at least.
In fact, Girardi might have been a very good fit for the Cubs in the 2006-07 offseason, which is what Stone refers to in his tweet when he mentions Jim Hendry not having the “guts” to hire him. Girardi was 42, coming off a single season as manager of the Marlins, and at the time was regarded as one of the up-and-coming young managerial talents in the game. He might well have guided the Cubs to a championship in 2007 or 2008, something Lou Piniella failed to do. Obviously, we’ll never know. Instead, he served one year as Joe Torre’s bench coach in New York and then replaced Torre as manager, winning a World Series (not “four,” as Stone claimed) in his second season with the Yankees.
And then... Girardi’s performance declined. The Yankees won 90+ games just once in his last five seasons, and made the postseason just twice in that 2013-17 span. One of those was a wild-card game loss to the Astros in 2015. Is all this sounding a bit familiar? The game seems to have passed Girardi by. He’s now 55 and one of the older candidates for manager.
Will he be hired to manage somewhere this winter? Probably. I don’t think it should be with the Cubs, though. This news out of New York just before this post was published gives another possible landing spot for Girardi:
BREAKING: The Mets have fired manager Mickey Callaway.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 3, 2019
The Mets would seem to be a good fit for Girardi, and he knows how to handle the New York media. I’m guessing he’s probably first on their list of potential replacements.
In the end, I suspect Theo & Co. will do their due diligence, interview half a dozen candidates, and hire David Ross.
Should the Cubs hire Joe Girardi as manager?
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