I gotta say, if this is true, pretty ballsy move by Joe Girardi, but also pretty smart?
So, according to Jon Heyman, Girardi withdrew his name from consideration for the Reds managerial position. The reason?
Heyman reported that people around the league believe Girardi is waiting for after the 2019 season to see if there’s a job open in Chicago.
Girardi surprised reds by pulling out Friday. He had a chance to win job at that point but they never got to point of talking money with him. He also pulled out of rangers derby. Industry speculation: he’s waiting a year on Chicago
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 21, 2018
To clarify the rangers told Girardi they were going in another direction (tho JG did pull himself out of reds derby)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 21, 2018
Of course, Heyman didn’t clarify if that meant the Cubs or White Sox, so I guess we’re under the assumption that Girardi is waiting to see if either team makes a change?
Joe Maddon still doesn’t have a contract extension and his agent has basically been waving his arms trying to get Theo Epstein’s attention with an interview in the Chicago Tribune and then joining 670 The Score last week, saying everything is good between Maddon and the Cubs.
Despite whatever the perception is on the outside, Epstein stuck up for Maddon and confirmed he’d be back for 2019. Yeah, they may not always agree on everything, but Maddon and Epstein still appear to have a good rapport. But again, without a contract as of yet beyond 2019, the Cubs could potentially have their managerial position open for 2020.
Girardi had two stints with the Cubs during his playing days, beginning his career on the North Side from 1989-92 and returning to the Cubs in 2000-02. He was also in the running for the manager’s job with the Cubs after 2006.
However, the White Sox may also have an opening to manage their team after 2019.
Rick Renteria is signed through 2019, but like Maddon, will enter next season as a lame duck manager. It could really suck because it’s already happened to Renteria with the Cubs, but it’s reasonable to think the White Sox could go after Girardi if they feel the team is ready to take the next step in 2020. The Cubs did that after 2014, letting Renteria go and then hiring Maddon.
Yet, as Vinnie Duber pointed out on NBC Sports Chicago, Girardi may not be a good fit for either Chicago team.
Here’s what Mark Teixeira said about Girardi after the Yankees didn’t bring him back following the 2017 season.
Via the New York Post.
But Mark Teixeira, who played for Girardi from 2009 to 2016, criticized his former manager for being too tense and not connecting enough with his players.
“Everyone loves Joe, everyone respects Joe, he is a good manager, he is a good man,” said Teixeira, who now works for ESPN. “But with baseball the way it is played today and the need for a manager to be a better communicator and communicate with the front office the reasoning for doing things and to be a little bit more relaxed — especially in a place like New York, where the pressure is everywhere. He just wasn’t the best man for the job anymore.”
“The communication and the highs and lows of the season weren’t Joe’s best assets and he will probably tell you that. He manages every game like it’s Game 7.”
However, Epstein specifically said after 2018, that the Cubs were missing some intensity, so maybe Girardi could bring that aspect to the manager position? And who knows, maybe Girardi has learned from his previous faults.
But not connecting well with players could be a big red flag. The Cubs just fired Chili Davis and the biggest criticism he faced was the lack of connection he made with the young Cubs players.
The White Sox, after most of his prospects reach the majors, will have one of the youngest teams in baseball and the team has often praised Renteria for his communication skills with the young players already on the roster.
But a lot can change in a year and right now it looks like Girardi is betting that a job will open up. It won’t be the first time Girardi gambles while interviewing for a job.
After he was fired in 2006 by the Marlins, Girardi was a candidate to be the Cubs manager, replacing Dusty Baker, but Lou Piniella got the gig instead. Girardi then withdrew from the Nationals managerial search and did the same after interviewing with the Orioles in 2007, waiting to get the Yankees job. He was actually offered the Orioles job, but declined and then was hired by the Yankees after the 2007 season.
So, Girardi likes to pick his spots and it worked in New York. During his 10-year run with the Yankees, Girardi reached the playoffs six times, winning the World Series in 2009, while reaching the ALCS three other times.
Girardi started his managing career with the Florida Marlins in 2006. He was fired after only year, despite a 78-84 record with the lowest payroll in baseball.
So, Cubs or White Sox fans, do you want Joe Girardi in 2020?