Two Different Worlds
Joe Girardi, the manager of New York Yankees, is the easiest subject on my list. However, his simplicity belies his importance around here, because this is the first time I ever written about baseball.
Miami Springs, Florida
Girardi only had one year of managerial experience before Yankees. In 2006, he led Florida Marlins to 78 wins, 84 losses, and a fourth place finish.
Despite his losing record, Girardi was selected National League Manager of the Year, because Marlins had smallest payroll in baseball: $14 million — less than Derek Jeter or A–Rod or Mike Mussina, etc.
Girardi was also fired after the season. Supposed reason, was that the owner was heckling home plate umpire, complaining about balls and strikes, and Girardi told him to be quiet.
The Bronx, New York
Yankees have played poorly in playoffs since 2004. In case you have forgotten, Yankees won first three games of 2004 ALCS against Red Sox, then managed to lose four in a row to be eliminated.
After being eliminated by Cleveland last year, their formerly illustrious manager, Joe Torre was asked to accept a pay cut. Torre was offered a one year contract, with a base salary of (only) $5 million, which he declined.
Clearly, Yankees are not just expected to reach playoffs, they are expected to win at least one series.
There Goes Girardi
I do not understand why Girardi was selected to replace Torre, because he had no experience managing stars, or facing pressure. After all, Girardi won an award for a fourth–place finish, with a team whose collective salary was less than Mariano Rivera’s, one Yankee relief pitcher.
What is virtually certain, is that Girardi will not be invited back next season. Yankees 2008 record is 73–64 and they will be ineligible for playoffs.
Which means that Girardi will have been fired from both of his managing jobs after one season. If he ever gets hired by another team, it will have to be one with low expectations.
Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman, formerly of Lexington, Kentucky, will likely be sent packing too. Cashman is best known (to me) for signing Carl Pavano, the most useless Major League baseball player.