Most people were expecting former manager Joe Girardi to return to the ball club in 2018 after leading the Yankees one game shy of the World Series. But, the Yankees shocked the baseball world last week when Brian Cashman announced the team was going in a different direction managerial wise.
The familiarity Girardi brought Yankees fans over the last 10 seasons was gone. There would be no more ‘Binder Joe’, a phrase fans coined for the former skipper since he lived vicariously through his binder. There would be no more ‘It’s Not What You Want’, a catchphrase Girardi would use when things didn’t go the Yankees way. And, there would be no more of Girardi’s outrageous yet entertaining ejections.
While the Yankees immediately began their search for a new manager, Girardi reflected on the past and divulged how he felt once he realized the Yankees weren’t bringing him back.
“[There was] Disappointment,” Girardi said during a Q&A with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. “I think there’s always hurt. Whenever you feel someone doesn’t want you, there’s going to be hurt. But I understood. I understand that this has happened to managers who have achieved a lot more than I have.”
Most people speculated Girardi and Cashman had a rocky relationship since it was Cashman who recommended the Yankees let go of Girardi. However, Girardi didn’t feel as if his relationship with Cashman changed for the worse over the last 10 years.
” I think it [our relationship] was good,” Girardi said. “We had 10 really good years together. This is the man who believed in me and picked me over maybe some other peoples’ choices and took a chance on me after I only had managed one year. I think our relationship was good.
“Like any relationship over 10 years, you’re going to have some disagreements. But as Cash would say, I think they’re healthy. I think they lead to some discussions. But I think we were on the same page most of the time. He allowed me to do my job. And I was thankful for the job he did in always trying to improve our club.”
While management claimed Girardi didn’t have a human approach while managing the team, many of his players disagreed. Clint Frazier, David Robertson, Luis Cessa and Gary Sanchez were a few Yankees who expressed their gratitude towards the former Yankees skipper.
Thank you, Joe. My career wouldn’t have been the same without you. It was a privilege. pic.twitter.com/BbF94Hn7tI
But they weren’t the only ones to let Girardi know he would be missed.
“I’ve heard from ex-players. I’ve heard from fans, fans who were close to the dugout, so many different people,” Girardi said. “When you go through something like this, you really find out a lot about people who maybe you’ve influenced, maybe you had no idea about. You find out about people who love you, care for you and respect you and are there for you. Sometimes, as people, maybe we don’t appreciate that enough. You go through a situation like this, that’s when you really find out. Maybe you should pay closer attention to those little details.
Girardi averaged approximately 91 wins in Girardi’s 10 seasons. While that was an accomplishment for Girardi, he admitted the Yankees should have won more than one World Series during his tenure.
“Ninety-one wins a year, that’s great. But I’m disappointed we only won one World Series,” Girardi said. “Six different years we were in the playoffs, and I am proud of that. But again, I went to the Miami Marlins (in 2006) and they asked me what my goal was that year. We had (all those) rookies. And I said, ‘To win the World Series.’ And I was disappointed when we didn’t.”
Now the “Girardi-era” is complete. The book is closed and it’s time for everyone to move on. But how does Girardi want to be remembered as the Yankees manager,
“A guy that tried to win every game he could for the organization and loved every minute of it.”