Tuesday, October 1, 2013
SAY IT AIN'T SO, JOE!
The witching hour is upon us; to be exact it is about 29 days away. I am referring to our skipper, Joe Girardi’s, contract expiration on Halloween. And although the majority of us would probably say, with all Joe has had to deal with in injuries and drama this season, we should re-sign him, it may not happen. So, fans, the question is will Joe elect to go or will he remain with the Yankees for another cycle as manager? I think it will come down to Joe’s decision.
Flashback to the mid-1990s when Girardi was catching cutters from Mo and calling pitches for Andy. He also caught Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter in 1996 and David Cone’s perfect game in 1999. Joe’s a Yankee, deep within his core, but he was a Cub first and perhaps that’s where he is supposed to go now that there seems to be a changing of the guard in the Bronx with the Core Four down to one lone solider. Maybe it’s time for a transition for Joe, who, in my opinion, has been nothing but a class act in our organization.
“No other realistic candidate with the managerial experience Epstein seeks makes more sense than Girardi,” stated David Haugh in an article for the Chicago Tribune. No sooner did Cubs General Manager Theo Epstein make a statement regarding the release of Cubs manager Dale Sveum was he beckoning Girardi to take the bait all the way back to Wrigley Field, where the then ballplayer got his start.
"We need certain things that, in my opinion, we are more likely to find from someone outside the organization at this point,'' Epstein said. "Some things you just can't get from the status quo,” stated Epstein on Monday. The Cubs have got to get back into the pennant race quickly. This year was another disaster for the other cursed team, finishing 31 games out of first place.
The vintage ballpark continues to attract die-hards and tourists alike despite their losing record. Wrigley needs not only a face lift to its stadium but some strategic moves in the clubhouse. And Girardi may be the only guy up for the challenge, should he want it. The Cubs have been the only “old-time” team not to battle back into the World Series in recent years. They have not won a series in 104 years and have not made it passed the Division Series since 2003.
So, could Girardi cure the curse and bring back a World Series to the thirsty city of Chicago? He has the mind for it, he has the talent and leadership for the task, but does he have the energy and patience for it. Those close to Girardi say the decision will come down to family. Girardi’s family has been an active part of his stint here in New York and they and fate may be the deciding factor.
According to ESPN-NY, “Girardi said his wife and kids are very happy in Westchester, N.Y. His family ties to Chicago -- with both his parents having passed away -- are not as strong anymore. Plus, he hasn't lived there since 2006. "So there's not as much there as there used to be," Girardi said.
Joe may not need anymore leverage for his negotiations to stay in New York for another cycle as manager. Having another big market team and GM interested in him may be just what sparks activity in his contract. Joe’s record at the helm for the Yankees is 564-408 with one World Championship and several appearances in the post season. He has expertise working with both young and veteran players and he has the gumption and intelligence to win ball games. Sounds like Brian Cashman better giddy-up before it gets too Windy!
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
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