Tuesday, May 6, 2014


The fan base goes back and forth with him. The Yankee beat reporters feel it is somehow their duty to snipe at him and criticize his often-truculent demeanor at post game press conferences. He is constantly second guessed by so-called “experts” who follow the game of baseball using a slide rule and calculator. But you know what? GI Joe Girardi is a great manager and I wouldn’t have anyone else skipper the Bronx Bombers.

There are those that longingly remember the days of Joe Torre. There are others who still lament the loss of Donnie Baseball to the west coast. To those people I say, YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON AN OUTSTANDING MANAGER HERE AND NOW! Girardi is everything we could want and more. He knows game (All binder jokes aside, this guy is no dummy) he stands behind his players to the bitter end and will go down swinging with them. He is often to the point and doesn’t suffer the fools calling themselves “Baseball Writers”. Joe is a class act and a stand up guy. He played the game like he manages, will all his heart and soul. And Girardi doesn’t hesitate to call out umpires, the league or other clubs if need be. He makes tough and sometimes unpopular decisions with unwavering conviction…which isn’t that easy to do under the brightest lights in Baseball.

Take the other night in Anaheim for example. Laz Diaz, who is a horrendous umpire, called a gutter ball bowled by Jeff Weaver a strike with the bases jammed and Brett Gardner at the plate. It was an awful call and par for the course with Diaz working behind the dish. Girardi went “BILLY MARTIN”!

He stormed out of the visitors dugout as if his best friend was in a bar fight and it was time to lay someone out. Not only was Joe standing up for his guy, but he was also letting another ump (in the rash of umpires who believe they are somehow celebrities) know that they have to be held to some type of standard.

Diaz has long patronized Big League skippers and players. He and the outrageously awful “Cowboy” Joe West actually think that fans are excited to see their names listed on the crew sheet for games. They believe that people sit in their seats at the stadium saying, “Oh we’re in great hands, Joe West is here!” Major League Baseball should put the brain trust serving under Bud The Corruptible in a room and start making cuts to the lingering “Old Guard” of umps hurting the game. Put an expiration date on these clowns. TAH DAY! (Done in my Best DeNiro from "Goodfellas")

Now back to Girardi. Joe attacks every situation without thought of how the league will discipline or fine him. It’s not about anything but making sure he is the best manager the Yankee players could hope for. He won’t ask any of his guys to anything he wouldn’t do himself. He is a player’s manager and it shows.  Yes, he is not a warm, fuzzy, colorful personality like Joe Maddon, but so what? I think even Pope Francis would tell the crew of mini tape recorder toting, glorified TMZ reporters, that hound him win or lose, to play in traffic after a few games. If you’re looking for a political statesman knock yourself out. I’m looking for a manager to skipper the Yanks, and lucky for us WE HAVE A GREAT ONE.

Now understand that I am happy with the way GI Joe handled the incompetence of Diaz, not the way the Yankees failed to score a run with no outs and the bases loaded. And neither was Girardi. He said as much in his post game interview. The Yankees failed miserably and had their chances. Joe didn’t sugarcoat that and never does. If a player or the team dogs it, he let’s them know. There is no “Babying” in Girardi’s platoon. He has even stated loud and clear that he will not produce the Jeter Farewell Tour, and I think Jeter appreciates that most of all. It’s about winning ball games and the full out assault on bringing home a title. Period. You have to like that mindset.

Will I always agree with Joe Girardi? No. But I’d never doubt that he believes he is making the best decision for the team. He doesn’t worry about losing his job so much that it prevents him from doing his job. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Yankee fans can sleep well at night knowing that their team is safe under the watch of GI Joe Girardi.

** Here’s one of my favorites. It goes to our own GI Joe.**

--Mike O'Hara, MLB Fan Cave Host, Season 1
   Twitter: @mikeyoh21

"Paulie was always my favorite player."


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