Sunday, January 24, 2016


Snow days are great days to catch up on activities and tasks that we often cast aside because of our busy lives.  For some, reading a best seller, screening an Oscar nominated movie, binging on a comedy or drama series or indulging in some baking filled the day as many of us were stranded indoors this weekend.  For me, besides grading projects and running on my treadmill, I caught up on my professional learning through Twitter and other social media postings.  As I scrolled through tweets from my professional learning network, I came across this quote which brought me back to the obvious leadership gaps we have in our current Yankee team. amongst yourselves.  Yes, I believe that Joe Girardi needs to move on from New York and maybe the American League entirely.  I think he has not had that battle in his head of 'what is' and 'what could be'.  I think he is stuck in 'what is'.  What's my evidence?  I will share with you.

In an interview with the NY Post at the end of last season, Joe Girardi said some things that made me feel skeptical of his leadership presence and willingness to change things up if the team needed a little shake up (which clearly it does).

"I’m a routine guy, and if I get out of my routine, I don’t like it. And as far as Einstein, I’m no Einstein, but I do love numbers. My favorite subject in school was always math. My favorite math class was probably calculus, and I just loved it, and I like studying the numbers. And I did it as a player to try to gain an edge, because I knew from a physical standpoint, I wasn’t as gifted as a lot of other people that were on the field, so I had to do whatever I could to be prepared and try to outthink them, so I did that. And it’s just worked as a manager too. I love the numbers and diving into them." 

What happens when playing the numbers just doesn't work?  I mean, I played the numbers too, and I lost the Powerball.  Girardi overuses his pitchers and babies his position players.  We aren't in calculus class, Joe.  This is real life and this is baseball.

He also said something else that makes me skeptical of his leadership abilities going forward into 2016.  Steve Jobs, like him or hate him, always said you have to pay attention to the antagonist (the competitor).  In his book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Carmine Gallo describes this point further, "Steve Jobs established the foundation of a persuasive story by introducing his audience to an antagonist, an enemy, a problem in need of a solution."  

We have a problem in need of solution:  we need admittance into the World Series and then we need to win it.  But how are we going to do this if Girardi is going to continually hide his head in the sand? When asked how miserable the last two Octobers have been watching the playoffs he simply said, "I don’t [watch]. I may have it on in the background, but if we’re not in it, I don’t want to watch it. You put the uniform on to win."  Don't we want to watch what the competition did to get to the next level? I mean, really?

I think the final straw was when Joe described his leadership style. "I think it’s pretty quiet … laid back. I think leadership to me is based on love. If you take the verse from the Bible about what love is: Love is patient, love is kind, I think that all is true in leadership." What?  I mean, I get that, to a point but we are talking the Yankees and we need more than patience and love.  We need grit, perseverance, focus, planning and quite frankly, results with a little tough love in there.

Our mixture is just all wrong right now.  I am worried that we are getting more of the same from Joe this spring.  So, my reading and reflection just got me stressed about the season.  Maybe Joe has a different formula cooking in his kitchen on this snow weekend?  God, I hope so.  Love is patient as long as there is a plan for this patience that leads us to the World Series in October.

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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