|(July 28, 2015 - Source: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)|
|(May 8, 2016 - Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)|
From blockbuster trade piece for a potential playoff contender, to trade piece for a bunch of kids we hope have a future in the Bigs... and then back again to a team stripped of it's top draws and more question marks than when he left. What a difference a year makes, huh?
Looking back at Aroldis's dizzying journey also made me realize that this winter marks the end of the third year of Joe Girardi's four-year deal, and as we enter it's final season -- the extra one Joe extracted from the team by leveraging interest from his hometown Cubs, I wonder where all the turbulent change his team is undergoing may send Joe's career careening next.
I'm a fan of Joe. I really am.
|(May 19, 2016 - Source: Getty Images North America)|
It seemed to me that Joe would stick with a cold bat way too long or sit a hot one way too fast...OR keep a dead arm in the rotation and send a live one to the pen, based more on the number of zeros in their contract and their years of MLB service than their numbers on the score card!
And was it really beyond his authority to order two of our leading base stealers to actually try and steal a bag a little more frequently when they both underwent mid-career psychoses and decided it was more comfortable for them to remain glued to their bases until the next hitter moved them over?
And what about all those phony spring training "competitions" for the starting rotation and catchers when everyone knew the outcomes in advance -- especially the youngsters who invariably were the losers, despite often being the winners in the scorecards? Does "Competition always brings out the best" ring a bell?
I bet that was great for morale. The stories those kids brought back with them to the farm when they got sent down must've been priceless.
|(Aug. 29, 2015 - Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)|
Maybe a good players' manager does these things. Maybe there's old-school wisdom to his play-it-safe strategy. Or maybe he was only following orders from Brian and Yankee brass. I've given him a pass for years using that one myself.
|(Oct. 1, 2016 - Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America)|
So in this, his final year, that pass is rescinded. From now on whenever Joe says things like that -- and particularly whenever he manages like that -- I'm taking him at his word. It's his job. His choices. His wins. His losses. Period.
|(Sept. 16, 2014 - Source: Brian Blanco/Getty Images North America)|
Joe's loyal, I'll give him that. Funny thing about that "competition always brings out the best" thing, though. It can also bring out the worst.
The heartbeat of the next Yankees dynasty will be the young bloods who start coming up this season. Whether Joe hears it or not, I believe, will decide if he'll be allowed to compete with them any further.
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