29 Oct 2007
Say this for the Yankees, they might not be playing, but they are certainly making news. Fresh off the A-Rod debacle, the Yankees have apparently offered the managerial job to Joe Girardi.
These are not George’s Yankees anymore, George would have given the job to Mattingly in a second. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but it is a notable one.
And, what can we expect from Girardi? We know he will work hard, but his usage of young pitchers makes me pause. Let’s look at the 2006 Marlins staff.
Dontrelle Willis was the ace. He was 25 and his first six starts of the year by pitch count were: 107, 111, 113, 106, 92, 120. Of his 34 starts, only five were less than 100 pitches and at one point he made seven-straight starts of more than 115 pitches. To be fair to Girardi, he never let him go past 125 pitches, but it was a lot.
And it wasn’t just Willis. Jason Johnson didn’t become a starter until May and once he was he got used. He was 41st overall in baseball at an average of 99.297, just ahead of Andy Pettite. Anibal Sanchez wasn’t far behind (48th/98.8235) just ahead of Randy Johnson.
None of this means it isn’t correctable. Just as the "Joba Rules" were put in place this year, Cashman can come up with some Kennedy and Phil rules to protect them. I hope he does and if so, I think this will be a pretty good choice. Joe Torre always talked about how great a manager Girardi would be and in his one year of work, he was very, very good.
The sad part of all of this is Don Mattingly. What happens with him now? I am afraid he might take this rejection personally. He clearly wanted the job and he didn’t get it. Reports say he has turned down an offer to coach and I would expect him to show up as a coach in LA if Joe Torre really does head there to manage. But, the big question is next season when they close Yankee Stadium, will Mattingly choose to be a part of that? It would be awful if he didn’t and I hope the Yankees do everything they can to make sure he is there.
I was originally going with an A-Rod post today, but that will wait for tomorrow. If you haven’t read it, check out Buster Olney’s take on ESPN or Mike Vaccaro’s in the Post. Better yet, take a listen to Peter Gammons on ESPN Radio. (I can’t link to it and you need to be an insider to get it, but it is worth a little digging to find.) I can’t recall ever hearing Gammons come down on a player like that. Cynics will say it’s his Red Sox bias showing through, but I think he is genuinely upset.