Friday, February 15, 2008

Joltin' Joe

If you've been reading PBP since the beginning, or if you've seen my post over on the LoHud blog, you'll know that I'm a pretty big fan of Joe Girardi getting the nod as manager.

Part of it has to do with catchers. Often, catchers make good managers because so much of what they do in a baseball game is manage. They've got to be the ones to talk to the pitchers, the ones to manage the infield, to call for a set play. It's not managing proper, but like the graduate student that has to TA a class, it's something that counts on a resumè.

Part of it is that we all know what Girardi did with the Marlins in 2006, and the way he was able to get the best out of a young pitching staff. I know there's a lot of argument as to whether or not he was the reason behind injuries to Annibal Sanchez and underperformance from Dontrelle Willis, but between Dave Eiland, Nardi Contreras and the giant that is the New York media, I'm not too worried about it happening.

Part of it is simply that he's not Joe Torre. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Joe Torre, and he was brilliant for the Yankees in the late nineties and early 2000s (lest you forget, we did make it to the World Series in 01 and 03). However, when you manage the same team for 12 years, your weaknesses will not just show, but they'll be glaringly obvious. Torre couldn't handle a bullpen, and, well, the nice way to put it is that he played favorites. From Girardi's own admission, however, spots on the roster will have to be earned, which means instead of Spring Training being an all-inclusive month-long vacation in sunny Florida, it'll actually mean something.

There's no question ever single move Girardi makes and every single word he says will be taken under the glare of an electron microscope. While there's no doubt that Girardi both knows and expects this, there is still the, well, frustration when considering what will likely happen with an impatient fanbase if the Yankees start 1-3 or 6-8.

It's so easy for people to forget how spoiled we've been with twelve straight Octobers. Currently, no other team has more than one.

Change can be good or bad, but it is inevitable. It's how you respond to change that will show you who you really are.


  1. I've followed the Yankees since the early sixties and there have been lots of years when they had no chance practically from the beginning of April. Championships are nice, but there are a lot of teams competing these days, and once you get to the playoffs there's luck involved too. What is actually more important for me is that year after year, every single day of the season and then on into the playoffs, Yankee games mean something. They are always in the hunt. And that's much more entertaining than following a team which is usually out of the race early on if they were ever in it at all.

  2. Eric...
    From the '50s for me. I must agree with you, the 60' were badddd...5 thousand people in the stands, on a good day!
    Both you and Rebecca have it right, we have to see Joe G. put his style of playing to the test. The results are what count, no matter what the other blogers and posters say. I can't see this team getting off to the start they have had lately. We have 3 great looking young(there's that word again) arms in camp, let them fight for playing time. Let the games begin!
    Everything is wrong this, maybe it'll be right for the Yanks. Word of advise...don't get old, I broke my leg!@$#% Happy spring folks. 27/08

  3. Just something to mention: your link to Pete's blog on this post doesn't work. =P