The Philadelphia Phillies, per multiple reports, will interview former Miami Marlins and New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi Monday, wrapping up the second round of their managerial interviews.
It’s beginning to feel like if the Phillies leave Monday’s interview with Girardi and decide he – not Buck Showalter or Dusty Baker – is their No. 1 target, they may be in a good position to secure his services.
During an interview with Mike Francesa on WFAN last week, Girardi acknowledged that he expects to manage in 2020. That’s backed up by the fact that he withdrew from managing Team USA in their attempt to qualify for the 2020 Olmypics in Tokyo.
In that same interview, Girardi disclosed that he’s interviewed with three different teams. In addition to the Phillies, the other two teams that have interviewed Girardi, at least that we know of, are the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs.
If the the Mets and Cubs are the only two other teams that have interviewed Girardi, it doesn’t appear at this time that the Phillies will face the immediate competition of another team that’s prepared to offer the 55-year-old their managing job this week.
The Mets, per Andy Martino of SNY, are beginning the second round of their managerial interviews this week. Former Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran is one of the names they will speak to for a second time, with Martino noting that Mets vice president/assistant general manager Allard Baird and special assistant to the general manager Omar Minaya are “said to be in his corner.” While Martino added that it’s hard to define a front-runner because of how much the Mets have kept their search under wraps, former MLB catcher and current ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez is a “strong candidate.” (Since the publication of this article, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that both Girardi and Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar will, along with Beltran and Perez, receive second interviews with the Mets.)
What’s more, Martino says that while it’s “plausible” that the Mets could decide on their next manager before the end of this month, they’re still doing their home work on other potential candidates.
You get the sense that the Phillies will tab their next manager before the Mets do.
Meanwhile, while Girardi had two playing stints as a Cub and is from Illinois, there’s no indication that he’s one of the front-runners for the Cubs vacancy either.
MLB.com‘s Mark Feinsand says that Theo Epstein and Cubs brass will interview Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada before the World Series begins Tuesday. MLB.com‘s Jordan Bastian added that Espada and former catcher and current ESPN analyst David Ross are “widely considered the top two candidates for the post.”
At the conclusion of Monday’s interview with Girardi, it’s possible that the Phillies will decide to offer their job to Showalter or Baker. But while Showalter entered the search as the perceived front-runner, there may be some momentum for Girardi.
Martino says that “there is a lot of heat the past few days about him [Girardi] and Philly.” RADIO.COM’s Jon Heyman said Friday that Phillies brass has been impressed with all three candidates, while also noting that there’s been some belief that Showalter is the favorite because he worked with president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and assistant general manager Ned Rice with the Baltimore Orioles. But Heyman also added that managing partner John Middleton figures to have a large say in who is the next manager, and “folks would not be surprised if he preferred Dusty [Baker] or especially [Joe] Girardi.”
Perhaps that’s reading between the lines too much, but probably not.
One way or another, it feels like a very realistic possibility that the Phillies decide on who the 55th manager in franchise history will be by the end of this week. Monday, they’ll interview Girardi. Tuesday and Wednesday, there are World Series games. Thursday, it’s entirely possible there’s a resolution, and the Phillies appear to be in good position for Girardi to be the resolution, if that’s what they want.
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