Rumors

Joe Girardi, Phillies president Andy MacPhail have ‘strong relationship’


Joe Girardi will be one of the most sought after managerial candidates this offseason. (Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

Mickey Callaway, then the Cleveland Indians pitching coach, was one of the first names to emerge as a candidate during the Philadelphia Phillies last managerial search in October of 2017. Ultimately, the Phillies managerial search didn’t move as quickly as interest in Callaway, who served on Terry Francona’s staff from 2013-2017. Callaway was hired by the division-rival New York Mets on Oct. 23, 2017. The Phillies didn’t choose their eventual manager – Gabe Kapler – for seven more days.

Two October’s later, it appears that the Phillies and Mets could find themselves in competition for perhaps the best managerial candidate available.

Joel Sherman of The New York Post says that there’s a belief “that that someone will have to decisively win the interview process for the Mets’ first choice not to be Girardi.” Sherman, though, says that could force the Mets to expedite their managerial search process, out of fear that if things drag out, the Phillies, among other potential suitors, could hire Girardi while they deliberate.

What’s more, while the prior history of Buck Showalter with the Phillies front office is often cited as a reason he could be a favorite for the Phillies job, Girardi and Phillies president Andy MacPhail have worked together in the past as well:

Besides his credentials, Girardi has a strong relationship with Phillies team president Andy MacPhail, going back to their mutual days with the Cubs. Plus, they were on opposite sides during collective bargaining agreement negotiations when Girardi was still a player — and their mutual respect helped ease some of the tension in talks.

MacPhail was the Chicago Cubs president and CEO from 1994-2006. Girardi – a native of Peoria, Illinois – had two playing stints with the Cubs during his 15-year career. His second stint with the Cubs came from 2000-2002, during MacPhail’s time as the lead executive in the organization.

Of course, MacPhail, 66, has been in baseball for over four decades. Even longer than that if you factor in that his father, Lee, and grandfather, Larry, are Hall of Fame executives themselves. MacPhail has a lifetime of connections in the sport. Dusty Baker, who some think could become a candidate, was the Cubs manager from 2003-2006. Buck Showalter, the speculative favorite, was first hired in Baltimore in July of 2010, when MacPhail was leading the Orioles front office.

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In Friday’s press conference announcing the firing of Kapler, Phillies managing partner John Middleton spoke for 27 total minutes in a press conference that lasted approximately 57 minutes. He spoke approximately 10 minutes longer than MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak combined. It’s unclear how much MacPhail’s connections to Girardi, Baker and Showalter will mean, as opposed to them being accomplished managers and Middleton seemingly being hell-bent on winning now.

If Girardi does ultimately become the Phillies No. 1 choice to be the 55th manager in franchise history, it’s possible Middleton will have to compete with Mets ownership – and maybe other organizations – to secure Girardi. It’s not known if Girardi has a preference on where he would like to manage next, though he does have past connections in both New York and Chicago, where there are managerial openings.

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  1. Pingback: Phillies appear to be returning to convention as they interview three veteran managers this week | www.phillysports.com

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