One of the reasons Joe Girardi has found so much success in media in between managerial stints is because he’s honest with his assessments. That honesty didn’t take a break when the 55-year-old was asked about his future this week.
Wednesday, USA Baseball announced that Girardi wouldn’t manage the team attempting to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as he had initially been scheduled to do. Instead, his former Yankees teammate Scott Brosius will lead the stars and stripes. Girardi says that his reason for ultimately stepping aside from Team USA was that his ultimate desire – to return to managing in the major leagues – appears to be in sight.
“I was committed to the Olympic team,” Girardi told Mike Francesa on WFAN. “About a week ago – maybe a little more – I started discussing [that] there was a possibility that I wouldn’t be able to do it because of some of the things I was going through interviewing and I couldn’t commit because you have to report on Sunday.”
So does Girardi, who last managed for the New York Yankees in 2017, think he’ll return to an MLB dugout next season?
“I really believe that I’m going to get an opportunity, yes.”
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that the Phillies interviewed veteran manager Buck Showalter Monday, and were believed to have done so that same day with Girardi. Regardless of exactly when Girardi’s interview with the Phillies took place, it took place, and Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote Thursday that Girardi, Showalter and Dusty Baker are expected to get second interviews as the Phillies hope to have Gabe Kapler’s successor in place by next week. Breen added that Girardi and Showalter “are considered the favorites.”
The Phillies weighed Kapler’s future for 10 days before ultimately dismissing him. Why does their managerial search seem to be moving at a much quicker pace? Girardi has long been connected to managerial vacancies with the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs, in addition to the Phillies. He confirmed to Francesa that he’s interview for three jobs, and felt that all of his interviews “went well.” If the Phillies ultimately decide Girardi is their No. 1 target, they can’t afford to drag their feet on the interview process, because another team could swoop in and hire him. Even if the Phillies decide to offer Girardi their job in a timely manner, they could find themselves in a bidding war for his services.
After a 15-year playing career, Girardi was named manager of the then-Florida Marlins in 2006. Though he ultimately won National League Manager of the Year that season, he was fired by owner Jeffrey Loria because the two didn’t agree on a variety of issues. Ultimately, Girardi ended up being hired as the New York Yankees manager ahead of the 2008 season, a post he would hold for 10 years. The Yankees won their 27th World Series title in 2009, with Girardi guiding the team to a six-game victory over the Phillies.
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