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On Joe Girardi’s unsatisfactory job security comments


Joe Girardi was asked about his job security on Sunday night. (Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire)

If Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi’s goal is to dispel speculation of his apathy, his performance in Sunday night’s postgame media availability resembled the performance his Phillies team had provided just minutes before — in that it was a disaster.

The on-field performance capped off a three-game embarrassment in New York, courtesy of the team now 10 ½ games above Girardi’s in the NL East standings. It brought the Phillies to 3-9 against the Mets in 2022 — as many losses in 12 games this year as they had in 19 head-to-head matchups last year. And it dropped the Phillies to six games under .500, an abyss they hadn’t found themselves in since Oct. 1, 2017, when they finished the regular season at a dreadful 66-96. 

And the disastrous postgame performance, lower in stakes but perhaps more revealing about the team’s direction, only fueled concerns about the factors that arguably got Girardi’s Phillies here in the first place. 

“I don’t worry about my job,” Girardi said when NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury asked whether he was, well, worried about his job. “I’ve never worried about my job. I don’t worry about my job. I’ve got to do my job. It’s the business of being a manager. I don’t worry about it.”

It’s a cliché line, Ole’ Reliable for managers and coaches on the hot seat seeking to feign confidence and control. Usually, it can be taken with a grain of salt and appropriately analyzed as fluff.

In this instance, it’s telling. 

There are two interpretations of Girardi’s supposed lack of anxiety about his job status, neither of which are particularly glowing endorsements on the third-year Phillies skipper. One assumes that the manager is telling the truth — that he really isn’t concerned, despite the myriad factors (such as standings and payroll) that may reasonably warrant concern.

That doesn’t bode particularly well for a manager accused of an almost daily basis of indifference and disinterest. And, frankly, he’s provided support for that assertion more than once throughout the season’s first 47 games.

Whether it’s choosing not to get fired up about the abysmal umpiring during the infamous Ángel Hernández Game in late April, neglecting to come to his players’ defense when Yoan López threw at Kyle Schwarber and Alec Bohm in the ninth inning of another loss to the Mets in early May, or trotting out a team that far too often seems lifeless and uninvested — an indictment on many, including the manager — Girardi hasn’t exactly instilled much confidence that either the Phillies will figure things out or he’ll die trying.

Perhaps when Girardi says he’s not concerned about his job status, he’s being truthful. But perhaps that’s not because he thinks he’s in the clear. Perhaps that’s because he’s indifferent. 

The other interpretation, of course, is that he’s lying. 

Let’s parse that theory out. I don’t worry about my job. Does he really think that’s what the fans want to hear? 

Girardi’s team is, as mentioned, 10 ½ games out of first place. It’s not even June. A team that was widely projected to win somewhere between 84 and 87 games is on pace to win 71, well short of even an expanded playoff field. We’re more than a quarter of the way through the season, and at this point, the panic meter is at 11. 

Phillies fans — even the few that might want Girardi to remain in his post, wherever those folks are these days — should want him to worry that the sword is his on which to fall. If nothing else, a little acknowledgement that it’s time for a sense of urgency would be appreciated.

There’s a third way to interpret Girardi’s postgame comments. Option three is that he’s not worried about job security because he sees no reason to be worried — that is, no reason the temperature on his seat should be rising at all. 

Maybe Girardi’s been told by the Phillies front office that his job is safe until the offseason, regardless of how bad things get. If so, congratulations, skipper. But that kind of guarantee feels unlikely, unless John Middleton is content with exceeding the luxury tax threshold only to waste another year of Bryce Harper’s prime. More likely, option three would suggest that Girardi is completely disconnected from reality. Not a great look, either.

So pick your poison. Based on Sunday night’s comments, Girardi is either disinterested, dishonest or disconnected. However you choose to slice it, the manager didn’t answer with any semblance of reassurance that the criticisms levied his way are misplaced.

Quite the opposite, actually. He supported them.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Wally Hayman

    May 30, 2022 at 10:37 am

    It took a lot more than Girardi for the Phillies to find themselves 10.5 games out of 1st place by Memorial Day.

  2. David

    May 30, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    What a trash piece. And to suggest Girardi may be a liar is really low class! It says a lot about the writer’s journalistic ethics. The Phillies lost because Schwarber, Bohm, Castellanos and Hoskins batted .116 and left 49 men on base over the 7 games and the Bullpen had a 5.85 ERA. The writer could have done some research but, he was likely too lazy or not inquisitive enough. I guess when he grows up, he wants to be Angelo Cataldi, another dunce!

  3. Oran Kelley

    May 30, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Well, you leave something very important out here. Who Girardi was talking *to*. It might well be that at this point he isn’t going to talk to the press about whether he feels his job is threatened. Is how he feels anybody’s business? You might be curious about it, but why do you seem to think he owes you the truth?

    The sports press has richly earned the contempt people like Bill Belichick clearly feel for it. You are owed nothing. You aren’t the representatives of the fans. Everything you do ask and say is driven by your own narrow pecuniary interests. So what do you expect? What I’d expect is to be lied to and evaded on a regular basis.

    Joe Girardi needs to do his job. I couldn’t care less about what he tells some hand-waving reporter about what he “feels” about his future in Philadelphia.

    Gabe Kapler got driven out of town because Philadelphia’s sports reporters and those under their sway have all the intellect and imagination of a debilitated dust mite. Now he manages with some success somewhere else and we have someone you want to drive out of town in turn.

    Contempt is what you deserve.

  4. Michael

    May 30, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    EGO, the way it comes across. Obvious history w NYY, probably most of the reason he was brought on. Performance, leadership, motivation ALL WERE in the past. Setting a tone, as has been done w NYM and Showalter has been a need of the Phils.
    Personally, he’d have been canned 3 weeks ago…
    along w pitching coaches and batting.
    Haven’t written the season off yet, but it’s getting RIDICULOUS.

  5. Jay

    May 31, 2022 at 11:07 am

    I wouldn’t want a manager who is worried about his job, who then would manage too conservatively. A manager should be worried about winning, then job security would take care of itself.

  6. RockyFortune

    June 1, 2022 at 8:14 am

    Agree. What a trash piece. He rolls out a lineup with 300 million, 100 million and 80 million dollar players and he is indifferent? How about we drop some blame on the indifferent players.

  7. JasonB

    June 1, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    Let’s face it… at this point, there is enough blame to fill a 7 course meal. The guys have not yet played 3 sides of the ball well or consistently all season. I keep hoping that every walk up song, for every one of our guys, soon is simply, Eye of The Tiger. That is what this team needs- Eye of the Tiger. They need to play each game as if its their last. No more excuses, no more its a long season, no more I must play better, no more that’s just baseball. The hyphen in between a person’s birth and death is their life, what they did, what actions they took. This team needs action not words. This piece points out that leadership is often top down. Giardi needs to get fired up, but he also needs to inspire this team, and pull every ounce of ability from each player. Great coaches/managers get superb results from mediocre talent. Giardi has exceptional talent but they don’t execute to their potential. Is this a Giardi problem? With each tick of the clock, the season nears its end. Giardi better care about his job, he better care about these men and he better care about Phils phans.

  8. Bigcaptain

    June 1, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    What the Phillies need is a Dallas Green type of manager flip over some buffet tables and tell it the way it is it, can’t hurt compared to the “oh well” attitude of Girardi

  9. Vladmir Ludic

    June 4, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    What a clown piece. Major League players need to play like major league players and give maximum effort. Is it the manager’s job at this level to get them to do so? Do you think Girardi ever had to motivate Derek Jeter or Mo Rivera or Pettite to “do their jobs”? Bottom line: The Philly players are LOSERS- Girardi knew it and there’s simply not much you can do with a bunch of losers. He will go win someplace else- you can be sure of that.

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